Riverside CT: Everything You Need To Know | Stanton House Inn
One of the most exclusive places in CT: Riverside

Riverside, CT, has grown from its bucolic roots to one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Fairfield County. It’s won the title for being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Greenwich, CT, in fact, and a prime spot to tour Greenwich mansions.

As the name implies, Riverside CT gained its name from its waterfront location along the Mianus River. This 20-mile tributary with a childish-sounding name for modern ears flows into Long Island Sound. If you look at a map of Greenwich, CT, Riverside is smack between the neighborhoods of Cos Cob and Old Greenwich.

While Riverside is famous for its expensive homes for sale, its actually split into several distinct sections. Interstate 95, the MetroNorth rail, and the Post Road split the neighborhood in two. The area to the south, closer to the shore and the train station, have even pricier average homes. Even Riverside has a wrong side of the railroad tracks, relatively speaking.

 

 

A Brief History of Riverside Connecticut

Riverside Avenue bridge over the Metro North train tracks

Riverside began as a small fishing and farming 17th-century town named Mianus Neck. The locals renamed their town Riverside in the nineteenth century. Like similar name changes in downtown Greenwich and Old Greenwich at the time, the goal was to attract wealthy New York City vacationers. Starting in the 1870s,

  • Real estate broker Jeremiah Atwater

  • And attorney Luke Vincent Lockwood

Bought land and developed the town. They built:

  • A railroad stop and station on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

  • And the Riverside Avenue Bridge

The bridge, by the way, is a “extremely rare” example of a 19th-century cast-iron truss bridge designed for railroad traffic. It’s Connecticut’s only surviving bridge made of structural cast iron, and a National Historic Landmark.

Another notable structure on the National Register of Historic Places is the Samuel Ferris House at 1 Cary Street. This Cape-style clapboard farmhouse was once a component of a 30-acre farm owned by the Ferris family. The Riverside Yacht Club, founded in 1888 by George I. Tyson, is another local landmark.

Some of the most famous residents of Riverside include:

  • Kathy Lee Gifford

  • Marc Staal of the New York Rangers

  • Olympic champion in figure skating Dorothy Hamill

  • Tiki Barber, a former New York Giants running back and television presenter

Shopping & Restaurants in Riverside CT

RIP, Ada's

East Putnam Avenue is the Riverside neighborhood’s downtown hub. It hosts many small family-owned businesses and the Riverside Commons shopping center. The post office is here, too. Further down Putnam Ave, there are upscale boutiques, coffee shops, and gourmet restaurants.

  • Valbella, a landmark restaurant in a beautiful Victorian Revival townhouse. It has three dining rooms and a landscaped terrace for outdoor dining.

  • Lugano Wine Bar and Salumeria serves fine wine and small plates of cured Italian meats and cheeses.

  • Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee was long a candy store. Today, it serves seasonal fare from scratch and has an espresso bar with locally roasted gourmet coffees. Ada’s was recently renovated and reopened as a takeout restaurant. It offered locally roasted coffee, scratch-made food, and a penny candy corner. It closed again in 2023, though there are promises of reopening.

  • Tony’s at the J House, an upscale Italian steakhouse and bar within the J House boutique hotel, is located further north on Riverside Avenue.

The Best Things to do near Riverside Connecticut

Jennifer M Danzi is one of the many realtors to contact if you're looking for your next home in Riverside, CT; or Houlihan Lawrence

Riverside is without question a residential neighborhood, and the locals want to keep it that way. Recent efforts to permit denser zoning around the Riverside train station didn’t end well.

The neighborhoods location makes it easy to enjoy nearby spots on the list of the best things to do in Greenwich, CT, though. The north end of Mianus Pond provides public access to the river. Depending on where you are in Riverside, you can walk or take the train to Sound Beach Avenue, the main shopping district in Old Greenwich, CT. The town park, Binney Park, borders Riverside, includes a pond, ball fields, tennis courts, and a playground.

Or hop in the car and drive to Greenwich Point Park. Jutting into Long Island Sound, this is a great spot for swimming, fishing, nature trails, picnic areas, boat moorings, and a snack bar. That said, both residents and visitors have to buy a seasonal pass or day pass, respectively.

The Riverside Yacht Club is a private club with a marina, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, and summer camps for kids.

Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay near Riverside CT

St Catherine of Siena Church, where this writer was baptized

The J House Greenwich is the only hotel in Riverside proper. This boutique hotel occupies the former Howard Johnson, though it bears no resemblance to the former. In fact, it’s most famous in the area for its high tech amenities, especially talking Japanese toilets.

The Hyatt Regency is a short drive away in neighboring Old Greenwich, CT, and the only major chain hotel in town.

Stanton House Inn is the only bed and breakfast in Greenwich. Our New England bed and breakfast is a short drive away from Riverside, CT, in downtown Greenwich. The Delamar Greenwich Harbor is, as the name implies, on Greenwich Harbor in downtown Greenwich.

You can also stay in nearby cities, as well, especially the hotels in Stamford, CT, nearby.

Directions to Riverside CT

Binney Park, on the border between Riverside and Old Greenwich

It’s easy to get to Riverside via car or the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line. New York City is about an hour away via I-95. You could also spend about 50 minutes riding from Grand Central Terminal to the Riverside Train Station.

Riverside Avenue is the main thoroughfare here. It runs south from Route 1 to Riverside’s only commercial area before turning east toward Old Greenwich. The many winding lanes that branch off the avenue lead to waterfront outposts, whether on a quiet cove, the open Sound, or the Mianus River. The drive along Riverside Avenue itself is lovely, though, with big trees and charming homes. This innkeeper used to drive this way to get to Greenwich Point Park from Cos Cob and downtown Greenwich.

More Towns and Neighborhoods to Explore Near Riverside CT

Binney Park, on the edge of the neighborhood

Riverside, like neighboring Old Greenwich and Cos Cob, each have their own zip codes within the town. I’m guessing it has something to do with exclusivity.

Each neighborhood in town has its own identity and historic places.

Old Greenwich

Locals often lump these two neighborhoods. They’ve got the best school system, and the most expensive houses to match. But Old Greenwich is our beach town: think of any coastal New England town, then throw a lot of money at it.

Cos Cob

Cos Cob has a reputation for being more artsy and gritty than the rest of town. That said, like the rest of town, it’s gentrified since this innkeeper grew up here. Cos Cob, CT, is still worth a CT day trip visit for the Bush-Holley House and Greenwich Historical Society. It’s also got some unique shopping and restaurants, to boot.

Downtown Greenwich

Just west of Cos Cob is Central Greenwich, also known as downtown Greenwich, CT. This is where you’ll find the biggest shopping district in town, along Greenwich Avenue. The downtown Greenwich restaurant scene is the most diverse in town, as well. And it’s only a 10-minute drive, or a few train stops ride, from the Riverside train station.

Frequently Asked Questions about Riverside, Connecticut

Where is Riverside located?

Riverside is a charming neighborhood in the town of Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut. It is situated along the Mianus River and borders Cos Cob to the west and Old Greenwich to the east.

What is the population of Riverside?

As of the 2020 census, Riverside has a population of approximately 8,843 residents, making it a cozy community with a small-town feel.

What educational facilities are available in Riverside?

Riverside is served by Greenwich Public Schools. Elementary schools here are Riverside School and the International School at Dundee. Students feed into Eastern Middle School. High school students attend Greenwich High School in downtown Greenwich, CT.

How do I get to Riverside?

Riverside is accessible via the Riverside Railroad Station on the Metro-North lines. Interstate 95 cuts through the neighborhood. Some residents also use the nearby Old Greenwich Train Station.

Are there any notable residents from Riverside?

Yes, Riverside has been home to several well-known individuals, including:

  • Television personalities Lara Spencer and Kathie Lee Gifford

  • And former Olympic gold-medal ice skater Dorothy Hamill

What is the demographic makeup of Riverside?

Riverside is diverse, with:

  • Approximately 63.5% of residents identifying as non-Hispanic White

  • 16.5% as Asian

  • 13.4% as Hispanic

  • 7.8% as multiracial

  • 2.2% as Black

  • And 0.4% as Native American

According to the 2020 census.

Is Riverside a good place for families?

Absolutely! You’ll find excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of parks here. Riverside is an ideal place for families to settle down and enjoy a high quality of life.

 

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