Named for the Irish city, the tvery own of Waterford in New London County occupies a tab of land surrounded on three sides by water.

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Side-by-side on Long Island Sound there’s a rare natural beach, a stately Renaissance Revival mansion in formal gardens and also the O’Neill, America’s forea lot of company for the advancement of brand-new functions in theater and also fresh creative voices.

Waterford is neighbored to the eastern by New London, placing high-high quality attractions prefer the Lymale Allyn Art Museum within your understand.

On Waterford’s south-western nook is Mback Point, a small waterfront community with a huddle of maritime businesses, and the port of leave for many type of a deep-sea fishing trip.

Let’s discover the best points to do in and also around Waterford, Connecticut:

1. Waterford Beach Park


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Waterford Beach Park

One of the one-of-a-kind points about this quarter-mile beach on Long Island also Sound is that, unlike many type of on the Connectireduced coastline, it has never before been transformed by huguy hands.

The beach is in an undeveloped location, and also tracking the shore are some of the the majority of intact dunes to be found in the state, and a parcel of tidal marsh.

Tright here are lifeguards are Waterford Beach Park between June and September, and the beach is equipped via wooden walkways, restrooms and a picnic location.

As is common in Connectireduced non-inhabitants have to pay a greater rate ($20 on weekdays, $30 on weekends) to use the parking lot.

2. Harkness Memorial State Park


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Harkness Memorial State Park

The renowned philanthropists Edward and also Mary Harkness constructed their summer residence, dubbed Eolia (island also home of the Greek God of winds) on a waterfront plot in Waterford in 1907.

That Renaissance Revival mansion has actually 42 rooms and is embedded in more than 230 acres of grounds, consisting of greenhouses and also formal gardens plotted by the esteemed landscape designer Beatrix Farrand also between 1918 and 1928. The building came to be a state park in 1950, and you deserve to visit for a tour on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Outside, the Alpine Garden is sublime and also by the water there’s a item of sandy shoreline for fishing or beachcombing, although bapoint is prohibited below.

3. Eugene O’Neill Theater Center


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Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

This very influential not-for-profit theater agency has actually got 2 Tony Awards and also the 2015 National Medal of Arts, presented by President Obama.

Named for the Nobel Prize-winning playwappropriate, Eugene O’Neill, the center was established in 1964 and has actually had an immeasurable result on Amerihave the right to theater, pioneering ideas favor phase readings and also play development early in the manufacturing of new plays and musicals.

Thousands of new artists have passed through, and also more than 1,000 new functions have actually been launched right below, regularly on their way to Broadmethod.

O’Neill’s tally of leading programs consists of the National Theater Music Conference, the National Playwcivil liberties Conference, the National Puppetry Conference, the National Critics Institute and the Cabaret & Performance Conference and the National Theater Institute.

In a spectacular location at Waterford Beach Park, the center has actually 2 indoor and also two outdoor performance spaces.

As an audience member what you’ll watch is the bare bones of new, high-calibre works of performance art, without costumes or sets, in an intimate establishing.

The O’Neill additionally maintains Eugene O’Neill’s boyhood home in New London, the Monte Cristo Cottage.

4. Connectireduced College Arboretum


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Connecticut College Arboretum

Mingling via the campus of Connectireduced College is over 750 acres of plant collections, providing a living laboratory for the college’s botany kind of, eco-friendly researches and organic sciences programs.

Several of the spaces to explore are the Native Plant Collection, the Campus Landscape, the Caroline Black Garden and also the Greenresidence, and spacious organic locations.

The Native Plant Collection, in 20 acres, days ago to 1931 and holds azarents, hill laurel, wildflowers, conifers and ferns.

There are even more than 223 taxa of plants of shrubs sprinkled throughout the campus, while the Caroline Babsence Garden Grows mature ornamental trees from around the world.

Finally, the Greenhome has an selection of cactoffers, a tropical arsenal and a room for experimentation.

5. Mearlier Point


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Mearlier Point

There’s a cosy maritime atmosphere on the Niantic River at Mago Point wbelow local businesses prefer seafood restaurants, a watercraft dealer, a package store and numerous fishing charter providers, all crowd the waterfront.

On the north side of the headland also is the family-run Mearlier Point Marina, which is bordered by The Dock.

This is a classic New England also fish market, literally on the dock and serving comfort food favor lobster rolls and also deep-fried platters.

More along you’ll come to Sunset Landing, specializing in sustainable food, be it vegan options or non-GMO, grass-fed beef, and additionally taking advantage of the knockout views of Long Island Sound.

6. Fishing Charters


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Long Island Sound off Waterford is a prime deep sea fishing spot, and also the area to go if you desire to haul in some monster striped bass, blue fish, bonitos, strippers, blackfish and bream.

In truth the majority of the maritime businesses based at Mearlier Point are fishing charter suppliers, ranging from multiple staff and also entirety fleets to single vessels.

By our count there were five charter suppliers based right here in summer 2019. The biggest operation is Sunbeam Fleet, pelevated for its experienced setup on board, and also for its knowledgeable and attentive crew.

They’ll provide you pointers to help you enhance your approach and also will serve snacks and also beer.

Honorable cite goes to Mijoy 747, Dot-E-Dee and also Petrel Fishing Charters.

7. Ocean Beach Park


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Ocean Beach Park

Across the line in New London, this beach was freshly listed as among the finest in the nation by National Geographic.

The shore is clearly the headline attraction here for its soft, sugar white sand and also boardwalk behind.

But there’s a lot more going on in Ocean Beach Park.

You can acquire some laps in, or just gain the calmer waters of the Olympic-sized pool, and also there’s a wellness club, food court, cafe and picnic area.

On peak of that tright here are amusement rides, water slides, a mini golf course and also an arcade equipped through retro games the 80s, 90s and 00s.

You deserve to authorize up for a kayak tour of Alewife Cove with New England also Science and Sailing, and in the evenings there’s a routine of concerts, outdoor movie screenings, classic auto cruise nights and also firefunctions.

8. Fort Trumbull State Park


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Ft Trumbull State Park

Defending the entrance to New London Harbor, Fort Trumbull was first erected in 1770 and overrun by Benedict Arnold’s forces in 1781. But the structure standing today days from 1839 to 1852 and also is component of the Third System, 42 coastal defences constructed during this duration.

The fort had a army usage until as freshly as 1996. In the post-war duration the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory was based right here.

Ft Trumbull is held as a masterpiece of its type and also stands acomponent from the various other forts in the device for its Egyptian Revival design.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the fort and its visitor facility open approximately the public.

Tbelow are interpretive panels around the site, and you have the right to touch an original cannon exterior.

Inside you’ll tour recreated living quarters from the 1nine century and see an office and mock laboratory harking ago to the fort’s time as a study facility.

The visitor facility has actually multimedia exhibits, touch screens and also 3D models relating nearly 240 years of army history at this website.

9. Niantic Bay Boardwalk


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Niantic Bay Boardwalk

Cross the Niantic River to East Lyme and you deserve to saunter along among the state’s loveliest waterfront walkways.

The boardwalk is simply over a mile long, running from the railroad bridge and also Cini Park in the east to Hole-in-the-Wall surface Beach in the west.

The course is slightly raised and also crosses dunes on its eastern end, providing you views to savor over Long Island Sound.

That eastern component is a genuine wooden boardwalk, giving accessibility to an additional dreamy sandy beach, while the western half is lhelp with gravel and passes over rocks lapped by the Long Island Sound Waters.

Keep an eye out and you might catch sight of a seal in Niantic Bay.

10. Lyman Allyn Art Museum


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Lyguy Allyn Art Museum

Donated by Harriet Upkid Allyn and named in honor of her father, a affluent shipping seller, the Lyman Allyn Museum is in a bold Neoclassic building that opened in 1932. In a collection that runs to more than 17,000 pieces, there’s Amerihave the right to decorative and also fine art, European Art (particularly on paper) and also non-western art from Africa, the Americas and Asia.

The museum presents a comprehensive survey of American painting, from the Hudkid River School, through the Aesthetic Movement to Impressionism.

And in the European collection you’ll discover pieces by Ingres, Charles LeBrun, Poussin and also François Boucher.

A captivating continuous exhibition research studies Louis Comfort Tiffany’s ties to New London, while Amerideserve to Perspectives showcases American art from Colonial times with the 20th century from the perspective of Connectireduced and New London County.

For youngsters there’s Playpoints of the Past, through hands-on books, dolls and games from different components of the world and also assorted periods.

11. Lighthouse Cruises


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New London Harbor Light

The many type of little bit islands and reefs off the coast of New London need a entirety netjob-related of lightdwellings to ensure safe navigating.

A few of these beacons go earlier even more than 200 years, and include the New London Harbor Light (1801), the earliest and also tallest lightresidence in Connectireduced.

Departing from the docks on Ferry Street in New London, Cross Sound Ferry runs a summer lightresidence cruise schedule aboard 2 high-speed catamarans.

The Classic Lighthome Cruise takes around two hrs and provides you photo-worthy views of eight lightdwellings, consisting of the striking New London Ledge Lighthome, which is built like a French Second Realm mansion.

For an different experience, the Lights & Sights Cruise takes in lightdwellings, but additionally the palatial waterfront properties in between Watch Hill, RI and Fishers Island, NY.

The schedule run from May to October, with departures eincredibly day in July and August.

12. Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut


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Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

Also meriting the short detour to Old Lyme is this interenergetic museum for children, developed to foster interemainder in various societies, arts, wellness and science.

Inside and also external tright here are three primary play areas: The Discoextremely Room, via a scientific design template, has a range of manual stations, choose microscopes, a magnet wall, a pipe organ, live pet exhibits, a train table and the Creation Station for creative expression.

The Imagicountry Room is a huge indoor playground, where little ones can develop via foam blocks, negotiate obstacles and function play at a fire terminal, seaside village and the multisocial Global Market & Cafe.

A host of activities are easily accessible exterior, at playscapes, a climbing wall, a zip-line, a dig pit, a room for toddlers and a water table, to name a couple of.

13. Regal Waterford 9


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One of the best bets in Waterford for day nights, this multiplex cinema was given a makeover a few years back and also has actually earned most affection for its assigned seating and also the sort of plush reclining chairs you’d want in your own lounge.

These seats are also sensibly spaced, so you don’t have to issue about adjusting for the world moving alengthy the aisle in front or behind you.

There’s room for snacks too, on bit trays that turn out of the arm rest.

In 2019 a ticket for a new release on Friday night was an affordable $13, although you have the right to intend to pay a bit more for concessions.

14. Crystal Mall


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Crystal Mall

Off the Hartford Turnpike in Waterford is just one of the peak ten largest malls in Connecticut.

When the Crystal Mall opened up in 1984 it was the area’s only regional mall and also has been revamped a pair of times because then.

There are more than 100 stores and also solutions below, via nationwide and also worldwide staples prefer Amerihave the right to Eagle, H&M, Gamespeak, JCPenney, Macy’s, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Hot Topic, rue 21 and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Food-wise you’ve acquired chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden, Dunkin’, Pizza Hit, Submeans and Taco Bell.

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Facing off across the Hartford Turnpike is the smaller sized Waterford Commons, home to Best Buy, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Five Below, Yankee Candle and also a cluster of eateries.