Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Groton, CT

  • Published 2022/09/20

Nestled in New London County in Connecticut, Groton is a charming town that entices visitors with its rich culture and history.

Prepare to be fascinated with the plethora of historical sites and scenic parks that truly makes for an idyllic weekend getaway in the town.

Learn about maritime history and see massive submarines, cool off in the town’s glistening waters, or hike the scenic outdoor trails.

Groton has a lot to offer that will delight both the young and the young at heart.

Interested to know more about this town?

Read on for the 15 best things to do on your trip to Groton, Connecticut!

Marvel at the Stunning View of Avery Point Lighthouse

Stunning View of Avery Point Lighthouse

Sharan Singh /

The Avery Point Lighthouse has been standing on the east shore of the Thames River since its establishment in 1943.

The tower is famous among lighthouse aficionados for its exposed brick design and intricate details.

This is the idyllic place to wait for the sun to set, with the view of the majestic lighthouse.

Exterior of Avery Point Lighthouse

TheBrassGlass /

You can access the lighthouse through the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus in Groton.

Make sure to visit this hidden gem in Groton, and don’t forget to snap some selfies with the Avery Point Lighthouse as a background.

Try Outer Light Brewing Company’s Beers

Stop by the Outer Light Brewing Company to kill time.

Whether you want a crisp and clean flavor, a sweet and malty beer, or a dark and roasty craft beer, Outer Light Brewing Company offers a range of selections for your liking.

This small brewing company is dedicated to producing high-quality beer for all enthusiastic beer connoisseurs.

Bask Under the Sun at the Eastern Point Beach

View of Eastern Point Beach

Eric Broder Van Dyke /

Spend a day out in the sun at Eastern Point Beach.

Bask under the sun, wade in the waters, and play in the sand.

Whether you want to swim there or simply relax under the sun, Eastern Point Beach is the perfect place to have fun.

A house at Eastern Point Beach

TheBrassGlass /

Pack some snacks and have a picnic here with a view of the ocean.

Nothing beats a trip to the beach with the whole family, so bring your sun protection and swimming essentials before you head out to Eastern Point Beach.

Delve Deeper Into America’s Revolutionary History at the Monument House Museum

If you’re already in the Fort Griswold Battlefield Park, you should also stop by the Monument House Museum.

The museum was built in the 1830s, which served as the monument caretaker’s house, the Daughters of the American Revolution, then curated it to house artifacts from the battle.

This museum holds hundreds of years of history, featuring a collection of artifacts, archives, and photographs to commemorate the historical significance of Groton.

Discover the History of Submarines at the Submarine Force Museum

Exterior of Submarine Force Museum

Victor-ny, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for an exciting exploration opportunity on your trip to Groton, then the Submarine Force Museum is the perfect place to explore.

Learn about the history and other interesting facts about submarines in this military museum that houses over 33,000 artifacts, archives, and photographs.

The Submarine Force Museum is also home to the USS Nautilus.

Interior of Submarine Force Museum

Flickr user :, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you’ll have the chance to tour the first nuclear-powered vessel and get an up-close look at the technical side of the submarine.

Aside from the fascinating exhibits, you’ll also appreciate the panoramic view of the Thames River that borders the museum.

The admission is free, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to explore the interactive exhibits at the Submarine Force Museum.

Sculpture on the grounds of Submarine Force Museum

Flickr user :, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Mysterious Gungywamp in Groton

If you’re looking for a cool and unusual thing to do in Groton, then prepare to be puzzled by this archaeological site in Groton.

The Gungywamp is a site that consists of stone chambers and slabs that form two concentric circles that date back to over 4,000 years.

This archaeological site continues to puzzle archaeologists concerning its function and origin.

A trip to Gungywamp is a unique experience in Groton, so make sure to book a tour ahead of time.

Explore the Trails of Bluff Point State Park

The shore of Bluff Point State Park

Jennifer Yakey-Ault /

If your definition of a perfect day is to be surrounded by the peaceful atmosphere of nature, then Bluff Point State Park is the place to be, with its majestic natural scenery and an ocean view.

Hike the paved tree-lined trails, with a few uphill challenges, where you’ll also come across the majestic wildlife in the state park.

You can also take a pleasant stroll on the beach, bask under the sun, go fishing, or look for shells and sea glass.

Boulders at Bluff Point State Park

Jennifer Yakey-Ault /

There is a dedicated picnic area, with a breathtaking view of the glistening ocean, where you can have a picnic.

A trip to Bluff Point State Park is a must if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the community center.

So pack your outdoor essentials and head out for an outdoor adventure at Bluff Point State Park.

Picnic table on the grounds of Bluff Point State Park

Joseph Sohm /

Go for a Leisurely Stroll at the Scenic Poquonnock River Walkway

If you’re looking to spend a short but relaxing time in Groton, then take a leisurely stroll at the Poquonnock River Walkway.

The boardwalk leaves out the daunting task of tiresome hiking because it is accessible by a wheelchair and great for a casual stroll.

Enjoy the tranquility of the gorgeous landscape and keep your eyes open to see birds soaring in the sky.

There is also a gazebo and benches located at the end of the trail, where you can spend a picnic day trip with your family.

Visit the Historic Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park

Daytime view of Historic Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park

It’sOnlyMakeBelieve, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the combination of great outdoor fun with history lessons at the Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park.

You can climb up the monument for a panoramic view of the town and the Thames River or explore the small underground tunnel meandering the park.

The Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park is an excellent piece of the United States’ revolutionary history.

Display at Historic Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park

Ian Oliver Martin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This 17-acre site is preserved to maintain the historical value of the strategic earthworks and structures of the historic battleground.

A trip to the park makes for a pleasant experience on your weekend getaway to Groton, so make sure to stop by and delve deeper into America’s Revolutionary War history.

Stone monument at Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park

Chris Grover /

Travel Back in Time at the Avery-Copp House

Explore this 18th-century home located at the banks of Thames River.

A step inside the Avery-Copp House is like stepping inside a time capsule.

It cradles 200 years of history showcased through a collection of artifacts and preserved furnishings that portray the typical family life in the 1800s.

Aside from the local history, the house is nestled on a beautifully-landscaped terraced grounds that overlooks the river.

Let the walls tell the house’s story as you stroll through the museum and let it guide you on a trip to the past.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get a glimpse of history, so make sure to stop by this quaint, charming house on your trip to Groton.

Explore the Haley Farm State Park

View of Rocks at Haley Farm State Park

Morrowlong, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Haley Farm State Park is another scenic place to visit if you want more outdoor adventures.

You can pedal your way through the trails on a bike, since there is a well-paved bike trail good for novice riders and younger cyclists.

The park also holds a bit of history.

Foliage at Haley Farm State Park

Morrowlong, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you’ll see many stone walls built in the late 19th and 20th centuries by Caleb Haley, and there are still some remains of the farm buildings scattered in the park.

A trip to Haley State Park offers an exciting opportunity to experience the outdoors and learn a bit of history, so don’t forget to include this place on your trip to Groton.

Pedestrian bridge at Haley Farm State Park

Morrowlong, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Ebenezer Avery House

Groton is truly a haven for history enthusiasts because there are a lot of preserved historical sites to explore, and one of these is the Ebenezer Avery House, located in Fort Street.

This 10-room house was constructed in the 1760s, and it originally stood at the corner of Latham Street and Thames Street.

You can tour the colonial house to learn about the life of the Avery family during the revolutionary period.

The family home’s design is well-preserved with its original furnishings inspired by Victorian-era.

The historic Ebenezer Avery House is open to the public during weekends of the summer season, so don’t forget to stop by if you happen to be visiting Groton in the summer.

Pay Honors to Maritime Heroes at US Submarine Veterans of WWII National Memorial East

USS flasher displayed at US Submarine Veterans of WWII National Memorial East

Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A memorial to the men and women who served in the United States submarine force during World War II lies at Groton.

It consists of a massive Wall of Honor, various memorials, and a pathway lined with plaques commemorating the lives of submariners and soldiers who perished in the conflict.

In 1994, Groton dedicated the Wall of Honor.

It memorializes more than 3,600 fallen submarine troops.

The memorial also includes the submarine Flasher’s tower.

It stands out since it was responsible for sinking more Japanese ships by tonnage than any other submarine during World War II.

Bring Your Little Ones to Cognitive Garden at Avery Point

If you have small children, you must take them to the Cognitive Garden at Avery Point.

Visitors to a cognitive garden, especially young children, may explore and learn about the environment via their senses.

Using one’s senses is a highly effective method of fostering mental growth.

In this well-designed garden, you’ll encounter many sensory experiences as you stroll from one section to the next.

Adults and teenagers may enjoy the outdoors and the peace they bring while encouraging children to explore and build a therapeutic and calming relationship with nature.

Practice Your Swings at Shennecossett Golf Course

Groton’s historic public golf course, Shennecossett, features 18 challenging holes.

Thomas Avery, a local homeowner, built the original four-hole course on his property in 1898.

Over the next few decades, Shennecossett underwent several transformations, including a redesign by Donald Ross, becoming the 18-hole country club it is today.

Several significant events, like the Connecticut Open, played out on the course in the early 20th century.

The town of Groton acquired the land in the 1960s and transformed it into a municipal golf course.

The course offers breathtaking vistas of Long Island Sound and the Thames River, and there is a possibility to see a tall ship or a US submarine out at sea.

If you’re looking for a great place to play golf in New England, Shennecossett is still one of the best.

Take part in golf’s rich past by visiting and playing at Shennecossett.

Have a Blast at Groton Bowling Center

Have a little downtime on your hands?

The next step is going out and having fun, like playing bowling.

Only here can you dance till you hear a pin drop!

There are a few televisions and a large projection screen on the wall so patrons can relax and watch the game, play pool, or toss corn hole.

In addition, it has an arcade that is fun for both young and old.

Moreover, there is a snack bar available for your use.

Bring Home Souvenirs from Lee’s Toy and Hobby

Lee’s Toy & Hobby has been family-owned and operated since its inception in 1952.

Visiting this shop is like stepping into a time machine.

It features an unmatched selection of models, including automobiles, airplanes, ships, and military vehicles, for the discerning hobbyist.

Also, it contains a vast selection of science fiction models.

Take a look at its selection of model train sets.

There are goods from three of our most famous lines—LIONEL, Bachmann, and Woodland Scenics—on display.

If you’re in the mood for some fast action, browse our massive selection of remote-controlled automobiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, and boats.

What’s more, you may purchase model race cars for your track.

This establishment promotes itself not just as a commercial shop but also as a place to discover a new interest.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Mystic Seaport Museum

Daytime view of Mystic Seaport Museum


Head out for a 15-minute drive to the leading maritime museum in Connecticut, the Mystic Seaport Museum.

For marine enthusiasts and history buffs, the Mystic Seaport Museum is one of the best places to learn about maritime history and experience life in the 19th-century seafaring village.

Entrance to the Mystic Seaport Museum

singh_lens /

Walk amongst old sailing ships and learn from interactive exhibits.

A trip to the Mystic Seaport Museum is perfect for all ages, so make sure to head out to Mystic after your weekend getaway in Groton.

View of the waters surrounding Mystic Seaport Museum

Enrico Della Pietra /

Meet the Beluga Whales at the Mystic Aquarium

Exterior of Mystic Aquarium

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

A 15-minute drive away from Groton is the Mystic Aquarium, home to Steller sea lions, Beluga whales, African penguins, sharks, and many more.

Nothing beats a family trip to this place aquarium where you’ll get an up-close encounter with the majestic ocean life.

Interior of Mystic Aquarium

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Here, you’ll get a chance to interact with the adorable belugas.

You can also explore several exhibits that showcase a wide range of sea animals.

Mystic Aquarium is truly a must-visit for the whole family to delight the young and the young at heart.

Beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium

Andrea Catenaro /

Have a Slice of Heaven at the Famous Mystic Pizza

Exterior of Mystic Pizza

Enrico Della Pietra /

Have a blast from the past in this nostalgic pizza spot located in Mystic’s Main Street, which is just a 15-minute drive away from Groton.

Mystic Pizza served its first pizza in 1973 and became popular in the town of Mystic for its “secret sauce.”

Then Mystic Pizza became a rave to Hollywood fans as the pizza spot inspired the movie Mystic Pizza released in 1988.

Interior of Mystic Pizza

melissamn /

Mystic Pizza continues to serve “a slice of heaven,” with the nostalgic twist of 1980s Hollywood.

This local pizzeria is an eye candy in Mystic that serves the best-tasting pizza in Connecticut that is definitely worth the drive.

Night view of Mystic Pizza's exterior

James Kirkikis /

Final Thoughts

A trip to Groton lets you bring home a lot of historical learnings and memorable experiences because this city in Connecticut offers both educational and thrilling experiences.

Don’t forget to reference this list, so you don’t miss out on the best things to do on your trip to Groton.

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