Stamford, Connecticut is the fourth largest city in the state, a center of regional activity in Fairfield County, and a hub of the Metro New York area. Its position between NYC and the rest of Connecticut defines Stamford’s character. Stamford takes on a big-city atmosphere in its downtown and the adjacent neighborhoods, then transitions to a more traditional suburban small-town Connecticut atmosphere in its northern sections. Stamford plays an active role in the NYC metro and Fairfield County art and music scene. It also has one of the largest and most diverse selections of restaurants and shopping in Fairfield County. Many large corporations are headquartered in Stamford, so it hosts a large reverse-commute from New York City in addition to commuters from Connecticut and nearby Westchester County, New York.
Get in edit
By plane edit
- LaGuardia Airport: a major airport in Queens, with mainly domestic flights. It is about 45 minutes away.
- JFK International Airport: a major airport in Queens, with worldwide flights. It is about 60 minutes away.
- Newark International Airport: This is a major airport in Newark, with worldwide flights. It is about 75 minutes away.
- Westchester County Airport: an airport in Westchester County, NY, with flights throughout the country, and from Toronto. It is about 30 minutes away.
- Bradley International Airport: a major airport in Windsor Locks, north of Hartford, with flights worldwide. It is about 100 minutes away.
- Tweed-New Haven Airport: a small airport in New Haven, with flights from Philadelphia. It is about an hour away
By train edit
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
- 1 Stamford Transportation Center (ZTF IATA Stewart B. McKinney Transportation Center[) (Washington Blvd and South State Street). Train operators:
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains throughout the United States of America. Routes stopping at Stamford:
- Acela travels multiple times daily between Boston and Washington, D.C. with stops in Westwood, Providence, New Haven, Stamford, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. This is the only route in the U.S. which resembles a high-speed rail line, with a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h), though it can only go this fast on a few short segments.
- Northeast Regional is Amtrak's busiest regional service, connecting Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the many towns and cities in-between. Toward the east end of the route, some trips terminate at Springfield instead of Boston. Some services also continue south into Virginia towards Newport News, Roanoke and Norfolk on three separate branch routes from Alexandria. This is also Amtrak's most frequent service, with multiple daily departures, and the longest trip takes 12.5 hours. Stops at Union Station and State Street.
- Vermonter operates daily between St. Albans and Washington, D.C. including stops in Essex Junction, Waterbury, Montpelier, White River Junction, Claremont, Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, Windsor Locks, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, New York City, Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, and New Carrollton. S
- On peak for Metro-North there are at least several local and express trains and off peak there are a couple of local trains that take an hour and 11 minutes and an express train that takes 45 minutes. Metro-North trains operate from Grand Central, New York City and New Haven Union Station, New Haven, Connecticut. There is the New Canaan Branch in Stamford with stops at Stamford, Glenbrook, Springdale, Talmadge Hill, and New Canaan which is also operated by Metro-North.
- Amtrak, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates trains throughout the United States of America. Routes stopping at Stamford:
The other train stations in the city are served by the New Canaan Branch of the New Haven Line, which provides mostly shuttle service to Stamford Transit Center:
The remaining two stations on this branch are in nearby New Canaan.
By car edit
I-95 is the major interstate highway that goes through downtown Stamford. Merritt Parkway goes parallel to I-95 about 5 miles north.
Get around edit
Having a car makes traveling in Stamford much easier and safer (see Stay safe) but it is not essential.
By bus edit
Bus routes travel along all major roads to all ends of the city and to other cities in Fairfield County as well as running to White Plains, NY, and Port Chester, NY. See here for more information on bus routes in Stamford.
By train edit
The New Canaan Metro-North line runs from downtown Stamford through the Eastside of Stamford with stops in the Springdale, and Glenbrook neighborhoods. See here for information on the New Canaan Metro-North line.
By taxi edit
There are several taxi companies serving Stamford. Among them are Stamford Taxi, +1-203-325-2611, Eveready, +1-203-655-8779, and USA Taxi, +1-203-487-0007
- 1 The Stamford Museum and Nature Center (take the High Ridge Road exit off the Merritt Parkway and go north for about a mile - it's on your left at the intersection with Scofieldtown Road - it's a fork in the road with a traffic light), ☏ , email@example.com. Has a farm with cows, horses, pigs, chickens, llamas, and other animals. It also has a small museum and a playground with a huge slide.
- 2 Bartlett Arboretum, 151 Brookdale Rd, ☏ . 8:30AM - sunset. Not too far from the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, a great park with walking trails provides variety of trees and plants.
- 3 Shippan Point (take exit 8 of I-95 and head south on Elm Street. Take a left at Shippan Avenue at the second light. Continue until you reach a giant Shippan sign on your left then take that left at the light.). The southernmost point of Stamford, Shippan Point is home to some of the wealthiest residents of the city and some of the most historic and expensive homes. Shippan Avenue runs north/south and is the only way in and out of the neighborhood. Heading to the end of Shippan Avenue there is a stonewall overlooking a rocky beach. This wall and beach overlook the Long Island Sound, and a expansive view of Long Island across the water. On clear nights locals claim the Manhattan skyline is visible in the distance.
- Columbus Park, Main St and W Park Pl (downtown, between Washington Boulevard and Atlantic Street. Take exit 7 of I-95 and head north on Atlantic Street and take a left onto Main Street.). Usually filled with a diverse crowd from local kids, homeless people, to businessmen and street musicians. It is also central to a large live music and nightlife scene; the park is surrounded by bars and restaurants. Meter parking is also available directly surrounding the park. Also home to Alive @ Five in Stamford (See Do).
- 1 Cove Island Park (off of exit 9 off of I-95. Make a right off of the exit, take that road to the end make a left, the park is located on your right). It has a small beach and several paths that you can walk or rollerblade. Very close to downtown, you can escape there for a quiet lunch during a hectic workday. Beach stickers are required during the summer months.
- Palace Theater (Stamford Center for the Arts), 61 Atlantic St (Take a right off exit 8 I-95, a left at the light and a right onto Atlantic St), ☏ . Hosts a variety of shows in a historic building. Prices and hours depend on the show being held. Parking on the street is scarce and parking in lots costs about a dollar an hour. Make sure you feed the meter because you will get a ticket if your time runs out.
- 2 Stamford Twin Rinks, 1063 Hope St, ☏ . Two ice rinks in one building. Bar/restaurant area on second floor with an exercise room. Skate shop on the first floor. Low prices. Free skate times alternate by day. Free parking. Space rentable for parties.
- Alive @ Five, Columbus Park. Th 5PM. A music festival in the summer months (usually June through August) located outside in two block off streets with Columbus park in the center. The main act takes the stage around 8PM $10.
- 3 Cummings Park (between the northern part of Shippan Avenue and Soundview Avenue; head south off exit 8 and head south on Elm Street until you reach Shippan Avenue. Take a left onto Shippan and continue until you see sign on left). The Long Island Sound beach has a fishing pier, pavelions, and public restrooms. Contains tennis courts, handball court, a basketball court, and four softball fields. There's also a popular local sledding hill the park. Parking at the beach requires a season pass during the summer months that can only be purchased at the Stamford Government Center, and the booths at the entrance only sell 20$ day passes. However, there is parking on multiple streets, directly around Cummings. On McMullen Avenue and Wascussee Lane, both directly off Soundview Avenue, parking on the street is legal. Warning: This beach has an unsavory reputation at night. Also a small homeless population lives at the beach and the woods directly surrounding it at night. Use caution here at night, don’t travel alone, and avoid extreme intoxication. The police usually make an appearance here at least once a night.
- 4 Scalzi Park, Bridge St (on the Westside of Stamford directly off Bridge Street; head north on Washington Boulevard off exit 7 on I-95 Continue until you reach Bridge Street.). Large park with a baseball field, soccer field, enclosed roller hockey rink, tennis courts, and a playground. Free parking lot Also a large skating bowl. Warning Scalzi has a reputation at night. The Westside of Stamford is one of the more dangerous parts of Stamford and that is reflected at Sclazi. Extremely safe during daylight hours but avoid after dark.
- The Stamford Comedy Festival, Mill River Park. 8/26 6-11pm. An outdoor standup comedy festival with music and food trucks! $20.
- 5 The State Cinema, 990 Hope St, ☏ . Tuesdays. Only two theaters in a historic building. Seats are comfortable. Typical movie theater food available. Limited parking is free in a lot behind the building. $3.
- 6 Bowtie Cinemas, 118 Summer Street (downtown Stamford), ☏ . Movie theater playing the most recent popular releases for movies. Standard movie food, popcorn, candy and soda. $10.50 for an adult, $7.50 for children under 11 and $9 for seniors. Daytime matinees are $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for children and $8.50 for seniors.
- 1 Stamford Town Center (Stamford Mall), 100 Greyrock Plaza (Right off Exit 8 I-95, left at the second stop light continue straight into the parking garage), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM- 6PM. Plenty of stores to meet any shopping need or interest. Anchors include Macy's, Saks Off Fifth, and Barnes & Noble. Also generally good prices. The best part is a seating area that also functions as a set of stairs between floors. Make sure you get a pretzel (at Wetzel's) before you leave. Minimum of 50 cents (equaling four hours) for parking Paid parking.
- 2 A Step Ahead, 1115 High Ridge Rd, ☏ . A formal attire store that keeps a log of who bought what so you'll never wear the same outfit as someone else to a party. Generally expensive. Very friendly service. In-shop tailoring available. Free parking in the strip mall lot. Hours: Monday-Wednesday 10AM-6PM. Thursday: 10AM-7PM. Friday Saturday 10AM-6PM. Sunday noon-5PM.
- Nagi Jewelers, 828 High Ridge Rd, ☏ . M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, closed on Sundays. There is a wide range of fine jewelry and watches available at surprisingly low prices and excellent quality by top designer names like David Yurman, Tag Heuer, Swiss Army, Roberto Coin, Marco Bicego and Hearts on Fire. They have in-house professional watch and jewelry repair and appraisal services.
- Sports Scape, 37 Atlantic St (take exit 7 off I-95 and head north on Atlantic store on the left right before Broad street), ☏ . One of the more select footwear and apparel stores in downtown Stamford. Located directly off exit 8 on I-95 this store offers popular brands such as Nike, The North Face, Ecko, South Pole. They carry a selection of basic footwear and apparel as well as rarer more unique clothes and shoes. Also carries a selection of fitted hats focusing mostly on New York Yankee hats but still they still carry multiple other popular teams. Parking on Atlantic Street and adjacent streets around Broad.
- Ridgeway Shopping Center, 26 6th St (head north on Atlantic Street off Exit 7 and continue until it turns into Bedford Street; shopping center has large sign and will be on your left), ☏ . This large shopping center is located in the Ridgeway neighborhood of Stamford. Close proximity to downtown with a large selection of shopping including clothing, electronics, furniture and groceries. Also in the center is a Party City and a Bed, Bath & Beyond. Two levels of free parking lots as well as meter parking spots on Summer Street.
- High Ridge Center, 1145-1041 High Ridge Rd (take Exit 35 off Merrit Parkway and head south on High Ridge Road, entrance will be on your left at the first light). Located on the High Ridge Road strip this shopping center offers clothing, several delis, a jeweler, appliances, a Borders and an art gallery. More upscale shopping relative to downtown Stamford. In the summer there is a farmers market on Tuesdays 10AM to 2PM. Starbucks located in the shopping center is very popular spot for locals even into late at night. Also coffee shop inside Borders and a Crumbs (a café chain that sells, baked goods, coffee, and tea). In the warmer months at the Burger King parking lot across the street there is a show for classic cars and the overflow end up in the High Ridge Center. Police Substation located in the shopping center. Free parking lot in front and in back.
- Bar Rosso, 24 - 26 Spring St, ☏ . Lunch and dinner. Mains $19-40.
- Fiesta on Main, 249 Main St, ☏ . M-F 11:30-. A nice Peruvian restaurant in downtown Stamford. lunch $10-15; dinner $15-25.
- The Colony Grill, 172 Myrtle Ave, ☏ . The quintessential bar sized pizza, it's the only thing on the menu. Try the sausage and hot oil pizza and be prepared to order more than one. Widely regarded by locals as the best restaurant in Stamford.
- Garden Catering, 235 Main St, ☏ . M–F 7AM–9PM, Sa 8AM–9PM, Su 9AM–4PM.
- Garden Catering, 877 High Ridge Rd, ☏ .
- Garden Catering, 1053 East Main St. Selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and breakfast food. Most popular item here is the special: chicken, French fries and seasoning in a bag in ¼-, ½-, ¾-, and 1-pound increments. Also very popular are the potato cones, mashed potatoes deep-fried in batter in a cone shape. $5-10 per person.
- Gofer Ice Cream, 869 High Ridge Rd, ☏ . Small ice cream shop that is very popular in the late afternoon and on nights. Regularly full of families taking their children out. Expect to spend $5-10 on average per person. Free parking in back.
- Vinny's Backyard Restaurant, 1078 Hope St, ☏ . A popular bar and restaurant among locals, located in the historic Springdale neighborhood. Vinny's has extremely popular wings and thin crust pizza. Accessible from exit 36 on the Merrit Parkway. Also within walking distance from the Springdale train station and the Hope Street bus line. $10-15 a meal.
- Lakeside Diner, 1050 Long Ridge Road, ☏ . Traditional diner fare. Serves donuts, coffee, breakfast and brunch menus. Secluded location on Long Ridge road with a view of Holts Ice Pond as well as some brilliant foliage in the fall. Free parking outside. About $10.
- Fusaro’s Deli, 646 High Ridge Road, ☏ . Italian Deli located on High Ridge Road. Sells sandwiches, breakfast fare, traditional Italian dishes, as well as groceries and convenience items such as cigarettes. Import their bread and meat directly from the Bronx. $10-15 a person.
- Capriccio Café, 189 Bedford St, ☏ . Located in downtown Stamford. Café with Italian and American cuisine. Large amount of outdoor seating located on a busy central street in downtown Stamford. Very popular on weekday afternoons and weekend nights. An average meal is $10-15.
- Lucky's, 209 Bedford Street, ☏ . Grill/diner located in the Stamford downtown. Lucky's has a 1950s American theme and the atmosphere and the menu both reflect this. Burgers, fries, and malted shakes are a Lucky's standard. Salads and other dishes are available. Large glass windows present a view of downtown Stamford pedestrian traffic.
- Cove Pizza, 864 Cove Rd (walking distance from Cove Island Park), ☏ . Cove Pizza & Restaurant has seen multiple different owners in its time, but has never compromised its quality. Right in the heart of the Cove, and walking distance from the park, sits this focal point of the neighborhood. It is an Italian Restaurant that serves pizza (now slices), salads, and all kinds of Italian dinners. Very affordable, one person should not need more than $15 to be satisfied. Affordable.
- Tigin, one of the top Arsenal FC bars in the tri-state area.
- Brick House Bar & Grill, 244 Bedford St, ☏ . A traditional Stamford bar catering mainly to Stamford's born-and-raised; but it's also a bar inhabited by happy hour goers from the surrounding businesses. It can be unreasonably crowded at some times; usually during the weekends and Thursday nights. Metered parking along Bedford Street as well as parking lot located off Forest street.
- Tiernan’s Bar & Restaurant, 187 Main St, ☏ . Irish pub in downtown Stamford across the street from Columbus Park and the adjacent bar and live music scene. Known for a selection of imported beers. Live entertainment Thursdays to Saturdays. Free wireless Internet and several large plasma televisions. Tiernan’s rarely ever holds of a policy of a cover charge.
- Bobby Valentines Sports Bar, 225 Main St, ☏ . Sports Bar located in downtown Stamford across the street from Columbus Park; owned by Bobby Valentine, a Stamford native and the former manager of the New York Mets. The walls are covered with sports memorabilia and this is a popular local spot to have a beer and watch sports on one of the several large TVs. Award winning wings; these are half priced as well as the drinks from 4-7PM, Monday to Friday. Wednesday night is popular, drawing amateur singers for karaoke and ladies' night specials.
Note- The Stamford Nightlife scene is constantly changing but all located generally in the same area of downtown Stamford. If searching for a fun club, bar or restaurant feel encouraged to walk through downtown Stamford at night especially Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The area with the most bars is centered roughly around Columbus Park, but there are many more popular places to drink. The area bordered by Forest Street to the north, Grove Street to the east, Washington Boulevard to the west, and Tresser Boulevard to the south is very safe and contains much of Stamford nightlife. Be careful of leaving this area, however, as some of the streets bordering Stamford downtown can be dangerous especially at night. Avoid hanging around the St. Johns Towers (the three large cylinder towers on Tresser Boulevard.)
- Courtyard Stamford Downtown, 275 Summer St, ☏ , fax: .
- Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, 243 Tresser Blvd, ☏ . Offers 500 guest rooms and six suites covering 17 floors, with great views of Long Island Sound, downtown Stamford, and the Manhattan skyline. In addition the Stamford Marriott offers the Agora Spa. The day spa features treatment rooms, private locker rooms and steam room.
- Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, 1 First Stamford Pl, ☏ . Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, upscale accommodations with 484 guest rooms and suites. IACC-approved Executive Meeting Center with 45,000 square feet of flexible event space.
- Super 8 Motel, 32 Grenhart Rd (l I-95, Exit 6), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Off I-95 Exit 6 on the City's West Side. Very few hotels fall under $100 as the Super 8 does, and you absolutely get a lot of bang for your buck. Under $100.
A large reason for the increased development of Stamford has been the influx of corporations establishing headquarters in Stamford, but travelers won't find much opportunity for employment in those offices.
- University of Connecticut at Stamford, 1 University Pl, ☏ . Located in downtown Stamford this commuter branch of the University of Connecticut serves as a school offering 4-year bachelors degrees in ten majors. Also offers two masters degree programs, and access to internship and job placement programs.
- Stamford Public Library Main Branch (The Ferguson Library), One Public Library Plaza (Corner of Broad & Bedford Streets), ☏ . Located in a three story historic building in downtown Stamford. Books, music, and videos can be borrowed with a library card or read and viewed in the library. Also free computers with Internet access and a large kids section downstairs. Starbucks connected to the library with large glass windows that view the pedestrian traffic in Stamford and the front steps of the library where people usually congregate.
Stay safe edit
The FBI rates Stamford one of the safest cities in its population bracket. However caution must be used in some parts of Stamford, especially traveling past public housing projects. Walking the street is where you will encounter the most danger; avoid certain streets on the East Side (Custer Street, Ursula Place, Sections of Cove Road.), the West Side (Connecticut Avenue, Merrel Avenue, Spruce Street), as well as most of the Waterside (bordered by I-95 on the north, the Greenwich/Stamford border to the west and the Long Island Sound to the south and east; main avenue is Southfield Ave) and South End neighborhoods (The South End is bordered by I-95 to the north, and Long Island Sound to the east, west, and south; main avenue is Canal Street). Although Stamford is rapidly gentrifying, gangs and organized crime have long established roots in Stamford. Use the same caution as one would use in any city especially faced with a violent confrontation or when engaging in illicit activities. Stamford’s homeless population is not large but can be quite aggressive. Be careful of how you carry yourself; in Stamford a quick word might be more effective then simply ignoring a request. Avoid the McDonald's by the main library downtown, especially at night. It's been the site of muggings, fights and even a recent murder. There are plenty of other (safer) dining options in the area. Also Shippan has a lot of young hooligans roaming around at night. Some may get violent.
Go next edit
New York City- The primary reason for Stamford's development was its proximity to NYC. A 30-minute drive down I95 or the Merritt Parkway will take you to NYC. Also a 45-minute express train and a 75-minute local train will take you there and back for $30.50 peak and $23 off-peak; be sure to purchase tickets at the station, you will incur a 45% price increase when you purchase onboard. Free parking for the train station is provided at a commuter lot adjacent to I95 and there is slightly expensive pay parking lot directly across the street from the train station. Taking the train into Grand Central provides you access to the NYC transit system and you can use that to venture to any part of the city for $2.75 a trip.
Bridgeport- Bridgeport is a cheaper alternative to visiting New York City. Bridgeport is only roughly (depending on traffic) a 20-minute drive down I-95 or the Merritt Parkway and a 30-minute train ride. Home to the Beardsley Zoo, the Barnum Museum and a diverse restaurant scene. Also located in Bridgeport is a ferry running from downtown Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, New York, on Long Island's North Shore.
New Haven- About a 45-minute train ride away and a 30- to 45-minute drive north depending on traffic, New Haven is another popular destination. A lively downtown restaurant, bar and club scene makes it a good nightlife destination. Also home to multiple playhouses and musical venues.
|Routes through Stamford (by long-distance rail)|
|Washington, D.C. ← New York City ←||SW NE||→ New Haven → Boston|
|New York City ← New Rochelle ←||SW NE||→ Bridgeport → New Haven|
|Philadelphia ← New York City ←||SW NE||→ Bridgeport → New Haven|
|Routes through Stamford (by car)|
|New Haven ← Darien ←||N S||→ Greenwich → New York City|
|New Haven ← Darien ←||N S||→ Greenwich → New York City|
|New Haven ← New Canaan ←||N S||→ Greenwich → New York City|
|Routes through Stamford (by commuter rail)|
|New York City ← Greenwich ←||SW NE||→ Darien → New Haven|
|New York City ← Greenwich ← Merges into New Haven (red) line ←||SW NE||→ Norwalk → Danbury|
|New York City ← Greenwich ← Merges into New Haven (red) line ←||SW NE||→ New Canaan → END|
|New York City ← Greenwich ← Merges into New Haven (red) line ←||SW NE||→ Bridgeport → Waterbury|
|END ←||W E||→ Bridgeport → New Haven|