Introduction to Norwalk, Connecticut
The city of Norwalk, part of Fairfield County, lies along the Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut about 33 miles southwest of New Haven and 48 miles northeast of New York City. Bordered by Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Wilton, the city is serviced by Interstate I-95, U.S. Routes 1 and 7, and Connecticut State Highway 15 (also known as the Merritt Parkway).
Founded in 1640 and incorporated eleven years later, Norwalk has counted agriculture, coastal trade, manufacturing and shipbuilding among its industries. Once nicknamed "Oyster Town," Norwalk has long relied on oyster farming as its principal industry which even today continues to make the city Connecticut's largest oyster producer.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment in Norwalk
The sandy beaches of Long Island Sound shore and Norwalk's public parks provide a variety of recreational opportunities throughout much of the year. The city boasts over 1,000 acres of park and shoreline land as well as dozens of municipal tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, and a public golf course. Many of the city's special festivals are outdoors, including the annual Oyster Festival which allows thousands of visitors to sample the city's excellent seafood. Other annual festivals include the Norwalk Harbor Splash!, an event held in early June which features arts and crafts, food, music, and a parade; the St. George Greek Orthodox Festival, which features Greek food and dance exhibitions; the SoNo Arts Celebration, held in mid-summer; and the Round Hill Highland Games, a festival of Scottish culture featuring bagpipes and Scottish athletic events.
Cultural sites in Norwalk include the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, a 62-room mansion designated a National Historic Landmark; the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, a major aquarium specializing in Long Island Sound marine life and ecology; the Mill Hill Historic Park and Museum, a collection of historic buildings maintained by the Norwalk Historical Society; the Norwalk Museum, a Colonial Revival style building which previously served as Norwalk's City Hall; and the Stepping Stones Museum for Children.
Norwalk sports fans can take pride in a local franchise: the Connecticut Wildcats are a semi-professional rugby team which competes in the American National Rugby League (AMNRL). Major league professional sports are only an hour away in New York City, home of the New York Mets and New York Yankees (Major League Baseball), New York Rangers (NHL hockey), New York Knicks (NBA basketball), and New York Liberty (WNBA women's basketball).