This coastal community on the Connecticut shoreline offers plenty of ways to enjoy and interact with the parks, forests and beaches that make up its surrounds.
With parks, forests and more than 14 miles (22 kilometers) of coastline, the small seaside community of Stamford relishes living life outdoors. You’ll also find numerous attractions for those who want to stay indoors, including cinemas, cafés and an arts center.
Go on a river cruise of the Long Island Sound, charter a boat from the harbor, and splash in the surf at Cove Island Park’s sandy beaches. You can also walk, ride and skate the park’s trails and take a tram ride through the grounds.
Go to the SoundWaters Center, a non-profit environmental education organization located in the park. Book a two-hour ecological trip across the sound aboard their 80-foot (23-meter) three-masted Schooner. Hoist the sails, test the water quality and learn more about the marine life beneath the waves. For details visit SoundWaters’ official website.
Connect with nature at the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens. The 91-acre (37-hectare) preserve encompasses more than 2,000 varieties of trees, forest trails, themed gardens and a herbarium. Keep an eye out for some of the native wildlife as you wander along the boardwalk through the red maple swamp. See snapping turtles, raccoons, wood frogs, barred owls and woodpeckers.
Walk some of the 80 acres (32 hectares) of nature trails and visit a working farm at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Enjoy a picnic by the lake and see the natural history and art exhibits inside the Bendel Mansion Museum. The estate was once the property of the late New York designer and department store owner Henri Willis Bendel. Get a close-up view of the moon and planets from the observatory and watch a stellar presentation at the planetarium.
Go to the downtown area and catch a play, musical or comedy show at the Stamford Center for the Arts. Check out some contemporary art at Franklin Street Works, a two-story art space and café.
Stamford is located 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of New York City. Catch a train or drive from the city. Get around by bus or rent a car to get out of town and enjoy the natural surrounds.