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Danbury, CT

Danbury was once known as the "Hat City" because it was the center of millinery for the U.S. dating back to colonial times. (The last hat, a Stetson, was manufactured in 1987 before the factory closed.) In modern times, big Danbury industries include the health care, pharmaceuticals and aerospace systems. Western Connecticut State University is also located here.

The Community of Danbury

Right on the western border of Connecticut adjacent to New York, Danbury is bisected by I-84. The Still River runs through town just south of the route that the interstate takes. The main downtown area is directly in the center of the city, and the more popular residential neighborhoods, including Mill Plain, Miry Brook and Clapboard Ridge, are to the west.

What to Do in Danbury

The former Danbury train station -- the setting for the Alfred Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train -- was renovated into a rail museum that houses historical exhibits about the railroad. Explore the inside of a steam engine or mail car, watch model trains of all gauges speed by or take a self-guided tour. Themed train rides and guided tours are held at special times of the year.

Today, the grand Tarrywile Mansion is primarily used to host weddings, but the grounds are open all year round for exploring, strolling and picnicking. The 722-acre park was at time a working dairy farm and now is covered with miles of hiking trails, two ponds for fishing, a lake and a camping area. If there's no event at the Mansion, you can take a self-guided tour of the gardens and sometimes even the house itself.

Looking for a great place to shop? The Danbury Fair Mall has all the standard stores you'd expect, a food court and restaurants for getting a bite to eat and a large carousel and kids' area. There's even a chance to go bungee jumping inside the mall.

One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Danbury

The Danbury Historical Society created Museum in the Streets, a self-guided tour of the downtown area presented on 34 panels that each focus on a topic related to the city's history. Most of the sites are within easy walking distance along Main Street and West Street and include how Danbury was settled, city disasters, sports, famous women and farming.

Dining in Danbury

Enjoy Italian dishes in an upscale dining room at Dolce, where the menu lists a wide variety of salads, pastas and gourmet pizzas in addition to entrees like veal scaloppini and seafood paella. Dolce also boasts a nice selection of wines and cocktails.

American pub food can be found in abundance at Rosy Tomorrows, a casual restaurant named after Danbury orphan girl Rosy. Rosy made a name for herself selling food from a booth at the Danbury Fair. The eatery that bears her name serves good prime rib, fish and chips, and other classic favorites.

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Walker's Paradise
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