Noank is the kind of place that appeals to the more laidback, self-sufficient boater.
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“It’s not snobby. Definitely low-key,” says one longtime Noank boater. “If you’re a transient, Noank a good spot to spend a night or two, but it’s not for people who are looking to be entertained.”
Noank’s location makes it a great jumping-off spot for trips to numerous Fishers Island Sound and Long Island Sound daytrip destinations, as well as longer jaunts to Block Island and Long Island. Also, Mystic, Stonington, and New London are just a few miles away.
In summer, Noank is a great spot to simply hang out and watch the parade of boats coming and going from Mystic. Indeed, on some weekend days it looks like an antique-boat parade.
Boaters can pull up at Nyman’s Dock to grab a lobster roll or live lobsters at Ford’s. Other dock-and-dine options include Abbot’s for lobster in the rough and Costello’s for fried clams, hamburgers and other grilled items, although it’s best to call ahead at both places to check on dockage availability.
Noank, which has a rich maritime past, is a pretty village, featuring narrow, leafy streets lined by beautiful homes. There is a small maritime museum, several seasonal restaurants and few small shops, but there really isn’t a whole lot to justify Noank as a major transient destination in and of itself. However, nearby Mystic and its plethora of eateries, boutiques, stores and attractions is within easy striking distance.
As mentioned, Noank’s proximity to the open water of Fishers Island Sound is one of its major selling points. Fishers Island is just 2 to 3 nautical miles from Noank, while Block Island is some 20 nautical miles distant. Montauk and Shelter Island are both roughly 20 nautical miles away. The last 3 destinations are easily reachable by powerboat in a few hours, given decent conditions.
Plenty of fishermen also take advantage of Noank’s proximity to the Sound, which holds numerous hot spots for striped bass, bluefish, scup, sea bass, fluke, false albacore and blackfish (see “Fishing Noank” for details). Good fishing is often available just minutes from the dock—one reason several charter boats are based in Noank.
Noank is serviced by 4 marinas—Spicer’s, Noank Shipyard, Noank Village Boatyard and Palmer’s Cove. The first 3 are full-service facilities that can accommodate hundreds of boats up to 100′. Palmer’s Cove, located north of the railroad bridge, attracts a mostly small-boat fishing crowd. Fuel is available at Noank Shipyard and Nyman’s Dock; the latter sells bait and tackle, as well as ice.