Summer Fairs and Festivals 2022

Things To Do

Summer Fairs and Festivals 2022

Fairs and festivals abound in Norwalk this season!

Visitors to Norwalk or even nearby residents on staycation this season can find exciting events that appeal to all interests.

For the art lovers, Norwalk has two festivals to choose from.

The fourth annual Norwalk Art Festival takes place on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, in Mathews Park. The park surrounds the Lockwood-Mathews Museum on West Avenue.

More than 125 artisans showing one-of-a-kind ceramics, paintings, jewelry, photography and other fine arts and crafts will be featured. All pieces exhibited will be available for purchase.

The 2022 SoNo Arts Festival will be held Saturday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival will fill the streets of historic South Norwalk with original works of fine arts and crafts.

The SoNo Arts Festival will showcase works from more than 100 juried artists and neighborhood businesses. The community will be able to safely stroll through mini, open-air galleries full of art and cultural experiences. There will be live music throughout and enticing culinary specials at many participating local restaurants, as well as discounts at SoNo shops.

For more information on the art festivals, visit www.gordonfinearts.org.

The Norwalk International Cultural Exchange (NICE), a nonprofit organization, will hold its annual festival on Saturday, July 9, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Oyster Shell Park.

The NICE Festival was established to celebrate the rich global heritage and culture so evident in the music, food, art and diverse population of Norwalk.

Festival-goers can enjoy live dancers exhibiting flamenco, Asian and African dance, live rock, reggae, rhythm and blues and Latin music performances, exhibits and games.

Admission is free. For more information, visit https://norwalknice.org/.

The 44th annual Norwalk Oyster Festival returns to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Norwalk Sept. 9-11.

Enjoy three days of food, fun and dazzling free entertainment on multiple stages, plus a myriad of special events for families and friends, hosted by the Norwalk Seaport Association at the 35-acre park. And, of course, oysters!

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5-12. Visit www.seaport.org/norwalk-oyster-festival for more information and the lineup of musical guests.

Later that month, the Norwalk Boat Show returns to the Norwalk Cove Marina at Calf Pasture Beach Sept. 22-25.

In addition to observing the best and latest that boating brands have to offer, the show offers activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Attendees can take a boat ride out to the historic Green’s Ledge Lighthouse or try their hand at stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking at Try It Cove. For refreshments, check out Sandbar or the Water Club Lounge.

Children can get in on the fun at the show by creating their own toy boats. Kids can also take paddle boats on a mini lake made just for them, or satisfy their curiosity at a touch tank full of tidepool creatures.

New this year is a performance from Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel, who will amaze and entertain as she skis behind a radio-controlled boat that cruises around a custom-made pool.

For more information, visit www.boatshownorwalk.com

Continue reading

Romantic Couples Weekend

Things To Do

Romantic Couples Weekend

A romantic coastal weekend awaits in Norwalk!

Norwalk is quickly rising to the top of East Coast destinations for couples with discriminating taste in food, lodging and entertainment. With top-of-the-line dining, eclectic city or shoreline attractions and superior accommodations, couples can experience the romantic weekend of their dreams.

Where to stay

The Even Hotel offers a bit of a fitness oasis just minutes away from the heart of South Norwalk. It’s easy to maintain a healthy routine at this wellness hotel.

For those who prefer to be a bit more off the beaten path, The Norwalk Inn and Conference Center boasts over 120 newly-renovated guest rooms, including 11 extended-stay luxury suites. Guests are treated to a full complimentary breakfast in the on-site restaurant where lunch and dinner are served daily. There’s also a private guest house.

For a full weekend experience, couples with the most discriminating taste will love the Inn at Graybarns. Located along the Silvermine River, privacy awaits in any of the Inn’s six luxurious king rooms, which include full baths and fireplaces. Indulge in delectable dishes at the on-site tavern, splurge on spa and fitness offerings or shop for picnic provisions at the Mercantile.

For more options, visit our Places to Stay info page here.

What to do

Just off the docks of the Maritime Aquarium, beginning Memorial Day weekend couples can take a romantic boat tour out to the Norwalk islands, which is timed to include the setting sun and a dazzling western sky reflecting on the water.

The neighborhood of South Norwalk, or SoNo as it is known locally, offers an entire weekend of options for couples. Stroll down Washington Street for exquisite shops and celebrated dining. While there, check out the vintage SONO Switch Tower Museum, located in the fully-restored Switch Tower, built in 1896.

Rowayton, another neighborhood in Norwalk, is a lovely waterfront village providing gorgeous views of the Five Mile River while strolling through the town’s Pinkney Park.

The intimate Wall Street Theater has become a popular venue for nostalgic acts, such as Gordon Lightfoot, Quiet Riot and many more.

Where to play

Rowayton’s Bayley Beach is a historic, small beach offering a snack bar and beautiful waterfront views. At Shady Beach Park, couples can picnic or go swimming. Non-residents are charged a nominal fee.

Feeling lucky? Book a trip on the Pelagic Beast fishing charter boat. Charters are available for three- to- eight-hour tours.

For hiking fans, check out the Norwalk River Valley Trail. Beginning at Calf Pasture Beach, this five-mile trail takes you past some of Norwalk’s most important landmarks and scenic views.

What to eat

Norwalk offers critically-renowned dining ranging from casual to elegant.

Ripka’s on the Beach is, as its name indicates, right on the beach, serving up incomparable seafood and other offerings in a festive atmosphere.

The Sunset Grille is a seasonal seafood restaurant on the water in the Norwalk Cove Marina, and overlooks scenic Norwalk Harbor.

For a bit of Food Network fame, visit the ultra-popular Valencia Luncheria, which offers fresh-squeezed juices and jumbo plates of empanadas, arepas and casual Venezuelan cuisine.

For a romantic and cozy vibe, visit Tablao Wine Bar & Restaurant. This date night destination offers a taste of Spain, and features an authentic tapas menu, a global wine list and live music.

Also for a romantic evening, visit Osteria Romana for the highest-quality Italian cuisine the city has to offer. The menu boasts homemade pastas, fresh, local ingredients, important Italian wines and unique Italian desserts.

There are endless ways for couples to enjoy the vibrancy Norwalk has to offer, whether you are coming from next door or the next state over.

Continue reading

Family Fun Weekend

Things To Do

Family Fun Weekend

Families can enjoy endless fun for a weekend away in Norwalk!

Whether you are coming from near or far, Norwalk is the perfect destination for a weekend of family fun.

From the educational, to the creative, to the food, families can find plenty to do while visiting this beautiful and bustling shoreline city based right on the Long Island Sound.

Where to stay

Hotel Zero Degrees — the cool and trendy Hotel Zero Degrees offers incredible on-site dining, a fitness center, and a fabulous roof-top deck complete with a giant chess game and areas to lounge.

The Residence Inn by Marriot — Located in the heart of the exciting South Norwalk area, this inn offers walking distance access to acclaimed dining, fun shopping, museums and waterfront walks and playgrounds. It also offers a rooftop with a spectacular view of the Sound.

For more options, visit our Places to Stay info page here.

What to do

Families with younger children will love Stepping Stones Museum, which offers kids a chance to play and learn — it has standing and changing exhibits to enthrall your little one’s imagination and creativity.

All ages will be swept away by the magic of the Maritime Aquarium in the heart of South Norwalk. Visitors can sit by the large panoramic view of a floor to ceiling shark tank and watch the majestic, finned friends glide by along with their smaller counterparts. Young children will marvel at the magical jellyfish tank and love the interactive touch tanks and live feeding of the seals.

Step into history with a tour of the Lockwood-Mathews Museum, which has served as the backdrop of many blockbuster movies. Built by renowned financier and railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood from 1864-1868, the mansion’s unparalleled architecture and interiors illustrates the beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era.

For some shopping and dining fun, the sparkling new SoNo Collection shopping mall offers many opportunities for families, especially at Pinstripes, where visitors can take in some bowling before or after enjoying classic pub food.

Where to play

No visit to Norwalk would be complete without spending time at the stunning Calf Pasture Beach. It offers baseball/softball, volleyball, skate park, a playground, refreshing splash pad, sun and sand sports, the sailing school, bocce, basketball, and 3/4 of a mile of scenic coastline with tremendous views. Non-residents can visit free through May 15, after there is a fee of $40/car on weekdays before 5:00pm, $20/ car after 5:00pm. and $65/car on Saturday and Sunday.

It wouldn’t be a shoreline visit without a scenic boat ride. From May through September, visitors can visit take a three-hour excursion on a 45-foot C.J. Toth to visit the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, which is owned and maintained by the Norwalk Seaport Association.

What to eat

Norwalk offers critically renowned dining ranging from casual to elegant. Families will love the area favorites, like Letizia’s or Colony Grill’s thin crust pizza, or dining on the water at SoNo Seaport Seafood, Rowayton Seafood or Harbor Lights. A variety of cuisines can be found in the center of South Norwalk, whether it be the traditional pub fare at Donovan’s or O’Neill’s, ramen or pho at Mecha Noodle Bar, a culinary visit to Europe at Bruxelles or some sports bar fare at The Blind Rhino.

No matter what your family enjoys eating, they will find the best of it in Norwalk.

There are endless ways for a family to enjoy the vibrant, culturally diverse and stunning city of Norwalk, whether you are coming from next door or the next state.

Continue reading

Celebrate Norwalk History

Things To Do

Celebrate Norwalk History

The Norwalk Historical Society Museum is located in the former Lockwood House (1973).

Norwalk Historical Society Museum
Located on the Norwalk City Hall campus, the museum is in the former Lockwood House (1973), designed in the Colonial Revival style by architect Margaret Hoyt Smith. The Museum offers self-guided tours, exhibitions, programs, and events to highlight Norwalk’s rich history. The garden offers contemplative views of the Norwalk River from the gazebo.

Mill Hill Historic Park/ Norwalk Historical Society
Located at the top of Mill Hill overlooking the Head of the Norwalk Harbor and adjacent to the Historic Norwalk Town Green, this site includes three pre-1835 historic buildings, a cemetery and colonial herb garden. The Norwalk Historical Society (1890) offers events, programs and exhibitions from May through November. The grounds are open sunrise to sunset.

Norwalk Town Green Historic District
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and centered on the Norwalk Green in central Norwalk, the site includes: the Green, Mill Hill Historic Park, St. Paul’s Place, World War I memorial cannon, a gazebo and 54 buildings – many designed in the 18th & 19th centuries. St. Paul’s on the Green (Episcopal) Church and the First Congregational Church also face the Green. Concerts are held on the Green in the summer.

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museums
Located in Mathews Park, this magnificent Victorian era mansion (c.1864) is a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire style country houses in the United States. The museum offers guided tours, award-winning exhibitions, events and programs related to this Norwalk treasure. Open early April – early January.

Center for Contemporary Printmaking
Originally part of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion estate, the Carriage House (c.1892) is home to the Center for Contemporary Printmaking. CCP is a nationally known, state-of-the-art printmaking facility, studio and gallery space with rotating exhibitions throughout the year. The Gardener’s Cottage (c.1892) is used for the Artist-In-Residence Program.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse
Owned and operated by the Seaport Association, the Sheffield Island Lighthouse was built in 1868 and in service until 1902. A ferry service is available to the Lighthouse from the Sheffield Island dock in South Norwalk. The ferry operates Memorial Day through mid-September.

Fodor Farm
For 200 years, the land at 328 Flax Hill Road has been a farm. The farm was fully restored and is operated by the City of Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department. The site features 300 community garden plots, a renovated venue for events and culinary demonstrations, a historic homestead, greenhouse, tree farm and an apple orchard.

Pinkney House/Raymond Boathouse Museum/Historic Rowayton
Located along the Five Mile River, the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House (c.1820), Raymond Boathouse Museum, and Pinkney Park are the headquarters for Historic Rowayton. Through exhibitions, events, and programs, Historic Rowayton preserves the history of this unique seaside village. Closed in August.

Switch Tower Museum
The fully restored New Haven Railroad switch tower (1896) in South Norwalk has the only “Armstrong” switch lever machine in Connecticut. Railroads used towers to house the mechanism of switching trains from one track to another. Guided tours offered May – October.

WPA Mural Trail
The nationally recognized collection of New Deal WPA (Works Progress Administration) art (1935) was restored by Norwalk’s art and history community. Nearly 50 murals are located throughout Norwalk in City Hall, Norwalk’s Public Libraries, Community College, Transit District, Maritime Aquarium, Rowayton Library and the Norwalk Historical Society Museum.

Historic Cemeteries

  • East Norwalk Historical Cemetery c.1655
    O
    ldest cemetery in Norwalk (East Norwalk)
  • Pine Island Cemetery c.1708
    Second oldest in Norwalk (Mathews Park)
  • Mill Hill Burying Ground c.1767
    Third oldest (Mill Hill Historic Park)
  • Brookside Cemetery c.1724 Also known as Five Mile River Cemetery. (Rowayton Ave)
  • Kellogg-Comstock Cemetery c.1813
    (West Norwalk)

Continue reading

Fabulous Food Trucks

Things To Do

Fabulous Food Trucks

In case you haven’t noticed on the way to work or during your lunch break, food trucks are the new edible phenomenon right now. Ultra-contemporary and diverse dishes, quick service, and reasonable prices — what’s not to love? Some of us luck out and have an entire block of these mobile food establishments parked right outside our door. Others, well, they’re subjected to roaming the streets in hopes of discovering a good food wagon.

Good for you, Norwalk has an abundant selection of delicious meals on wheels.  Below is the current list of City-licensed food truck vendors.  What’s more, you can discover where to find these mobile eateries directly from your iPhone or Android device! Simply download one of these apps that are optimized to feed our portable grub cravings by informing us what’s in the neighborhood: Eat St., Food Truck Fiesta, FoodPops, FoodTrux, Nom Nom Finder, Road Stoves GPS, Roaming Hunger, StreetFoodFinder, TouchBistro, Truckily, Truckspotting, Truckster, TruxMap, WTF Where’sTheFoodtruck.

Keep on truckin’!

Abuelita’s Catering: Ecuadorian Cuisine – Empanadas, Rice, Beans, Sandwiches

Bombar’bq: American BBQ And Latin Street Food

Bubble And Brew Tea: Bubble Tea, Assorted Tea

Chef Tony Delicias: Spanish Food

Colombian Hotdog: Hotdogs, Burgers, Tenders, Fries

El Azteca Mexican Tacos #1: Tacos, Burritos, Quesadilla, Tex Mex Burgers

El Azteca Don Juan #2: Tacos, Burritos, Quesadilla, Tex Mex Burgers

El Placerito Tacos, LLC: Mexican Food

Greek Style Grill: Fries, Salads, Sandwiches

Kenny’s Food Truck: Guatemalan Food

Kona Ice Of Stamford: Shaved Ice

La Taqueria El Chino: Mexican Food

Makin’ Waves: Breakfast, Burgers, Chicken, Portuguese Specialties

Meztezo Grill: Tacos Rice Bowl, Wings, Chicharones

Mil Sabores: Tacos, Burritos, Arepas, Empanadas

Nunes Coffee Truck: Sandwiches, Chips, Coffee, Soda

Ripka’s Beach Café: Hotdogs, Hamburgers, Sandwiches

Ringside Grill: Hamburgers, Hotdogs Fries, Onion Rings

Sabor Hondureno: Central American Cuisine

Savory Smoke Barbecue: Sandwiches and Tacos

Seaside Sliders: Sliders

Soul Food Kitchen I: Hotdogs, Pre Packaged Ice Cream

Soul Food Kitchen II: Pre Packaged Ice Cream

Tacodillas: Mexican Food

Tacos Los Potrillos: Tacos, Nachos, Sandwiches

Taco Macho: Tacos

Taqueria Castillo: Mexican Food

Continue reading

10 Great Meals in the Great Outdoors

Things To Do

10 Great Meals in the Great Outdoors

Rooftop Dining at Evaritos.

The weather is still beautiful and perfect for dining outdoors. There are tons of incredible spaces in your city where you can enjoy a lovely dining experience outside while staying safe. Norwalk offers a variety of restaurants with waterfront views, rooftop seating, and elegant courtyards! 

1. Harbor Lights

Dine with a view. Harbor Lights restaurant on Seaview Avenue offers a spacious waterfront patio with incredible views of the Sound. Their menu is Mediterranean-inspired and boasts the freshest seafood that comes in daily from local providers. The service is top-notch and the fare is unique and sophisticated. If you’re looking for an elegant dining experience with the best of Norwalk’s views, you definitely need to head to Harbor Lights on one of these beautiful days.

2. Osteria Romana

You can never go wrong with Italian cuisine. Osteria Romana on Westport Avenue offers guests a charming patio for outdoor dining to go along with their outstanding Italian dishes. Their menu consists of both classic and modern Roman fare and their fresh signature handmade pasta is renowned among locals and visitors. The attention to quality and detail is apparent in both their exquisite dishes, service, and dining experience.

3. Caffe Social

In the mood for breakfast, brunch, or just lunch? Caffe Social offers innovative dishes, energizing coffee, and a cheerful atmosphere. The menu is full of classic breakfast dishes, delicious paninis, unique burgers, and a variety of hot and iced coffees and other teas and drinks. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick coffee, or you’re in the mood for a filling brunch, Caffe Social on North Main Street will welcome you with their lively and lighthearted atmosphere. 

4. Haruki

Haruki offers guests an authentic Japanese dining experience with modern twists. Their unique menu is known for both their eight hour ramen and exquisite cocktails. Haruki prides itself in providing the most authentic Japanese cuisine with a traditional, casual “izakaya” experience. Check out Haruki on West Avenue the next time that you’re craving Japanese cuisine!

5. Sugar & Olives

Sugar & Olives is a farm to table, contemporary eatery dedicated to bridging local farms to families. Their menu offerings are prepared with locally grown produce, livestock, and pasture-raised meats all sourced from the incredible nearby farming community. Try something from their bakery, enjoy a delicious brunch or indulge in a freshly prepared supper. Sugar & Olives on 21 Lois Street has a spacious outdoor patio equipped with heaters and umbrellas. They are also offering at home Zoom cooking classes! Check out their website for more information.

6. Mecha Noodle Bar

Pho, anyone? Mecha Noodle Bar on 116 Washington Street is a casual restaurant offering Asia’s most comforting dishes, from Vietnamese pho to Japanese ramen, as well as a variety of small dishes that can be found throughout the streets of Southeast Asia. Mecha means “mom and pop” in Vietnamese, as a tribute to the culture and tradition that their dishes originate from. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining options, so grab a sweater and get cozy with a bowl of hot noodles!

7. O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

Head to O’Neill’s and grab a beer! This Irish pub offers a large selection of beers, and traditional English and Irish fare. O’Neill’s is known as “the soul of Ireland in the heart of South Norwalk.” With a recently expanded outdoor patio, O’Neil’s on 93 North Main Street is a great space to enjoy a beer and Irish specialties in an energetic and inviting atmosphere.

8. Washington Prime

Who else is always in the mood for a good steak? Washington Prime on 141 Washington Street is the place to go for your beef craving. Their menu is best described as American with cross-cultural inspiration. They offer a large menu of both land and sea as well as an extensive selection of cocktails, beer, and wine. The atmosphere is wholesome and sprightly whether you’re joining for indoor or outdoor dining.

9. Evarito’s Mexican Kitchen & Bar

Tacos, margaritas, and rooftop dining. It doesn’t get much better than that! Evarito’s is a fun, laid back restaurant that offers the freshest flavors of Mexico from their wood-fired fajitas to their impressive mezcal list. In addition to their rooftop dining options, there is a large patio on the ground level! You can’t go wrong with tequila and tacos, so stop by Evarito’s on 16 North Main Street for your next night out!href=”https://www.evaritos.com/”>https://www.evaritos.com/

10. Colony Grill

In pizza we crust. Colony Grill on 515 West Avenue is the ultimate spot to get in your pizza fix. Colony is renowned for its one of a kind, thin-crust pies. Their signature topping is their “Hot Oil,” you definitely need to try this the next time that you visit! Your mind might jump to Italian when you think about pizza, but this Irish grill will certainly become a favorite. Grab a beer and enjoy a few slices outside on their patio.

Continue reading

10 Tacos That Are Totally Worth It

Things To Do

10 Delicious Tacos That Are Totally Worth It In Norwalk

Take a taco tour around Norwalk, Connecticut for the day, or simply try one out at a time. These are tacos you WON’T want to miss!

10. Short Rib Korean Tacos at Rio Bravo (Full-Service Mexican Restaurant)

It may sound strange getting a Korean Taco at a Mexican restaurant, which is located at 77 North Main Street, but it is one of the best tacos you will ever have. This taco was tied with the Marco Polo taco that includes juicy bacon wrapped shrimp. Make sure you start with the Top Shelf Guac and the Queso Dip to ensure a comprehensive experience and a full stomach!

9. Chorizo Tacos from Los Portales (Full-service Restaurant with Outdoor Dining)

Los Portales at 54 South Main Street is as authentic as it gets. All of their food is fresh and delicious and they have sauce flavors for every palate. A favorite taco is Chorizo but you can go crazy with the different exotic tacos they have for an outing with the family or friends! Try things like the Cabeza Taco (cow’s head), the Lengua Taco (cow tongue), and the Buche Taco (pork stomach).

8. The Wood Fired Market Veggie Tacos from Evarito’s (Full-service Restaurant with Outdoor and Rooftop Dining)

You may not be a vegan or vegetarian but do not miss the Wood Fired Market Veggies taco at Evarito’s. The vegetables are cooked to perfection and the cilantro crema is to die for. If you’re coming with a group or as a family, you can get a taco pack with different tacos to try along with an array of sauce choices. Don’t miss one of Norwalk’s only rooftop taco eateries at 16 North Main Street.

7. Chicken Tacos from Rincon Taqueria (Full-service Restaurant)

Toppings including their Chilean cilantro pesto that really sets them apart. If you are really hungry, get their enormous burrito. It is the biggest in Norwalk and probably the State of CT.

6. Special Tacos from Don Carmelo’s (Full-service Restaurant with Outdoor Dining)

It sounds risky to just order whatever taco is on the Specials menu, but it is worth the risk at Don’s. You can’t go wrong with any of the tacos, but the ones that aren’t on the permanent menu are usually exotic and delicious. Before you leave 7 Winfield Street, remember to get a margarita and finish off your meal with delectable fried ice cream.

5. Tacos De Chicharron from Tacos Mexico (Full-service Restaurant)

The pork belly in the Tacos De Chicharron is next-level good. The meal also comes with rice and beans, so come hungry to 82 Fort Point Street. Whether you are in Norwalk for fun or simply just want to grab something before hopping on the train at the East Norwalk Train Station, be sure to stop in and grab one!

4. Pastor Con Pina taco from Taco Tequila (Full-service Restaurant with Outdoor Dining)

The sweet and tangy Pastor Con Pina Taco will satisfy any palate and will be sure to impress. Taco Tequila touts its Mexican heritage by making authentic Mexican food with a modern flair. Make sure to visit them at 175 Main Street and get an order of Nachos, too!

3. Shrimp Tacos from – El Segundo (Full-service Restaurant with Outdoor Dining)

A crowd pleaser for any lunch date or late night snack is El Segundo’s Shrimp Taco located at 3 North Water Street. The crispy shrimp and spicy sauce and slaw make for the perfect taco. The mixture of fresh and fried and sweet and spicy creates fireworks, be sure not to miss it.

2. Birria Tacos from Mil Sabores (Food Truck)

One word Birria. Whenever you are in Norwalk on a Sunday, make sure to be there at 2 PM and get a Birria Taco, Quesadilla, or Pizza from Mil Sabores located at 1 Belden Avenue. If you don’t want to wait, feel free to place a pre-order – they run out fast! On Wednesday to Saturday, make sure to get an Arepa; they are handmade and delicious.

1. Spicy Pork Tacos from Tacos El Azteca (Food Truck)

Recently named to Yelp’s 2021 “100 Best Places to Eat” is a food truck not to be missed! Tacos El Azteca is located daily at 94 Main Street. Though you may have to wait to get your Spicy Pork Taco or your Shrimp Taco or Burrito, it is worth it. Make sure to get a side of their sauces. You’ll want them for dipping!

Continue reading

Walkable, Bikeable, Livable

Things To Do

Walkable, Bikeable, Livable Norwalk

Check out CTforMe.com, a website promoting CT’s strong points for young professionals.

CT Towns that are walkable, bikeable and livable: Norwalk

Norwalk’s got 70 acres of waterfront parkland and some hot spots to hit the town once the sun goes down. Check it out: Modern apartments are in easy walking distance from craft breweries, wine bars, top-notch restaurants, the train station and more. At The Berkeley at Waypointe, grill on the rooftop patio or lounge in the game room with billiards and shuffleboard. Or unwind at The SoNo Pearl (short for South Norwalk) for a relaxing zen garden and views of Long Island Sound and the harbor. Norwalk is also home to 40 predesigned public walking and biking routes for getting out, getting active, and getting around. Norwalk is also very green — with 1,050 acres of beautiful public parks for leisure activities. Creative co-working spaces abound like Fairfield County Makers’ Guild and SoNo Spaces. You’ll find fun food and drink options, shopping and entertainment for a night on the town in downtown South Norwalk.

View our Walking Maps & Trails

Continue reading

Best Places to Get Oysters

Things To Do

Best Places to Get Oysters

It’s no secret that oysters are a catalyst for romance. Oyster lovers enjoy this delicacy and have found their favorite spots in Norwalk, affectionately referred to as “Oyster Town” due to its deeply-rooted history as a fishing harbor and waterway. Here are some terrific places to try.

On the Shell:

Harbor Lights
The New York Times deemed Harbor Lights in Norwalk “very good.” Order oysters from their raw bar or find them in other dishes on the menu.

Match
With its “New School Raw Bar,” Match in South Norwalk puts a modern, creative twist on the traditional raw bar.  They use local purveyors for their delicious oysters.

The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood
Tucked next to the seafood market, The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood offers waterfront dining and a seasonal menu. Enjoy their rotating selection of oysters on ice, in seafood platters, fried, or in warm dishes like Oysters Rockefeller.

The Spread
The Spread in South Norwalk has established itself as an oyster destination!  Join them on Tuesdays for $1 oysters from Bloom & Brothers, which is located in Norwalk and gets their shellfish from Long Island Sound.  Oyster dishes regularly appear on their menu.

Washington Prime
Washington Prime’s all day menu boasts a variety of oyster dishes, such as oysters by the piece, Oysters Rockefeller, and a Grand Tower of assorted shellfish.

Off the Boat:

Copps Island Oysters
Oystermen since the 1940s and operating one of the last standing traditional oyster farms in the United States, Norm Bloom and Son is a fourth generation family-owned farm that provides a high quality, consistent and sustainable product to customers nationwide.

Continue reading

Perfect Weekend Getaway

Things To Do

Perfect Weekend Getaway

These days we all could use a little escape. Spring, summer, winter or fall, Norwalk can offer a weekend getaway that is filled with adventure, fun and romance. Stay in a luxury hotel, a cozy inn, or unique accommodations. Enjoy the local food scene. Stroll the main streets of charming neighborhoods. Pass time along Connecticut’s scenic coastline. Explore Norwalk’s history. Choose the getaway that matches your style for a great weekend away.

Attractions:

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
One of the largest attractions in the state, this Long Island Sound focused aquarium, in a former 1860’s iron works factory renovated as a state-of-the-art educational center, draws over half a million visitors a year.  Live sharks in a 110,000 gallon tank, loggerhead turtles, seals, rays and jellyfish join a cast of other aquatic animals. Some you can pet. Others are best left behind glass. With a state of the art movie theater, traveling exhibits, and Marine Study cruises to Long Island Sound, you can spend the good part of a day learning about the region’s maritime environment.

SoNo Switch Tower Museum
Train historians worked long and hard to preserve “Signal Station 44.” They removed three garbage cans full of pigeon poop from this 1896 Switch Tower to clean it after years of decay. Climb narrow iron stairs to the burnished third floor for a chance to pull the disengaged Armstrong levers (so named because you needed a strong arm to budge them!) that once moved track switches manually on the main line. It’s a fascinating peak at tough railroad jobs before computers took over the heavy lifting. 

Mathews Park
You’ll find two museums, an arts center, a fantastic playground, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a historic cemetery as well as a historic museum. Attractions: Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum, The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and The Norwalk Art Space.

Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum
This home was built by financier and railroad baron LeGrand Lockwood between 1864 and 1868. It’s considered one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. 

The Center for Contemporary Printmaking
The CCP features both emerging and established artists. Catch a rising star and purchase a woodcut, etching, silkscreen or lithograph. Sign up for a 6-hour printmaking workshop and create one yourself. The Center is the only one of its kind between New York and Boston. In addition to five gallery shows per year and a slew of classes, it offers services for established artists and a cottage for a selected Artist in Residence. 

Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Stepping Stones was built with a keen eye to what excites and stimulates a child’s mind. Geared toward children 1-10, this small but active learn-through-play center engages even the youngest crawlers. No detail is overlooked. Whimsical water wheels are attached to rain gutters outside big picture windows.  Even when it rains, there’s something to learn. 

The Norwalk Art Space
Newly opened in June 2021, The Norwalk Art Space is an exciting free museum and hub for the arts, promoting local artists, offering free art classes to high school students and providing the public a welcoming space to enjoy art and music.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse Tours
Over 200 years ago, ewes were kept on Sheffield Island to keep them from the boy sheep on Ram Island just across the way. Since then, Sheffield Island has been a compound for cholera patients, a ritzy estate and most importantly, home to the Sheffield Island Lighthouse.

You can visit this decommissioned 10-room granite lighthouse, built in 1868, as well as the rest of the 54 acre island, administered by Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, during a three hour tour run by the Norwalk Seaport Association. A 45-ft. catamaran transports 49 people several times a day in season for a half hour narrated tour of Norwalk Harbor. (You’ll also pass barrier islands and the famous Norwalk oyster beds). Families pushing strollers and picnickers join history buffs for a glimpse into what life was like on this island before electricity.  The lighthouse keeper had to carry two five-gallon pails of oil (40 lbs. each) up to the top floor every four hours to keep the light lit. 

Stew Leonard’s
If Walt Disney had gone into the grocery business, this is what he’d have come up with. Goats bray from the roofs of tiny sheds in the parking lot petting zoo. Parents and kids line up for creamy soft-serve custard ice-cream before grabbing a cart. And animatronic cows and milk-cartons entertain tots as Mom and/or Dad choose fresh produce, meats and fish from overflowing shelves. Locals have been bringing out of town friends here for years.

Factory Underground
If you’ve ever wondered where all the collapsed barns, felled trees, and demolished 1800’s houses in Southern Connecticut have gone, just take a peek into the 7,000 sq. ft. Factory Underground – a recording and video production studio, and private concert and event space. Underground winds through chambers both large and small; offering an industrial kitchen, soundstage rehearsal space, and several recording rooms. If you’re lucky, you might find a book-launch party or another special event happening.

Dining & Nightlife:

Public Wine Bar
Walk through the front door to be greeted by a floor to ceiling wine rack. This “Wine Bar,” however, is not just about the vino. Specialty cocktails rule the day – with concoctions like Public 88 – an “orchid infused Toto’s French topped with Rose Cava,” Blackbird Singing – a sour whiskey blend, and the fiery Hot Blooded Margarita. On the menu, the Spicy Tuna Tartar, Salmon A La Plancha, and Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pappardelle are all excellent.

Magnolia Room at B.J. Ryan’s
Who knew Fairfield County CT would wholeheartedly embrace a New York style cabaret, complete with prominent Broadway show crooners, an intimate room aglow with votive candles, and dinner service? Opened in April 2018 in a room above B.J. Ryan’s pub, the 60-seat Magnolia Room is the brainchild of singer, actor, pianist and music director, Kenneth Gartman.

Musicians and vocalists range from soulful to cheeky. Entertainment has been compared to “a Broadway veteran in your living room, singing songs for you and a small group of friends.”

The Spread
This place is so farm to table, the tabletops are reclaimed farm barnwood, and are enlivened by “living walls.” The eclectic “New American” menu reflects Chef Carlos Baez’s heritage (Mexican) and work history (in a sushi restaurant, among others). His Shrimp on Caramelized Quinoa Cake with Chorizo Sauce won “Best of Best Dish” in CT Magazine. Try the Ricotta Gnocchi – with tender stewed veal “meatballs.”

Knot Norm’s
Young chef/owner Jay LeBlanc has got himself a winner in his little extension of an already thriving catering biz. Not only is his mega-chunk warm lobster rolls winning awards, but he’s equally adept with fried chicken, Korean BBQ Brisket, and, incredibly, on-the-spot whipped up vegan dishes. In East Norwalk (across the Norwalk River from the Norwalk Maritime Museum), this tiny place may be hard to find at first. But it’s worth it.

Valencia Luncheria
Why is it that some out of the way restaurants cause such a commotion?  Because they are so excellent, patrons will travel off the path to get to them.  This is the case with this colorful Arepas, Empanada and Burritos emporium.  You can dine on the cheap or try a Platos of the day. And yep, there’s a bar scene. Cocktails with Mexican Coke or Jalapeno infused vodka are fiery awesome.

Places to Stay:

EVEN Hotel 
This hotel brand is devoted to your health and wellness. Rooms feature mini-gyms. And top celebs in food and fitness partnered to make each stay a “wellness” experience.  Surprisingly, this trend in lodging launched in little Norwalk, and you can experience it firsthand as part of your Norwalk escape.  

Hotel Zero Degrees
Sister property to the hot boutique hotel in Stamford, CT – this sleek Norwalk version is roughly a 10-minute drive to the attractions in SoNo. But no worries, they’ve got a complimentary shuttle to get you there. Quilted metallic grey headboards, back-lit mirrors in glossy bathrooms, orange throws and walls for punch – rooms are fresh and fun. Like any all the rage boutique establishment, rates include a bevy of complimentary perks. Enjoy a warm breakfast, wi-fi, covered parking, Starbucks coffee, shuttle to downtown and a very fun rooftop lounge. Drinks will cost you, but table games will not.

The Inn at GrayBarns
GrayBarns has served as a village meeting place, textile factory, artist outpost, and even a speakeasy! Today it is home to a tavern and an inn, which features six beautifully-appointed king suites with luxurious full baths, bedrooms and living areas. This adults-only retreat welcomes guests with contemporary fixtures such as NEST thermostats, Le Labo amenities, SMEG, and Nespresso appliances. Guests of the Inn can enjoy in-room spa treatments, private yoga, bike rentals, and beautiful views of the Silvermine waterfall. Nearby you can tour the Glass House, walk in the Silvermine Nature Preserve, play a round of golf at Pound Ridge, or meet the artists and artisans at the Silvermine Arts Center.

Continue reading

  • 1
  • 2

City of Norwalk | 125 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851 | Contact Us

Follow Us