Connecticut Charm: Niantic, East Lyme, CT | Part 2

dscf6320Niantic, CT is one of my favorite Connecticut coastal towns. To be clear, this dinosaur was spotted in Monteville, CT, not Niantic, but as I have passed this particular T-Rex on my way to Niantic several times, I knew I had to pull over this time and see what he was all about. Apparently, this is the entrance to a nature park complete with a playground, many large scale dinos (life size), and shops such as an ice cream stand, cafe, antique shop, gift store, museum, and jewelry studio. It looks like a great place to bring the kiddos and it was a really fun discovery on my way into town. The kind staff at Nature’s Art Village gave me a map, although I did not stay long. I had a Book Barn to go to. dscf6318adscf6329dscf6321I said goodbye to my new prehistoric friend and made my way into seaside Niantic.

My first stop was the Book Barn, which you can see in my Niantic post Part 1 which I links to above. Many people confuse Niantic with East Lyme, CT because it actually is East Lyme. Niantic is the seaside portion of the town where Flanders is the more modern part of town. Connecticut has a tendency to make mini sub towns out of larger towns.dscf6448As you can see, the trains go right through town behind the stores and right along the shoreline. They pass frequently and are fun to watch. dscf6431There are numerous places to eat in town including pubs, burger shacks, seaside seafood joints, the Main Street Grille overlooking the water, and a few pizza places. dscf6432The back entrance to the Downtown Book Barn location (I usually park right behind this store to do my browsing):dscf6425dscf6426dscf6455In the summer, Op’s Place has burgers and hot dogs right along the road. The picnic tables are put away for the season. dscf6437dscf6438dscf6442During the holiday season this is where the town gathers for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The perfect little small town setting!dscf6446dscf6445dscf6458This was my first time in Anna Pearl’s and I had a lot of fun looking at all the vintage hats, gloves, jewelry, tea cups, and knick knacks. It feels like a large dress up box for adults. dscf6460dscf6461adscf6463dscf6465dscf6466dscf6467adscf6473This part of town has a late 1950s early 1960s vibe that I am in love with. Every time I am in town I stop by Gumdrops and Lollipops. It used to be a candy shop that also sold ice cream, but now it has expanded to a full diner including breakfast. The goodies are delicious, the atmosphere is fantastic, and I absolutely love the oldies music playing over the stereo. This is my kind of place! I truly feel like I step back in time every time I go inside. dscf6477dscf6478dscf6479adscf6482dscf6485dscf6486dscf6487dscf6488dscf6491dscf6495adscf6494dscf6501dscf6505adscf6506dscf6511dscf6514dscf6515adscf6517dscf6520dscf6525aThe fudge is so good. dscf6524dscf6521adscf6528Hole in the Wall Beach (yes, that really is the name!) is free to the public and is located right behind Gumdrops and Lollipops. dscf6534You will find a public rest stop here. I always like to inform people where they can find one because I know I know how useful it is instead of driving all over the place trying to find one. dscf6535dscf6536The trains pass right over this bridge. I love watching them go by!dscf6539aThis beach looks more lively in the summer and that hill is a gorgeous park. I pick up something to read from the Book Barn, bring along my picnic blanket, buy lunch to go from Gumdrops and Lollipops, and eat lunch here while I enjoy the sea breeze. The perfect recipe for a summer day. One day in the summer I brought my watercolor pencils and colored away.dscf6543dscf6572adscf6589The cinema is always showing the latest films. dscf6591dscf6594dscf6599dscf6587The Arthur Murray dance studio. I love the outside lighting. One day I would love to dance here on the patio. dscf6613aHi, cat!dscf6611The Midtown Book Barn Location is hidden right behind the Arthur Murray dance studio. This is where you will find all the children’s books and the very old classics. I found a 1904 edition of The Wizard of Oz in great shape here for only $20! There are so many treasures to find. If you love Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys (here for only $1) this is your place. dscf6614dscf6628adscf6622The back side of the cinema: dscf6630If you have been to Niantic and know of some places I missed please let me know. If you’re planning to stop by I would love to hear about your trip.

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