Mystic is a census-designated place (CDP) in New London County, Connecticut, in the United States. The population was 4,001 at the 2000 census. Though often referred to as a town, Mystic is not a municipality. Rather, it is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River).
Historically a leading seaport of the area, the story of the town's nautical connection is told at the Mystic Seaport, the world's largest maritime museum, which has preserved both a number of sailing ships (most notably the whaler Charles W. Morgan) and the seaport buildings ashore. The town is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of town.
A major New England tourist destination, the town is also home to the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, and notable for its research department, dedication to marine life rehabilitation and not captivity, and its popular beluga whales. A tourist area with gift shops and eating establishments lines Main Street on either side of the bascule bridge over the Mystic River.
The 1988 film Mystic Pizza got its name from a restaurant in Mystic, which is still open and is popular with tourists. Scenes in Mystic Pizza were shot in Mystic and nearby towns.
Robert Burrows and George Dension were the first two English settlers and received land grants from John Winthrop the Younger. John Winthrop the Younger was the original settler of the community of Pequot, now called New London. George Dension settled the east side (now the Stonington side) of Mystic and Robert Burrows the west side (now the Groton side). Both cleared land and farmed their respective settled areas.
Other early settlers included the Williamses, Gallups and Masons on the east side of Mystic and the Packers and Fishes on the west side.
A significant historical event that took place in Mystic was The Massacre at Mystic, a massacre of Pequot Indians by Puritan colonists in May 1637, which was featured in the History Channel series 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 9.8 km² (3.8 mi²). 8.7 km² (3.3 mi²) of it is land and 1.1 km² (0.4 mi²) of it (11.61%) is water. The town is on the east and west bank of the estuary of the Mystic River. Mason's Island (Pequot language: Chippachaug) fills the south end of the estuary.
There were 1,797 households out of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 16.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $62,236, and the median income for a family was $70,625. Males had a median income of $50,036 versus $32,400 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $33,376. About 1.6% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.9% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.