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Mystic is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in New London County, Connecticut, in the United States. Mystic has no independent government because it is not a legally recognized municipality in the state of Connecticut. Rather, Mystic is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River).
The village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of the village. According to the Mystic River Historical Society, the name "Mystic" is derived from the Pequot term "missi-tuk", describing a large river whose waters are driven into waves by tides or wind.
A major New England tourist destination, the village is home to the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, known for its research department, concern with marine life rehabilitation, and its popular beluga whales. The business district on either side of the bascule bridge where U.S. Route 1 crosses the Mystic River contains many restaurants. Local sailing cruises are available on the traditional sailing ship Argia. Short day tours and longer evening cruises are available on the 1908 steamer Sabino departing Mystic Seaport.
Mystic Seaport is the nation's leading maritime museum and one of the premier maritime museums in the world. Founded in 1929, it is the home of four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the oldest merchant vessel in the country. The museum's collections and exhibits include over 500 historic watercraft, a major research library, a large gallery of maritime art, a unique diorama displaying the town of Mystic as it was in the 19th century, a ship restoration shipyard, the Treworgy Planetarium, and a recreation of a 19th-century seafaring village.
The 2013 Moondance International Film Festival was held in Mystic.