OpSail 2012 CT Preview

June 30, 2012 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org

op sail 2012 spectators OpSail 2012 CT Preview

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org

OpSail 2012
239 Bank St.
New London, CT 06320
(860) 417-2519

Date: July 6 to July 9

New London hosted OpSail 2000 in July of 2000 when nearly one million visitors traveled to the shoreline of Connecticut to sneak a peek at the sailing vessels and partake in festival events. More than 40 tall ships from 14 different countries anchored in the harbor. This year New London will once again have the honor of being the last stop of the National OpSail 2012.

fort trumball OpSail 2012 CT Preview

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org


Historic battles in Essex and Stonington during the War of 1812 between England and the United States make Connecticut the perfect location to wrap up OpSail’s commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812. Essex and Stonington will be included in this year’s events due to their history with the Battle of Stonington and the British raid on Essex in 1814.

op sail 2012 OpSail 2012 CT Preview

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org

Parade of Sail

Ships will arrive in Niantic on July 6 and anchor overnight. The Parade of Sail will commence the morning of July 7. The U.S. Coast Guard’s training barque, Eagle, will lead the line of ships from Niantic to New London Harbor. Sailing vessels included in this year’s line up are the Wolf from Key West, Fla., Meerwald from Jersey City, N.J., and Appledone V from Bay City, Mich. Be sure to check out local vessels featured including the Spirit from Essex as well as the Brilliant and Argia from Mystic.

op sail 2012 entertainment OpSail 2012 CT Preview

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org


Click here for Details

The heart of the festival will beat along the Thames River Harbor, which borders New London and Groton. Enjoy live music and entertainment, a food festival and family friendly activities all day including the ever-popular sailboat races. Food lovers will drool at the clambake — which will require a ticket purchase — and the July 7 fireworks display will be one to talk about all year. Due to the significance of the bicentennial celebration, ships will visit State Pier, City Pier and Fort Trumbull. State Pier is located in New London near the Gold Star Memorial Bridge and off of State Pier Road. New London’s City Pier is along S Water Street. The most popular attraction will be Fort Trumbull at 90 Walbach Street in New London. The fort is located at the mouth of the Thames River and provides spectacular views of the rivers and tall ships from around the world.

city of new london OpSail 2012 CT Preview

Photo Credit: opsail2012ct.org


Take advantage of the state’s honor of hosting OpSail and celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 by participating with a donation  — even if you can’t attend.  The state of Connecticut has pledged to match $1 for every $2 raised from this event. Donations may be made online. OpSail has raised more than $350,000 from donations in years past.

Related: Four Getaway Packages for an Overnight in Connecticut


New London Plaza Hotel
35 Governor Winthrop Boulevard
New London, CT 06320
(860) 443-7000

Click here for prices/availability

Conveniently located off highway I-95, the Plaza Hotel in New London is close to Fort Trumbull and Shaw Cove. On-site dining, high-speed wireless Internet, pool access and an exercise room make this a perfect hotel for Opsail weekend. Check in time is 3 p.m., while check out time as you depart is 11 a.m. Reservations may be made online or by phone.

Thames Inn & Marina
193 Thames St.
Groton, CT 06340
(860) 445-8111

Price: from $69

Across from the action of OpSail, you’ll find an ideal hideaway for the night or weekend. Located across the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, along the Thames River, this newly renovated hotel features a kitchen with full amenities. Laundry facilities are available on site as well as free parking. Check in time is 3:30 p.m. and check out is at 11 a.m.


Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
80 Hamilton St.
New London, CT 06320
(860) 439-1741

For the best seafood in town, slip into this side street restaurant that boasts outdoor seating and a mouth-watering menu. Family owned, expect service as welcoming as the down-home east coast fare here. View Shaw Cove and the marinas while you dine on fried seafood, lobster roll, burgers and fries.

Related: Best Hot Dogs In Connecticut

140 State Street
New London, CT 06320
(860) 444-2066

If you desire organic meals you’ll never have to question, Mangetout is the place for you. Expect delicious dishes with fresh, organic foods. Its menu features salads, wraps, paninis, sandwiches and breakfast foods perfect for visitors looking to maintain a healthy diet while vacationing.

Related: Best Day Trips For Families Around Hartford

Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.