Welcome to Ledyard, CT, a captivating town nestled in the heart of New London County. Bursting with activities and attractions, this charming locale keeps visitors and locals busy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a history buff, a wine connoisseur, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone who simply loves to explore. Ledyard has something that you’re sure to enjoy. In different corners of this little town, you’ll unearth fascinating museums, vineyards that tantalize your taste buds, thrilling outdoor adventures, and historic sites that transport you back in time. Are you ready to uncover the gems of Ledyard, Connecticut? Embark on an unforgettable journey as we delve into the top 15 things to do in Ledyard, CT!
- Explore the history and culture of Ledyard, CT with a visit to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center.
- Enjoy wine tastings at Maugle Sierra Vineyards or explore outdoor hiking at Lantern Hill and Avery Preserve.
- Find more activities like bowling, ziplining, golfing here and in nearby attractions like Mystic Village!
A Brief History of Ledyard, CT
Local farmers Thomas Bayley, John Gager, Robert Allyn, and Robert Stoddard settled in the mid-seventeenth century. Their farms were in the western section of town on the east bank of the Thames River. The river served as their mode of transportation. And their farmsteads are now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town of Ledyard was established in 1836 by an act of the Connecticut Legislature and separated from Groton, CT. The town named itself after Colonel William Ledyard, a local hero. Ledyard was commander of the Colonial forces in the Battle of Groton Heights (where he was slain) in September 1781.
The town has a population of 15,413 according to the 2020 census. The town has a mayor-town council system based at the town hall. Ledyard residents actively take part in local governance, typical New England towns.
Most know less about Ledyard, CT, than they do about the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Or, rather, the popular Foxwoods Resort Casino that they founded in their northeast corner of town.
Top Things to do in Ledyard, CT
From exploring the Pequot Museum to wine tastings at Maugle Sierra Vineyards, Ledyard has a surprising array of fun things to do. Discover the town’s industrial past at the historic sawmills, or enjoy outdoor adventures at Lantern Hill and Avery Preserve.
For some excitement, try your luck at Foxwoods Resort Casino, or indulge in some retail therapy at Tanger Outlets Foxwoods. The attractions and activities in Ledyard ensure you’ll never be bored.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
Dive into the past at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. This is a wonderfully memorable way to engage with the profound history and culture of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. With an impressive collection of artifacts dating from the 1500s to the 1900s, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the tribe’s history. The realistic 3D dioramas and interactive exhibits bring the past to life. And the immersive walk-through exhibit of a Pequot coastal village from the mid-16th century is worth a trip alone.
Don’t miss the following attractions at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center:
- The 56-meter observation tower offers views of the casino, and surrounding Mashantucket reservation
- The life-size exhibits showcasing the history of the region
- The interactive displays that teach more about the culture and traditions of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
Opened in 1998, the museum has since become a must-visit attraction for history buffs and curious visitors alike. It is, after all, one of the most unique attractions in Connecticut.
Maugle Sierra Vineyards
Indulge in the distinctive flavors of Ledyard at Maugle Sierra Vineyards. This 100-acre farm has a cozy tasting room and a selection of hardy red and white wine varieties. For just $12, you can indulge in a wine tasting, where you’ll sample six wines, including three whites, a rosé, and two reds.
As you sip on your wine, you’ll enjoy live music and the picturesque surroundings of the CT vineyard. You can be a seasoned wine enthusiast or new to the world of viticulture, Maugle Sierra Vineyards offers a memorable afternoon.
Nathan Lester House and Farmstead
Uncover Ledyard’s farming history at the Nathan Lester House and Farmstead, a historic house museum built in 1793. The beautifully preserved period interiors and artifacts belong to the Ledyard Historical Society. The experience offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the town’s early inhabitants. This historic Connecticut site is open for tours to explore its rich history and elegant colonial architecture.
Venture outside to the Great Oak Garden and more than 2.5 miles of trails that wind through the scenic grounds. The Nathan Lester House and Farmstead is a perfect destination to appreciate history and the natural beauty of Ledyard.
Lantern Hill and Avery Preserve
Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and embark on an adventure at either Lantern Hill or Avery Preserve. These stunning locations offer some of the best hiking opportunities in Ledyard, with diverse flora and fauna to admire along the way. Hike to the summit of Lantern Hill for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Or explore the serene trails of Avery Preserve, where you’ll encounter beautiful forests and picturesque streams.
Avid hikers or leisurely strollers will appreciate Lantern Hill or Avery Preserve. Either is an ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts to appreciate the natural beauty of Ledyard. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas and memories of your adventure!
Ledyard’s Glacial Park and Natural Wonders
Journey back to the past and explore the geological marvels of Ledyard’s Glacial Park. This unique attraction showcases the region’s ice age history. Here, you’ll find fascinating formations such as end moraines and outwash deposits. The most intriguing is the Ledyard Moraine. You’ll marvel at the remnants of the past. Especially considering the immense forces that shaped this landscape.
Take a leisurely walk through the park and enjoy the serene atmosphere while learning about the geological history of the region. Glacial Park is a captivating experience for nature lovers and anyone curious about the forces that have shaped New England.
Historic Sawmills: Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill (formerly Main Sawmill)
Delve into Ledyard’s industrial roots and enrich your knowledge of the town’s past at the Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill. The sawmill offers free demonstrations and tours. Don’t miss the chance to witness the inner workings of these historic structures. The Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill is a remarkable example of a 19th-century sawmill still in operation, built by Israel Brown in 1869. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places for a reason.
Open during the spring and fall seasons, Sawmill Park is a testament to Ledyard’s rich history. Don’t miss the chance to explore these captivating sites and learn about the town’s industrial heritage.
Holmberg Orchards & Winery
Experience the bountiful harvest at Holmberg Orchards & Winery in the Gales Ferry borough of Ledyard. This family-owned farm offers seasonal activities such as apple picking and tractor rides. The farm market is open year-round. Sample their delicious treats like home-baked pies, muffins, donuts, breads, and cookies.
For a unique experience, visit the Wine Barn, a historic building made from old American chestnut, and partake in a wine or cider tasting for just $10. Holmberg Orchards & Winery is a delightful destination for families and foodies alike.
Foxwoods Resort Casino
I intentionally buried this attraction on the list. Let’s face it, you already know about it. And there really is so much more to do in Ledyard than just gamble.
That said, Foxwoods Resort Casino, a sprawling megaresort, offers even more entertainment options. Two hotel towers, performing arts venues, spas, stores, restaurants, and nightclubs are what you’ll find here. Try your luck at the casino’s vast gaming floor, featuring thousands of slot machines, table games, and poker rooms.
Aside from gaming, Foxwoods Resort Casino offers unique attractions such as:
- The Tree House Arcade, perfect for kids and teens
- And the Grand Theater, a massive venue that hosts world-class shows and events
No matter your interests, Foxwoods Resort Casino promises a thrilling getaway. And besides, the mass of humanity here and at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, is fascinating for anyone interested in sociology.
Shopping at Tanger Outlets Foxwoods
Treat yourself to some shopping at Tanger Outlets Foxwoods, located within the Foxwoods resort. Shop for premium brands like:
- Gap Factory Outlet
- Michael Kors
- Brooks Brothers
- Calvin Klein
- J. Crew
- Polo Ralph Lauren
- Tommy Hilfiger
There are many more brands to choose from.
After a day of shopping, treat yourself to sweet treats from Doc-Popcorn, Cinnabon, or Häagen-Dazs. With a diverse array of shops and eateries, Tanger Outlets Foxwoods is a shopper’s paradise.
High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Sports Lounge
Enjoy a classy bowling experience at High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Sports Lounge. This upscale bowling alley and restaurant is within Foxwoods Resort Casino. With state-of-the-art technology and a diverse menu, it offers a unique twist on the classic bowling experience.
Aside from bowling, guests can enjoy billiards, shuffleboard, and daily promotions in the sports lounge.
Experience an adrenaline rush with a HighFlyer Zipline at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
- Soar high above the Mashantucket woodland on a thrilling 3/4 mile ride
- Reach top speeds of 60 mph
- Take in stunning views of the resort and surrounding landscape from 350 feet off the ground
At $99 per person, the HighFlyer Zipline is a draw for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Don’t miss the chance to soar through the sky and create lasting memories in Ledyard!
Nearby Attractions: Mystic Village and New London County
Expand your horizons beyond Ledyard and discover the attractions of Mystic Village and New London County. A wealth of maritime museums, cider mills, aquariums, and golf courses await.
Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or a foodie, Mystic Village and New London County are sure to captivate and delight.
Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus
Plunge into the intriguing realm of submarines at the Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus in nearby Groton, CT. This unique museum is home to the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Explore the following areas with a self-guided audio tour:
- Control room
- Crew’s quarters
- Captain’s stateroom
Learn about the history of submarines and their role in naval warfare.
In addition to the USS Nautilus, the museum offers:
- Interactive displays
- A replica of the Turtle
- A Sturgeon-class sub’s attack center
- Midget submarines from WWII
A visit to the Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus is a must for history enthusiasts and curious adventurers alike.
Of course, one of the major draws to Ledyard, Connecticut, is its proximity to Mystic, Connecticut. There are a ton of things to do in Mystic, CT, some of the top attractions here include:
B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill
Get a flavor of American heritage at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the country. This top of the list of Connecticut cider mills is located in nearby Old Mystic. During weekends in the fall season, visitors can enjoy cider-making demonstrations. Be sure to sample the delicious sweet cider, hard cider, apple pies, apple cider donuts, candy apples, pumpkin bread, and kettle corn.
A visit to B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill is a delightful way to celebrate the fall season and indulge in the flavors of New England. Don’t miss the chance to experience this historic gem and enjoy some truly mouthwatering treats.
For a day out that’s perfect for the whole family, visit the Mystic Aquarium, where you’ll be captivated by:
- The amazing marine life exhibits
- Interactive experiences
- Educational programs
- Getting up close and personal with beluga whales, sea lions, and sharks
- Enjoying the immersive 4D Theater, Touch Tank, and Animal Encounters
The Mystic Aquarium offers:
- Fun for the whole family
- Opportunities for marine conservation, education, and research
- Inspiration for a love for the ocean and its incredible inhabitants
Mystic Seaport Museum
Travel back in time at the Mystic Seaport Museum, one of the top maritime museums in the United States. This living history museum showcases:
- Historic ships
- And a recreated 19th-century coastal village
Explore the village’s blacksmith shop, cooperage, sail loft, and shipyard. The impressive collection of historic ships is a major draw, including the Charles W. Morgan. It is the only surviving wooden whaling ship from the 19th-century American merchant fleet..
The Mystic Seaport Museum offers a captivating glimpse into the region’s maritime history. It’s a must-visit for immersing yourself in the past and exploring the stories of the sailors who shaped our world.
Lake of Isles
Start your golfing adventure at the acclaimed Lake of Isles golf club, located in nearby North Stonington. Designed by renowned architect Rees Jones, the club features two 18-hole championship courses. They’re cleverly named the North Course and South Course. Both are set amidst stunning natural surroundings. The lush forests, rolling hills, and picturesque lake provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable round of golf.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the game, the Lake of Isles offers a challenging and rewarding golf experience that’s sure to impress. The breathtaking setting and world-class facilities make a round at Lake of Isles unforgettable.
Directions and how to get to Ledyard, CT
If you are driving, you can get to Ledyard, CT by taking exit 92 off Interstate 95 to Route 2 North or Exit 85 off Interstate 395. From there, proceed straight to the second traffic light and make a left turn onto Route 164 South. Alternatively, you can take Interstate 84 to Exit 55 to Route 2 East. Continue for nine miles past Norwich. Foxwoods Resort Casino signage will guide you the rest of the way.
If you prefer traveling by rail, you can board an Amtrak train from any city along the east coast and disembark at New London. The city of New London is roughly 20 miles away from Ledyard. From the station, you can take a short taxi or Uber ride to reach Ledyard.
That said, unless you plan on only being at Foxwoods, you’re going to need a car to get around town.
Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Ledyard, CT
Ledyard is about a two-hour drive from our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast. So it’s a more ambitious Connecticut day trip, though obviously still doable.
If you would rather spend the night, you’ve got two options: casino hotels, or bed and breakfasts. You can likely guess what I’ll encourage.
Hotels at Foxwoods
The Grand Pequot Hotel, Great Cedar Hotel, Two Trees Inn, and MGM Grand at Foxwoods are all AAA Four Diamond hotels. Each feature luxury amenities like gourmet restaurants, spas, and high-speed internet. They all do a great job of marketing themselves, so I won’t spend much time on them.
Bed and breakfasts in Ledyard, Connecticut
Stonecroft Country Inn, located at 515 Pumpkin Hill Rd, is a charming and cozy accommodation. The property is set in a historic 1807 Sea Captain’s home and a converted barn. This beautiful B&B offers a tranquil retreat with its sprawling gardens, pond, and stone walls. Each of its six rooms is uniquely decorated, offering a blend of antique charm and modern comfort. Guests can expect amenities such as private baths, air conditioning, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Some rooms even feature fireplaces or whirlpool tubs for added luxury. Every morning, guests enjoy a gourmet breakfast prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
Abbeys Lantern Hill Inn, located at 780 Lantern Hill Rd, offers seven cozy rooms. Some guest rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces or jacuzzi tubs for added comfort. Guests can enjoy complimentary WiFi, a hearty breakfast with freshly-ground Starbucks coffee, and an iPad for catching up on the latest news. The inn also has a dog-friendly Cottage.
Ledyard, CT and its surrounding area offer a diverse array of attractions and activities that cater to all interests and ages. Top things to do include exploring the rich history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the town’s early settlers. Throw in enjoying the natural beauty of the region’s parks and preserves, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this charming destination.
For a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a day trip, Ledyard and its nearby attractions promise an unforgettable experience. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to Ledyard, CT today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ledyard CT nice?
Ledyard has plenty to offer with its good schools, low crime rate, supportive college-educated neighbors, and an array of single-family homes. It’s also a beautiful and peaceful farming town that fosters a strong sense of community. All in all, Ledyard is a great place to live!
What is the population of Ledyard, CT?
Ledyard’s population is 15,413 according to the 2020 census.
Are there any historic sawmills in Ledyard?
Yes, Ledyard has one historic sawmill – the Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill, formerly known as Main Sawmill – it’s open for free demonstrations and tours. Visitors can learn about the history of the mill, watch demonstrations of the saws in action, and even try their hand at operating the saws. The mill is open to the public on weekends from April to October, and special events are held throughout
What kind of wine tastings are available at Maugle Sierra Vineyards?
At Maugle Sierra Vineyards, you can experience a variety of flavors with their $12 wine tasting – three whites, one rosé, and two reds. You can sample a range of wines from dry to sweet, light to full-bodied, and everything in between. Enjoy a glass of your favorite or take home a bottle to share with friends. With a knowledgeable staff and a cozy atmosphere, Maugle Sierra Vine
Can I use my Foxwoods’ Rewards Points at Tanger Outlets Foxwoods?
Yes, you can use your Foxwoods’ Rewards Points at Tanger Outlets Foxwoods as approximately 3/4 of the stores accept them. This means that you can save money on your shopping trips and get more value out of your points.