Ender’s Island, Mystic’s Best Kept Secret
Have you ever discovered a Connecticut gem that you love so much it’s almost too good to share? That’s how I feel about Ender’s Island. It’s one of those places that you’d love to keep to yourself but is also so special that you are dying to share it.
When I think of Connecticut day trip of local fun, Mystic is what comes to mind. Monday was my day off and I decided to head to Mystic with a friend. Our first stop was Sift Bakery. I’ve never visited a bakery in France but Sift is how I imagine it. Shelves are full of artisan breads, rows of pastel color macaroons, buttery sticky buns that are a mile high, and all sorts of made from scratch delights created in a spotless open kitchen. Sadly, Sift was closed for renovations so we headed across the street to Young Buns. Young Buns is still part of the Sift family. Donuts are hand cut and hand dipped, beautifully decorated and available in gourmet flavors. Your hardest decision will be which donut to choose, so I recommend ordering the donut holes which will give you the opportunity to try bite size portions of several.
A stroll down West Main Street will introduce you to many little unique shops, including: spices, pottery, ice cream, infused chocolate truffles, eateries, etc. We popped into The Spice and Tea Exchange of Mystic where I picked up rose flavored sugar for a recipe that I’d like to try. This shop is the perfect place to find a gift for any culinary fan. We strolled around the shops and crossed the famous Mystic River Bascule Bridge. This drawbridge was built in 1922 and still works on demand.
Monday was my birthday and after a great lunch at the Dog Watch Café in Stonington, we headed to Ender’s Island. Ender’s Island is a small 11 acre island tucked into a gated community and accessed by a single lane causeway. Visitors are welcome from dusk to dawn and asked to social distance and be mindful that some on the retreat grounds may be on a silent retreat. The Sea Side chapel overlooking the ocean is one of my favorite summer spots to sit in tranquility and reflect while soaking in the ocean air. However, the flower lovers will be equally in awe of the breathtaking rose gardens, walking paths and hundreds of dahlias.
Ender’s Island is truly a magical place and hidden gem but now the secret is out.