The water taxi is closed for the season. See you in May 2021.  

The water taxi is closed for the season. See you in May 2021.  

Plan your visit

Welcome to the Thames River Heritage Park — a collection of historic and cultural attractions in New London and Groton, Connecticut, linked by water, that tell the story of our nation. Whether you have a morning, a day, or weekend, you’ll enjoy a rich and diverse experience on both shores of the Thames River.

You’ll be transported to the spot where in 1781 traitor Benedict Arnold’s men stormed Fort Griswold in Groton, a massacre commemorated with the nation’s first obelisk, built before Bunker Hill.

Cross the River to visit the 1678 Hempsted Houses to see where a widowed father of nine children managed to find time to chronicle daily life in a diary that is now used worldwide as a primary source on Colonial America.

There are so many stories to tell you’ll want to visit again and again.

  • Visit all the sites or choose a few favorites. Start at any site or taxi landing.
  • Tour at your leisure.
  • Stop for lunch, shopping or visit our galleries.
  • For your convenience download our free mobile app. Go to your app store and download izi.travel. Then enter “Thames River Heritage Park” to find our walking audio tours.
    Visit the links below for information on parking, directions, and how to make the most out of your visit.

Directions

Conveniently located off I-95, the  Thames River Heritage Park is easily accessible by car, train, and ferry.

Once here, there are three convenient water taxi locations where you can start your visit.

 

Directions to Water Taxi Landings


From I-95 South
Take Exit 84S for CT toward Norwich/New London Waterfront District. Keep left at the fork and follow signs for Downtown New London. Continue straight onto Eugene O’Neill Dr. Turn left onto State St. Continue straight through the light. City Pier is located directly behind Union Train Station.

From I-95 North
Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Merge onto I-95 Frontage Rd. Continue onto Huntington St. Turn left onto State St. Turn right onto S Water St. Continue straight through the light, the City Pier will be on the left. It is located directly behind Union Train Station.


BY CAR

Driving Directions:
From I-95 South
Take exit 84S for CT-32 toward Norwich/New London Waterfront District. Keep left at the fork to continue on Exit 84 S, follow signs for Downtown New London and merge onto CT-32 S. Continue onto Eugene O’Neill Dr. Continue onto Green St. Turn left onto Tilley St. Turn right onto Bank St. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Howard St. Turn left onto Walbach St. Turn right onto Smith St. Fort Trumbull State Park will be on your left and there is parking right at the fort.

From I-95 North
Keep right at the fork to stay on I-95 N, follow signs for New London/Providence. Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Merge onto I-95 Frontage Rd. Continue straight onto Huntington St. Turn right onto Jay St. Continue onto Truman St. Turn left onto Blinman St. Continue onto Howard St. Turn left onto Walbach St. Turn right onto Smith St. Fort Trumbull State Park will be on your left and there is parking right at the fort.


BY CAR

Driving Directions:

From I-95 South
Take exit 87 from I-95 S to CT-349 S/Clarence B Sharp Hwy. Turn right onto Meridian St. Turn left onto Monument St. Take another left onto School St. Turn left onto Slocomb Terrace. Then turn right onto Latham St. There is no charge to park here. Parking along the side streets and at Fort Griswold is also available.

From I-95 North
Follow I-95 N to exit 85 for US-1 N toward Thames St/Downtown Groton. Use the right lane to follow signs for Thames Street and merge onto Bridge St. Merge onto Bridge St. Continue onto Thames St. Turn left onto Latham St, 2 Latham St. is on the left. There is no charge to park here. Parking along the side streets and at Fort Griswold is also available.

The Cross Sound Ferry runs rides from Orient Point, New York to New London. Ferries also run from New London to Block Island, Rhode Island and Fisher’s Island, New York.

Union Station in New London is located on the waterfront, steps away from the City Pier Water Taxi Landing.

Parking

There is plenty of parking at each of the Park’s three Water Taxi Landings.

Water Street Garage

Note: This parking garage is approximately 2 blocks from the water taxi location. There is also parking along the street; however it can be difficult to find a location open during busy weekend evenings.
Hours: Open 24/7
Prices:

Saturday and Sunday:
1 hour: $2.00
2 hours: $3
4 hours: $4
5 hours: $6
6 hours: $7
7 hours: $8
8 hours: $9
9 hours: $10
10 hours: $12
Daily maximum: $15

Monday-Thursday after 6 PM: $10
Special Events: $20

Driving Directions:
From I-95 South
Keep right at the fork to stay on I-95 N, follow signs for New London/Providence. Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Merge onto I-95 Frontage Rd. Continue onto Huntington St. Turn left onto State St. Use the left lane to turn left onto Water St. The Water Street parking lot will be on the left.

From I-95 North
Keep right at the fork to stay on I-95 N, follow signs for New London/Providence. Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Merge onto I-95 Frontage Rd. Continue onto Huntington St. Turn left onto State St. Use the left lane to turn left onto Water St. The Water Street parking lot will be on the left.

Municipal Parking Lot


Hours: Open 24/7
Prices:

Monday 6 AM – 6 PM
2 hours: $1.00
3 hours: $1.50
4 hours: $2.00
7 hours: $5.00
12 hours: $8.00
Weekdays: 6 PM- 6 AM FREE
Weekends FREE

Driving Directions:
From I-95 South
Keep left at the fork to continue on Exit 84 S, follow signs for Downtown New London and merge onto CT-32 S toward Norwich/New London Waterfront District. Continue onto Eugene O’Neill Dr. The Eugene O’Neill Drive parking lot will be on the left.

From I-95 North
Keep right at the fork to stay on I-95 N, follow signs for New London/Providence. Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Merge onto I-95 Frontage Rd. Continue onto Huntington St. Turn left onto State St. Turn right onto Eugene O’Neill Dr. The Eugene O’Neill Drive parking lot will be on the left.

Cornish Parking Garage


Prices: Parking cost $10 per day with no hourly fees on weekdays and $25 to park from Friday-Monday. Enter Friday anytime and leave Monday before midnight for $25. (Pricing Not Valid on Sailfest Weekend)

Driving Directions:
From I-95 South
Keep left at the fork to continue on Exit 84 S, follow signs for Downtown New London and merge onto CT-32 S toward Norwich/New London Waterfront District. Merge onto CT-32 South. Continue onto Eugene O’Neill Drive. Turn right onto Governor Winthrop Blvd. Turn left onto Union Street.

From I-95 North
Keep right at the fork to stay on I-95 N, follow signs for New London/Providence. Take exit 83 toward CT-32 N/Norwich/Downtown/New London. Follow Huntington Street. Turn left onto Governor Winthrop Blvd.

Hours: Everyday 8 AM to Sunset
Prices: Free

Parking is available at the lot on 2 Latham Street, as well as street parking on Latham Street and along the side streets and at Fort Griswold.

Hours: Anytime
Prices: Free

Map & Guide

Sample Itineraries

Just getting to know us?

Try some of these itineraries designed to introduce you to all there is to see at the park. But these are just suggestions. Check out our Map and Guide to find the places that interest you most.

Half Day Visit

Time: 3 hours
Park: Fort Trumbull
Explore the Fort Trumbull Visitor Center and Museum for an in-depth look at 225 years of military history. Walk the grounds and be sure to climb up to the ramparts to take in the spectacular view of the Thames River. From here take the water taxi to Historic Downtown New London.

Water Taxi departs Fort Trumbull on the hour from Pier 7.

Stroll New London’s waterfront park to the spot where the schooner La Amistad was brought ashore following a slave revolt at sea in 1839. And, just up the street you can visit the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse where America’s first patriot taught school.

OR

If you’re ready for a bite, stop in for coffee or a sandwich at Muddy Waters on Bank Street or Jake’s Diner on State Street. Or try Berry’s for an ice cream. See our complete listing of Ride and Save Partners for  and discounts and special promotions. Get back on the water taxi for the ride over to Groton.

Water taxi leaves City Pier at 20 minutes after the hour.

Walk up to Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park where you may be lucky enough to catch a complimentary tour to hear the story of the Battle of Groton Heights in 1781. Learn of the treachery of Benedict Arnold and the fate of the stalwart patriots who tried to defend the Fort. If time permits, climb the monument—one step for each defender of the Fort. Take the Water Taxi back to Fort Trumbull.

Water Taxi departs from Thames River Landing at 40 minutes past the hour.

Extended Tour

Time: Full Day
Park: Historic Downtown New London
Extend your tour by taking in a few more sites at one or all of the water taxi stops.

In New London visit the Hempsted Houses (just a few blocks outside the downtown historic district). These two structures which survived the 1781 burning of New London were once waterfront property and the home of nine generations of Hempsteds. (allow one hour)

Visit one of our Ride and Save partners for a bite to eat or some shopping before hopping on the water taxi to Groton.

In Groton, extend your visit with a tour of the Ebenezer Avery House, where wounded soldiers were brought after the Battle.

Stroll down Thames Street to the Avery-Copp House to visit a Victorianized colonial house museum with the original furnishings from daily life. (allow one hour)

Just a few blocks down the street is the SUBVETS WWII Memorial commemorating the submarines and submariners lost during WWII. (allow 20 minutes)

Take the shuttle bus (running 8 Saturdays in July and August only) to the Submarine Force Museum and Library to visit the Historic Ship Nautilus, our nation’s first nuclear powered submarine. (allow 1 1/2 hours)

After visiting Fort Trumbull, return to New London. Before you leave, enjoy a meal or a beverage with one of our Ride and Save Partners.

Spend the Weekend

For a more leisurely visit, spend the weekend. Take your time visiting each of our sites listed in the half day and extended day itineraries. And explore a few more sites below.

Wander through New London’s Antientist Burial Ground, where some of the city’s earliest settlers and enslaved peoples are buried. Be sure to look east to Groton – this was the site from which traitor Benedict Arnold watched the Battle of Groton Heights in Sept. 1781.

Visit the Monte Cristo Cottage on New London’s Pequot Avenue to see playwright Eugene O’Neill’s boy-hood summer home and the inspiration for “Ah, Wilderness!,” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Add a boat tour to your plans. Boat tours run Saturdays and Sundays, and occasionally Thursday and Friday evenings. Our docents will give you insight into the history of our area.

Head to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum with its wonderful fine and decorative art collection. Learn how Louis Comfort Tiffany was connected to New London.

In the evening, take in a performance at the historic Garde Arts Center or enjoy live music at many of the downtown New London venues.

*Walk the boardwalk at New London’s Ocean Beach.

*Drive south on Eastern Point Road to the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus. Park and walk to admire the magnificent Branford House mansion, once the summer home of Gilded Age businessman Morton F. Plant.

When it’s time to sleep – there’s a great assortment of local hotels, bed and breakfast inns and Airbnbs in both New London and Groton.