Evidence of human life along the Niantic River dates back at least 12,000 years. Long before European settlers arrived, Western Nehantics (from whom the river and village names are derived) lived along the shores of the river, subsisting on the bounty of shellfish, fish, and other marine life the river and ocean provided. Centuries later, the river became well known for its scallops, which are now, unfortunately, in decline. Paddling up or down the river, one is sure to encounter a variety of birds. Among the coastal fishing birds known to frequent the river are bald eagles, osprey, egrets, herons, and cormorants. Seals are seen here from time to time, as well.
Sure East Lyme boast the beautiful mile-long Niantic Bay Boardwalk, charming beaches, scenic hiking trails and fabulous waterways for boating, fishing and kayaking, but what many visitors to the town discover is all the great shopping we have as well. The eclectic mix of family-owned and operated specialty shops and boutiques set within a classic New England coastal small-town setting offer as much as any popular tourist destination on the Connecticut shoreline. Downtown Niantic offers antiques, home furnishing, women’s clothing boutiques, fine jewelry, speciality and fine gifts, and much, much more. So, if shopping is what you seek, then we think you’ll agree, East Lyme has some of the most eclectic mix of unique shops and boutiques around. Small town New England charm coupled with great local restaurants and awesome things to see and do make shopping in East Lyme one of the best places to visit along the Connecticut shoreline. So, do yourself a favor, and visit Niantic soon to discover your own Connecticut shoreline secret.