The Community and Culture
As a community, Westport’s vitality is legendary. The longstanding images of the New England town, defined as an artists’ colony, still remain, while entrepreneurs, executives and professionals from corporate arenas have created a new diversity. Long a celebrity retreat, Westport remains a creative center; artistically and culturally vibrant today.
Today, Westport is a highly involved, affluent community of approximately 27,000 people. Located in southwestern Connecticut, where the Saugatuck River meets Long Island Sound, waterfront homes abound as well as countryside estates with bucolic landscapes and breathtaking vistas. The thriving downtown Main Street area along the river provides trendy shops, boutiques and exceptional services representing upscale shopping and dining amid an atmosphere still imbued with New England charm. A revitalized Saugatuck Center, with restaurants, shops, galleries and boat slips is a second hub of activity with summer concerts and the annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival.
Theatre and the arts flourish at the Westport Country Playhouse, Westport Community Theatre, Levitt Pavilion and Westport Arts Center. The Westport Historical Society, reflecting on the town's heritage, offers various exhibits and numerous programs throughout the year. The very active Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource to review all of the town's offerings and Neighbors and Newcomers of Westport is a great way to make personal connections through social events and common interests.
Westporters value education and are charged with passion and energy for the exceptional public school system as one of the key aspects of this strong community. Five elementary schools, two middle schools and Staples High School have demonstrated the efficacy of Westport’s focus on small class size and outstanding programs, producing excellent test scores. Westport is also home to the private school, Green’s Farms Academy (pre-K-12) and numerous quality preschools. Lifelong learners turn to Westport Library for its wide variety of offerings, ranging from children's and Maker programs to business development resources and cultural activities.
As a waterfront town, Westport has over 210 acres of public recreational facilities, managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. A broad selection of activities is available to residents including Longshore Club Park; with its 18 hole golf course, driving range, tennis and paddle courts, swimming pools and winter outdoor ice rink; sailing, three town beaches, Compo Beach, Burying Hill Beach and Old Mill Beach, a boating marina and yacht basin, sports fields and a state-of-the-art beach playground and skate park. Located in the center of town is Winslow Park, famously known as “The Dog Park” and near the edge of town is the Newman Poses Preserve, managed by the Aspetuck Land Trust. The town also maintains centers for senior citizens—Center for Senior Activities, and teens—Toquet Hall.
Connecticut's first state park, Sherwood Island, is also located in Westport. Offering over 200 acres of beach, marsh and picnic groves, it is also home to the Connecticut 9-11 Living Memorial, a nature center and model airplane flying field. Community Gardens and Wakeman Town Farm Sustainability Center offer opportunities to the community for local food production and land stewardship, education in sustainable practices and community service. Non-profit organizations Earthplace, Westport Astronomical Society and the new Westport-Weston YMCA continue to offer exceptional recreational and education opportunities to residents.
Located an hour from Manhattan (a 40 mile distance), Westport is easily accessible via Interstate 95, the Merritt Parkway and Metro-North commuter trains with stops in Westport—downtown/ Saugatuck and Greens' Farms.