The fresh breezes that buffet Mystic's shoreline probably feel much the same as they did 150 years ago, so it's a fitting place to find America's nautical history resurrected. Called Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, includes 19 acres of exhibition space. In addition to the museum proper, the complex hosts a recreated 19th-century sea-faring village, a working shipyard, and extensive gardens that blanket the grounds. Live museum staff lead demonstrations and performances throughout, even welcoming guests aboard the National Historic Landmark vessels moored in port. On Wednesdays through Mondays, captains take visitors out on the water in a coal-fired steamboat to experience the river and town from a different angle. They also rent out their small boats seasonally, to visitors who can comfortably handle being in charge of a boat. When tired of ship studying and naval gazing, guests can head to the Treworgy Planetarium and turn their eyes to the stars, learning how to chart courses in the manner of ancient captains, modern astronauts, and late-night deliverymen.
Jim Scoggins first felt the rocking of a ship's deck in the 1950s on the rolling waters of Lake Champlain. Though he traveled south and found himself in healthcare administration for the next few decades, he never lost the passion for sailing—and eventually returned to New England to conquer more waves in the 1980s. With Sail the Sounds LLC established at three local ports, Captain Jim now uses his original sailing craft, an O'Day 39, as part of his training and charter fleet. He and his wife, Teresa, helm an ASA-certified training center, charter service, and cruising club to set guests out on the sparkling waters of Mystic River and Mystic Harbor. Captains pilot three Hunter yachts for chartered trips, as well as six Hunter 240 sailboats for captain rentals, sailing-club events, and classes teaching technique for keelboats, coastal navigation, and safely chartering parties of water-fearing cats.
Cofounded by the legendary Hollywood dancer himself, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio hosts a team of seven veteran instructors who specialize in ballroom and Latin dances ranging from the rumba to the waltz. Students can build their cache of moves in private lessons with personalized curricula or practice with their peers in the convivial atmosphere of group classes. High-octane Zumba classes help to combust calories, imparting Latin-inspired choreography in an atmosphere that is festive but doesn’t expose students to dangerous swarms of flying champagne corks. Youngsters build their poise in dance classes that cover five different styles, ranging from ballet to hip-hop, and engaged couples prepare to glide elegantly across the dance floor at their nuptials with wedding-oriented classes.
Unquiet spirits at Whitehall Mansion Inn. The phantom ship that sails the Mystic River. The area around the village of Mystic has seen its share of hauntings since its founding in 1654. Today, ghost hunter Courtney Reardon tracks down nearly 400 years' worth of errant spirits during her Seaside Shadows haunted history tours. Mainly focused on the wraiths that occupy the community's main drag, her tours shed a light on the paranormal goings-on of one of America's oldest communities.
Planet Fitness embodies a judgment-free zone where guests of all ages and fitness levels can sculpt their physiques with myriad aerobic and strength-training options within a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. Patrons may tone and strengthen muscles by pushing and pulling the extensive selection of brand-name equipment and free weights. With the help of an instructor, guests can design a custom workout program based on exercise history to help them achieve their varying fitness goals. Thirty-minute small-group classes concentrate on strengthening and toning specific body parts, and full-body circuit workouts.
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.