Many are surprised to learn that Norwalk is a town increasingly popular for its rich culture and sophisticated lifestyle. Stretching along the Long Island Sound with safe and sandy beaches great for swimming and sailing, and magnificent mansions doting the coast, Norwalk is garnering a reputation as the “New” Gold Coast. Comparable in many ways to its better known neighbors like Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, East Norwalk affords many of the same amenities and a lifestyle that have made these towns so desirable.

A commitment to culture and appetite for the arts is evident in an array of symphonies, operas, chorales and concerts regularly heard in several performance halls. The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and Norwalk Concert Hall expose the region to some of the best productions outside of New York City. Theater is lively, with shows of all genres mounted on local stages, whether it’s the classics of the outdoor “Shakespeare on the Sound” or original plays at Golden Globe-winner Keir Dullea’s Theatre Arts Workshop. Hollywood is finding Norwalk the perfect place as well, filming the city in blockbuster films such as The Stepford Wives with Nicole Kidman, The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, and an upcoming film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Year round, Norwalk’s calendar hosts art galas, antique shows, museum exhibits and festivals, including the Harbor Splash Festival, SoNo Arts Celebration, Oyster Festival (Norwalk is home to the nation’s largest oyster company), a Scottish heritage and athletics fest (complete with bagpipes and a hammer throw by competitors wearing kilts), the Lockwood Mathews Museum annual antique show, the Norwalk Boat Show (the largest in-water boat show on the East Coast), and programs at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center.

With many historic and memorial parks, and quaint Bed & Breakfasts, Norwalk is renowned for preserving its New England charm and was recently designated a “Preserve America Community” for its long history of dedication to historic preservation. A long list of sites on the National Register of Historical Places including three lighthouses (most notably the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, at the southern end of the Norwalk Islands) represents Norwalk’s rich history dating back to its beginnings in 1651.

Today, Norwalk has a multitude of unique shops, art galleries and a collection of some of the finest and most diverse restaurants in the region (250 in all, featuring Italian, Spanish, Irish, Indian, Greek, French, and Japanese cuisines, among others, and steak houses and upscale grills, plus fresh seafood, gourmet pizza and microbreweries). For sure, fresh seafood and waterside dining is a city staple. And, in historic South Norwalk (SoNo), a restored 19th century waterfront village, one can find exceptional art and antique galleries and unique shoppes and boutiques offering upscale treasures.

With a rich and sophisticated culture, an active arts and charity community replete with black-tie balls and fundraisers, and being located just 40 miles northeast of New York City, with easy access to highways, train stations and airports, it’s no surprise that Norwalk has been repeatedly recognized in national surveys as one of the best places to live.

Bordering beautiful Long Island Sound, Norwalk balances a flourishing economy with a suburban and residential atmosphere. The presence of commuter rail service is appealing to many, although the town has welcomed an influx of offices and research facilities that have added more employment opportunities close to home. The lovely harbor enhances the quality of life, evolving into one of New England’s largest and most popular recreational marinas.

Norwalk has been named by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live in the nation, offering everything from modest homes in the heart of Norwalk to waterfront developments like the scenic harbor village of Rowayton. The revitalized downtown district of SoNo, the area’s active cultural community, good schools, and superb recreational advantages will continue to maintain Norwalk’s place at the pinnacle of desirability.

Town Government

Norwalk Chamber of Commerce