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Welcome to our Meeting and Event Planning Guide for Stamford, a City Guide for meeting professionals. Conveniently located 25 miles east of New York City, the Greater Stamford area is an authentic coastal New England destination that offers rich history, a maritime heritage and lively urban and suburban elements. The Fairfield County city serves as an accessible meeting destination with a variety of unique venues within reach of New York City, as well as an enjoyable vacation spot, thanks to its host of attractions, shops and fine restaurants.
Stamford sits within a two-hour drive of six airports, which include all airports of the Greater New York City area: Westchester County Airport, Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Bradley International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Once in Stamford, visitors can access the CTtransit bus system, which operates 20 local routes in the Greater Stamford area, as well as ride the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, which connects Fairfield County with New York City's Grand Central Terminal and Hartford’s Union Station.
The largest venue in Stamford is Chelsea Piers CT, an upscale sports complex that offers 80,000 square feet of trade show and exhibition space. Other meeting and event venues in Greater Stamford include the beautiful Dolce Norwalk and modern Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Conference Center. Located within eight miles of Stamford, Dolce Norwalk is an all-inclusive meeting destination in a 66-acre retreat setting. Dolce Norwalk offers 21,200 square feet of International Association of Conference Centers-certified space, which includes 31 meeting rooms and an amphitheater, as well as 120 guest rooms, on-site dining and a host of amenities. Situated within minutes of downtown Stamford, the 484-room Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Conference Center offers 43,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot conference center. Guests can gather in such spaces as a 10,240-square-foot Grand Ballroom and 7,200-square-foot climate-controlled tent and pavilion.
Many of the attractions and popular sites in the Stamford area double as unique venues that serve as fantastic meeting and event spaces. Located in New Canaan, the striking 1949-built Phillip Johnson Glass House celebrates modern architecture, landscape and art throughout its art collection and architectural features like glass exterior walls and an absence of interior walls. This National Trust Historic Site welcomes visitors and groups to join a number of tours, as well as offering private event space throughout its grounds. A second architectural attraction in the Stamford area, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, is recognized as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire-style country houses in the country. Built between 1864 and 1868, the house with beautiful Gilded Age interiors and furnishings has been featured on the America's Castles television series and in the movie The Stepford Wives. Groups can hold events in the home's newly renovated first floor, which features a rotunda with 42-foot-tall ceilings and four furnished period rooms.
Additional unique venues include the historic Palace Theater in Waterbury, which welcomes full-venue rentals for its 2,565-seat theater, as well as smaller group rentals. The Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport serves as a popular sports and entertainment venue, as well as a fantastic option for corporate and special events held on its 23,000-square-foot arena floor, 16,000-square-foot arena concourse and in a variety of breakout rooms. For a group event with a taste of the exotic, Beardsley Zoo welcomes groups to gather in indoor and outdoor spaces scattered throughout its 52-acre property.
Beyond its wealth of meeting sites and unique venues, Stamford is home to a number of corporate headquarters and branch campuses for the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University.
A quintessential New England destination with waterfront attractions, a peaceful countryside and a vibrant arts scene, Stamford is much more than a city within reach of New York City (not that that hurts). The 37.3-square-mile coastal city sits 25 miles northeast of New York City, 40 miles southwest of New Haven and 90 miles south of Hartford, Connecticut's capital city. Stamford's fantastic location puts visitors within easy access of a range of sites, ranging from those offering serene Long Island Sound views to those near the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
Stamford area's maritime heritage is demonstrated and celebrated at many of its popular attractions. At the entrance to nearby Norwalk Harbor, the 44-foot Sheffield Island Lighthouse exemplifies the stone mid-Victorian lighthouse so often associated with New England. Visitors can tour the lighthouse's 10 rooms and 1826 keeper's house during the summer months, as well as explore the nature trails around the lighthouse site. The lighthouse can be accessed via ferry from the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. Devoted solely to the marine life of Long Island Sound, the Maritime Aquarium showcases varieties of crabs, lobster, mollusks, jellies, sea turtles and sharks, among other species. Aquarium visitors can also take in an IMAX show at the facility. Offering another look at Stamford's heritage, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, the 118-acre former estate of Henri Bendel, welcomes visitors to walk its 80 acres of nature trails, watch otters play at its otter pond and discover Italian sculptures throughout its grounds. The museum's 10-acre Heckscher Farm is home to a series of barns and dozens of farm animals, as well as a maple sugar house and vegetable garden, while the museum's collections focus on the natural history of New England, American art, Native-American art and cultures, American history and culture.
Fairfield County's artistic scene can be examined at the Weir Farm National Historic Site, which was once operated as a summer retreat and creative refuge and owned by the artist J. Alden Weir. As the only National Park Service site dedicated to American painting, the 60-acre locale in Wilton enables guests to bird watch, walk through its gardens and create art with its free art supplies. When it's time for some family-friendly recreation, Shelton's Sports Center of Connecticut features such options as the world's only double-decker NHL ice arena, as well as a driving range, mini golf course, video arcade, batting cages and laser tag arena.
The Stamford area is bursting with a variety of fine restaurants, many of which offer private group dining space. Located in Greenwich, L'escale serves an inventive Provencal menu in a Mediterranean French atmosphere, Downtown Stamford's Aria serves such savory Italian options as gnocchi in basil pesto sauce, while Napa & Co specializes in organic and innovative wine country cuisine. Bridgeport's Joseph's Steakhouse is known for its USDA Prime dry-aged beef. Situated in the corner of a historic inn and offering uninterrupted views of Long Island Sound, Westport's Splash features a menu of American and Asian flavors.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Greater Stamford experiences a relatively mild year-round climate marked by four distinct seasons and low average snowfall. January temperatures reach an average high of 35°F and a low of 18°F, while July temperatures reach an average high of 84°F and a low of 63°F. Year-round average temperatures range from 62°F to 40°F. The city experiences an annual average of 53 inches of rain, spread evenly throughout the year, and an annual average of 28 inches of snowfall.
Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Developed by the same team that built and currently manages the highly acclaimed Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment in New York City, Chelsea Piers Connecticut provides an athletic environment that is comparable in scope to a college athletic complex. Facilities include an aquatic center, tennis, squash and basketball courts, field and track and more. Corporate meetings can rent space and facilities for team building, while trade shows and receptions for groups of up to 2,000 can be held at the 80,000-square-foot Field House.
Bradley International Airport (BDL)
Bradley International Airport sits 92 miles from Stamford in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The airport’s terminal has two concourses that service nine international airlines and 6.5 million passengers per year.
Airline carriers serving Bradley International Airport:
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Located 40 miles from Stamford in Queens County, John F. Kennedy International Airport served nearly 48 million passengers in 2011. The airport features eight terminals, 125 gates and more than 18,000 parking spaces, as well as extensive shops and restaurants.
Airline carriers serving John F. Kennedy International Airport:
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
LaGuardia Airport sits 33 miles from Stamford in Northern Queens. The airport’s four terminals served 24 million passengers in 2011. The airport houses a variety of shops and restaurants in each terminal, as well as 4,900 parking spaces.
Airline carriers serving LaGuardia Airport:
Operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line connects Stamford with New York City's Grand Central Terminal. MTA's entire system serves 12 New York counties and two Connecticut counties. The New Haven Line runs daily; fare is determined by destination and length of trip.
The state-owned CTtransit bus service operates more than 30 local and 12 express bus routes. Most of the 15 routes that provide service to Stamford operate daily. Regular bus fare is $1.75 for adults and $1.40 for children ages 5 to 18. An all-day pass costs $3.25, while a three-day pass costs $8.75, a five-day pass costs $14.00, a seven-day pass costs $19.25 and a 10-ride pass costs $15.75.
Open daily from midnight to 2:30 AM and 4:30 AM to midnight, the Stamford Amtrak station is located at Washington Boulevard and South State Street. The station serves the Vermonter, which offers daily service between Washington DC and St. Albans, Vermont, as well as the Northeast Regional, which offers service between Boston and Virginia Beach. In addition to the Vermonter and Northeast Regional, the Stamford station serves the Acela Express, which offers rush hour service between New York, Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia, as well as roundtrip service between New York and Boston.
The Stamford Greyhound station, located at 30 Station Place, is open daily from 9 AM to 1 PM and 2:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
Both John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport house rental car counters for Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Passengers traveling through John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport should expect to pay about $120 in taxi fare to Stamford.
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