Westport, an artists’ community since the turn of the 20th century, continues to attract creative types. Despite commuters and corporations, the town remains more artsy and cultured than its neighbors. Westport has a vibrant downtown, generates a feeling of a New England town with the convenience of modern life. The town provides a wide range of leisure activities and recreational venues. The town is located on Long Island Sound, and has three beaches located on the coast. Continue reading our Westport Connecticut Travel Guide and plan your next vacation to this wonderful beach-side community.
Weather (When to Go)
In Westport, the summers are warm and humid, the winters are very cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 23°F to 83°F and is rarely below 9°F or above 90°F. The warm season is from June thru mid September, with an average daily high temperature of 73°F. The hottest time of the year is July with an average high of 83°F. The best time of year to visit Westport for is from early July to late August.
Top Westport Attractions
Sherwood Island State Park
Summer visitors congregate at this state park, which has a 1½-mile sweep of sandy beach, two picnic areas on the water’s edge, sports fields, and several food stands (open seasonally). The on-site nature center offers various programs from bird-watching to nature walks. Note that there’s a parking fee Memorial Day–Labor Day.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
The indoor, walk-through South American rain forest alone justifies a visit to this zoo. It comes alive with dozens of species, some rare and endangered, such as keel-billed toucans, broad-snouted caimans, and black-and-gold howler monkeys living in a lush environment of waterfalls, ponds, greenery, and bamboo. The zoo itself has 36 acres of exhibits featuring bison, tigers, timber wolves, and proud peacocks that freely roam the property right along with you. There’s also a working carousel and a New England farmyard.
Lockwood Mathews Mansion
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Built by renowned financier and railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood from 1864-1868, the Mansion, with its unparalleled architecture and interiors, illustrates magnificently the beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era.
The Maritime Aquarium
The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.
Sheffield Island Lighthouse
Sheffield Island with its historic 145-year-old lighthouse, beaches and wildlife refuge offers abundant summer fun for visitors. From May through September, visitors can board the Seaport Association’s 45-foot C.J. Toth catamaran for a cruise to the island then tour the lighthouse, observe wildlife in their natural habitat in the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, hunt for shells along the beach, dine on a picnic lunch, play on the lawns around the lighthouse and just have a good time.
Things to do in Westport
Westport Bike Rentals
Explore beaches, nature preserves, and the coastal towns from South Norwalk to Black Rock on a unisex beach bike cruiser. They’ll give you a fun way to exercise: ride all day or go slow. Choose an all day rental or a guided bike tour. For more information call +1 203-917-9533, or visit them on the web at Westport Bike Rentals.
Longshore Sailing School
Longshore Sailing School is a community sailing and rental facility located at the mouth of the Saugatuck River on Long Island Sound. In addition to our junior and adult learn to sail programs, we offer sailboat, kayak, and paddle-board rentals, provide private lessons, and host private events. For more information call +1 203-226-4646, or visit them on the web at Longshore Sailing School.
Full-Service Stand Up Paddle Boarding & Kayaking! Downunder is the only operation of its kind in Connecticut – 3 locations, on-water, retail and rental of stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), sit-on-top kayaks, and all the equipment, fashions and accessories that go with them. For more information call +1 203-956-6217, or visit them on the web at Downunder.
Pedego Electric Bikes SoNo
Head into Pedego SoNo and rent one of their amazing, exciting Electric Bikes. When you ride a Pedego you won’t want to ride any other bike. For more information call +1 203-354-9333, or visit them on the web at Pedego Electric Bikes SoNo.
Enjoy a relaxing 2 hour cruise through the Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine and take in the unique views of the city and the surrounding waterways. Our cruises run every Wednesday & Friday evenings during the summer. For more information call +1 203-838-9444, or visit them on the web at Seaport Association.
Compo Beach is a 29 acre park with an extensive sand beach along the shore of Long Island Sound and borders the Saugatuck River. It is handicapped accessible with a boardwalk, pavilion, concession stand, two sand volleyball courts, large wooden playscape, bathroom facilities and lockers, and is adjacent to the Ned Dimes Marina. Compo Beach daily passes are limited to 100 per day. The beach is open year round. All cars must vacate by midnight. Motor vehicles and motorcycles may enter the beach with a valid Parks and Recreation vehicle parking emblem or by paying the daily fee.
Burying Hill Beach
Burying Hill Beach is a 2.39 acre park with sand and rock beach along the shore of Long Island Sound. It has restroom and changing area facilities, picnic tables, grills and is adjacent to a wildlife area along the canal that borders the park. The park is open May 1 through Sept. 30 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Motor vehicles and motorcycles may enter the beach with a valid Parks and Recreation vehicle parking emblem or by paying the daily fee.
Old Mill Beach
Old Mill Beach is a 1.8 acre park with sandy beach along the shore of Long Island Sound. It does not have restroom or changing area facilities and has limited parking available. The park is open May 1 through Sept. 30 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Motor vehicles and motorcycles may enter the beach with a valid Parks and Recreation vehicle parking emblem and a daily fee is not available. No lifeguards on duty, swim at your own risk.
Best Westport Restaurants
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$$$ The Whelk Restaurant
This upscale seafood bar serves straight-from-the-sea clams, oysters, and fish inventively prepared and exquisitely presented. The clean lines of the dining room give the nearly always crowded restaurant a maritime feel that perfectly complements the food. For more information call +1 203-557–0902, or visit them on the web at The Whelk Restaurant.
$$$$ Da Pietro’s Restaurant
This romantic storefront café serves a savory mix of northern Italian and southern French specialties lovingly prepared by chef-owner Pietro Scotti. Lobster pappardelle, sautéed sea scallops with mushroom risotto, and Parmesan-crusted salmon with pesto linguine are all delicious choices. Save room for the warm chocolate-lava cake. For more information call +1 203-454-1213, or visit them on the web at Da Pietro’s Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Westport Garden Cafe
Within the garden store Terrain, you’ll find a quaint café that offers exquisitely prepared cuisine using locally sourced organic produce so fresh you’ll want to become a gardener yourself. Entrées like line-caught Atlantic cod with squash risotto, or the braised beef short ribs are served with a delicious (and frankly adorable) terra-cotta pot of baked bread. The delectable Terrain burger usually comes on either a crosssection of a tree trunk or a thin slab of slate. For more information call +1 203-226-2750, or visit them on the web at Westport Garden Cafe.
$$ – $$$ Dressing Room
Beside the Wesport Country Playhouse, this pretheater favorite celebrates regional American, farm-to-table cuisine. Many ingredients are sourced locally; others come from prominent ranches and farms around the country. Highlights include baby back ribs served with an apple-cabbage slaw, and seasonal items like the Connecticut lobster succotash with fresh corn, zucchini, and roasted peppers. A huge fieldstone fireplace warms the rustic-chic dining room, with its sturdy ceiling beams and barn-board walls. For more information call +1 203-226-1114, or visit them on the web at Dressing Room.
$$ – $$$ The Spotted Horse Tavern
The Spotted Horse Tavern is a neighborhood respite where folks gather over great food and drink. Housed in Westport’s historic Sherwood House (circa 1808), the design is modern in its interpretation, with a nod to the historic building’s colonial past. The menu is in keeping with our local food movement but we don’t beat you over the head with it. Organic, clean, distinctive flavors find their way into each dish by way of unique ingredient combinations and thoughtful preparations, and favorite comfort foods are left to speak for themselves. For more information call +1 203-557-9393, or visit them on the web at The Spotted Horse Tavern.
Best Westport Nightlife
The Spotted Horse Tavern
The food is fine and worth the prices – the drinks are great! They have a wonderful outside area in front and lively Happy Hours! Some nights, they have a band if you’re into that. This restaurant is appropriate for everyone – families will feel comfortable here as will anyone wanting a nice restaurant and a great bar. For more information call +1 203-557-9393, or visit them on the web at The Spotted Horse Tavern.
Our House SoNo
Our House also has a basement where DJ’s spin today’s music for those who want to dance and let loose. The basement has a bar and couches reminiscent of a real house party mixed with a trendy nightclub. Two floors of fun and great energy keep Our House as the flagship new concept in SoNo. Don’t miss out on this great bar and eatery, stop in and meet the family tonight! For more information call +1 203-939-1347, or visit them on the web at Our House SoNo.
The Blind Rhino
Great Food & Great Service with 28 TV’s and all of the Sports Packages! Come for a game, or just a bite & a beer! For more information call +1 203-956-7243, or visit them on the web at The Blind Rhino.
Bartaco – Westport
Really good food and drinks. Dragonfly sangria is amazing. Service is excellent. The wait can be incredibly long at times. However, this shouldn’t deter me from visiting! For more information call +1 203-222-8226, or visit them on the web at Bartaco – Westport.
A great beer bar in SoNo. Fantastic staff, great tap line up, nice clean bar with consistent service. The beers are rarer, harder to find beers so you will pay a slight premium. Big plus is they publish their beer menu online so it makes it easy your beer selection. For more information visit them on the web at Spigot Beer.
Best Westport Hotels
Hotel Zero Degrees
The hotel features original art by local artists and galleries throughout the hotel. Enjoy sophisticate style and supreme comfort in one of the 96 spacious guest rooms. The modern, upscale rooms have been designed to work how you live. There are three zones for flexible living: the restful night, the wind down lounge, and the productive work areas sync together as versatile space. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel Zero Degrees.
Delamar Greenwich Harbor
Delamar Greenwich Harbor offers a luxury waterfront escape to those traveling on business or pleasure, with 82 deluxe guest rooms and elegant suites. All guest rooms and suites are designed with the utmost comfort in mind and feature fine Italian linens, stately working desks, spa inspired bathrooms and stunning views of Greenwich Harbor and the town. Many harbor view rooms offer private balconies and several suites feature gas burning fireplaces and can adjoin to accommodate larger parties. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Delamar Greenwich Harbor.
Delamar Southport offers 44 individually designed luxurious rooms and suites, a full service spa, and Artisan Restaurant which offers New England-inspired cuisine. Each of the spacious guest rooms and suites has luxurious baths, marble floors, the finest European bath products and Italian linens. They are also complete with two phone lines, hard-wired and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Delamar Southport.
EVEN Hotel Norwalk
EVEN Hotel rooms welcome wellness-minded travelers with a modern sanctuary designed to promote much-needed rest, productive work environments and energy-boosting workouts. Each room features an in-room fitness zone, spa-like showers to unwind and invigorate, and restful touches like cooling eucalyptus sheets and adjustable LED lights to set the perfect ambiance. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit EVEN Hotel Norwalk.
Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk
Stay in the heart of the Norwalk and Wilton business districts at the Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk hotel. Enjoy complimentary shuttle service to local restaurants, offices, the South Norwalk Train Station and LA Fitness. Our hotel is minutes from the vibrant SoNo waterfront district featuring a lively mix of shops and restaurants. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk.