In fact, many New Englanders don't even know this gem, making it all the more dear for those 4,000 or so who call it home. But art—and beauty—does come at a price. It's one of the most expensive spots in the state (as well as the nation). And yet this village has a low-key sensibility, with pizza joints, ice-cream parlors, and a volunteer fire department.
Where to stay: The family-owned Norwalk Inn on the Norwalk River offers 72 rooms and verdant grounds a 10-minute drive from Rowayton. Rates start at $99; norwalkinn.com.