I know Connecticut seems like a random place to day trip, especially since NYC is so close to places like the Jersey Shore and Long Island, but trust me this little beach town (which is technically part of Norwalk) is a true gem! Only about an hour outside of the city, along the Long Island Sound, Rowayton is the perfect way to escape the city. Fishing, oyster harvesting, and boating are a way of life here. The thing that I loved about Rowayton is that it's a low-key place. You don't need to worry about getting dressed up to go to a fancy dinner (there are about three restaurants in the town) and shopping isn't really an option (which coming from someone who loves to shop was a welcome change). It's all about relaxing, bringing your own food and wine and not stressing.
5 things I loved about Rowayton:
- Boating is what you do here: If you don't own a boat, or don't know anyone with a boat, don't fret! There are plenty of boats for hire or to rent in the marina.
- The history is abundant: Legend has it that Greens Ledge Lighthouse (just off the coast of the town) was named after a pirate and established as a warning sign for anyone trying to enter the harbor. Sheffield Island (also accessible by ferry) also has a lighthouse, the Stewart McKinney Wildlife Refuge, and was apparently the former site of a mansion which housed a secret speakeasy frequented by sailors during the Prohibition Era.
- Dip your toes into Old Money: In addition to the many amazing houses you will sail past, the Ziegler Family's 90+ acre estate is also a stones throw from the harbor via boat and surrounds Ziegler Cove. You may not be able to get out onto the beach but parking your boat in the cove, lounging, watching for marine life, and swimming is welcomed.
- Delicious seafood: No trip to a coastal East Coast town would be complete without a little seafood. The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood does not disappoint. Waterfront dining, fresh seafood, crisp white wine and a delicious CT take on the lobster roll is well worth any wait you will have for a table.
- Water sports are a way of life: From sailing, to kayaking, to swimming, to SUP, there is always a water activity to partake in. If you want to lounge all day that is cool too, but when you go to a coastal town like Rowayton being active and getting out in the water is just something you kind of have to do.