The 203’s Town Guides: To help you explore some of our favorite local areas, we’ve been creating ‘Town Guides’ to several of our favorite Connecticut towns & neighborhoods! Whether you’re new to the area, you’ve lived here for years, or you’re simply looking to plan a (covid safe) trip to explore some new spots around the state, our #203TownGuides will give you the inside scoop and everything you need to know to get started!
“Next Stop… ROW-AYYY-TONNNN” (If you’re familiar with the classic Metro North commute... bettchya we made ya smile.
For this month’s #203TownGuide, we’ve partnered with our friend and real-estate expert, Cindy Raney, to bring you the inside scoop on the coastal village of Rowayton— a special neighborhood in Norwalk, CT.
Before the pandemic, one of Cindy’s favorite things to do with clients moving to the area from out of state was to drive them around, point out her go-to local spots and give them an authentic local tour of their new ‘hood! Because social distancing doesn’t allow her to do that right now, we’re hoping that this Town Guide offers everyone a glimpse of what Rowayton has to offer!
The seaside village of Rowayton has a contagious energy that we can’t help but fall in love with… everytime we visit. This tiny little oasis, nestled just east of Darien, has the ultimate ‘endless summer’ vibe annnnd ALL the bells and whistles to go along with it. Situated along the stunning coastline of the Long Island Sound and the Norwalk Islands, the 1.4- square-mile-peninsula is home to a vibrant and welcoming beach community that will almost make you feel as if you've been transported to Nantucket.
The laid back, yet sophisticated, atmosphere of Rowayton is refreshing. Barefeet, salty hair, beach cruiser bikes (annnnd maybe an afternoon road soda or two) make Rowayton a unique & special CT destination. We love that locals walk, bike, and longboard into town to enjoy the local shops, restaurants and activities that Rowayton offers.
When visiting Rowayton, you can feel the strong sense of community that radiates in the air. Neighbors greeting each other, kids biking into town to meet their classmates for pizza or ice cream, and locals stopping to greet each other on their way to the park.
The village of Rowayton is almost too good to be true. It's no secret that Rowayton has a personality of its own, and it’s no wonder it’s such a desirable place to live!
Here’s the scoop…
Rowayton Seafood: Offering waterfront dining on the Five Mile river, Rowayton seafood offers an incredible ambience to accompany its plethora of delicious seafood. Due to its waterside location, Rowayton Seafood is one of our favorite spots to drive the boat to for cocktails and eats after a long day on the water. Rowayton Seafood has dockside boat parking options. Be sure to call ahead to reserve their transient slip! We love sitting on the dock, watching the boats roll in and crushing delicious craft cocktails.
Rowayton Market: Serving as a Rowayton staple, Rowayton Market has been in business since 1753 and is still going strong! A local meeting place with delectable grab and go options! It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a selection of pastries, deli items, and fresh produce. Situated on the Five Mile river, it's the perfect place to drink a coffee or eat a sandwich while you enjoy the view from the waterfront deck and watch the boats come in.
Sails Bar & Grill: If you love good food and a fun atmosphere, Sails Bar & Grill is the place for you! With a menu ranging from sushi to burgers, it's the perfect place to go for an assortment of food. Come for the food and stay for the live music performed by local bands on the weekends!
Rowayton Pizza: Started by native brothers of Amalfi, Italy, Rowayton Pizza knows a thing or two about quality Italian food. We love the local feel of this hometown fave, and that it was started by siblings…. just like the Two Oh Three. Pro tip-- BYOB! :)
Brendan’s 101: After exploring the delicious meal options Rowayton has to offer, head to Brendan’s 101 for dessert! While Brendan’s 101 is known for its famous ice cream flavors, it's also recognized for its love of giving back to the community. Every year Brendan’s donates generously to local drives and even donates the coveted “Golden Cone”, where you can bid for an ice cream cone a day for life!
Toasts: Now that events are ramping back up, Toasts is the perfect place to cater your next party. Offering a variety of grazing boxes and tables, Toasts provides not only delicious but beautiful charcuterie arraignments that are sure to be a conversation starter at your next gathering. Started by two long time friends, we love how dedicated they are to their company and the effort they put into every box and table order.
Luella & Stone: Luella & Stone takes pride in its handmade, one of a kind artisanal jewelry. Based out of Rowayton, this online shop sells beautiful pieces that are inspired by the creators' many travels across the globe.
Stems + Co: Stems + Co is not your regular florist shop. Offering flower subscriptions, workshops, and of course supplying for weddings and events, Stems + Co takes pride in their unique approach to the floral industry. Rather than buying flowers on random occasions, Stems + Co allows you to buy subscriptions to their flowers where you are able to receive them weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. We love this concept and believe receiving flowers consistently is a great way to bring joy to you or a loved one's life.
Seaside Delights: Owned by a Rowayton Local, this shop is the perfect place to go for a unique coastal themed gift.
Bayley Beach: Bayley Beach is hands down, one of our favorite beaches around. Part of Neville Bayley Park, this locally loved beach caters to everyone and has everything you need for an idyllic beach day. Personally, we’re alllll about the swim platforms.. But, the park also provides a playground, basketball court, volleyball areas and outdoor showers. If you get hungry while there, stop by at Di’s Sea Shanty snack bar for the best beach day snacks. ** Beach passes required during the summer months, contact Rowayton parks and rec for details on beach passes.
Rowayton Dog Park: (@ The Rowayton Community Center): A cherished dog park in the CT dog parent world, this fully fenced in park comes complete with double gates, doggie bags, benches, drinking water, a hose to rinse off your pups and… ALL THE DOGS!
Pickney Park: This seaside park located in the heart of Rowayton is nothing short of picture perfect. Grab food from The Rowayton Market or Rowayton Pizza and walk over to Pickney for a picnic. We love that you can watch the paddle boarders and boats enter the harbor while you sit and relax under the shade of the trees. Don’t forget to visit @SeasideDelights -- an adorable gift shop situated just along the water directly in the park!
Rowayton Farmers Market: A bustling and lively local market that is not to be missed in the spring and summer months. This seasonal open-air market contains over 20 farmers, producers and artisans on a weekly basis and draws customers from all over Connecticut. We love that the market has weekly entertainment and the best views of the Long Island Sound. Head to the Rowayton Farmers Market on Fridays from noon to 5 pm in Pickney Park.
Culture & Entertainment--
Rowayton Art Center: With exhibitions that change each month, the Rowayton Art Center is a cultural hub for art lovers to explore. In addition to exhibitions, the Rowayton Art Center offers classes and workshops for all ages! This 501c3 nonprofit organization provides access to the arts and is supported by community members like yourself
Shakespeare on The Sound: This locally loved Rowayton tradition is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer… a year late. This open air theater, located in Pickney Park, overlooks the long island sound and draws a crowd from surrounding areas. The outdoor production provides affordable yet dramatic performances to be enjoyed by the entire family. We love that these events are BYOB, picnic style events!
Rowayton Community Center: This 6 acre property is home to the Rowayton Library, meeting rooms, the Paddle Hut and a Dog Park! It is a beautiful and well maintained property cherished by Rowayton locals!
Looking To Relocate To Rowayton?