Situated approximately 30 miles from Manhattan, Stamford, CT is home to four Fortune 500 Companies, as well as numerous divisions of large corporations. The city also has several interesting attractions, including the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, the beautiful Cove Island Park with its pristine beaches, wetlands, hiking trails and bird habitat, and the lovely wooded Mianus River Park on the city’s outskirts. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Stamford Museum & Nature Center
© Stamford Museum & Nature Center
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a museum that focuses on art, history, nature, and agriculture. Set on 118 acres of beautiful landscapes about half a mile north of the Merritt Parkway that were originally a private estate, the museum is situated alongside a 10-acre working farm, an interactive nature center, a large planetarium and four-story observatory with a research telescope, and 80 acres of outdoor trails. The museum features seasonal family-oriented exhibits, interactive displays and year-round childhood educational programming, along with summer camps, and volunteer opportunities. Outside the museum is a large playground designed for children that provides them with the opportunity to experience animals' perspective on nature.
39 Scofieldtown Rd, Stamford, CT 06903, Phone: 203-322-1646
2.Cove Island Park
Located on Long Island Sound, Cove Island Park is an 83-acre park, beach and recreation area that features a wealth of recreational facilities and outdoor activities. The park features two sandy beaches, a children's play area, a one-mile loop walking/running trail, and rollerblade/cycling path, and expansive lawn areas for picnicking and kite-flying. The park is also home to a small salt marsh and intertidal mudflats that attract a wide variety of diverse birdlife and provides excellent bird-watching. A state-of-the-art nature center with interesting exhibits is also found at the park, and the Terry Conners Ice Rink can be found near the park's entrance, which is open during the winter and offers skating lessons for children.
363 Weed Ave, Stamford, CT 06902
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3.Curtain Call, Inc
Curtain Call, Inc is a longest-running community producing theatre company that presents a calendar of full-scale productions each year in two venues, namely the traditional 184-seat Kweskin Theatre and the 100-seat cabaret-style Dressing Room Theatre, a three-quarter thrust stage venue. Curtain Call, Inc was established to provide entertainment for the community and encourage an environment for learning. The theatre company offers a range of educational programs including Young Actors Workshops, Writing Workshops and Young Writers Workshop, Acting for Kids, Improv for Kids, Comedy for Teens, Acting Workshop, Shakespeare Theatre, and Dance & Movement.
1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06905, Phone: 203-329-8207
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4.The Ferguson Library
© The Ferguson Library
The Ferguson Municipal Public Library is a community library in Stamford that gathering space for the community to enjoy a wide range of literature, as well as provides many books, magazines, multi-media, and reference materials. The Ferguson Municipal Public Library offers a variety of children's programs, including Baby Time, Toddler Time, Family Story Time, Summer Reading Club, and Book Discussions and Preschool Story Time. Teen programs at the library include Teen Reads, Book Discussion, Booklists, Volunteering, Summer Reading Club and various special events and vacation week programs throughout the year.
1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT 06901, Phone: 203-964-1000
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5.First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Connecticut
© First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Connecticut
The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford is a famous church designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison that is renowned for its unusual shape. Nicknamed Fish Church, the architectural landmark is an outstanding example of modernist architecture and features a 260-foot-tall Maguire Memorial Tower which is home to a 56-bell carillon that was initially of 36 bells called the Nestle Carillon. The unusual shape of the church has been likened to that of a fish - a symbol used in early Christianity – and is apparent both in the profile and in the floor plan of the structure. Enormous stained-glass windows in the sanctuary containing more than 20,000 pieces of faceted glass enhance the shape of the church and depict the story of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The Chancel is dominated by a 32-foot-high cross faced with wood.
1101 Bedford St, Stamford, CT 06905, Phone: 203-324-9522
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6.The Palace Theatre
© The Palace Theatre
The Palace Theatre is a theater company with two venues, namely the beautifully restored Palace Theatre on Atlantic Street and the Rich Forum, both of which host a variety of performances including plays, music concerts, and dance recitals. The Palace Theatre on Atlantic Street is a historic theater with 1500+ seats that was originally a vaudeville house designed by Thomas W. Lamb and opened in 1927. After falling into disrepair, the theater was lovingly restored and renovated in 1983 to become the Palace Theatre with an enlarged stage, new dressing rooms, new technical-support facilities, and improved services. Today, the theater presents a diverse variety of art exhibitions, concerts, and live theatre.
61 Atlantic St, Stamford, CT 06901, Phone: 203-325-4466
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7.Half Full Brewery
© Half Full Brewery
Half Full Brewery is a locally-owned and operated microbrewery and tasting room that produces a range of craft brews, including Bright Ale, Pursuit IPA, Toasted Amber, and a delicious new Onward APA. A hip, modern tasting room offers a comfortable place for beer-lovers to gather to taste up to 12 different brews on tap, including the Core Series, CSA Project Series, Limited Release, and Tasting Room Exclusives. The brewery offers pints and flights, along with 20 oz pours for Mug Club members, along with a selection of merchandise such as hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and glassware. Local food trucks visit the brewery to serve casual fare, and during the summer months, a laid-back beer patio is open on the weekends. Half Full Brewery is only on the weekends and hosts a variety of beer-centric events throughout the year such as pub runs and rare beer nights.
43 Homestead Ave, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-658-3631
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The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is a beautifully manicured 93-acre parkland featuring gorgeous gardens and natural landscapes that are home to a diverse variety of local fauna and flora from the Southwestern New England. Open to the public every day of the year, the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens has several collections including an herbarium with over 3500 specimens from around the world. The Arboretum also features the Conifer Garden, a collection of conifers; the Mehlquist Garden, a unique collection of azaleas and rhododendrons; the Nut Tree Collection; the Pollarded Tree Display; the Magnolia Collection; and the Theaceae collection, which features camellias, franklinias, gorgonias, and stewartias. The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens offers a range of educational programs, summer camps art classes, yoga hikes, and clinics, along with hosts several functions and events throughout the year.
151 Brookdale Rd, Stamford, CT 06903, Phone: 203-322-6971
9.Captain John's Tiki Tours
© Captain John's Tiki Tours
Captain John's Tiki Tour's offers guided tours of Stamford Harbor. Launched in Harbor Point in 2018, these family-friendly tours take in all the sights and sounds of the region from majestic yachts and breathtaking skyscrapers to local wildlife, preserves, and natural landscapes. Guided by Captain John who is native to the area, tours include sightseeing trips on the Tiki Taxi, a motorized floating Tiki lounge complete with Hawaiian props, a complimentary Hawaiian Lei, shipboard photos, ice and cups for BYOB drinks, and music.
1 Harbor Point Rd, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-614-9268
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10.Fort Stamford Park - Goodbody Garden
The Goodbody Garden is a quiet oasis in the heart of the Fort Stamford Site, a public park and home to Fort Stamford. Nestled next to the remnants of the Revolutionary War outpost of Fort Stamford, the beautiful formal garden was initially owned by New York financier Marcus Goodbody whose imposing home with formal gardens were based on the site in the early 20th century. After falling into disrepair, the gardens were lovingly restored to their former glory by the Stamford Garden Club and the Glenbrook Garden Club and today is open to the public. The tranquil gardens feature lovely local fauna and flora, a sunken garden and shady stone-pillared pergola, and grass lawns that are perfect for picnicking.
Stamford, CT 06902
11.Mianus River Park
Sandwiched between Greenwich and Stamford, the Mianus River Park is a park is a 400-acre urban forest with the dramatic landscape of lush wetlands, tributary streams, rugged rock formations, miles of hiking trails, a wildflower garden, and a cave. Home to the 20.3-mile Mianus River, the park is one of a series of conservation areas of the greater Mianus Greenway that were established to protect the river and its watershed as a significant contributor to the regional water supply. The park features beautiful scenery that can be seen from many of the trails that meander along the river’s edge.
Merribrook Lane, Stamford, CT 06902
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12.Ukrainian Museum and Library
© Ukrainian Museum and Library
The Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford is dedicated to the collection, exhibition, and preservation of artifacts and publications concerning the culture and heritage of the Ukraine. The oldest cultural institution established by Ukrainians in North America, the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford was built in 1933 and opened its doors to the public in 1935. The museum began with just two great rooms within the Quintard Estate and in the 1980s expanded to two floors of the mansion, while the library and archives were moved to the former St. Basil Preparatory School due to the need for more space. Today, the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford features collections of fine arts, folk art, religious art and literature collections.
161 Glenbrook Rd, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-323-8866
13.Stamford Historical Society, Inc.
© Lyudmyla V/stock.adobe.com
The Stamford Historical Society, Inc., is an educational and research institution that collects, interprets, preserves, and exhibit materials relating to Stamford. Established in 1901 to preserve local history and provide opportunities for the community to learn more about the history of the region, the society is housed in the 1699 Hoyt Barnum House. As the city of Stamford's historic center, the Stamford Historical Society presents an array of exhibitions and displays, demonstrations, lectures, special events, and educational programs. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the Hoyt Barnum House and the exhibits in the museum.
1508 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06903, Phone: 203-329-1183
14.Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
© Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church is a historical Anglo-Catholic parish in the heart of downtown Stamford that is inclusive and open to all. A congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, and a part of the global Anglican Communion, Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church is a historically registered Victorian church that was that consecrated in 1861 and was formerly a mission of St. John's Church Stamford. Designed by New York architectural firm, Browne and Rogers, the church is constructed from grey stone and features a parish hall, a chancel, and a cloister that contains the sacristy and parish office. A beautiful bell tower was added in 1930, and signature red doors are adorned with gilded wooden fish that represent the church's patron Saint Andrew the Apostle who was a fisherman.
1231 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-325-4359
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15.Chelsea Piers Connecticut
© Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Chelsea Piers Connecticut is 465,000 square-foot sports and recreation complex with a wealth of sports and fitness facilities, instructional programs, sports leagues, camps, fitness and drop-in fun for children and adults. The expansive complex features athletic fields, an aquatics center with three different swimming pools of varying sizes and an unmatched array of water-based programs, a ballet school, an ice-skating rink, batting cages, a gymnasium, basketball and volleyball courts, and a world-class 65,000 square-foot members-only fitness center and clubhouse. Other facilities include tennis and squash courts, a Little Athletes Zone for young sports people, a Splash Zone, and a wealth of exercise and instructional classes.
1 Blachley Rd, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-989-1000
© Café Silvium
Café Silvium is a casual, trattoria that serves Italian-inspired fare such as handmade cavatelli and other homemade pasta, hearty Italian classics, wood-fired pizza, and fresh seafood dishes. Opened by brothers Nick and Vincenzo Petrafesa in 2001, Café Silvium brings old world southern Italian cooking to Stamford with a menu of traditional dishes such as antipasti, salads, pasta, lasagna, and entrées of veal, chicken and seafood served in a warm and welcoming ambiance. Daily seasonal specials range from Osso Busco and wild boar to venison, rabbit, lamb, and soft-shell crab and the cuisine is accompanied by an extensive list of Italian and global wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails. Café Silvium is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and dinner only on Saturdays.
371 Shippan Ave, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-324-1651
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Opened in 1999, Brasitas Restaurant was one of the first Nuevo Latino restaurants in Stamford and today, still offers a creative menu of Latin fusion cuisine and authentic Latin beverages in a vibrant ambiance. The menu features signature dishes such as arroz con pollo with shreds of pulled chicken, fried sweet plantains, sofrito, chorizo, green peas, black beans, jasmine rice, and tart citrus cabbage relish. Other favorite dishes are the pollo caribeno al curry, a mouthwatering curried version of arroz con pollo with sautéed chicken in a coconut curry sauce, and the salmon a la plancha with pan-seared wild Oregon salmon smothered in a sauce of charred poblano pepper cream and a mound of fresh guacamole. Appetizers include camarons con torta de choclo, huitlacoche cornbread, salads and flatbreads, and the delicious food is accompanied by signature cocktails and other Cuban beverages.
954 East Main Street, Stamford, CT 6902, Phone 203-323-3176
18.Columbus Park Trattoria
© Columbus Park Trattoria
The Columbus Park Trattoria is a family-owned business that has grown from a small business into three very successful restaurants throughout Fairfield County. Opened by the Marchetti family in 1985, Columbus Park Trattoria serves a menu of traditional Italian fare, fresh seafood, grilled meats and decadent desserts in a comfortable dining environment with crisp white tablecloths. The warm and welcoming restaurant has a spacious, warmly-decorated private room known as Columbus Park Upstairs with its entrance, kitchen, bar and bathroom for private dining functions and celebrations. The private room can accommodate up to 65 people for an elegant sit-down dinner, or up to 100 for cocktails. The Columbus Park Trattoria serves lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday.
205 Main St, Stamford, CT 06901, Phone: 203-967-9191
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© Colony Grill
Established in 1935 in an Irish immigrant neighborhood in Stamford, the Colony Grill is a post-Prohibition tavern and local chain serving one-of-a-kind, thin-crust pizzas with a signature “hot oil” toppings, craft beers, and casual wines. Founded by Irish-Americans with a team of some Italian and Eastern European chefs, the bar owners wanted to create a thin-crust pizza with a unique topping that fitted on the narrow Colony bar top and easily held in one hand. And so the hot oil bar pie was born – a mouthwatering pizza topped with cheese and drizzled with a spicy, full-of-flavor, pepper-infused creation called hot oil. Boasting five locations across Connecticut and New York, the Colony Grill is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
172 Myrtle Ave, Stamford, CT 06902, Phone: 203-359-2184
20 Best Things to Do in Stamford, Connecticut
- Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Photo: Stamford Museum & Nature Center
- Cove Island Park, Photo: alex9500/stock.adobe.com
- Curtain Call, Inc, Photo: eugenesergeev/stock.adobe.com
- The Ferguson Library, Photo: The Ferguson Library
- First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Connecticut, Photo: First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, Connecticut
- The Palace Theatre, Photo: The Palace Theatre
- Half Full Brewery, Photo: Half Full Brewery
- Bartlett Arboretum, Photo: Nigel/stock.adobe.com
- Captain John's Tiki Tours, Photo: Captain John's Tiki Tours
- Fort Stamford Park - Goodbody Garden, Photo: miroslavmisiura/stock.adobe.com
- Mianus River Park, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Ukrainian Museum and Library, Photo: Ukrainian Museum and Library
- Stamford Historical Society, Inc., Photo: Lyudmyla V/stock.adobe.com
- Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church, Photo: Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
- Chelsea Piers Connecticut, Photo: Chelsea Piers Connecticut
- Cafe Silvium, Photo: Café Silvium
- Brasitas, Photo: Brasitas
- Columbus Park Trattoria, Photo: Columbus Park Trattoria
- Colony Grill, Photo: Colony Grill
- Cover Photo: dwin/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Emblematic of New England’s unique character, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Connecticut is an ideal place to spend a few hours, a day, or a week. This family-friendly attraction is known for its natural beauty, peaceful atmosphere, and educational exhibits.
The Stamford Museum goes all the way back to 1936, when it was first the brainchild of Dr. G. R. R. Hertzberg. Armed with a vision of a place where members of the public could learn about art as well as the natural sciences, Dr. Hertzberg spearheaded the museum’s initial fundraising campaign. Later, in 1939, the museum was able to grow with contributions from the city and town of Stamford. In 1945 the museum got a new home, when a former carriage house was deeded to the city of Stamford along with 8 acres of land. The Stamford Museum began to host art exhibitions in addition to its already existing natural history programs. A decade later, in 1955, the museum once again upgraded its land holdings and moved into the Henri Bendel Estate, which consisted of 80 acres of land. Over the years, the museum has grown to 118 acres of land, attracting 175,000 visitors each year.
Edith and Robert Grant Otter Pond
Normally found in marshy ponds, wooded riparian areas and, not surprisingly, rivers, river otters are known for their playful nature. Visitors can observe these frolicsome critters at the Edith and Robert Grant Otter Pond, where they are sure to delight in watching them eat, dive, and play. While river otters are active all year, they are most active in the mornings and evenings.
Visitors keen on experiencing a slower pace of life will relish the sights and sounds on offer at Heckscher Farm. Spread over 10 acres of land, this functional farm has much to see and experience. A chicken coop, pig pen, pastures, shelters, and even a barn built in 1750 are just some of the structures that occupy the land. Equally impressive are the creamery, organic vegetable garden, and maple sugar house, which showcase how the raw materials obtained from the animals are processed. This humble New England farm is also a great place to see heritage breeds of farm animals.
Overbrook Nature Center
With plenty of scenic walking trails spread across 80 acres, the Overbrook Nature Center has much to offer visitors of all ages. This idyllic environment is home to many species of animals, such as white-tailed deer, wood ducks, and red foxes. Birdwatchers are encouraged to make their way to the meadow area of the property, where nesting eastern bluebirds are often spotted. For a more in-depth look at the ecology of the area, the nature center has many interactive exhibits and access to live animals as well as a gift shop.
Stamford Observatory and Planetarium
The recently upgraded telescope stationed at the Stamford Observatory allows visitors to get a better understanding of our place in the universe. By viewing the moon, planets, and deep space objects, visitors will doubtlessly leave the facility with a lifelong interest in space exploration and astronomy. Viewings are generally available on Fridays but are subject to weather conditions.
Stamford Museum Collections
The collection curated at the Stamford Museum includes 20,000 objects, which are subdivided into five distinct categories focusing on various aspects of American art and history. American Social Realist artists, such as Guy Pène du Bois, Reginald Marsh, and Milton Avery, are well represented in the museum’s American art collection, which represents works completed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Providing a great counterpoint to the Anglo-American artistic landscape, the museum also holds a variety of prehistoric as well as contemporary objects and artworks made by Native Americans. In an effort to educate museumgoers about the natural history of New England, the museum showcases animal and mineral samples that demonstrate the natural beauty of the area. The Porter Bird Study Skins and Rowell Egg Collection are a few of the many wonders that are sure to both delight and educate visitors of all ages. The museum’s collection of American household, agricultural, and Civil War memorabilia are curated to tell the history of the American people through the objects that shaped their daily lives as well as key events in the nation’s history. Much of this collection is dedicated to the history of Stamford itself, which allows museumgoers to become better acquainted with the region.
39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford CT 06903, Phone: 203-322-1646
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