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Mystic is one of the 10 best summer vacation places in the United States, according to USA Today. The seaside village made the recent list along with destinations like the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia; Asheville, North Carolina; Chicago; Mobile, Alabama and Mackinac Island, Michigan.

“You might remember this New England village from the ’80s film ‘Mystic Pizza,’ but it’s even more enchanting in real life,” USA Today editors wrote. “Cruise aboard a sailboat, zip line at TreeTrails Adventure Park, see the wildlife at Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center or get a little shopping done downtown. 10Best contributor Linda Laban says it’s now one of the country’s top food destinations, so explore after grabbing a slice at the famous pizza parlor.”

Nana's Bakery & Pizza in Mystic.

Nana’s Bakery & Pizza in Mystic.

Winter Caplanson / For Connecticut Magazine

To outsiders, Mystic looks like an up-and-coming food destination. National media has been sitting up and taking notice, with writeups from Esquire magazine and the New York Post praising the area’s diverse culinary offerings and the chefs producing them. But locals and frequent visitors know the scene has been building for quite some time.

When Nana’s Bakery & Pizza was named one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants in America” in October 2021, chef and managing partner James Wayman told Hearst Connecticut it was time Mystic got its due.

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