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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stonington Point, Stonington, Connecticut

During my trip home to Connecticut, I made it a point to stop at some of my favorite little Coastal New England towns (and dive spots).  Of course, I didn't get to see them all, but I did get to stop at 3 of my favorites.  So lets start by talking about Stonington Point. 

There are always a few places we leave a little piece of our heart behind. Okay, I hate to sound nostalgic or like I am writing a bad romance novel, but you know what I mean. 

Maybe for you its the cabin from family summer trips. Or maybe it's your favorite beach, favorite coffee shop, or street in your hometown. For me, I have to say this little spot is a reminder of sand, sunshine, diving, New England, great friends, and home. 

New England is really an area like no other. Living in Utah, I have such a hard time trying to describe Coastal Connecticut to my land locked friends. So let me give it a try. 

"Stonington Point offers panoramic views of Fisher’s Island Sound and is adjacent to duBois Beach and the Stonington Old Lighthouse Museum which offers six rooms full of Stonington historical displays and terrific views of the Sound from the lighthouse tower". From this point, you can see three states: Connecticut, Watch Hill, RI and Fishers Island, NY.

Stonington Point

This area, Stonington Borough, often just called "The Borough" is a New England treasure. This charming seaside village is situated on a mile-long peninsula located midway between New York and Boston and just minutes from downtown Mystic, Connecticut. 

The drive to Stonington is one I treked nearly every Wednesday in the summer, and a few weekends in between. Before you reach the borough, you have to drive down one of the cutest streets (my favorite street if I may) ever-  North Main Street. 

 In the fall this street passes through beautiful trees reaching over the street to create this tunnel of old New England charm. In between the trees you will find historic stone walls and beautiful coastal homes and glimpses of the water.  This street in the fall when the leaves are turning is about as good as leaf peeping gets.

Flat Tire

Mystic Pizza (featuring Julia Roberts) was shot all over Mystic and Stonington and if you remember the scenes of Julia Roberts hitching hiking on that beautiful New England road, then you have seen my favorite street. 

Eventually, after traveling down North Main Street and making a few turns, you will pass another favorite spot (Dog Watch Cafe- a prime post dive location).  This is also the spot I have stopped at after several Road Races in Rhode Island (including the Newport Half and the Providence Full).
Dog Watch Cafe, Stonington, CT

Dog Watch Cafe, Stonington CT

This spot is right on the water with great food and amazing views so there
 might be a wait. But no worries, you can wait at the outdoor bar with a beer and a game of corn-hole on the dock with a view of the sunset.  It is one spot I don't mind waiting for a table.

Water Street, Stonington Point

Eventually, you reach the one way road leading down to the point, Water Street.  This is an idyllic street full of coastal treasures. Yankee Magazine again has voted Stonington one of the “Top 10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England.” They get my vote.

New England Science and Sailing, Stonington Point

Restaurants, stores, boutiques, jewelry, clothing stores, fishing docks, and even the New England Science and Sailing building. But as lovely as the shops are, we usually head to the point for one reason, and one reason only. To get in the water. 

Sailing School, Stonington Point 

Just before you reach the dead end, and your destination, you will pass the Lighthouse Museum.  I have never been inside but I am sure it is just as old and adorable as the outside.  Yes, you can enter and take a tour for a fee- something I have yet to do. 

Lighthouse Museum, Stonington Point 

Diving Street, Stonington Point
After coming to Stonington Point to dive many (many) times, I finally spend an afternoon walking around the town and look what I found.  Diving Street.  How fitting for a spot we come to 99% of the time just to dive.
Just past the parking lot you will find a large grassy area, a parking lot, a pavilion, and a small beach.    And yes, at this point it is back to a two way road so you might have to pull over and let a few cars pass.  A little annoying, a lot of charming.
End of Water Street, Stonington Point

This is the spot where we park the cars, chat for a while, and then throw on a bunch of expensive gear, and make our way down the beach to head underwater.  While the visibility is often that of typical New England Waters (crapola) it is always a fun time filled with lobsters, fish, and a few old glass bottles found buried in the sand.   My favorite is to make everyone find and hand me lobsters, but I am also guilty of having a few old bottles stashed away on my shelf. 

Dive Spot, Stonington Point 
Picnic Tables, Stonington Point 

There is a large grassy area with brand new picnic tables made and donated by some of the dive groups who frequent Stonington Point.  This is where you will find families enjoying the view, and divers getting ready to hit the water.

duBois Beach, Stonington Point 

On the opposite side of this grassy area, you will see a little beach open to the public (for a fee).  A few times I would get here early on Wednesdays just to sit on the beach with a book before hitting the water. 

Jetty at Stonington Point, duBois Beach 

Usually this little rock area is full of fisherman.  And on a windy day you can see the sailing schools out on the water. 

Stoington Point 

Leaving the Point, you can find a few other gems on the side roads such as gorgeous old houses, docks, shops and even this little access point.  Someone may have found a new dive spot.   I even wandered past the Portuguese Club which no one is allowed to visit until I come back (you heard me!).

Cannons at Stonington Point 

As you leave the point and head past the square, you will see a few cannons and monuments.  Here, you can find a little piece of history from the War of 1812., the Battle at Stonington. 

"The two large cannons used to repel British Navy forces during four days in August 1814 sit in Cannon Square, their muzzles pointed south toward Stonington Point. Several of the British shells that tore through village homes and set them ablaze now sit atop small granite pedestals in front of a home on Main Street and in front of the Stonington Free Library".  

Parking Area at Stonington Point 

A spot to enjoy the view, shop, dine, dive, or take in a little piece of history.  This little New England town is truly a gem that is well known in the dive community.  It was nice to take a stroll around this borough and sink my feet in the sand, without a wet suit and aluminum tank strapped to my back.  Although lets be honest, that is the way I prefer it.

If you find yourself on the Connecticut/Rhode Island border then this is the spot you want to visit.  Spend the morning at the Mystic Aquarium in the town next door.  Make sure you spend a little bit of time wandering the town of Mystic as it is (almost) as adorable as Stonington.  Make your way to the point but first, grab lunch at Dog Watch Cafe, before taking a walk down Water Street to take in the views from DuBois Beach.  If you find a group of divers with their gear sprawled across the picnic tables on a Wednesday evening, tell them I said hello :) 


  1. THANK you for pointing out this post! I definitely want to head out there. This post is being tucked away for good use. And I will share pictures for sure. :)


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