30 Things You Need to Know About Stamford

1. Bet Your City Doesn’t Boast a Stained-Glass Skyscraper

Imagine a 45-foot-tall building made out of stunning kaleidoscopic stained glass – standing right smack in the center of your city. Stamford Cone opens its doors to visitors during the day and is truly a sight to behold once the sun goes down.

2. Test The Waters

Stamford is a nautical city. You can take advantage of this perk by fishing, crabbing, and swimming at the public beaches at Cove Island Park and Cummings Park. SoundWaters Coastal Education Center offers workshops, lectures, and concerts, as well as boat rides on the Long Island Sound.

3. It Respects BBQ And Country Music

And you thought you had to travel south to get good barbecue. With solid joints like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Boatyard at Smokey Joe’s, and Bar Q — which is as celebrated for its country music and raucous dance floor as it is for its sticky ribs – you’ll always have a place to go when you crave southern hospitality and great grub.

4. All Roads Lead To Stamford

Stamford is an international city that boasts 7 airports, including Bradley International Airport, Amtrak and Metro-North New Haven Line service – which can get you to Manhattan in 45 minutes – and easy access to four state highways and the Interstate 95, which connects New England to Florida.

5. It’s A City Filled With Lots Of Smarty Pants

Nine of out 10 folks in Stamford have graduated high school and nearly half of all city residents earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, making it one of the highest educated cities in the country. Major colleges in the area include the University of Connecticut Stamford and Sacred Heart University.

6. Everything That’s Old Is New Again Here

Antiquing is big business in Stamford. If you’re a history buff who respects the charm and character of furniture, books, and collectibles that tell tales from the past, you’ll flip over all of the city’s many antique shops, including Antique and Artisan Center, Greenwich Living Antiques & Design Center, Harbor View Center for Antiques, and United House Wrecking Co.

7. The Beat Goes On And On

Each summer for 7 Thursdays in a row, major musical acts storm a stage at Columbus Park as part of the city’s Alive@Five concert series and give the people what they want: rocking jams. And Bret Michaels (lead singer of Poison). Lots and lots of Bret Michaels.

8. Rush Hour Is Always Better On A Trolley

Harbor Point Trolley is the latest and greatest way to get around the city. The adorable mode of transportation connects Stamford Downtown to Harbor Point and vice versa. Trolley service is free, runs everyday, and makes 14 stops.

9. You Can Shop Until You Drop

If you’re in need of retail therapy, hit up Stamford Town Center and get your fix at one of its 130 shops, which includes Apple, Armani Exchange, and H&M. From Teavana and Pottery Barn to Brooks Brothers and Coach, you’ll find everything you need. And if you get hungry, just pop on over to one of its many restaurants, which includes Ichiban Teriyaki House and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

10. You’ll Have No Trouble Finding A Good Accountant

Stamford is home to more people working in fields that require strong math and computer backgrounds than 95 percent of the places in the U.S. You can bet that means its Apple store is fully stocked.

11. Your Green Thumb Will Get A Workout

Living harmoniously alongside the city’s buildings are a great many parks and green spaces that beckon you to pause for a moment, breathe in the fresh air, and maybe even curl up on a bench with a book. Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, a 91-acre nature preserve is a real treat that offers gardening classes and daily tours of its gorgeous grounds. You can even bring your pooch, as long as he’s on a leash!

12. Drama Queens Are Welcome

Whether you’re into indie films, documentaries, or blockbusters, Stamford is more than happy to help you escape with a night at the theater. Major complexes include Avon Theatre Film Center, Bow Tie Cinemas, Palace Theatre, and Sterling Farms Theatre Complex.

13. It’s Serious About Salsa

The Connecticut Salsa Festival is held every May in Stamford. The public is invited to attend for free during certain hours, and then beginner and expert dancers donate money for charity to cut a rug at night and enjoy live salsa music.

14. It’s Got A Slightly Spooky Past

Of course, Salem is famous for its witch trials. But few people are aware of this cool Stamford fact: in the 1600s, a smaller witch trial took place right in the city.

15. You Can Rest Peacefully

Stamford has topped many a list of safest big cities in the United States. In 2006, it was even ranked the ninth safest city in 2006 by the FBI. Not bad for an urban area that is home to more than 122,000 people.

16. This Is The Place To Rake In Some Serious Dough

With so many companies settling in Stamford, job opportunities are plentiful. The city is home to four Fortune 500 companies, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Pitney Bowes, Charter Communications, and Frontier Communications.

17. The City’s Got Muscle To Spare

The World Wrestling Federation is based right here in Stamford. Whether you consider that a good thing or a bad thing, you have to admit: it’s an interesting thing.

18. It Boasts The Best Books In The State

The Ferguson Library is the largest – and many say greatest – public library in Connecticut. It has four branches located around the city and hosts children’s story time, Author’s Nights, lectures, and art exhibits.

19. Fictional TV Characters Call It Home

Jim and Pam would never have gotten together on “The Office” if not for his stint at the Stamford office. Other TV shows, including “My Wife and Kids,” have also been set in the city – and it’s pretty cool that Stamford offers movie and television studios nifty tax breaks in exchange for their presence.

20. Warm Summer And A White Christmas

If you’re a fan of the four seasons, consider Stamford the ideal place to settle. High temperatures in July are about 85 degrees and low temperatures in January hit around 18.5 degrees. Keep this in mind when you’re planning a move: the average snowfall in January and February is 23.6 inches. Moving trucks may cancel unexpectedly.

21. Guys, Your Dating Pool Just Opened Wide Up

The male to female ratio in Stamford is 9:10. Bars and clubs are teeming with young, single people looking to mingle, and if you’re a guy and not able to find a date, you should probably just switch colognes and try again.

22. Picasso Would Have Been Happy Here

The Stamford Art Association showcases the work of local artists, while The Stamford Museum serves as both a nature center and art gallery. And you needn’t even enter a building to feel Stamford’s creative energy: vividly painted electrical boxes and sculptures dot the city’s streets.

23. It Shoots For The Stars – And Planets And Comets

The Stamford Observatory is a four-story building that features a classroom, workshop, and dome with a 22-inch telescope. Public open house events, in which an astronomer gives tours and answers your every question about space, are offered most Friday evenings.

24. Your Car Is Welcome Here

Compared to other cities of similar size, Stamford is very driver-friendly. Another plus: there are 9,500 parking spots in 15 locations – so you won’t lose your mind trying to keep a dinner reservation in Downtown Stamford.

25. One Of Its Most Beautiful Churches Is Shaped Like A Fish

Affectionately known as the Fish Church, the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford is a 260-foot-tall architectural buff’s dream. The city is also home to many Catholic churches, Temples, and an Islamic Center.

26. You’ll Become A Beer Connoisseur

Discover rare beers and all the best craft beers that local Connecticut breweries have to offer by attending one of the many great events hosted by Half Full Brewery. From tours and tastings to beer socials and craft beer dinners, you’ll have a blast and gain a new appreciation for beer.

27. It Will Wine And Dine You

Stamford’s many culinary treats include everything from Spanish and Greek cuisine to Japanese and Indian food. But the city really knows how to speak Italian and with specialties that include a perfect carpaccio and out-of-this-world rigatoni alla vodka, the always-elegant Columbus Park Trattoria is a dining experience you won’t forget.

28. Get Your Biking And Hiking On Here

Escape from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle by hitting one of Stamford’s biking and hiking trails. The Mianus Maze is a 14-mile loop trail that offers beautiful river views and is perfect for beginners.

29. It Screams For Ice Cream

Volta Gelateria Creperia is the place to go for incredible, made-from-scratch Italian gelato. Flavors include hazelnut, Nutella, and coconut – they’re so yummy and authentic you’ll feel like you’re in Rome.

30. Your Love Handles Will Thank You

Who said East Coasters can’t stay in amazing shape? In Stamford you can swim at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, skate at Stamford Twin Rinks, or get in a workout at one of its many gym facilities, including Planet Fitness, Revolution Fitness, and The Training Floor.