Proud To Be Called A Local

   Hello readers, I am Erika Stoddard also known as @stylehideaway on Instagram for my lifestyle blog. I am a wife to an amazing man who goes along with all of my home renovations, design ideas, and adventures. I also go by mom, to two incredible toddlers. I’d like to thank Local Connecticut for being the best resource on all things Connecticut and for giving me the opportunity to write and share my love of our new home state.

   Let me start by saying that if you told me five years ago I would be married with two kids and living in Connecticut  I would not have believed you. Well here we are celebrating our five year anniversary settled and thriving in beautiful Fairfield county. I’d also like to add Woah!, who knew it had so much to offer. Definitely not me! I pictured Connecticut as a simple state with interesting history and manicured properties. That was it. So it’s safe to say I am pleasantly surprised and very grateful to have the opportunity to live in an area where as my husband and I say “what more could you ask for?”. You can try to answer this at the end of the article.

    If you are new to Connecticut, or are looking for some fresh ideas of day trips, places to eat, walkable towns for shopping, grabbing a coffee, or kid friendly activities I know this will inspire you.

 Terrain Garden Cafe in Westport

Terrain Garden Cafe in Westport

   I believe we started our adventures right in the area of Ridgefield. Talk about dreamy, walk-able streets! Main street especially. Its magical at Christmas time and even known for being filmed in a hallmark movie. Ridgefield has everything and more but my family’s favorite thing to do is go for a walk after dinner and find desert. Grab a latte at Tazza Cafe and then some fresh homemade chocolate at Deborah Ann’s sweet shop. On a weekly basis the Ridgefield library is awesome for kids programs and resources. There are several great restaurant options. Bareburger is a great option for clean organic foods and is family friendly. We also enjoy prime taco for a quick taco Tuesday. 

  This summer we adventured to the town of Fairfield. If you haven’t been, run don’t walk! In desperate need of finding a place to cool down this summer Penfield beach was the answer. It’s gorgeous, clean, and a piece of Connecticut paradise. There’s nothing better than a picnic on the beach Friday night. My kids love to bring home seashell treasures. Fairfield town is adorable and has a great walkable beach town. I love The beehive for home inspiration, Brick and Wood for the best pizza, and milk craft for the ultimate ice cream cone! 

   Westport is probably my first choice when I have family in town to give them the “Connecticut experience”. If you are familiar with the show American housewife then you understand why for shopping and cute cafes this is a go-to. I’d have to say out of all the places I’ve eaten in Connecticut so far, Terrain garden cafe has to be #1 on my list. It is an experience all in itself. You will leave with a satisfied stomach and a dream to turn your entire home into a green house. We are now the proud owners of 8 indoor plants and a teak coffee table. Haha! Lunch at Bartaco outside on a gorgeous day, and the free Melissa and Doug concert every Wednesday night is such a treat. Just drive passed Compo beach and through the neighborhood for some curb appeal and coastal home inspiration.

 Ridgefield desserts

Ridgefield desserts

   Norwalk, what to do when it’s raining, snowing, or just too hot, The Maritime Aquarium! It never fails. A favorite for my kids. The Beach House restaurant across the street is great for an easy bite to eat before you head back home. 

   Greenwich for when I want that celebrity for a day feeling.  Greenwich ave is know as the rodeo drive of the east coast for a reason. It’s so fun to browse the designer shops, grab lunch, and a coffee. I’d say the main thing that draws me to Greenwich as an interior design lover is the most beautiful Restoration hardware show room I’ve been to. We’ve had a great stay at the J house in Greenwich. It’s a very cool trendy boutique hotel. Perfect if you have family come in from out of town or just need a little getaway. I could really just spend all day driving around gawking at the impeccable mansions throughout the town.

 Milkcraft in Fairfield

Milkcraft in Fairfield

   Hartford, home to the amazing @legacychurch which is what drove us up to explore some of what the state capital has to offer. We love downtown West Hartford. Blue black square, and Zoharas for brunch is a must. There are so many restaurants you can’t go wrong.

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   So I’m writing all this while we celebrate 5 yrs of marriage in NYC which is only 1hr from our home and yet another amenity to living in Connecticut. I’m also kind of laughing because we’ve done all of this in the few short months we lived here and maybe we should pace ourselves to save some for the next years ahead! But then again, I’ve only seen about a 1/4 of the entire state so I’ll have to update you all on the adventures of the @stylehideaway family in the future!

Get out there and experience it for yourself!