The ships that gave New London its nickname as the “Whaling City” are long gone, but the waterfront continues to be one of the best assets of this shoreline community.
New London boasts a number of beaches on both the Thames River (pronounced “tames”) and Long Island Sound. The most prominent is . In addition to taking a dip or catching some rays, you can try out the arcade, mini golf, water slides, and nature trail.
There’s no shortage of events at the park, either. Classic car cruise nights visit every Monday and beach blanket movie nights are on Tuesdays.
You’ll also find plenty of bicyclists, runners, and walkers along nearby Pequot Ave. This road hugs the river’s shoreline, offering views of New London Ledge Light and New London Harbor Light. If you want to check out the vistas from a higher vantage point, get in touch with the . Through June, they offer to bring visitors to the top of Harbor Light.
Farther up the river, you’ll find . The fort saw action during the Revolutionary War, when Benedict Arnold and British troops raided New London and set the city on fire. You can learn more about this event and Fort Trumbull’s changing roles from the Revolutionary War on through the Cold War. Nearby, you might also spot the magnificent tall ship Eagle. A prize of war taken from Germany after World War II, the vessel serves as a training ship for cadets at the . This campus, one of five service academies in the nation, is also located in New London and is open for public visits and Coast Guard Band concerts.
If you come into New London from the north, you might spy a columned Neo-Classical building above the road. That would be the , which features a permanent collection of over 10,000 pieces. There are revolving exhibits on the upper floors, including an exhibit on Broadway designs that will be there through the summer. You can also check out the displays or Wednesday night "Summer Flickers" outdoor movie series at as well as numerous other galleries downtown.
If performing arts is more your thing, don't miss the . This theater was restored to its Mediterranean themed glory and brings in plenty of music, Broadway shows, and other performances all summer long and beyond.
Aside from their stewardship of New London Harbor Light, the Custom House Maritime Museum also provides a wide range of programs and exhibits. The Custom House played a role in the Amistad affair, and plenty of information is dedicated to this story. Other attractions include the , , , , and . You can also take a self-guided walking tour around the historic downtown sites and check out the vibrant restaurant and nightlife along the way.
New London may only measure six square miles, but it manages to fit in quite a few reasons to visit! We hope you'll make the trip and leave a review of your experiences at various sites on the New London Patch directory.