Park Sites

The Thames River Heritage Park is the first heritage park in Connecticut. Unlike a conventional park with fixed boundaries, the heritage park draws together historical and contemporary sites, communities and institutions on both sides of the river – in New London and Groton — where you can experience the region’s many attractions. HOP ABOARD the THAMES RIVER HERITAGE WATER TAXI where you’ll visit a collection of national and historic sites that tell the stories that shaped our nation. Be transported to the spot where in 1781 traitor Benedict Arnold’s men stormed Fort Griswold, a massacre commemorated annually. Or visit the US Custom House Maritime Museum where you’ll learn about the 1839 mutiny of African captives aboard the schooner La Amistad, a story immortalized Spielberg movie.

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

  • Visit All the Sites or Choose a Few Favorites.
  • Start at Any Site or Water Taxi Landing.
  • Tour at Your Leisure.
  • Dine, Shop, or Visit Our Galleries.

The sites listed here are within walking distance or a short drive from a water taxi landing.

Anna Warner “Mother” Bailey House Anna Warner Bailey was a lively, charismatic patriot whose indomitable spirit rose from some difficult early challenges which she overcame with amazing strength, courage, and good humor. Learn more.
Avery-Copp House A Victorianized colonial home furnished with what the original inhabitants used daily. Enjoy guided tours and events. Learn more.
Connecticut Sea Grant Connecticut Sea Grant is one of 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide that operate as partnerships between the states and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Learn more.
Ebenezer Avery House The house sheltered the wounded after the Battle of Groton Heights. It remains a testament to the family that heroically took a stand here. Learn more.
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park Fort Griswold Battlefield occupies a vantage point 125 feet above the river. The fort is the site of a 1781 massacre led by Benedict Arnold. Eighty-five of the 165 local defenders lost their lives on that day. Learn more.
Fort Trumbull Fort Trumbull was built in 1852. Its ramparts offer spectacular views of the harbor and overviews of the park. It features a world-class visitor center depicting over 225 years of military history. Learn more.
Garde Arts Center The Garde Theatre was built in 1926 during the golden era of the motion pictures and vaudeville. Today, the beautifully restored Moroccan interior provides an impressive atmosphere for audiences to enjoy a wide variety of cinematic and theatrical performances. Learn more.
Hempsted Houses In colonial times Joshua Hempsted wrote in a diary almost every day of his adult life, a record that is used by scholars worldwide. Learn more.
Historic Groton Bank Groton Bank, a historic village on the east bank of the Thames River, is home to a few hundred houses, three churches, a library, two museums, and a Revolutionary War battlefield all dating primarily from Colonial times to a century ago. Learn more.
Ledge Lighthouse Like a wedding cake rising out of the Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Thames River in Groton, Ledge Light was built in the Second Empire/Colonial Revival style in 1909 to address an increase in boat traffic around the turn of the century. Learn more.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum The Lyman Allyn Art Museum, legacy of a whaling fortune, graces the hill overlooking the city. It is known as a mini Metropolitan Museum of Art for the breadth of its collection.Learn more.
Monte Cristo Cottage America’s only Nobel Prize winning playwright, Eugene O’Neill, lived an itinerant life but spent considerable time in his youth here. It is the setting for one of best-known plays, Long Day’s Journey into Night. Learn more.
Nathan Hale Schoolhouse American patriot Nathan Hale taught at the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, where visitors can read some of the moving letters he wrote to friends and family during his short life. Learn more.
New London Landmarks Founded in 1976 to save Union Station from demolition, New London Landmarks is a historic preservation organization devoted to maintaining the authentic appearance and character of New London, including its historic downtown and waterfront. Learn more.
Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition A Designated Regional Service Organization (DRSO) supporting the CT Office of the Arts in the Department of Economic and Community Development to organize and advocate for the creative sector. Learn more.
Submarine Force Museum Visitors to the Submarine Force Museum & Library are invited to step aboard the USS NAUTILUS, the world’s first nuclear submarine know for its explorations under the polar ice. Learn more.