Danbury/Newtown/Monroe – Danbury, CT

Previously one of the country’s wealthiest counties, Fairfield County, Connecticut, continues to garner recognition for its affluent residents. In 2014, the Higby Elite 100 list named the Golden Triangle in Greenwich the richest neighborhood in the nation. While the shoreline area makes up the core part of Fairfield County, the six outlying cities and towns to the north — Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe, Newtown, and Sherman — share many of the same characteristics as the cities and towns in the shoreline area, including a beautiful suburban landscape and relatively close proximity to New York City.

Schools in Danbury/Newtown/Monroe

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Restaurants & Nightlife

As the largest city in outlying Fairfield County, Danbury houses some of the most vibrant nightlife, but the surrounding towns all have their favorite local eateries. Down the Hatch in Brookfield has been serving Candlewood Lake's boaters and other summer guests since 1946. While you can reach the restaurant by car, most of its guests come by boat to nosh on burgers, wraps, and fresh seafood dishes, such as steamed New England lobster and breaded sea scallops. The eatery provides limited indoor seating, but there's plenty of space on the outdoor patio, where you can soak up the sun while you eat. Down the Hatch also has several boat slips for guests. Danbury's Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant gives guests a taste of Caribbean, Latin, and Spanish fusion cuisine. A warm and cozy atmosphere set off by dark wood tones and exposed brick creates the ideal backdrop for diners who want to enjoy the flavorful food. From Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche to churrasco-style skirt steak with a dollop of chimichurri, Mezon's menu features choices sure to please every diner. The wine list includes popular vintages from Portugal and Spain that pair perfectly with the menu's offerings. Located in Bethel, La Zingara strives to give guests a taste of Tuscany. This farm-to-table restaurant grows much of the produce it uses on its own organic farm, and it uses local purveyors for everything else. Begin your meal with a fresh antipasti of Italian cured meats, along with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and candied walnuts, or choose a simple insalatina di Cesare. Main dishes include favorites such as spaghetti with shrimp, broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomatoes, and pan-roasted duck breast with a cranberry glaze. The menu changes seasonally, so you can experience new flavors throughout the year. Danbury is the ideal choice for a fine evening out on the town. Head to Rosy Tomorrows for some great cocktails and live music or to Molly Darcy's Irish Pub & Restaurant to sip beer and watch the big game.

History & Culture

Like most of Connecticut, Fairfield County has a rich history that starts with the Paquioque and Potatuck tribes, but it’s the more recent economic history that truly defines the area in modern times. Many corporations once headquartered in Manhattan moved to Fairfield County during the 1960s and 1970s. By the early 1990s, Fairfield County had the country’s third-largest concentration of multinational companies, trailing only Chicago and New York City. With its commutable proximity to New York City and easy access to the Metro North Railroad, many of the affluent executives who worked in New York City moved to Fairfield County for a more suburban life, which further boosted the county’s economy and wealth. Arts and culture is important in this part of Fairfield County. Danbury hosts the annual Connecticut Film Festival, as well as the state’s longest-running outdoor theater, the Musicals at Richter.


Most residents of Outlying Fairfield County use cars as their primary means of transportation, although public buses are also a popular choice. Town centers see the most pedestrian traffic, as many of the area’s neighborhoods are very spread out and have few sidewalks. Dedicated bike lanes are rare, although bikers are found almost everywhere throughout the region. Uber is an option, and cabs are plentiful, but be prepared to call to reserve one and then experience a short wait. When traveling by car, you shouldn’t have problems finding a place to park, with downtown Danbury possibly being an exception. It has plenty of metered parking and paid lots, but it gets crowded during the week. The other towns are generally more relaxed, so there’s no charge for most street parking. Depending on where you’re going to and coming from, it may take a while to get onto a highway. Even some of the major routes are simple two- or three-lane roads. The two most-traveled roads are I-84, which begins in Cheshire and runs straight through to New York State, and Route 7, which acts as the main path to the shoreline.


As you would expect from one of the country’s most affluent counties, life in Outlying Fairfield County comes at a price. A one-bedroom rental runs an average of $1,633 per month, which is roughly twice the national average. Groceries, utilities and transportation also run higher than the national average, though they aren't quite as inflated as the housing costs. Expect to pay roughly 20 percent more than the rest of the nation when you gas up your car in Fairfield County, and anywhere from $5 to $10 for a beer at a local pub.


Danbury Fair Mall is the undisputed center of shopping in Outlying Fairfield County. It's New England's fifth-largest mall, making it a destination rather than a simple place to shop. In addition to 200 retail stores and restaurants, the mall hosts many events and has a large double-decker carousel in the middle of the food court. For those who want a more intimate shopping experience, The Relay Bookhouse in Bethel and Mother Earth Gallery & Mining Co. in Brookfield are both good choices. For groceries, you'll find all of the big-name stores, including Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Walmart, and Costco, but it's the small stores that savvy shoppers favor. Caraluzzi's in Bethel has a popular deli and lots of fresh produce, and the American Pie Company in Sherman continues to win accolades for its baked goods. For fresh-from-the-farm produce, Monroe, Newtown, and Bethel all have popular farmers markets that are open from late June through mid-October.


Outlying Fairfield County has its fair share of parks and outdoor attractions, but Candlewood Lake attracts visitors from all over the state. As the largest lake in Connecticut, Candlewood Lake has a lot to offer, from boating and swimming activities to rocky cliffs waiting for daring divers. Pootatuck State Forest, which borders the northwest corner of the lake, and Bear Mountain Reserve to the south both allow mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, camping and nature-watching opportunities. Since Connecticut’s counties don't have county seats, each town has its own Department of Parks and Recreation to monitor and maintain their parks systems. From small parks with playscapes and picnic tables to large parks with baseball, football, basketball and volleyball facilities, this part of Fairfield County has plenty to keep families occupied. Parking is generally free for both residents and visitors. For canine lovers, New Milford and Southbury both have off-leash dog parks, though pets are also welcome in many of the parks as long as they are leashed.
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1 Kennedy Ave, Danbury, CT 06810
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53 Sand Pit Rd, Danbury, CT 06810
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30 Crosby St, Danbury, CT 06810
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