At this site on the Thames River in Groton, one of Connecticut’s most striking visuals meets one of the most dramatic moments in its history.
In 1781, British and Loyalist troops led by American general-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold burned New London then headed across the water to attack Groton, where they encountered Colonel William Ledyard and his small defensive force. Ledyard, seeing his outnumbered Americans losing the fierce battle, offered his sword as a gesture of surrender to the British commander, who took it and ran Ledyard through.
The highlights of the Battle of Groton Heights are marked with understated monuments throughout the sweeping grounds. The remaining earthworks, shot furnace and powder magazine, trenches, and stone tunnels make the site a fascinating place to explore. Visitors can also see the preserved house that served as a field hospital, a small but interesting museum, and a 134-foot memorial obelisk which can be climbed for an even better view of the fort and the water below.
Across the river (a short drive away) is the rebuilt New London, rich in maritime history, with its own impressive fort (Fort Trumbull), eclectic architecture, and an artsy, walkable downtown.
The Mystic Marriot Red Door Spa is a relaxing and luxurious spa located inside the Mystic Marriot. I have been to the Red Door Spa several times and each time the experience was delightful. At the Red Door Spa you can have a plethora of treatments, from massages, to haircuts, to manicures and pedicures, or facials. You also can have a free class of flavored water, tea, coffee, and snacks while perusing some magazines. The technicians are always very knowledgeable and allow you to have a relaxing experience. A gift certificate to the Red Door Spa is always the perfect gift for any occasion.
Bank Square Books in downtown Mystic recently expanded to the neighboring store and now carries even more stock. The locally run and owned bookshop carries postcards by local artists as well and other paper souvenir items in the front of the shop. The rest of the large bookshop has clearly organized shelves of books. One of my favorite things about the Bank Square Bookshop is that the staff writes and posts thoughtful, handwritten reviews of books. Additionally, they will order books for you that they don't currently have in stock. They also have in-store events such as book releases and book clubs.
The New Asia Market is the only specialty grocery store in the area that sells imported Asian food. Look no further than the New Asia Market for rice noodles, tea, hard to find spices, and unique snacks. Whenever I'm in the area I stop by the market to pick up some of my favorites to prepare an Asian meal at home. Permanently on my shopping list are rice noodles, different sauces, and matcha powder. The people working in the shop are very helpful and willing to answer any questions you have. FYI they only take cash!