House, 3 Bedrooms + 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6)
About Mary Goodman
My niece, Liz, and her husband, Toby, co-own our vacation home with me. Liz and Toby live in the house I grew up in, which is just on the other side of the woods behind the John H. Goodman house. Liz is our local contact for guests, and she does all of the housekeeping. Toby does all of the grounds care, and I often wonder how he fits it in. I do all of the bookings and am the initial guest contact, which I enjoy. I am a Mystic native, and I had to move to San Diego for work. I miss Mystic and my family, and I plan on retiring here, in this house. I recently acquired a newer-model VW van, and I enjoy camping and hiking whenever I can. We love our house and we take pride in it.
Mary Goodman purchased this House in 2007
Why Mary Goodman chose Mystic
THE JOHN H. GOODMAN HOUSE The land that this house is built on was owned by John H. Goodman, my paternal grandfather. He inherited the land from Mrs. N. Stanton Gates, who was the last Denison to live in the Denison Homestead (which is just up the road from the house). He was a master gardener and took care of the house and gardens for Mrs. Gates at the Denison Homestead for 15 years until she passed away, and the Homestead became a museum. He, his wife, and his two boys loved Mrs. Gates, and she was very kind to them all. He created and maintained a large cutting garden next to the Homestead barn, so that Mrs. Gates could always have fresh flowers during the warm season. He designed and created colorful, serene gardens surrounding the Homestead. I remember a beautiful scallop shell birdbath in the middle of one garden. He used to put sunflower seeds in an old, broken tobacco pipe, and as he stood outside with the pipe in his mouth, the chickadees would come and get the seed from the pipe bowl. He tended the orchard, cut 9 cords of firewood every year to heat the Homestead, and was Mrs. Gates chauffeur and trusted friend. When Mrs. Gates died on February 9th, 1941, she bequeathed my grandfather 10.5 acres of her land, part of which this house now stands upon and is surrounded by. She wrote in the will that “he had been so kind and helpful to her. “ He was the only person to inherit land from her, as all the rest went to the Denison Society and is now part of the Nature Center. The picture hanging over the fireplace mantel is the front door of the Denison Homestead, where love and kindness reigned. We hope that you can feel the spirit of all who came before, as you relax and enjoy our peaceful little house on this special piece of land.
What makes this House unique
This house has great energy and is very peaceful. I (Mary Goodman) always leave there relaxed and refreshed.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Super cute cottage in the woods
We had a great family vacation in Mystic! We had three adults and 2 kids and the house what a great fit. There is a great private patio we enjoyed each night and I loved how quiet it was. The kids enjoyed the toys in the closet. Downtown is only a 5 minute drive and there are great nature trails just around the corner. Thanks for all of your hospitality!
Loved the house,cozy, comfy and adorable. Very close to town. You can walk there. Mystic Pizza the best then watch the movie. It is on the book shelf. We will return. Christy and Steve. Belleair Fl
The online photos gave us an idea of what to expect when we booked our stay, but the actual experience exceeded our expectations. The thoughtfulness and responsiveness of the owners along with the layout and convenient location of the house made for a memorable and fun vacation. Our family: four adults and twin toddlers (17 months) spent four days in this very clean and well-maintained home. The thoughtfulness of the owners is evident throughout the house.
Kitchen: complete set of dinnerware & silverware, cookware and utensils for any kind of meal preparation, detergents, wrap, storage containers, casserole dishes, colanders, coffee maker with filters & coffee, etc.
Laundry room: Two detergents - one for sensitive baby skin, dryer sheets, a drying rack
We truly enjoyed our stay here. The house was perfect for the five of us and the location was close to everything while at the same time in a lovely wooded setting.
Peaceful retreat - perfect for families!
The house is beautiful, peaceful and so immaculately maintained that it was a pleasure to vacation in this beautiful home with our toddler twins (16months) during the Labor Day week. We had a lot of fun enjoying our early morning tea on the patio, gazing at the stars in the night and having meals in the sun room. The reading nook is perfect for bird watching and just lazing on a sleepy afternoon with a book. The house has enough space to walk around, find your favorite nook yet it’s cozy and comfortable. The linens are super clean and there are enough pots and pans to cook and even bake if you so fancy. There’s so much closet space and unlike some other homes we’ve rented, Mary has kept these closets and drawers empty for her guests which is very helpful. The house has enough charm of its own, yet it’s not over powering with personal mementos. Mary is also very helpful with suggestions and prompt with replies so we really appreciated that.
This house is perfect to visit with small kids. Pluses:
1. The portable crib is a great asset! We used it for one of our babies.
2. The house is all one level with no sharp edges and there are no expensive knick knacks or antiques within arm’s reach!
3. There’s a washer dryer and that makes it really efficient with messy kids
4. The patio and front yard is great for kids to potter around
5. The pretend play toys (tea set, pretend food) etc is great and there are so many other toys and books for young kids… the twins loved it!
Note – there’s an umbrella stroller & booster chair available at the house, but both are in a well loved condition, the strap on the booster is broken, so if you have a smaller baby or a super active baby, just bring your own!
What else we loved in Mystic:
1. Taking our coffee to Stonington beach (like Mary suggested in her welcome package) and staring into the waters.
2. Ocean Park Beach – lovely beach… we went around 4 pm after the crowds had thinned.
3. Taking a cruise on the Liberty ($4) inside the Mystic Seaport – so much fun!
4. Getting icecream at Mystic Drawbridge ice cream place and taking in the views from there.
5. Getting dinner at Red 36 (no kids for this one)
We definitely plan to visit again! Thanks!
Away from home? Not really...
You walk in and feel like you have come home. Enjoy your coffee out on the patio, or with friends/family in the breakfast nook. See the sights, eat great food and come back to good beds and pillows. We had a great time.
[Activities for families]
Activities for families with small children:
Mystic Aquarium. Small kids love this place. There are touch tanks, a sea lion show, a 4-D movie (not included in admission) and tons of things to look at. At the penguin café you can get 2 big pieces of pizza for lunch for less than $10, but you can also bring your own lunch and picnic there.
Penguin encounter at Mystic Aquarium. You sit in a circle and a penguin walks around to each person. Kids who love animals will absolutely love meeting a penguin. Call for reservations.
Mystical Toys. All small kids love a toy shop. This one specializes in toys that you can't find at the big box stores. It's right on the water. To make their day extra special there is an ice cream shop right across the street, and a candy shop just down the boardwalk.
Williams Beach. A small beach with no waves. There are covered picnic tables on site. There is also a playground.
Mystic River Park. A fenced-in playground right in downtown. Try to go early in the day or else the sun will heat up the playground equipment and it gets hot.
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. Right down the road! Small kids love walking around the pond on the trails as it has several wooden bridges. There is an activity called "night in the Meadow" that you can start by yourself. You sit in a darkened theater and listen to all the woodsy night noises while a friendly narrator tells you what you are hearing. Animals light up as they are introduced.
Activities for older kids:
Mystic Seaport. Make sure you go to the "Dead Horse" ceremony. Older kids usually get chosen to help haul it around the deck (not an actual horse). Don't skip the boat house. You can rent a boat for an hour or take a tour of the harbor. On the green you can try out old fashioned toys like a hoop and stick. Mystic Seaport is a living museum that transports you back in time, be sure to go into every building and ask questions. What do they recommend for a cough at the 1860 apothecary? What is cooking today at the Buckley House? Go on the Morgan and take 3 steps to the left. Look up. How can you tell this boat is a whaler? (Harpoons hanging directly over your head).
Kayak or paddleboard the Mystic River. There are two companies, both with excellent launching areas. You can rent a double kayak to put smaller kids in with an adult. You can kayak right up the river past the Seaport and explore the waterfront.
Beluga encounter at the Mystic Aquarium. There is a minimum age and height requirement. This is one of the only places in America that you can get in the water with a beluga whale. Reservations can be made months in advance and it fills up early.
Feed the Stingrays at Mystic Aquarium. It's only $3. You buy a ticket at the information booth and then exchange the ticket for stingray food (fish). The stingrays seem to like the corners of their tank best so try to stand there. Get ready for splashing!
Misquamicut beach. A gorgeous beach about 25 minutes away. Probably the most beautiful beach in New England, with big waves and three miles of white sand. Bathrooms and food concessions on site.
Half day sail on the Argia. The sunset sail is romantic and beautiful. The Argia schooner goes right past the lighthouses and shore sights of the Mystic area.
Mystic Fields of Fire adventure course. This is a massive ropes course in the woods of Mystic. They even have night courses under the stars if you like an extra challenge. Bring tick repellant and sunscreen. You can also play paintball.
Mohegan sun casino. Kids are not allowed on the casino gambling floor but the Casino of the Sky is full of shops and restaurants for the whole family. Walk around the 7-story indoor waterfall or shop at Dylan's candy bar. You have to park in the Indian Summer garage (go all the way down to the far end away from the exit) to use the elevators for children under 21.