New Canaan CT
Truly “The next station to heaven,” New Canaan has all the quintessential Connecticut small-town charm. From the rows of cute shops and restaurants on Elm Street to the popular community events that bring the whole down together, this gem nestled in lower Fairfield County has small town charm just about an hour from NYC.
Step off the train at the end of the day from your daily commute and life seems to slow down here. The primary train station, the end of the line for the New Canaan branch that departs from Stamford, anchors the downtown shopping area. Walk down Elm Street on your way home for some retail therapy. Or hop in the car from the Talmadge Hill train station, also in New Canaan, and be home in a matter of minutes. New Canaan offers four-season recreation, with playgrounds, ice skating in the coldest weather, nature walks and running trails, and even a man-made “beach” at Kiwanis Park.
Fairfield County NY
The 22.5 square miles that make up New Canaan are home to thousands of single-family homes. The almost 20,000 residents enjoy large private lots with plenty of greenery. The inspiration for The Preppy Handbook, this community does have that prep school vibe.
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New Canaan CT Commute Times
Schools in New Canaan CT
For the Kids
Kids here have lots of options to be well-dressed, as New Canaan boasts four children’s clothing stores. Groove, Candy Nichols, Ella & Henry, and Crewcuts will keep kids looking great. Browse the aisles at the New Canaan Toy Store for both nostalgic and trendy toys. Art & Soul offers pottery painting, beadwork, fused glass and mosaics. Kids can drop in to create their own masterpiece or sign up for camps and classes.
AMENITIES & RECREATION
Grace Farms is serene park with a fine art collection and event space that is open to visitors six days a week. Come tour the grounds, and grab a snack. There’s even a lake for catch-and-release fishing, athletic fields, and a 1-mile jogging track. Admission is free. Kiwanis Park is a man made swimming facility that uses clean spring water. Residents love coming to swim in the hot months. For those looking to spend the day, there is a pavilion with separate restrooms, a snack bar, a deck with picnic tables, and a large new play structure. Mead Memorial Park is located right next to downtown and contains baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, batting cages, a large pond, a playground area, and ice skating in the winter. Enjoy The Lodge at Mead Park, a snack bar with an open air eating area and restrooms. For the nature lovers, run the 3.5 miles of wooded trails at Waveny Park. This park also contains facilities for tennis, swimming, dog runs, and softball fields.
Food & Drink
New Canaan CT & Surrounding Area
Top 10 Restaurants
$$ . Seafood
$$ . American (New)
$$ . American (New)
$$ . Bars
$$ . American (New)
$$ . American (Traditional)
$ . Pizza
Most of New Canaan’s shopping takes place on Main Street and Elm Street. Shopping in this town makes for a delightful stroll on a lovely day. You’ll find housewares and gifts in stores like Design Solutions, Found, and Country Design. The Whitney Shop is a town staple. Park department store, part bridal registry, it’s been outfitting the homes of stylish residents since 1947. Another town mainstay is Pennyweights, a jewelry store with items at every price point. Little girls love coming in here to pick out birthday presents for their grade school friends as much as their moms love picking out everyday and special occassion baubles. Pick up clothing and accessories at Togs, J. McLaughlin, Family Brithces, Shoes N More, Vineyard Vines, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Town Players of New Canaan is a theater group that performs plays and other theatrical pieces. They perform at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center inside Waveny Park. The high school has a strong theatre department and that typical puts on two musicals and a play a year. The talent is strong and draws members of the community from outside the high school. The Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan holds musical theatre, dance, and acting classes for older kids and fairy tale theatre for the younger set. The New Canaan Dance Academy offers classes for adults down to kids as young as 18 months.
New Canaan started as a religious entity called Canaan Parish in 1731. Since settlers were still considered residents of Stamford of Norwalk, when New Canaan was finally incorporated in 1801 it had no town hall or main street. After the Revolutionary War, New Canaan went form being a primarily agricultural town to an industry of shoemaking. With the advent of the train, the town became a summer home haven for wealthy New York City residents looking to escape to greener pastures in the hot weather.
New Canaan is home to the one-of-a-kind architectural gem The Glass House. Built in the early 1950s by Philip Johnson, the house and almost 50 acres of land have been registered as a National Trust Historic Site. Tours of the site are available three seasons of year and include access to the grounds and the modern art collection at painting gallery building. The house is just as its title suggests: composed on the exterior of large plates of glass, the entire home is see-through, save for a small round bathroom and hearth structure. There are no interior walls to break up the view from one side of the house to another. The architect himself lived there until his death in 2005.