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Niantic, CT

About NianticThis cozy Long Island Sound village has an appropriately New England feel: Sailboats bob on Niantic Bay, water views are frequent and expansive, and rural roads wind through wooded terrain. The beach at Rocky Neck State Park is one of the few places along the Connecticut coastline that is sandy rather than rocky, making it a great spot for summer wading, beachcombing, fishing, crabbing and sandcastle building. Bordered by a tidal river and a broad salt marsh, the park offers good bird-watching; resident and visiting species include the osprey, or fish hawk, cranes, herons and mute swans. Hiking is popular in spring and fall (summer hikers are likely to be plagued by biting deer flies).

One of the most delightful spots in town is The Book Barn, 41 W. Main St.; from I-95, take exit 72, turn left at the end of the exit ramp and proceed 2 miles. This complex of buildings offers thousands of “gently used” books on every subject imaginable, haphazardly stacked floor to ceiling (helpful staff members are ready to assist if needed). It's a browser's heaven, made even more enticing by complimentary water, tea, coffee and cookies and a lovely old reading garden roamed by the bookstore's resident cats. Buy a handful of cracked corn to feed the goats that live in a fenced pen next to The Last Page. You can even bring your own picnic to enjoy at one of the outdoor seating areas. Phone (860) 739-5715.

Things to Do Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

Thomas Lee House

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Niantic, CT

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