Named after the town in England, Greenwich is located in Fairfield County and was the 10th town settled in Connecticut, between 1633 and 1640. Many nations, including the Netherlands, claimed rights to the area until 1650, when the Dutch agreed on boundary lines with the colony of New Haven and control reverted to the colony. Many settlers farmed the land and shipped loads of produce and other goods. The town saw the construction of a railroad in 1848, which increased growth and development.
Today, Greenwich real estate benefits from proximity to New York City (less than 40 miles away) and comprises many different types of homes, including everything from small, historic cottages to large, upscale mansions and estates. The town is made up of several distinct hamlets; each considered part of the Town of Greenwich – Glenville, Pemberwick, Byram, Chickahominy, Greenwich, Backcountry, Midcountry, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich. There are five ZIP codes in town – Greenwich (06830 & 06831), Cos Cob (06807), Old Greenwich (06870) and Riverside (06978).
There are roughly 64,000 residents in Greenwich, and the median estimated value of most Greenwich real estate was $1,200,323 in 2009, up from $691,000 in 2000. Most residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, with 27 percent of residents age 25 years and older holding a graduate degree of some type. More than 62 percent of residents are currently married. The city enjoys a very low crime rate compared to the national average and employs about three officers per 1,000 residents. Many residents work in the finance and insurance industries as well as professional, scientific and technical services.
Shopping and Dining
Greenwich attracts people from all over for its shopping, especially along its most famous street, Greenwich Avenue, which has often been compared to Rodeo Drive in California. Although high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co. have taken up shop on the one-way street, the area retains a small-town, historic feel with smaller, specialty boutiques such as Betteridge Jewelers and police officers directing traffic at the intersections. Richards is another premier shopping destination, offering fine clothing from Ralph Lauren to Hermes. Shops also line Route 1, also known as the Post Road or locally, Putnam Avenue.
Dining in the area is just as unique as the shopping experience, since many of the restaurants are locally owned. Méli-Mélo offers French fare such as crepes, soups and homemade desserts, while Terra Ristorante Italiano offers Northern Italian cuisine. Other hotspots include Barcelona Wine Bar and The Ginger Man, among others.
Parks and Recreation
Located on Long Island Sound, Greenwich offers both indoor and outdoor attractions, from the beach to playgrounds to museums.
The Bruce Museum offers people of all ages a unique look at science, art and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. The museum’s Seaside Center, part of the Floren Family Environmental Center in the newly restored Innis Arden Cottage at Greenwich Point, is a beachside museum aiming to educate visitors about the ecology of Long Island Sound and environmental issues.
The beaches of Greenwich include Byram Beach, where boats can dock, residents can swim in the town pool and sports enthusiasts can play tennis on the lighted courts or play ball on the lighted field. At Greenwich Point, known locally as Tod’s Point, activities include jogging, walking, cycling, nature study, boating, fishing, sailboarding, sun bathing, swimming and picnicking.
Island Beach is a small island off the coast of Greenwich that is accessible only by the ferry that docks in Greenwich Harbor. Visitors can enjoy a small food court and a relaxing beach.
There are also several parks and playgrounds throughout town, including Babcock Preserve, Loughlin Playground, Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, Binney Park, Bruce Park and more. Residents may also enjoy the many town tennis courts, the town-owned, non-private Griffith E. Harris Golf Course and Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink, named for the 1976 Olympic ladies single ice skating champion and former Greenwich resident.
The town also provides youth and adult recreational sports teams, and the civic centers offer facility-based programs such as art and music.
There are mix of public and private schools for residents of Greenwich to choose from.
The town has 11 public elementary schools, three public middle schools and one public high school. There is also the Greenwich Public School Preschool, ARCH School and the Community Learning Program. For more information about Greenwich Public Schools, visit http://www.greenwichschools.org.
Private schools include the all-boys Brunswick School, the all-girls Greenwich Academy, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich Country Day School and more. For more information about private schools in Greenwich, visit http://www.greenwichctonline.com/schools.htm.
Greenwich has its own Metro-North Railroad station, which runs along the New Haven Line. Grand Central Terminal in New York City is a 41-minute to 57-minute train ride, depending on if one grabs an express or local train. For train schedules, visit mta.info and select Greenwich.
Westchester County Airport is the nearest airport at 18 miles away from downtown Greenwich. John F. Kennedy Airport is 38 miles away, and LaGuardia International Airport is 32 miles away.
Interstate 95 and the Route 15, known as the Merritt Parkway, both run through the town.