If you're looking for a quaint New England town to visit or live, look no further than Niantic, Connecticut.
The town, located right along the shore close to Mystic Aquarium and the casinos, is somewhat of a hidden gem. While the excitement of New York City and Boston is just two hours away in either direction, Niantic will provide you with that small-town feel.
"Niantic is very family-friendly, between the beaches, Children's Museum, and McCook Park," said Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Jennifer Lehto. "I love spending time there with my own family. I can unwind at the beautiful beaches and my kids absolutely adore the museum."
According to discovereastlyme.com, Niantic is the only community on the Connecticut coast where the “Main Street” - featuring boutiques, specialty shopping, and a one-of-a-kind bookstore - runs parallel to the beautiful Long Island Sound.
One of the must-visit locations on Main Street is The Book Barn. Expected to reopen May 20, this unique shop has an ever-changing collection of over 500,000 books spread out between three locations, all of which can be found within one mile of each other, bordering the ocean.
"Whether you want to come to browse our stacks of books, spend some quality time with our cats, or just relax with a picnic in our beautiful gardens, Book Barn Niantic is the destination for you," the bookstore said on its website.
If you work up an appetite browsing all of those books, you may want to make a stop at Gumdrops and Lollipops - an old-fashioned, 1950s-style candy shoppe, ice cream parlor, and diner located on Main Street.
"From burgers and fries to candy and pies, we serve it all with a smile at the sweetest spot in town," the restaurant said on its website.
While still open during this time of social distancing, the business is serving ice cream only from its back window.
Beach and Boardwalk
The ultimate seaside town, you will love taking a stroll down Niantic Bay Boardwalk.
"Niantic Bay Boardwalk is the place to go if you want to take in the beauty of Long Island Sound, take a refreshing walk or sit for a while on one of the many benches," discovereastlyme.com said.
The eastern half is a true 'boardwalk' crossing over dunes covered with native vegetation.
"Between this section and the waters of Long Island Sound is a lovely white-sand beach, open to the public, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, fishing, or just enjoying the view," the website said. "The western half of the boardwalk is a wide gravel path, built on a rock foundation. Along this section, the waves lap against the rocks, and you feel truly close to nature as you walk along. "
To the left of the boardwalk is Hole in the Wall Beach.
According to the town website, "the beach is accessed through a short tunnel under the railroad tracks, which is the inspiration for the name Hole-In-The-Wall. Its white-sand beach slopes next to a swimming area sheltered by a stone jetty."
To the right of the boardwalk is McCook Park and Beach.
Described as a "central part of life" in East Lyme, "the park consists of a beautiful bluff between two white, sandy beaches," the town said on its website. "On the bluff, where the McCook summer home once stood, is a green lawn with a picnic pavilion, a bandshell, and an events tent. The lawn is shaded by copper beeches, perfect for picnics, games, or a relaxing walk."
Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut
From its Discovery Room and Imaginative Play area to its Toddler Land and outdoor play area, this museum has something for kids of all ages.
"With 5,000 square feet – all on one floor – and outdoor playspace, nearly all is wheelchair accessible. We engage, encourage, and challenge children from 9 months to 9 years in the arts, sciences, and world cultures," the museum said on its website. https://www.childrensmuseumsect.org/
One of our Kazantzis Real Estate offices is located in Niantic, so we know first-hand how special this community is. We invite you to visit and find out for yourself. We can't wait to see you!