I apologize in advance for the myriad of photos in this post, but when it comes to lighthouses, ferry rides, and hydrangeas bushes the size of a small Christmas tree, more is better!;-) In the next town over from Rowayton in the South Norwalk District, there is an aquarium and busy nightlife of bars and restaurants, but there's also a somewhat hidden gem— a ferry that takes you to Sheffield Island Lighthouse.
In a thirty minute ferry ride, you arrive on a remote island that is maintained by the Norwalk Seaport Association. The lighthouse was built in 1868 and was in service until 1902, but has continued to be preserved as an important historic landmark, even through natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. The island also has a few nature trails and beautiful shoreline to walk along, where you'll notice a ton of clam and oyster shells. Norwalk used to be one of the biggest producers of oysters in the world and even provided oysters for the Titanic!
Who: Friends, family, etc… although there are no bathrooms, only outhouses.
What: Sheffield Island Lighthouse, one of Connecticut's oldest lighthouses and an official
historic place on the National Registry.
Where: Sheffield Island is only accessible by the ferry— or you own boat.
Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, it's pretty rocky in some areas.
When: The ferry is only open from June until the end of August.
Why: If you are a lighthouse connoisseur, like myself, or enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline
(on a clear day), you'll be in heaven.
Tyro Tidbit: Pack a picnic! After the lighthouse tour you have about an hour to yourself
on the island, what could be better than looking out on the horizon with a sweet treat?