Taxes and Gratuities

The sales tax in the State of Connecticut is 6.35%. The lodging facility sales tax is 15%. Tipping is customary in Connecticut; for very good service a 15% to 20% tip is appropriate.

Destinations

Fairfield County encompasses the following towns and cities: Bridgeport, Cannondale, Cos Cob, Easton, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Green Farms, Huntington , Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Old Greenwich, Riverside, Rowayton, Saugatuck, Shelton, Southport, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

Time Zone

Fairfield County Connecticut is in the Eastern U.S. time zone along with New York and Montreal; 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours behind Western European time.

Taxes and Gratuities

The sales tax in the State of Connecticut is 6%. The lodging facility sales tax is 12%. Tipping is customary in Connecticut; for very good service a 15% to 20% tip is appropriate.

Currency Exchange

If you are coming to Connecticut from abroad it is best to use major credit cards or to buy US dollar traveler's checks before leaving home, or upon arrival in the US.

Tips

In-season and holiday weekends should be reserved in advance. You may have to reserve well ahead for a special country inn or bed & breakfast room if you wish to stay during fall foliage season. In the off - season mid-week rates maybe in effect, please inquire when making your reservations.

Telephones and Area Codes

Connecticut has two area codes, 860 and 203. To make a toll call, whether between area codes or within the same area code, dial 1 plus the area code and the seven-digit number. For directory assistance within the same area code, dial 411. For directory assistance outside your area code dial 1- (203 or 860) - 555-1212. The operator (dial 0) can tell you the area code of any given town.

Climate

Despite New England's reputation for rugged climate, Connecticut weather is relatively mild. Average high and lows by month:
January:   35/18
February:  36/19
March:     46/28
April:     59/38
May:       70/48
June:      79/57
July:      84/63
August:    81/61
September: 74/53
October:   64/42
November:  51/33
December:  38/23

Seasons and Geography

Fairfield County Connecticut has four distinct seasons, each with its special charm.

Spring: Fairfield County celebrates spring with many Dogwood Festivals that are celebrated throughout the county and most notably in Fairfield. Spring is one of the best times for canoeing and kayaking on Long Island Sound to see the many species of birds that habituate the coast. Another favorite spring activity is a visit to one of the many nurseries and a stroll through beautiful display gardens.

Summer: In Fairfield County you are never very far from the water – be it Long Island Sound or one of the rivers that thread their way through the region.  Fairfield County boasts thirty miles of coastline and has sandy beaches that entice boaters, beachcombers and fishermen to explore the scenery of the sound.  Saltwater diversions include boating on a research vessel from the Maritime Aquarium to a pleasure cruise on a ferryboat to Sheffield Island with its historic lighthouse and a view of Manhattan.  A romantic way to explore the Sound is to charter a three-masted sailing ship or luxury yacht with cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres served shipside.  Sports fishing charters are the order of the day for fishing aficionados.  For fresh water enthusiasts there is always canoeing and kayaking on the lazy Saugatuck River or around Norwalk’s necklace of islands in the Sound.

Fall/Indian Summer: Beginning in September through late October the days are crisp, clear and sunny; the evenings are cool.  Fairfield County is alive with the activity of the harvest, which culminates in many major events such as Norwalk’s famous Oyster Festival, Hay and Corn Mazes, Scarecrow Festivals and Jack-O’-Lantern Spectaculars. During the first three weeks in October the bucolic countryside and colonial villages of Easton, Weston, New Cannan, Huntington and Wilton are transformed into a palette of brilliant colors along with the fire colors of fall found in the cities along the coast.

Winter:  The winters are usually mild along the southwest coast of Connecticut.  However when it snows it transforms Fairfield County into a winter wonderland that is only thirty-five miles from Manhattan. Dazzling festive events, exhibitions, special sales and entertainment at Museums, Art Galleries and Performing Arts offer a treasure trove of holiday options for visitors and residents alike.

Clothing

In Fairfield County, casual comfortable clothing is the norm although you might want to bring one or two fairly nice outfits for special evenings out. Rain can come at anytime of year so you may want to pack a small umbrella. In spring and fall a mid-weight sweater is recommended for the daytime and heavier dress may be necessary in the evening. In the summer light cotton clothing is best and a light sweater or jacket for evenings. In the winter, wool and heavy clothing is necessary.

Public Holidays

Jan. 1: New Year's Day
Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Day
The third Monday in Feb.: George Washington's Birthday
The last Monday in May: Memorial Day
July 4th: Independence Day
The first Monday in September: Labor Day
The second Monday in October: Columbus Day
November 11th: Veterans' Day
The fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day
December 25th: Christmas Day