The only village along the Connecticut coast with a main street running along a pretty Long Island Sound beach, charming Niantic offers the perfect seaside holiday. Relax on the beach, browse eclectic shops, choose from a wide array of eclectic dining options or join in the fun at a host of fun-filled annual events. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a family holiday, you’ll find plenty of entertainment in this historic little beach community.
Stroll the Boardwalk
A scenic mile of sand, shops and restaurants, the Niantic Bay Boardwalk stretches from Cini Park to Hole-in-the-Wall beach, with plenty of free parking at both ends. Swim, sunbathe and picnic on the pretty white sand at the eastern end, then keep a lookout for seals swimming the wilder waters on the western end.
Hike the Nature Preserve
Overlooking the Niantic River, the Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve offers miles of paths winding through scenic woods. Alive with mountain laurel in spring, the preserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including ospreys, bald eagles, deer and wild turkeys.
Browse the Shops and Museums
Meander through the town’s eclectic array of shops and its fine children’s museum. One of the most popular shopping stops is the Book Barn, offering a constantly changing collection of more than 500,000 books both old and new housed in four garden-dotted locations. Let the kids run wild among the interactive displays and hands-on activities of the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, tour the historic Smith-Harris House and then take in an art film or new release at the popular Niantic Village Cinema.
Get Out and Play
With its beaches, ponds and trails, Niantic is a year-round outdoor playground. Take a scenic bike ride through Flanders and Niantic, play a few sets of tennis or check out the greens at the popular Cedar Ridge Golf Course. You can rent all sorts of water craft from kayaks to sailboats to explore the town’s picturesque waterways. The Niantic River, Gorton Pond and Pattagansett Lake are all popular canoeing, kayaking and fishing spots.
Niantic loves a celebration! From the lively old-fashioned Memorial Day parade to the big, brilliant holiday Parade of Lights, this historic little town loves to get together and have fun. Check out the chow and local artwork at the annual LobsterFest and Arts & Craft Show, have some seaside family fun at the annual Bash by the Bay or spend a balmy summer evening taking in the tunes at the McCook’s Beach Summer Concert Series.
Check out the listings on Niantic.com for a schedule of annual events and festivals.