Greenwich

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Welcome to Greenwich

Boats moored in Greenwich Harbor with Grass Island Marina in the background.
Photo by Caryn B. Davis

MANY BOATERS THINK OF GREENWICH AS BEING SOMEWHAT UNWELCOMING TO OUTSIDERS (DARE WE SAY “SNOBBY”?), BUT IN RECENT YEARS THE TOWN HAS MADE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE THAT REPUTATION. BOATERS LOOKING TO SAMPLE THE SHORESIDE ATTRACTIONS—GREENWICH, OF COURSE, IS A WELL-KNOWN SHOPPER’S MECCA PACKED WITH TRENDY, FAMOUS-NAME STORES AND BOUTIQUES—SHOULD START AT THE GRASS ISLAND MARINA. GRASS ISLAND IS 1 OF 4 TOWN-RUN MARINAS, BUT THE ONLY ONE THAT OFFERS TRANSIENT DOCKAGE. THERE IS NO CHARGE TO TIE UP DURING THE DAY, AND AN OVERNIGHT CHARGE BASED ON VESSEL SIZE. BEST OF ALL, THE DOCK PUTS YOU WITHIN EASY WALKING DISTANCE OF DOWNTOWN. THE GRASS ISLAND DOCK CAN ACCOMMODATE 2 OR 3 BOATS OF MODERATE SIZE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS, AND FILLS UP QUICKLY DURING SUMMER.

Another option is to anchor in one of the many coves surrounding the nearby islands. If you have a dinghy, the harbormaster will do his best to accommodate you with tie-up space along the Grass Island dock; however, there is no launch service or official dinghy rack.

There’s another nice spot to anchor on the northwest side of Great Captain Island, overlooking the Belle Haven Country Club—just mind the channel and mind the charts, especially Cormorant Reef and the smaller rocks. A lot of people run aground here each year.

Great Captain Island is a popular picnic and swimming spot among local boaters. One can dinghy ashore and enjoy the beach or wander the island. There are restrooms and picnic facilities ashore.

There’s a second small anchorage east of Calf Island, which us managed by the Calf Island Conservancy and offers hiking trails, wildlife observation stations, and even camping (with permits). It is a popular spot among local kayakers and small-boaters.

The charts list another mooring area on the Hyannis River inside Cos Cob Harbor, but the water’s pretty skinny here and the moorings crowded. Anyone looking for a peaceful afternoon on that side of town should head all the way east to Greenwich Cove and follow the buoys through the mooring area to the northeast side of Greenwich Island.

GETTING THERE:

Charts: NOAA 12364

Greenwich, Connecticut Chart

Greenwich is located about 35 miles northeast of New York City, at the southwestern tip of Connecticut. From west to east, the Calf Islands, Great Captain Island and Little Captain Island mark the boundary of Captain Harbor, which comprises Byram Harbor, Greenwich Harbor, Cos Cob Harbor and Greenwich Cove. Pay careful attention to the buoys when entering Captain Harbor, and don’t miss the “1A.” From there, getting into Greenwich Harbor and the Grass Island transient dock is easy.

Entering Byram Harbor to drop the hook is a little trickier. If you’re heading west, once you get past the “1” and “2” buoys, you have to dogleg north to pick up “3” and “4”. Don’t do it. Follow “1” and “2”, and the (old green copper) tower will be right in front of you. You’ll see the lunch-hook moorings just to the right of the first island and around the sandbar on the other side.

Dockage, Moorings & Service:

If you are a Greenwich resident, you can choose from 1 of 4 town-run marinas (Cos Cob, Byram, Greenwich Point, and Grass Island), all offering slips, moorings, ramps, dinghy racks and more. Information is available at Greenwich Parks & Recreation. Non-residents may find room at the Grass Island Boat Basin. Located in Greenwich Harbor, Grass Island is the only town-run marina that offers space for transients, and can only accommodate 2 or 3 boats at a time. There is no charge to tie up here during the day, and an overnight charge based on vessel size. Call the boating office at Town Hall (203-618-7651) or the Grass Island

Dockmaster (203-618-9695) for further information.

Other Greenwich options for transient boaters include:</p?

  • Indian Harbor Yacht Club (203-869-2484): Private club located at the entrance to Greenwich Harbor, catty-corner from Grass Island Marina. Offers reciprocity with other clubs.
  • Delamar Greenwich Harbour and Hotel (203-661-9800 or 203-733-5320, dock): Located across from Grass Island Marina, the huge Delamar dock can accommodate boats up to 150 feet. Hotel and restaurant guests can dock for $1.50 per foot. Reservations are required.
  • Beacon Point Marine (Greenwich Waterclub) (203-661-4033): A full-service private marina in Cos Cob with limited transient dockage (call ahead). Rates include shore power, water and pumpout. Beacon also has a ship’s store and a fuel dock. A supermarket is located nearby.

Note that there are no marine services or provisioning facilities near the public tie-up at Grass Island Marina. All the commercial marinas and services are on the Hyannis River inside Cos Cob Harbor. If you want to tie up there, you can take a 5-minute cab ride to downtown Greenwich. Just don’t get caught in the morning commute to New York.

Anchorages:

A quiet, scenic and protected spot to anchor is on the north side of Great Captain Island and southeast of Cormorant Reef. Just be sure to stay clear of reef and cable area. Also, do not attempt to run between Great Captain and Little Captain without local knowledge. The rocks here are big and the water skinny. There’s another small, protected anchorage just east of Calf Island and north of GC “1”.

Launch Ramps:

Greenwich residents can use ramps at any of the town-run marinas. Non-residents are advised to use the state ramp in Westport, about a 30-minute drive north on Interstate 95.

Harbormaster:

(203-622-6474)

Provisioning:

No listings available.

Boat & Kayak Rental:

Greenwich Community Sailing (203-698-0599): Offers rentals of Hobie Waves, Getaways, Lazers, Hunter 140s, 17 Nomad sloops and kayaks.

Things to Do & See:

  • Sidewalk Sale Days: Check the Chamber of Commerce website, for information on summer Sidewalk Sale Days in July, when you are most likely to pick up a bargain at one of the many famous stores in downtown Greenwich. Go early on the first day to get the best deals.
  • Bruce Museum of Arts and Science (203-869-0376): Located in a park at the end of Greenwich Avenue, the museum’s permanent exhibition spaces include a marine aquarium, and it draws more than 100,000 visitors a year with its lectures, arts-and-crafts festivals and family days.

Where to Eat:

  • Terra’s (203-629-5222): Offers Italian entrées from $25 to $30. The ambience is decidedly Old World inside, but you can sit on the patio and watch the shoppers patrol Greenwich Avenue.
  • Rasa (203-869-0700): A bit hidden away on the second floor of a Greenwich Avenue storefront, but it’s worth finding if Indian food suits your tastes. Dinners go for $13 to $24.
  • Thataway Café (203-622-0947): If you’re feeling more casual or want to have a few drinks and hear a rock ‘n roll cover band, consider this restaurant at the bottom of Greenwich Avenue. Serves burgers, chicken fingers and usually a tasty soup special with salads and entrées ranging from $10 to $23.

Where to Stay:

  • Delamar Greenwich Harbour (203-661-9800): Huge, fancy hotel on the harbor. Rooms start at around $200 per night. Within walking distance of the Bruce Museum and Greenwich Avenue.
  • Harbor House Inn (203-637-0145): Located in the quaint Old Greenwich area, about a 15-minute cab ride from the town center and Greenwich Avenue.
  • Cos Cob Inn (203-661-4845): Cozy B&B style inn with water views and located near Beacon Marine/Greenwich Waterclub in Cos Cob Harbor.

General Information:

The Greenwich Town Website is chock-full of useful information. You can also try theChamber of Commerce (203-869-3500).

Photo Gallery

Greenwich Avenue draws shoppers of all backgrounds looking for that great deal during the annual Sidewalk Sale Days. Photo by Caryn B. Davis

A calm day finds a couple of fishermen testing their luck. Photo by Caryn B. Davis

Chefs from Gaia Restaurant mix up smoothies to refresh summer shoppers. Photo by Caryn B. Davis

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