DARIEN: AFFLUENT COASTAL LIVINGA favorite Old New England town offering enormous enthusiasm with so many opportunities for those who love the water, horses and helping others.
Participation is key to living in Darien, whether it be through sports or volunteering at a charitable organization. Darien is a community that gives back as well as provides countless ways to get to know others in town. Friendly block parties, kid’s soccer games, parades, picnics on the beach, outdoor concert along with fundraisers and events at private clubs can literally fill everyone’s social calendar. Because there are so many ways to make friends in this desirable coastal town of 20,000 people, newcomers often blend in quickly and easily.
DARIEN REAL ESTATE INSIGHTS
Catering to upscale buyers, Darien offers a wide selection of price ranges and architecture that ranges from grand houses overlooking the water, Colonials nestled on private lanes, new Shingle-styles, Contemporaries and Condos near a train. All around this small town of fourteen square miles there’s a luxury property that will exceed your wildest dreams. Tony neighborhoods are graced by velvety level and gently rolling lawns, well-tended trees, gardens, stone walls and beautiful gardens. Beauty is just a part of living in this community that wonderfully blends residential areas with commercial enterprises. Take for example the 104 year landmark Ox Ridge Hunt Club on Middlesex Road that emerges completely renovated and renamed for the next century as Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club.
THE CLUBS AND RECREATION
Three golf courses are maintained and owned by private membership country clubs: The Country Club of Darien, Weeburn Country Club and Woodway Country Club. Private clubs for water and boat enthusiasts are: Tokeneke Beach Club, Middlesex Swim Club, Darien Boat Club and Noroton Yacht Club. Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club emerges after a major renovation with an all-new 18,000 square-foot clubhouse, platform tennis, fully equipped fitness center, member’s pub and eight squash courts - soaring Ox Ridge’s reputation among top squash facilities in greater Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Equestrian training program along with horse boarding and care, lessons along with national-caliber equestrian competitions are held in this bucolic setting.
THE COMMUTE AND CULTURE
Bloomberg places Darien in the top 10 as “America’s 100 richest places” and many residents commute to the financial business districts in New York City using the Metro-North stations in Noroton Heights and Darien (also Talmadge Hill and Springdale that are closer to some neighborhoods); all link with Grand Central Terminal. For drivers heading to Stamford, White Plains, Manhattan and points north including New Haven or Hartford there are three major thoroughfares, Interstate 95 (four exits); The Merritt Parkway and Route 1 all of which offer good alternatives during peak commuter drive times.
Darien community leaders are especially proud of the town’s eleven parks and beautiful sandy beaches, Pear Tree Point Beach and Weed Beach. The Darien Public Library was backed by a robust fundraising campaign and citizens can now enjoy a new LEED Gold certified building and a phenomenal public resource with a “Five Star” designation.
Volunteers are plentiful and encouraged in town. Darien EMS – Post 53 is likely the most widely known as the only ambulance service in the nation entirely run by high school student volunteers plus there are three independent all-volunteer fire departments in town. The Darien Y offers 300 programs, two pools, a gym overlooking beautiful Holly Pond; a 10,000 square-foot gymnastics wing, a spin studio and a Mind-body Studio for yoga. The Depot is a student-run youth center for teenagers and there are two Boy Scout troops as well as a Boy Scout Ship for ages 14-21. Darien also has an ice rink and a few scenic Currier and Ives outdoor skating ponds.
Notables actors sharing ties with Darien include Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Topher Grace (That ‘70s Show) and Chloe Sevigny (Golden Globe Winner).
THE EARLY HISTORY
The town of Darien’s 200th anniversary is the year 2020 Events celebrating this auspicious bicentennial celebration focus on the “first planters” and historic landmarks as The Bates-Scofield House, Darien Historical Society’s headquarters and museum. Prior to the railroad in 1848, this small community of 1,000 farmers, shoemakers, fishermen and merchants engaged in coastal trading. Small sailing vessels from New York, Eastern Connecticut and the West Indies docked at Gorham’s Landing, where Rings End Road meets Goodwives River. Stamford-Norwalk trolley brought people in to Darien, Noroton and Noroton Heights and the Tokeneke Inn made summertime a favorite destination for wealthy industrialist, including Andrew Carnegie who spent many summers at Brick House, a private home on Long Neck Point which later became the Convent of the Sacred Heart girl’s school and attended by John F. Kennedy’s sisters.
- Hindley Elementary School
- Holmes Elementary School
- Ox Ridge Elementary School
- Royale Elementary School
- Tokeneke Elementary School
- Middlesex Middle School
- Darien High School
- Country Club of Darien
- Darien Boat Club
- Middlesex Swim Club
- Noroton Yacht Club
- Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club
- Tokeneke Beach Club
- Weeburn Country Club
- Woodway Country Club