NORWALK, Conn. -- Although separated from the Connecticut coast by only a few nautical miles in certain places, Long Island’s North Shore offers boat owners unforgettable day trips and the chance to explore some of the region’s most off-the-grid destinations.
Less than an hour’s boat ride from the Norwalk Harbor, the quaint seaport towns of Huntington, Northport and Port Jefferson harken back to the Northeast’s maritime roots. Largely free from the urbanization found on the Connecticut coast, these picturesque retreats allow those looking to step back in time to enjoy an afternoon strolling the tree-lined streets of a quaint Northeast port.
Directly across the Sound from Norwalk lies the Huntington Sound. This bay serves as a deep-water harbor for the hamlets of Northport, Huntington, Centerport, and Eaton’s Neck. For those standing on the Connecticut shoreline, the bay stretches westward from the highly recognizable smokestacks of Northport to the visible sandy cliffs of Caumsett State Park. Boaters departing Norwalk should set a course for the smokestacks and simply follow the channel markers as they approach landfall.
Secluded in the easternmost corner of the bay is the village of Northport. Unlike the urban bustle of South Norwalk and Stamford, Northport welcomes visitors with a small-town main street a stone's throw away from transient slips. Clapboard siding buildings weathered from decades of salt air tout numerous local food, artwork, and crafts. All around are reminders of the town’s rich seafaring heritage, paying homage to past generations who made their living from the sea. The history, beauty, and relaxed family atmosphere allow even a day tripper to get lost in the vacation vibe.
Looking for a bite to eat? More than a dozen eateries catering to nearly every palate can be found within a short walk from the docks. Those looking to maximize time in the sun are able to order food to go and enjoy their meal anchored in the harbor’s calm water. As the sun begins to set, the North Shore residents are treated to the sun setting over the water, something never seen this side of the Sound due to Connecticut’s geography. If you are looking for a quick getaway on Saturday afternoon, look no further than Long Island’s North Shore.
Although no direct ferry runs from Connecticut to Northport, those with a vessel are able to dock downtown for a daily rate of $3 per foot.
John Haffey Jr. is a Norwalk resident and Long Island Sound enthusiast and has navigated and fished Coastal Connecticut for years.