History & Culture
First called Poquatuck, then Oysterponds, Orient's proud bivalve bounty is owed to the grassy tidal creek that empties into its sandy harbor. Its calm waters are guarded by two beloved lighthouses, the stout, striped "Coffee Pot" and the diminutive "Bug Light," so-named for its original arachnid-esque screwpile foundation. Orient is also the longstanding home port for the Cross Sound Ferry, connecting New London, CT, with a mixed fleet of car-and-passenger ferries that includes a converted WWII tank landing ship—a bonafide D-Day veteran. Wave it farewell from Duryea's Lobster Deck, where you can watch it sail over a round of meaty, mignonette-splashed mollusks fresh from the adjacent nutrient-rich estuary.