Getting out of town... Mystic, CT
The port of Mystic, Connecticut, is a great daytrip from New Haven. The drive only takes an hour and whenever I go I really feel like I have had an excursion out of town. Now I have to confess, the first time I drove out to Mystic it was to check out the pizza place - Mystic Pizza having been one of my favorite movies. And Mystic Pizza (http://www.mysticpizza.com/restaurants.aspx) is certainly worth a stop. The crust is a little thicker than the famous New Haven pizza, but whatever their special ingredient is it certainly makes a tasty pie.
I soon discovered there is a lot to see and do in Mystic other than just eat pizza. When you first pull off of Interstate 95, you will see the Olde Mistick Village (http://oldemistickvillage.com/). It's on the touristy side, but if you like old time shops and candy you should pull in just to go to the village's two country stores. A little further down the road is the Mystic Seaport Museum of America and the Sea (http://www.mysticseaport.org/). The Seaport features a 19th century village, a large collection of unique historic ships and a wide range of information on the culture and lives of seamen. Here you can head to the Seamen's Inne for traditional dishes like Baked New England Cod or Seafood Pie. Mystic is also home to a famous aquarium (http://www.mysticaquarium.org/), which I have heard is a great place to go if you have kids. And this is all before you hit downtown Mystic.
If you are heading into the town in the morning, stop on your way for breakfast at Kitchen Little (http://www.visitconnecticut.com/kitchenlittle). If the weather is nice you should sit at one of the picnic benches out in back, overlooking the Mystic River. From there you can continue down the road to Main Street, cross the historic drawbridge and find yourself in the quaint little town of Mystic. (Watch the time - from May to October the drawbridge opens at 40 minutes passed the hour to let ships into the port and you can get stuck for quite a while!) The town fans up the road from the water, with lots of little boutiques, art galleries and restaurants to duck into. There are some great seafood restaurants along the water - or walk up Main Street to try the famous Mystic Pizza. Be sure to stop into Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream for a scoop of homemade ice cream or sorbet. Take your ice cream to walk along the small boardwalk by the port. It is easy to spend an hour or more sitting on one of the wooden benches here just watching the boats coming and going.