Merritt Parkway

State: Connecticut
Length: 37 miles / 59.5 km
Time to Allow: Allow a little less than one hour.

Travel through the southwestern corner of Connecticut for 37 miles on the Merritt Parkway Byway and see the coast. The byway starts at the border of New York and is a short drive from many different states, including New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. With a brilliant natural setting and stunning architecture, including bridges. In the fall and spring, expect to see some impressive foliage.

While the byway is short, it includes an impressive history as it was designed to relieve traffic congestion on Route 1 and Boston Post Road during World War 1. Next, pick up the byway in Milford to the east and visit Walnut Beach or Silver Sands State Park for some enjoyable time outside. The Atlantic Ocean is very cold except in the summer months, but it’s beautiful year-round. From there, continue on to the Coast Center at Milford Point to enjoy the water and wildlife.

Milford makes for a perfect place to spend downtown with farms, markets, and small stores. Grab a scoop of Ice Cream at the Walnut Beach Creamery or enjoy some seafood at the Seven Seas locally owned restaurant. Continuing down the coast, Stratford offers some incredible sights, including stone walls, an old lighthouse base, and lush gardens. Stop at several beaches and stay at the Surfside Hotel or go camping or RVing at the Totoket Valley RV Park.

Make sure to visit the Roosevelt Forest and the Boothe Memorial Park and Museum. You can find an antique mall too. The town even has a helicopter museum that makes for an interesting stop. In Bridgeport, you can visit the beach and the Beardsley Zoo. It’s a great place to stop with kids with a Discovery Museum and the Barnum Museum too. Enjoy some European food too at several restaurants, including the Hub and Spoke Taps Bar.

Continue down the coast to Norwalk to visit more options for children. The town boasts a lighthouse, aquarium, and a children’s museum. Adults will enjoy the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum along with a couple of others, and the whole family will enjoy the beach. The town also has a historic district filled with shopping and more European restaurants.

From here, head closer to New York and make sure to visit the Bartlett Arboretum and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. In town, you will find the gorgeous Palace Theatre along with the stunning Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church. In addition, the whole family will enjoy the Cove Island Park with incredible rock structures and tons of wildlife.

End the trip in Greenwich by the border for some beautiful museums and landmark churches. If you have never been to a polo club, now is your chance to watch horse stride across the field with players. Enjoy an art gallery and then move back to nature to enjoy beautiful hiking trails. Stay at one of several hotels or inns and then visit New York for your next adventure.

More Connecticut Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Connecticut by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Connecticut Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.