Insta-famous: Mystic Country's Most 'Grammable Spots Last Updated: November 2023

One of the best things about Mystic Country is the natural diversity of the area. From coast to country and everything in between, there is certainly no shortage of picturesque spots in our region. This includes rocky shorelines, soft sand beaches, small-town charm, scenic harbors a National Scenic Byway dotted with stone walls, farmland galore, country barns, waterfalls, lighthouses, and even one of the last remaining covered bridges in Connecticut. If you are wondering where the instafamous prefer to shoot, look no further than the list below, then grab your phone (no fancy cameras required!) and check out these awesome spots for yourself.

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Ford’s Lobster, Noank

This little lobster shack is as much of an Instagram icon as it is a part of coastal Connecticut’s rich history. What began as a gas dock and bait and tackle shop in the 1950s, has morphed into one of the most coveted dining destinations for lobster lovers in the Northeast.  Originally owned by the Haring family, Orion Ford took over the business in 1970, adding a retail lobster shack and upon his retirement, current owners Kris and Kerrie Nyman bought the business, purchasing a hot dog cart as a last-ditch effort to keep the place alive. The rest, as they say, is history. The charming, waterfront restaurant now has indoor and outdoor dining, and waits can be upwards of two hours or more in the busy summer months. But ask anyone who’s dined here and they’ll tell you, the famous “Bisque Bomb” (fresh picked lobster served hot and topped with creamy lobster bisque) is more than worth the wait!

They do not accept reservations and the establishment is pet friendly outdoors as well as BYOB.

Image via @the_shopkeepers

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Comstock Covered Bridge, Colchester/East Hampton

One of the three remaining covered bridges in Connecticut, the Comstock Bridge is located in Salmon River State Forest at the junction of Colchester and East Hampton. Appealing in all four seasons, it attracts nature lovers and avid photographers alike. Originally built in 1785, it was restored as recently as 2012 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Your best bet for visiting – and snapping a prized picture, is to park at the Salmon River State Forest parking area on Route 16 in Colchester, and plan to hike, picnic and explore the park by foot.

Image via rosa.m.diana

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Sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm, Griswold

What started as a suggestion from a friend, blossomed into a 14-acre stunning sunflower field and the honor of being named the “Sunflower Capital of Connecticut.” In 2003, the folks at Buttonwood Farm planted their first one-acre field of sunflowers, which to their surprise, attracted visitors from miles away. They realized they were on to something and decided to put their sunflower success towards a good cause. That next year, Sunflowers for Wishes was born, and to-date they’ve been able to donate more than one-million dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation through admission, donations and sunflower sales. The sunflower field is located at one of the best homemade ice cream stands in the state, Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream. Flowers typically bloom in late July. Come for the ice cream, stay for the sunflowers, and leave smiling.

Image via sky_brilliance

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Roseland Cottage Museum, Woodstock

This Gothic Revival-style pink house was built in 1846 as a summer retreat for Woodstock native Henry Chandler Bowen and his family. Here, the New York City businessman entertained his many influential friends, including four United States presidents.  The house, which is both a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places is said to be one of the most well-preserved Gothic homes in the country. There is even an indoor bowling alley inside! Besides being “insta-famous” the property is also available for tours and is home to an annual fine arts and crafts festival, set for October 16-17, 2021.

Image via @thefrontdoorproject

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Avery Point Light, Groton

It is no surprise that a lighthouse located on a college campus makes the list of most instagrammed spots in Mystic Country. Built in 1943, it was actually the last lighthouse to be built in Connecticut, and only used for a short time. It is rumored to have been built as more of a tribute and memorial to lighthouses and lighthouse keepers of the past, but this has never been officially confirmed.  It was maintained by the United States Coast Guard until they moved their training facility to Governors Island in 1967. It is currently owned by the University of Connecticut and was finally restored in 2006. To visit, you will need to enter the UConn Avery Point Campus and check in with security. You are then able to wander the campus and walk to the lighthouse for photos. While on campus, be sure to check out the Branford House, which was once a summer estate of wealthy industrialist Morgan Plant. 

Image via adventure.mentality

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Mystic River Bascule Bridge, Mystic

What makes a bridge so special, you ask? Well, this particular bridge is pretty cool for a few reasons. For one, it is a working drawbridge that opens approximately 2,200 times per year. From May 1 to October 31 the bridge opens every hour at 40 minutes past the hour. The rest of the year it opens on demand, whenever a boat needs to pass through. It is truly a sight to see because all of its mechanical parts are exposed, allowing onlookers to see exactly how it works each time it is raised. For those who don’t speak French, the word bascule means seesaw, which is basically how this magnificent contraption operates.  When the bridge is down, it is opened to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and connects the Stonington side of Mystic to the Groton side (fun fact, Mystic is actually a village, not a town), allowing tourists and locals alike to stroll Main Street and enjoy the scenery and shops, including Mystic River Park, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream and of course, Mystic Pizza.

Image via @simplymysticphotography