The Book Barn
Main location –41 Main Street, Niantic, CT;
Midtown-291 Main Street, Niantic, CT;
Downtown-269 Main Street, Niantic
A place you have to visit to truly understand because explaining it is beyond words. This independent book store (divided into three locations) is the largest used bookstore in Connecticut. The number of books is only equal to the level of creativity and witty humor sprinkled throughout the Book Barn landscape. Here you can visit Hades (chick-lit section) or Ellis Island (new arrivals section) or goats (real goats to feed and pet.) The book store is massive and even has a map at their main location. The store has many accolades from the press as well as the public and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2013.
279 Main St, Niantic, CT
A family-owned independent theater where they say Katherine Hepburn used to frequent. The outside is known for its Charlie Chaplin mural. The inside is known for its candy-by-the-pound section. (Box candy is also available, but what’s the fun in that.) On the back of the building is another mural of Casablanca. A whale sculpture from the old Whale Trail rests outside its doors.
Gumdrops & Lollipops
334 Main Street, Niantic, CT
An old fashioned seaside candy and ice cream shoppe complete with salt water taffy, fudge and candy-by-the-pound (including retro favorites.) The delicious ice cream comes in over 30 flavors and is made locally at Salem Valley Farms. Newly renovated, the G&L is now has a mini-café serving up summer favorites such as hotdogs, milkshakes and hamburgers.
Niantic Bay Boardwalk
Recently reopened in early June, the Niantic Bay Boardwalk stretches 1.1 miles stretches from Cini Park to Hole-in-the-Wall beach on the west. The western part of the Boardwalk is still under construction. Pets are not allowed on the Boardwalk, but are allowed on the accompanying beach.
Called Hole-in-the-Wall because you literally have to pass through a tunnel in the wall to get to it. To the left, as you emerge from this tunnel, you will see the western entrance to the Niantic Bay Boardwalk (currently under construction). In front, is a breathtaking view of Long Island Sound. The beach is to your right. Passes required.
McCook’s Park & Beach
The park offers beaches, swimming areas and a playground. Passes are required to enter the park between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but are readily available at the East Lyme Parks and Recreation Office. A Niantic summer must for families and an ideal place to picnic.
Methodist Street, Niantic
(Between Pro-Tek Auto and Niantic Cinemas)
Thursdays, 3:00 to 6:00 pm
June 1-October 12
Celebrating the beauty of fresh every Thursday (rain or shine!) in the seaside village of Niantic, just off the Main Street.
Over 15 local vendors will fill the market this year. Current market items include an array of fresh and local produce, pies, breads, plants, herbs, greens, hummus, pork, jams, jellies, prepared foods, beef, chicken, eggs, coffee, fresh-filled cannoli and more.
Leashed and friendly animals welcome.
The Niantic Farmers' Market is made possible by the support of Niantic Main Street and is funded in part by matching funds from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture through the Community Investment Act, 05-228.
Small Town USA
Niantic has so much small town charm it should be southern. The East Lyme Village’s downtown area is easily walkable and filled with boutiques, eateries, services and attractions. The downtown embodies small town USA right down to the local ice cream shops. (The Niantic Dairy Queen has been under the same ownership since 1953. This family-run establishment is a Niantic summer tradition.) This is a Village that almost seems fictional. Within the downtown area you have: three ice cream shops, a record store, candy store, three town beaches, the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, multiple boutiques, independent book stores, a village green complete with veterans’ memorial and gazebo, an Irish pub, farm-to-table eatery, hot dog stand, independent movie theater, multiple delis and more.
346 Main Street, Niantic
This neighborhood café just expanded in 2013. This friendly and funky coffee shop serves up Ashlawn Farm coffee (as well as smiles all around.) Open for breakfast and lunch.
83 Upper Pattagansett Road, East Lyme, CT 06333
Covering 100 acres of beautiful New England landscape, this farm is famous for their farm stand (open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am-5pm) and specializes in fresh organic produce, poultry, eggs and flowers.
75 Pennsylvania Ave, Niantic, CT 06357
A farm-to-table restaurant serving simply prepared and beautifully presented delectable meals for dinner and brunch. Their menu changes as the seasons change and as they put it “you may not always have tomatoes on your salad, but when you do – they will be amazing!” We say amen to that!
4 West Main St., Niantic, CT 06357
This family-owned and operated garden center and farm is a yard altering experience and features locally-grown produce, handmade crafts and a variety of garden “must-haves.”
46 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic, CT 06357
Living on the shoreline is not taken lightly at this Niantic boutique! This coastal lifestyle shop not only provides all the accessories one needs to stroll the coastline in fashion, but also offers Chalk Paint Workshops and is Southeastern Connecticut’s only retailer of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
325 Main St. Niantic, CT 06357
A blast from the past! This mecca for music and more is a mix of the past few decades with a eco-friendly and human-conscious twist. A record store and boutique is filled to the brim with an eclectic mix of fair trade clothing, incense, accessories, new and used CDs, records, tapes and more.