Only 50 miles away from New York City, Danbury, CT is perhaps best known as the home of the train station that appeared in one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous movies. The boasts a wonderful combination of New England charm and modern cosmopolitan appeal, and it has plenty of things to keep visitors entertained.
1.Tarrywile Park & Mansion
© Sweet Lana/stock.adobe.com
Encompassing just over 720 acres of meadows, forests, and rocky hillsides, Tarrywile Park is the largest city-owned park in the state. The park offers plenty of things for visitors to do, including a handful of picnic areas, a beautiful lake tucked away in the forest, and more than 20 miles of hiking trails. In addition to its beautiful and varied natural terrain, the park is also home to two historic buildings: the 19th-century Hearthstone Castle and a Shingle Style mansion set on an 11-acre property with a gatehouse and several other outbuildings. The mansion is open to visitors by appointment.
70 Southern Blvd, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-744-3130
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2.Danbury Railway Museum
© Danbury Railway Museum
Located in a historic train station in the east end of town, the Danbury Railway Museum was created to chronicle the history of railroading in Danbury and the surrounding area. Highlights of the museum include model train layouts, exhibits full of old photographs and artifacts and a 6-acre railyard full of historic railroad equipment, some of which has been restored. Between the months of April and November, visitors can also take an exciting half hour train ride. Hours of operation vary depending on the season, and the museum is closed for all holidays except Labor Day and Memorial Day.
120 White St, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-778-8337
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3.Danbury Fair Mall
© Danbury Fair Mall
One of the biggest shopping malls in New England, the Danbury Fair Mall was first opened in 1986. The mall is made up of approximately 200 different stores and restaurants spread out over 1.2 million square feet, and its anchors include large department stores like Sears and JCPenney. Families with small children often come here to ride on the large double decker carousel in the food court, and the mall hosts Family Fun Nights and other kid-friendly events throughout the year, including a two-week-long carnival in one of the parking lots at the beginning of the summer.
7 Backus Ave, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-743-3247
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4.Danbury Museum & Historical Society
© Danbury Museum & Historical Society
Made up of five separate historic buildings, the Danbury Museum & Historical Society is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the history of Danbury. Most of the museum's exhibits and displays can be found in Huntington Hall, which is open Tuesday through Saturday. If you'd like to tour the other buildings, guided tours are offered every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visitors are also welcome to come to the Hat City Ball, a special fundraising event held every January. Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum, and admission includes an open bar, music, and plenty of food.
43 Main St, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-743-5200
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5.Bear Mountain Reservation
Tucked away on a 140-acre property that includes the 888-foot Bear Mountain Peak, Bear Mountain Reservation offers plenty of excellent hikes for visitors to enjoy. Many of the trails loop around and connect with one another, and most of them are of easy or moderate difficulty. The one exception is the Orange Trail, a steep path that leads down to the shore of Candlewood Lake and boasts wonderful views of the water. Plenty of parking is available in the reservation's paved parking lot, and there are several shady picnic areas for anyone who would like to simply relax and enjoy the scenery.
17 Bear Mountain Rd, Danbury, CT 06811
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6.Danbury Ice Arena
© Dmitry Grushin/stock.adobe.com
Built in 1999, the Danbury Ice Arena is a 3,000-seat arena that offers a wide selection of skating programs for people of all ages and ability levels. Skating lessons are offered year-round, and all students receive complimentary admission to any public skate session that takes place during their class semester. Other popular activities offered by the arena include recreational hockey leagues for youths and adults, personalized hockey coaching, and fun DJ skate nights. The arena is open between 7 a.m. and midnight every day of the week, and at least one public skate session is held every day.
1 Independence Way, Danbury, CT 06810
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7.Ives Concert Park
Nestled on a beautiful 40-acre property in the west of the city, Ives Concert Park is an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by forests and lush gardens. The park was named in honor of respected composer Charles Edward Ives, and it hosts a wide variety of music concerts and theater productions throughout the year, including classical performances, Shakespeare plays, a reggae music festival, and a country harvest hoedown. Special events like auto shows and paint and sip nights are sometimes held here as well. The property also features several hiking trails, which are open to the public even when no performances or events are happening.
43 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-837-9226
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8.Danbury Sports Dome
© Danbury Sports Dome
The Danbury Sports Dome is the biggest domed facility to be found anywhere on the East Coast, and it hosts a wide range of fun activities and events all throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to join one of the drop-in soccer games, play a game of lawn bowling, or enjoy a game of pick-up lacrosse. The indoor fields can be rented by the hour, and the facility also offers battle balls for rent. There is also an on-site concession stand, which offers a wide range of food and drinks as well as catering for birthday parties and other special events.
25 Shelter Rock Ln, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-778-3663
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9.Shelter Rock Winery - Urban Winery
© Shelter Rock Winery - Urban Winery
The first urban winery in Connecticut, Shelter Rock Winery runs a unique wine-making club that enables members to produce their own world-class wine in a friendly, sociable environment. The grapes are sourced from California by the owner, who also happens to be an experienced winemaker from Italy, and members who are making their own wine are given the opportunity to choose their preferred varieties of grapes. The winery has plenty of things to offer visitors who don't have time to make their own wine as well; it often offers tours, dinners, and wine tastings, and the space can be booked for private events.
5 Shelter Rock Rd, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-948-823
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10.Ives Trail Greenway
Named after Charles Ives, the state composer of Connecticut, the Ives Trail Greenway is a 20-mile hiking trail that stretches from Bennett's Pond in Ridgefield to Redding Open Space. The trail passes through four towns and crosses over both public and private lands, with terrain ranging from gently rolling hills to rugged cliffs. Several parts of the trail are not suitable for inexperienced hikers; visitors use the trail at their own risk and are advised to turn back if they encounter any sections that feel unsafe. Motorized vehicles are not permitted anywhere on the trail, but horses and mountain bikes are welcome on some sections.
36 Sugar Hollow Rd, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-797-4632
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11.Richter Park Golf Course
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Designed by golf architect Edward Ryder, the Richter Park Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole golf course with 14 water features. The course is open to the public, but all players are required to have proper golf attire and their own set of clubs, which can be rented on-site. The pace of play is four hours and twenty minutes for the entire course; golf carts are available for rent if desired. Private lessons are available for players of all skill levels, and there are two practice greens for honing your skills. Tee times can be booked over the phone or online.
100 Aunt Hack Rd, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-792-2550
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12.Wooster Mountain State Park
Conveniently located inside the city limits, Wooster Mountain State Park is a 444-acre park that was created in 1920. The most popular activity in the park is hunting, but if you'd rather not hunt, you can also head to the park's 50-yard shooting range to practice skeet, target, or trap shooting. Personalized instruction is available, and a special trap program is held at the shooting range every Tuesday. The park is also a great destination for hiking, and it's crossed by the Ives Trail and Greenway. Visitors are welcome to park here free of charge.
30 Sugar Hollow Rd, Danbury, CT 06810
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© Lakeside Watersports
Owned and operated by two local watersports enthusiasts, Lakeside Watersports is a small boating company that offers personalized watersports lessons on Candlewood Lake. Customers can choose from a wide range of watersports, including wakesurfing, kneeboarding, and water skiing, and it's possible to try more than one sport in a single lesson. All equipment is included, and the boat can hold up to 9 people in addition to the driver and the instructor. Hours of operation vary according to the season; the shop is typically open Wednesday through Sunday in the summer months and on the weekends in September. Advance reservations are required.
16 Forty Acre Mountain Rd, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-744-9884
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14.Veterans Walkway of Honor
© Veterans Walkway of Honor
Built in 2012 to commemorate the men and women who have served in the American military, the Veterans Walkway of Honor is an elegant pathway that can be found at the Danbury War Memorial. The walkway is lined with bricks that display the names, ranks, and service branches of American veterans; photos and short biographies of some of the veterans can be found on the walkway's website. Bricks were sold between 2012 and 2019, with the profits going directly to the Danbury War Memorial. Some of the proceeds were donated to a variety of veteran-related charities.
1 Memorial Dr, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-743-3932
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15.Monster Mini Golf
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Offering 18 holes of quirky monster-themed mini golf, Monster Mini Golf is a state-of-the-art entertainment facility with plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. The entire golf course is lit by black lights, and it boasts plenty of glow-in-the-dark features as well as friendly animated monsters that bring the experience to life. Another major attraction of the facility is its 2500-square-foot laser tag course, which offers both individual and team challenges and includes special features like black lights and fog. Birthday parties can be held in either the mini golf or laser tag section; some packages include pizza and swag bags.
13 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT 06801, Phone: 203-744-4653
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© Ibiza Tapas
With its excellent selection of delicious tapas and wine, Ibiza Tapas is the best place to go in Danbury if you're craving a taste of Spain. The menu includes plenty of small plates designed for sharing as well as several larger entrees, and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available for people with dietary restrictions. Many of the ingredients used are sourced from local farmers and artisans, and the restaurant always offers weekly specials to showcase the freshest ingredients of the moment. The restaurant is open for dinner every day of the week except Mondays.
93 Mill Plain Rd, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-616-5731
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17.Barbarie's Black Angus Grill
© Barbarie's Black Angus Grill
Known for its incredible steaks and its welcoming atmosphere, Barbarie's Black Angus Grill is one of the best steak houses in Connecticut. In addition to house-aged steaks, the menu offers a wide selection of appetizers, salads, sides, sandwiches, meat entrees, and seafood dishes. The restaurant is divided into several different eating areas, including a cozy dining room, an outdoor patio, and a private dining room that can be rented out for private events. Lunch and dinner are served every day of the week, and the pub is open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
5 Eagle Rd, Danbury, CT 06810, Phone: 203-826-7406
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18.Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant
© Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant
Found in the dining district of Mill Plain Road, Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant specializes in creative tapas influenced by the cuisines of Latin America, Spain, and the Caribbean. Seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients are featured whenever possible, and the menu offers a wide selection of vegetarian options. The restaurant's tacos are well worth a try as well; the menu alternates weekly, and specials are offered on Taco Tuesdays. There is also a wonderful selection of drinks to choose from, including sangria, wine, beer, and cocktails. Happy hour specials are offered every weekday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
56 Mill Plain Rd, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-748-0875
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19.Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza
© Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza
As the name implies, Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza specializes in mouth-watering pizzas made in an Italian wood-fired oven. The vast selection of 12" pizzas includes both red sauce and white sauce pizzas, and the menu also offers several salads, pasta dishes, and unique starters like wood-fired meatballs and truffle Brussels sprouts. Many of the ingredients used to prepare the food are organic, and the restaurant is proud to source its produce and meat from local farmers as much as possible. There are also plenty of drink options to accompany your meal, including red and white wines as well as unique cocktails.
35 Lake Ave Ext, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-885-1057
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© Rosy Tomorrows
Established in 1980, Rosy Tomorrows is a family-owned restaurant that serves up lunch and dinner in a comfortable, eclectic space decorated with quirky artifacts. The menu includes everything from burgers and sliders to Mediterranean-inspired seafood dishes, and the restaurant's signature soups are made from scratch daily. The restaurant hosts entertainment every night of the week, including karaoke on Mondays and jazz piano performances on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The bar is open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and a special brunch is offered every Sunday between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
15 Old Mill Plain Rd, Danbury, CT 06811, Phone: 203-743-5845
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20 Best Things to Do in Danbury, Connecticut
- Tarrywile Park & Mansion, Photo: Sweet Lana/stock.adobe.com
- Danbury Railway Museum, Photo: Danbury Railway Museum
- Danbury Fair Mall, Photo: Danbury Fair Mall
- Danbury Museum & Historical Society, Photo: Danbury Museum & Historical Society
- Bear Mountain Reservation, Photo: renamarie/stock.adobe.com
- Danbury Ice Arena, Photo: Dmitry Grushin/stock.adobe.com
- Ives Concert Park, Photo: rocketclips/stock.adobe.com
- Danbury Sports Dome, Photo: Danbury Sports Dome
- Shelter Rock Winery - Urban Winery, Photo: Shelter Rock Winery - Urban Winery
- Ives Trail Greenway, Photo: AYAimages/stock.adobe.com
- Richter Park Golf Course, Photo: Sebastian Duda/stock.adobe.com
- Wooster Mountain State Park, Photo: Amy/stock.adobe.com
- Lakeside Watersports, Photo: Lakeside Watersports
- Veterans Walkway of Honor, Photo: Veterans Walkway of Honor
- Monster Mini Golf, Photo: Scott Cornell/stock.adobe.com
- Ibiza Tapas, Photo: Ibiza Tapas
- Barbarie's Black Angus Grill, Photo: Barbarie's Black Angus Grill
- Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Photo: Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant
- Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza, Photo: Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza
- Rosy Tomorrows, Photo: Rosy Tomorrows
- Cover Photo: mshch/stock.adobe.com