Sheffield Island & Lighthouse
March 9, 2015
It’s a treasured historic landmark that attracts visitors from miles around, and you might be inclined think that the Sheffield Island Lighthouse is just that – an “attraction.” But even if the island is a touristy spot, it’s well-beloved by locals for a good reason. With a nature preserve and historic landmark, a trip to Sheffield Island offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, planning the perfect weekend date, or a parent looking for unique family fun, a ferry cruise to Sheffield Island and a tour of the lighthouse are sure to please.
Sheffield Island History & More About the Lighthouse
First activated in 1868 and retired in 1902, the lighthouse at Sheffield Island has been lovingly honored with a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of the island goes back a lot longer than that, though; back to 1804 when the island was first purchased and 1828 when the first lighthouse was built. An incredibly important remnant of our heritage, the lighthouse is reminiscent of a time with lighthouses were critical to the New England way of life and several major industries including shipping, fishing, and whaling.
A typical visit to Sheffield Island includes a round-trip ferry cruise and tour of the lighthouse, which allows visitors to step back into a day in the life of a 19th-century lightkeeper. The 10-room structure, complete with period furniture served as the residence of the lighthouse keeper and his family. After taking the lighthouse tour, visitors will enjoy exploring the grounds and walking the nature trail through the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge where nesting herons and other wildlife can be observed.
The ferry travels between the shore and Sheffield Island 1-3 times per day depending on the day of the week. Check out the ferry schedule and fares while planning your visit.
Family Fun & Day Trip Packages
There are a dozen reasons why Sheffield Island is an excellent day trip idea for families and groups. Read on for more information:
Thursday Cruises & Clambakes – This package includes a round trip ferry cruise, a meal under the pavilion tent next to the lighthouse and a lighthouse tour. Clambakes are held on Thursdays from May-September with the ferry departing at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $65.00 or $79.00 per person depending on your choice of entree. Read more and book your tickets here.
Haunted Lighthouse – Halloween comes early on Sheffield Island with this fun family event. Gussied up in its ghoulish best, the lighthouse is transformed to host unique haunted tours. This year, the haunted lighthouse days will occur on August 9 & 10.
Relax After Your Visit
Upon disembarking the ferry after a fun-filled day, you’ll want to kick back and relax as you get your “land legs” back. Minutes away from the Sheffield Island ferry dock, you will find a selection of restaurants and pubs to choose from along Washington Street. Head to the Ginger Man for brews and traditional pub fare; the Strada 18 for artisanal pizza and wine; or Chocopologie for a truly decadent treat. But those are just a few suggestions, there is no shortage of options within walking distance of the dock.
Visitors flock to Sheffield Island and its iconic lighthouse and for good reason. A 5-minute drive or 25-minute walk from your home here at the Waypointe, the ferry dock may as well be in your backyard. If you’re considering a move to Norwalk, a trip to the island is a great way to get to know the area. Afterward, contact us to enjoy luxury living in a great area.