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Stamford, Connecticut - Historic, Coastal City PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Stamford Connecticut, USA - View of Long Island Sound - Photo by Luxury Experience Stamford, settled in 1641, is Connecticut's fourth largest city and is the eighth largest city of the New England states. Located on the shores of Long Island Sound only 25 miles from New York City, 40 miles from New Haven, and 90 miles from Hartford, the state capital, Stamford provides visitors with the ability to explore historic New England, enjoy its beaches, and commute to New York City.

The city is a vibrant eclectic urban and costal mixture where modern architecture blends with historic buildings, it has also become a favorite of filmmakers, with many films and television shows being shot on location in Stamford.

We stayed at Hotel Zero Degrees, a boutique 97-room hotel that opened in late October 2009, and is located in the heart of downtown Stamford within walking distance of the business district, cultural venues, restaurants, and nightlife, and the rail station. Located in the former YMCA, the space has metamorphosed into an attractive contemporary and comfortable hotel, and is conveniently located only 45-minutes from New York City.

Hotel Zero Degrees, Stamford, Connecticut, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Hotel Zero Degrees

The hotel offers outstanding amenities for its guests including complimentary on-site garage parking, complimentary wireless Internet access, a comfortable business area with two computers and a printer, 24-hour complimentary Starbucks coffee, tea, hot cocoa and fresh fruit in the lobby, and a complimentary breakfast buffet.

Guestroom - Hotel Zero Degrees, Stamford, Connecticut, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Guestroom

We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast buffet consisting of a selection of hot and cold cereals, scrambled eggs and bacon, an assortment of croissants, sliced bread, and bagels for toasting, smoked salmon, assorted pastries, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa.  

Hotel Lobby - Hotel Zero Degrees, Stamford, Connecticut, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Lobby 

With its close proximity to the Stamford business district, culture, and shopping, as well as being only 45-minutes by train from New York City, Hotel Zero Degrees is perfect for business as well as leisure travelers looking for contemporary comfort.

Read about the Hotel Zero Degrees in the Hotels and Resorts section. 

Hotel Zero Degrees, Stamford, Connecticut, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience

Hotel Zero Degrees
909 Washington Blvd.
Stamford, Connecticut 06901
United States
Telephone:  +1-203-363-7900
Fax:             +1-203-363-7200
Email:          This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
Website:     www.HotelZeroDegrees.com 

Although only minutes from downtown Stamford, Shippan Point, located on a peninsula hugging Long Island Sound, is an affluent shoreline community that has a completely different feel from the city of Stamford.

Stamford Culture and Museums  

 

Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center 

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center has diverse offerings for visitors that include the opportunity to experience the Bendel Mansion & Galleries, as well as the extensive architecture and sculpture on  the grounds. During our visit we had fun with the interactive exhibit, Gerberich's Gadgetry: Art that Moves, (runs January 30 through May 23, 2010).  

Sculpture at Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury ExperienceSculpture at Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury ExperienceSculpture at Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sculpture on the Grounds
of Bendel Mansion 

Bendel Mansion & Galleries is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm; and on Sunday from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Heckscher Farm is open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm from April until October; daily from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm from November until March. Nature's Playground is open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm (weather permitting). Animal Embassy is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm from January until May; and is open during the Summer Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 3:30 pm. The Observatory is open Friday nights from 8:00 pm until 10:00 pm (8:30-10:30pm summer) weather permitting; and the Planetarium Shows are held the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3:00 pm.

Sculpture - Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience  Sculpture at Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sculpture on the Grounds of Bendel Mansion

Admission is charged: Adults: $8, Seniors (65+): $6, Students (18+): $6 (with valid ID), Children (4-17) $4, and Children 3 and under: Free. Planetarium Admission: Adults $3, Children (age 5 and up) $2; Observatory Admission: Adults $3, Children $2 Ages 5 and up.

Stamford Museum, Stamford, Connecticut

Stamford Museum & Nature Center
39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, Connecticut 06903
United States
Telephone:    +1-203-322-1646
Website:
        www.StamfordMuseum.org

First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
First Presbyterian Church of Stamford 

The unusual and eye-catching contemporary architecture of the First Presbyterian Church, designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison, and completed in 1958, has earned it the nickname of "the fish church" due to its shape, yet it is the remarkable stained glass windows that attracted my attention. The windows are made with 20,000 pieces of one-inch thick faceted glass that on a sunny day capture the light and radiant magnificently. Also of interest is the stand-alone 260-foot Carillon Tower with 56 bells on the property.

First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, Connecticut
Remarkable Entrance 

First Presbyterian Church
1101 Bedford Street
Stamford, Connecticut 06905
United States
Telephone:
    +1-203-324-9522
Website:
        www.FishChurch.org

Saint Mary's Church, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Saint Mary's Church of Stamford 
 
As a counterpoint of architectural styles, Saint Mary's Church, located on Elm Street, built between 1925 - 1928, is a striking historic landmark in Stamford with its twin spires and French Gothic design, soaring ceiling, and stained glass windows. 
 
Saint Mary's Church, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Saint Mary's Church Interior 

Saint Mary's Church
566 Elm Street
Stamford
, CT 06902
United States
Telephone:    +1-203-348-5196
Website:        www.BridgeportDiocese.com/Stamford.shtml    

The Hoyt Barnum House is representative of post-1675, which is the Second American Building Period. The house was built by the children or grandchildren of the founders of Stamford, Connecticut, and is available for tours by appointment only.

Hoyt Barnum House, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Hoyt Barnum House 

Its humble red clapboard design is a sharp contrast to the eclectic architectural landscape of Stamford that includes contemporary glass skyscrapers intermixed with interesting historic elements. 

The Hoyt Barnum House
The Stamford Historical Society
713 Bedford Street
Telephone:     +1-203-329-1183
Email:            
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website :        www.StamfordHistory.org/hbh.htm
   

Palace Theatre, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury ExperienceThe Palace Theatre, a part of the Stamford Center for the Arts,  was originally built as a vaudeville house in 1927 and was restored in 1987. Edward and I have had the opportunity to experience many performances there including such notable artists as Jazz Icons B. B. King and Dave Brubeck, as well as performances of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance and Don Giovanni Modern Version. Check the Palace Theatre website  for upcoming performances. 

Palace Theatre
61 Atlantic St.
Stamford, CT 06902
United States
Telephone:     +1-203-325-4466 
Website:         www.StamfordCenterfortheArts.org/home.cfm
 

Rich Forum, a part of the Stamford Center for the Arts, opened in 1992 and is home to two theatres, the Truglia Theatre, and the Leonhart Studio,  for more intimate performances.

Rich Forum, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Rich Forum of Stamford 

Edward and I have experienced many pre-New York Broadway productions over the years at the Rich Forum, which is a well known stage for shows  prior to bringing them to New York. The Rich Forum currently is the home of the Jerry Springer Show, Maury, and The Steve Wilkos Show.

Rich Forum
307 Atlantic Avenue
Stamford, CT 06901
United States
Telephone:     +1-203-325-4466 
Website:         www.StamfordCenterfortheArts.org
       
 

Sculpture at Palace Theatre, Stamford, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sculpture at the Palace Theatre of Stamford 

Unlike other areas, the cities and towns of New England are very close  in proximity to one another, yet each  has its own unique and interesting history, providing the opportunity to experience many different museums and cultural activities without having to travel great distances. 

Greenwich Culture and Museums   

Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut -- Photo by Luxury Experience
Bruce Museum 

Greenwich, located to the southwest of Stamford is the home of The Bruce Museum "promotes the understanding and appreciation of Art and Science to enrich the lives of all people." During our visit, in addition to the permanent exhibitions, there was a fascinating exhibit entitled, Lincoln, Life-Size, (runs from February 23, 2010 until June 6, 2010), with fascinating photographs produced life size that capture the essence of the life of the 16th President of the United States. In addition to the indoor exhibitions there also interesting sculptures on the grounds of the museum.

Art at Bruce Musuem, Greenwich, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sculpture on The Bruce Museum grounds

The Bruce Museum is closed on Monday, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00pm, and on Sunday from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Admission is charged, Adults ($7.00), Seniors 65+ ($6.00), and Students 5-22 ($6.00). The museum has free admission on Tuesday.  

Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
United States
Telephone:   +1-203-869-0376
Website:
       www.BruceMuseum.org

The Bush-Holley Historic Site, located in Cos Cob, a sub-section of Greenwich, was originally an artist's colony. During out visit we saw their permanent exhibit of historic pieces from both the Bush and Holley families.Their current exhibit is on, "A Stitch in Time: Quilts from Collection of The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich," (runs March 3 - June 13, 2010).

Bush Holley House, Cos Cob, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Bush-Holley Historic Site 

Bush-Holley Historic Site is open for Tours Wednesday through Sunday at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.

Bush-Holley Historic Site
39 Strickland Road
Cos Cob, Connecticut 06807
United States
Telephone:     +1-203-869-6899
Fax:
                  +1-203-861-9720
Website:         www.Bush-Holley.org
Website:         www.HSTG.org 

Norwalk Culture and Museums   

Norwalk Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
Norwalk Museum 

Norwalk, located northeast of Stamford, is the home of the Norwalk Museum opened in 1973 from a donation by Manice deForest Lockwood to house his personal collection of Norwalk Americana, the museum  moved to their current location, once the South Norwalk City Hall, in 1994. During our tour of the museum we saw a collection of Raggedy Ann Dolls and an exhibit of a Pharmacy from the 1800's, which included a full size counter, scale, and a wall of draws that were used to house the medicine of that time. A recent exhibit featured noted sports teams and sports legends from Norwalk's past.   

Exhibit at Norwalk Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut  Exhibit at Norwalk Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut
Permanent Display at Norwalk Museum

The Norwalk Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Admission is free. 

Norwalk Museum
41 North Main Street
South Norwalk, CT
Telephone:
   +1-203-866-0202
Website:
        www.NorwalkCT.org/NorwalkMuseum/  
     

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, Connecticut - Photos Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
Photograph Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion 

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion was built in 1868 in the Second Empire style for banker-railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood and was later purchased by the Mathews family in 1876. The 62-room mansion features exquisite furnishings and architectural details, as well as interesting state of the art technology for that time period.  During our tour we were able to visit many of the rooms that featured  Victorian era period pieces. 

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, Connecticut - Photos Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
First Floor Room 
Photograph Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion 

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion is closed for the Winter season and will reopen on April 7, 2010; tours are hourly Wednesday through Sunday from 12 until 4:00pm, admission: Adults - $10.00, Seniors - $8.00, Children 8-18 - $6.00, Children under 8 - free.  
 
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, Connecticut - Photos Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
First Floor Room 
Photograph Courtesy of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion 

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, Connecticut

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
295 West Avenue
Norwalk, Connecticut 06850
United States
Telephone:    +1-203-838-9799
Website:
        www.LockwoodMathewsMansion.com 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk includes an IMAX Theater and hundreds of animals featured in their native Long Island Sound habitat. During our visit we saw seals, river otters, and the colorful jellyfish whose graceful movements look as though they were choreographed to a ballet. We also enjoyed looking at the various ship models and gazing at the collection of charts and maps of the Long Island Sound. The current exhibit  entitled Go Fish  explores our important relationship with fish - past, present and future.  

The Maritime Aquarium Norwalk,  Norwalk, Connecticut - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk 

The Maritime Aquarium is open daily from 10:00am until 5:00pm and during July and August they are open until 6:00pm. Maritime Aquarium admission only: Adults - $11.75, Seniors - $10.75, Children 2-12 - $9.75; there are an assortment of other packages available. The IMAX Theater showings vary throughout the year and is best to check the website (www.MaritimeAquarium.org) for current listings and times.    

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, Connecticut 06854
United States
Telephone:
      +1-203-852-0700
Website:
         www.MaritimeAquarium.org 

Further northeast of Stamford is Fairfield, the Quick Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Fairfield University, plays host to a variety of music, dance, and theatre programs for all ages. Edward and I recently attended the Quick Center for the Arts to experience the Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernández that celebrated the history of Mexican folklore culture and dance with a spectacular evening of performances with 56 dancers and 16 musicians. Check the Quick Center website (www.QuickCenter.com) for upcoming performances. 

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico - Mariachi  - Photo by Luxury Experience
Colorful Dancers 

Read about Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernández in the Arts section.    

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico - Mariachi  - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Rope Dance

Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
United States
Telephone:    +1-203-254-4010
Toll-Free:      +1-877-ARTS396
Website:        www.QuickCenter.com 
  
 

Restaurants

When it comes to excellent French restaurants in Connecticut, Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS located in the nearby city of Greenwich, Connecticut, stands proud. Owned by Chef Jean-Louis Gerin and his charming wife Linda, this intimate restaurant focuses on fine dining essentials, excellent French cuisine, a stylish ambience, and attentive yet unobtrusive service. Chef Jean-Louis Gerin opened his award-winning Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS in 1985 and has continued to win accolades, as well as loyal fans, throughout the years. 

 

Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS, Greenwich, Connecticut  - Photo by Luxury Experience
Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS 

Edward and I had a wonderful experience at Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS where we had Le Grand Tasting Menus to fully appreciate the restaurant's style and Master Chef Jean-Louis' culinary vision. 

Dining Room at Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS, Greenwich, Connecticut
Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS Dining Room 

A few of the many highlights of our 5-course tasting dinner included vichyssoise made with cubed potatoes, leeks, and a generous amount of mussels in a flavorful broth; pumpkin and lobster bisque that was swirled with a pool of crème fraiche and garnished with diced tomatoes and micro chives scattered along the top; pan seared scallops on a bed of seaweed salad; red snapper that was steamed in jus with fresh ginger and was elegantly presented on a bed of seaweed salad, and accompanied by carrot balls and haricot vert in a beurre blanc sauce; tenderloin presented on a mound of ratatouille, with cranberries, nicoise olives, cauliflower, and snow peas in a rich sauce; and quail from Vermont in a devil sauce made with white Armagnac and crushed black pepper. 

Pan Seared Scallops at Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS, Greenwich, Connecticut  - Photo by Luxury Experience
Pan Seared Scallops 

Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS has a flexible approach to dining that includes a 5-course menu, Le Grand Tasting, which he changes nightly; a 3-course menu, La Ballade Gourmande; an a la carte menu; and for guests looking for something smaller, there is a special menu with mini-prices at the Chef-Bar.

Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS is open for lunch Monday through Friday from Noon until 2:00 pm, and for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:45 pm. 

Read about Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS in the Restaurants section and in the Chefs' Recipes section where Chef Jean-Louis Gerin shares a delicious taste of Restaurant Jean-Louis with his recipes for Stone Crab with Tomato Crumble; Drunken Red Snapper and Warm Fingerling Potato Salad; Beef Cheeks Slowly Braised in Red Wine, with Onion Compote and Foie Gras; Double-Baked Vegetable Compote; and My Grandmother's Chocolate Mousseto tempt your palate before visiting the restaurant. 

Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS, Greenwich, Connecticut

Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS
61 Lewis Street
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
United States
Telephone:   +1-203-622-8450
Email:           This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:      www.RestaurantJEANLOUIS.com
   

Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area has much to offer whether you are looking to explore the history, the culture, or simply the beaches of New England, and with its close proximity to New York City, makes it a desirable getaway.  

Sculpture in Stamford, Connecticut  - Photo by Luxury Experience
City of Stamford Sculpture

Read other articles on Stamford, Connecticut in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Arts sections. 

Long Island Sunrise from Stamford, Connecticut  - Photo by Luxury Experience
Stamford Sunrise on Long Island Sound 

© March 2010. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com  All rights reserved.

 
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