Discover Old Lyme in Mystic Country Last Updated: June 2022

Summer is in the air, which means it is time to get outside and enjoy some open spaces, fresh air, and our beautiful coastline.  If you are looking for a unique way to explore the local waters, a visit to Old Lyme may be just what the doctor ordered.

Black Hall Outfitters, located on the Black Hall River, is one of the premier spots for outdoor recreation in the Northeast.  Situated directly on the Great Island Estuary and the Connecticut River Canoe and Kayak Trail, it is home to more than 500-acres of nationally protected land. They offer several rental options, including kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards, as well as organized outings including fishing trips, ecotours, sunset paddle excursions, and more.  If relaxation and some quiet time in nature are what you are seeking, there is no better place than the waters off Old Lyme.  

Looking to spend a fun afternoon on the water with family or friends? Grab a picnic lunch from nearby Coffee’s Country Market and Catering or have the staff at BHO arrange one for you in advance, and head out for a day of exploration. One of the best things about BHO is its location – just a short paddle away from pristine beaches and tidal flats that are only accessible via the water. Explore Griswold Point and other nearby beaches for the perfect sandy spot to post up for lunch, then hunt for wildlife including osprey, egrets, eagles, plover, and more.

Want to take in a picture-perfect serene sunset and spend a blissful evening on the water? Then book a sunset paddle, which comes complete with a beverage of choice to toast the sunset and celebrate the end of another beautiful day.

After you have explored the serene waters of beautiful Old Lyme, make sure to check out some other nearby attractions, including the Historic Arts District along Lyme Street.

Known as the birthplace of American Impressionism, the Florence Griswold Museum sits on the banks of the picturesque Lieutenant River and is home to the Lyme Art Colony. Visitors to the museum and grounds can tour its namesake’s home, a Late Georgian-style mansion built in 1817 and transformed into a boarding house for some of the most famous artists in American History. There’s also the Krieble Gallery, gardens to roam, a studio space and Flo’s Café, an outdoor dining destination serving lunch on the veranda or a picnic on the lawn.

Continuing down Lyme Street, stop by the Lyme Art Association, a vibrant art center and gallery showcasing everchanging exhibitions throughout the year. Finally, make sure to check out the Sculpture Grounds, featuring over 100 sculptures across 4 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and courtyards.

After all that exploring, cap off the day with an ice cream at The Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe & Café.