Who would have guessed that tucked away into a suburban neighborhood of Stamford exists a magnificent National Historical Landmark known as Fish Church.  The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford is called “Fish Church” because of its distinctive outward shape and design. Fish Church is a unique work of architecture designed by Wallace K. Harrison.  It is literally a church designed in the Christian symbol of a fish.  Once I stumbled across this hidden gem online I knew I had to visit in person.

My trip began with a visit to the church website followed by an email mentioning my interest in visiting with a small group of friends.  As we expected, we received a welcoming response.  We left early and headed to Fish Church in time to sit in on Sunday Worship.  We were greeted by many members and given a warm welcome by all.  After the service a few members toured us around and explained the many stories depicted in the over 20,000 pieces of ornate stained glass.  Vibrant and awe inspiring are the descriptions that come to mind.  We were even given the honor of going outside and having the church bells of the 262 foot bell tower rung especially for us.  It was an unforgettable visit, not only because of the unparalleled beauty of this structure but also because of the friendly welcome.

First Presbyterian Church | History & Architecture (fishchurch.org)

After visiting the Fish Church we worked up quite an appetite for seafood of course!  We stopped for lunch and at the Crab Shell in Stamford where we enjoyed the freshest of seafood while sitting on the outside deck overlooking Stamford Harbor and Harbor Point.  Restaurant patrons can pull up to the restaurant by boat or car.   It’s the perfect spot to enjoy brunch or lunch and enjoy some music, a mimosa and views of yachts leaving the marina.

Not wanting this visit to Stamford to end, we made one final stop to the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens.  With 93 acres of walking trails and perfectly manicured landscapes, it was impossible to even make a dent into seeing the entirety of the park, hiking trails and gardens.  There are sensory gardens to explore that are accessible to walkers and wheelchairs, a word garden, a 911 memorial tribute and so much more.  It’s truly a hidden oasis in the city.  The park is open from dusk until dawn.  Admission is free, however, there may be a small charge for special music events and guided forest bathing walks held in the park.

This is a summer day trip that you won’t want to miss.

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens