New Canaan Travel Guide

A comprehensive tour guide for New Canaan, including places to visit, hiking/biking routes, best things to do, where to stay, local culture, safety, and transportation options.

Introduction to New Canaan

New Canaan is a beautiful town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and welcoming community. There’s a lot to see and do in this charming town, making it an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy a relaxing vacation or explore the beauty of nature. In this tour guide, we’re going to explore the best of New Canaan, including the places to visit, hiking and biking routes, local culture, safety, and transportation options.

List of Places to Visit in New Canaan

New Canaan boasts various cultural and natural attractions worth visiting. Let’s explore some of the must-visit places in the town.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

New Canaan has numerous historic and cultural places that offer visitors insights into the town’s rich heritage. Some of these places include:

  • New Canaan Historical Society Museum: This museum has exhibits that showcase the town’s history, including its development over the years.

  • The Glass House: The Glass House, also known as the Philip Johnson Glass House, is a significant architecture site that houses various exhibitions and collections of art and design.

  • Selleck’s Woods: Selleck’s Woods is a park that offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and historical sites, including the remnants of a Native American fort.

Natural Attractions of New Canaan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

New Canaan has an abundance of scenic views and natural attractions that visitors can explore. Here are some of the natural attractions in the town:

  • Waveny Park: Waveny Park is a 250-acre park that boasts beautiful gardens, hiking trails, sports facilities, and playgrounds.

  • Silvermine Arts Center: Silvermine Arts Center is a cultural institution that offers visitors a chance to explore the art and history of the area with exhibitions, events, and hands-on workshops.

  • Grace Farms: Grace Farms is a public space that offers various outdoor activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and landscape photography.

Hiking/Biking Routes of New Canaan

New Canaan has various hiking and biking trails that visitors can explore. These trails offer visitors a chance to explore the town’s natural beauty while getting some exercise. Here are some of the hiking and biking trails in the town:

  • New Canaan Nature Center: The nature center has several trails that visitors can explore, including the Woodland Trail, the Maple Syrup Trail, and the Bird Watching Trail.

  • Merritt Parkway Trail: The trail is a paved path that runs parallel to the Merritt Parkway Road and is ideal for cycling, running, and walking.

  • Devil’s Den Preserve: The Devil’s Den Preserve is a natural reserve that offers hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels.

Best Things to Do in New Canaan: Activities and Tours

New Canaan has several activities and tours that visitors can enjoy. These activities offer visitors a chance to explore the town’s culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to do in New Canaan:

  • New Canaan Farmers Market: This market offers visitors a chance to explore the town’s local produce and products, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade products.

  • New Canaan Artisans: New Canaan Artisans is a cooperative art gallery that displays and sells artwork from various local artists.

  • New Canaan Library: The library offers visitors a chance to explore the town’s literary culture by browsing through an extensive collection of books, attending literary events, and participating in workshops and classes.

Week-Long Itinerary for New Canaan

Visitors who want to explore all that New Canaan has to offer can follow this week-long itinerary:

Day Activity
1 Visit The Glass House and explore the New Canaan Historical Society Museum
2 Hike the Woodland Trail at the New Canaan Nature Center
3 Explore the Silvermine Arts Center and participate in a workshop
4 Visit the Waveny Park and enjoy a picnic lunch
5 Attend an event at the New Canaan Library and explore the local literary culture
6 Cycle the Merritt Parkway Trail and enjoy scenic views
7 Take a tour of the Devil’s Den Preserve and enjoy the natural beauty of the area

Food and Drink Scene of New Canaan

New Canaan has a thriving food and drink scene that visitors can explore. Visitors can enjoy the town’s local cuisine, beverages, and nightlife.

Must-Try Dishes

Here are some of the must-try dishes in New Canaan:

  • Lobster Roll: The Lobster Roll is a local delicacy that is available at the town’s seafood restaurants.

  • New England Clam Chowder: The New England Clam Chowder is a rich and creamy soup that is made with fresh clams and potatoes.

  • Apple Cider Donuts: The Apple Cider Donuts are made with fresh apple cider and are a local favorite.

Local Beverages

New Canaan has several local beverages that visitors can try, including:

  • Beer: Visitors can enjoy locally brewed beers at local breweries, including the Bootlegger Brewery and the Two Roads Brewing Company.

  • Wine: Visitors can enjoy locally sourced wines at local wineries, including the Silver Spring Vineyards and the Gouveia Vineyards.

Where to Stay in New Canaan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

New Canaan has a broad range of accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Visitors can choose from budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodations. Here are some popular options:

  • Roger Sherman Inn: The Roger Sherman Inn is a boutique hotel that offers luxury accommodations.

  • The Karl Chevrolet Hotel: The Karl Chevrolet Hotel is a mid-range hotel that offers comfortable rooms and is located near popular attractions.

  • New Canaan Inn Bed & Breakfast: The New Canaan Inn Bed & Breakfast is a guesthouse that offers affordable rooms and is located in a quiet residential neighborhood.

What to Buy in New Canaan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Visitors can buy various souvenirs and local products in New Canaan. Here are some popular options:

  • Handmade Pottery: Visitors can buy locally made pottery at the Silvermine Arts Center.

  • **Locally Made Gourmet Food: **Visitors can buy locally made gourmet food products, including jams, honey, and baked goods.

  • Local Artwork: Visitors can buy original artwork made by local artists at the New Canaan Artisans Co-op.

Local Culture and Customs of New Canaan

New Canaan has a unique culture that visitors can explore. Here are some of the town’s customs and traditions:

  • The New Canaan Farmers Market: The Farmers Market is a weekly gathering where locals sell their homemade products, including food, jewelry, and crafts.

  • The New Canaan Memorial Day Parade: The Memorial Day Parade is an annual event that honors the town’s military heroes and veterans.

  • The New Canaan Christmas Tree Lighting: The Christmas tree lighting is an annual event that kicks off the town’s holiday season celebrations.

Best Time to Visit New Canaan

The best time to visit New Canaan is from April to October, when the weather is mild, and visitor attractions and outdoor activities are open. The town’s peak season is in the summer, when visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, festivals, and events.

Do’s and Don’ts of New Canaan

Here are some do’s and don’ts for visitors to New Canaan:


  • Explore the local nature and hiking trails: New Canaan has several hiking trails and outdoor attractions that are worth exploring.

  • Buy local products: Visitors can support the town’s local economy by buying locally made products, including food, artwork, and crafts.

  • Participate in local events: Visitors can immerse themselves in the town’s culture by attending local festivals and events.


  • Litter: Visitors should not litter, as New Canaan has strict littering laws that are strictly enforced.

  • Trespass on private property: Visitors should respect private property and not trespass or damage it.

  • Ignore safety precautions: Visitors should be mindful of safety precautions, especially when hiking or participating in outdoor activities.

Safety and Health

New Canaan is a safe and healthy town to visit, but visitors should be mindful of safety precautions and health concerns.

Safety in New Canaan

New Canaan is a safe town, with low crime rates and a strong police presence. Visitors should be mindful of standard safety precautions, such as locking doors and securing valuables.

Health in New Canaan

New Canaan has medical facilities and emergency services that visitors can access in case of health emergencies. Visitors should also be mindful of ticks and Lyme disease, a common health concern in the area.

Getting to New Canaan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Visitors can travel to New Canaan via various transportation options, including:

Airports Near New Canaan

  • Westchester County Airport: The Westchester County Airport is the closest airport to New Canaan and is located approximately 17 miles away.

  • LaGuardia Airport: LaGuardia Airport is located approximately 40 miles away from New Canaan.

Bus Stations Near New Canaan

  • Stamford Bus Terminal: The Stamford Bus Terminal is located approximately 8 miles away from New Canaan.

  • Port Chester Bus Terminal: The Port Chester Bus Terminal is located approximately 10 miles away from New Canaan.

Other Options

Visitors can also travel to New Canaan via car or train. The Metro-North Railroad has a station in New Canaan, making travel via train an easy option.

How to Get Around in New Canaan

Visitors can get around in New Canaan via several transportation options, including rental cars, taxis, and bicycles. The town also has an excellent public transportation system, including buses and a train service, making travel easy and convenient.

Where to Go Next from New Canaan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Visitors can explore nearby destinations and excursions from New Canaan, including:

  • Stamford: Stamford is a vibrant city that is located approximately 8 miles away from New Canaan. It has various attractions, including art galleries, theaters, and restaurants.

  • New York City: New York City is located approximately 50 miles away from New Canaan and is an exciting day trip destination with a range of attractions and activities.

  • Greenwich: Greenwich is a town located approximately 10 miles away from New Canaan. It boasts various cultural and natural attractions, including museums, parks, and beaches.


New Canaan has something to offer everyone, from natural attractions to cultural institutions, outdoor activities to local cuisines. This comprehensive guide provides visitors with all the information they need to plan their trip to this charming town. With so much to see and do, a visit to New Canaan is sure to be an unforgettable experience.