As a 35 year old single professional, Stephanie Stellwagen made the big move from New York City to the suburbs. Friends thought she was crazy for moving but the suburbs worked out better for her than living in the city. Now, she lives happily in Greenwich, CT with her husband and 2 year old daughter while pursuing her passions as a blogger, influencer and triathlete. Here is a peek into Stephanie Stellwagen’s Life in Greenwich, CT.
Tell me about your journey to the suburbs
This is an interesting one. In 2010, I had been living in NYC for twelve years and really was looking for a major change. I was working for Wells Fargo Securities and planned to keep working there so my options were limited. I craved trees, nature, space, a more outdoor active community and to be near the water. After getting approved to move my role with Wells Fargo to San Francisco (a city I loved, where my company was also headquartered) I had very last minute cold feet and decided I did not want to be that far away from my family in the northeast. With that, I knew for my overall happiness I had to move out of the city. Greenwich really was the only option for me after looking at a couple other towns in Connecticut. I had visited Greenwich a few times for work and always loved the vibrant downtown. I knew I wanted a town that had a lot to offer in terms of culture, shopping, restaurants etc. As a triathlete, this was an important one. The first thing I did was google, “ Greenwich Triathlon” and realized that Greenwich had a huge triathlon presence and active club. Finally after talking to a friend/colleague who lived and was raised in Greenwich, he and his wife had me up for the day to show me around. They drove me to Tod’s Point Beach and I knew Greenwich was the place for me.
I was 35 years old and very single when I moved to the suburbs… I vividly recall co-workers telling me “I was crazy for moving out to the suburbs single. That I would never meet anyone single there”. Ironically, it worked out better for me than living in the city had for twelve years. 🙂 I always encourage people who are looking to make that change from the city to the suburbs, who are single and worry about moving to the burbs. Greenwich is probably the best option as there is so much to offer. My biggest surprise as a 35 year old single woman was how many other single people live in Greenwich. It’s a great town to meet people in.
How old is your daughter? What do you like to do with her in Greenwich or in the area?
My daughter is 2 years old. There is so much to do with kids in Greenwich. I would say her favorite thing is to go to the park. There are so many options in Greenwich. She loves Bruce Park and Cos Cob Park is great too. We spend a lot of time at Tod’s Point Beach, in all seasons and I recently introduced her to Mianus Park trails. She loves to swim at the Greenwich YMCA. There are a lot of reading, music and play programs in town as well that are wonderful.
What are the best playgrounds and parks in the area?
Bruce Park, Cos Cob Park, Riverside School Park. We also go to Bedford a lot and she loves that park.
What are your favorite restaurants in Greenwich or in the area? Date night? Kid Friendly?
Matt and I love to do date night and try to once a week. Some of our favorite go-to’s in the area are the Inn At Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges in Pound Ridge, NY; Tavern at GrayBarns in Norwalk, CT; Le Fat Poodle in Old Greenwich, CT and, although a bit of a drive, I really like 121 in North Salem, NY. We also enjoy Modern Barn in Armonk, NY.
Hands down our favorite family restaurant is Truck in Bedford, NY and we frequent Cos Cobber quite often with Pippa, right in Cos Cob, CT. It’s a perfect early dinner with kids. We also love doing breakfast in the Barn at the Bedford Post Inn, Bedford, NY on weekends.
When you moved to Greenwich, did you know anyone? Any tips/advice you can give to newcomers on how to meet people?
I really did not. Minus my colleague and his wife who went on to become good friends of ours and came to our wedding, I really did not know a soul. I had married girlfriends friends who lived in Wilton and Ridgefield with their kids, but that was it.
My advice to newcomers who want to meet people is you have to get out and make it happen. I recall making myself go to a Christmas Party for the Triathlon Club, that I had just joined but had yet to go to any of the workouts or meet any of the members yet. Going to that party was life changing and I met some of my now closest friends that night.
I feel the more you are involved in local activities, charities, the community or a church, the easier it is, especially in a town like Greenwich, where there are so many people. We recently just joined a new church in Greenwich and I can not say enough about how embracing the community is. We have met so many new friends already.
Can you describe your social life?
It is pretty quiet now compared to what it used to be… haha. I had a very active social life and now am in a place where I really love quiet nights at home with my family. We try to schedule dinner with friends once a week and I would say I am out at least once or twice a week with friends or activities I am involved in. I also consider ‘training’ time my social hour. With bike classes, running groups and meeting up with friends to swim at 5am, I get my social fix often first thing in the morning. Now that I am home during the day it is easier for me to meet friends for breakfast and lunch, which I love to do!
How would you describe Greenwich residents?
Greenwich has a very diverse group of residents from all over the world, which I love. I feel Greenwich can get a bad rap from those who may not live here. A lot of Greenwich residents we have come to know and love are hard working young families trying to provide the best life for their children and have chosen Greenwich to do it. There is a lot of success in Greenwich and with that a lot of generosity as well. My experience so far is that it is a great place to network, support other local businesses and to be supported. There are exceptions to this, I am sure as there are any place, however my experience has only been positive- one that I hope continues.
What are some things you don’t like about Greenwich?
Traffic! Sometimes it’s a bit hard getting around town. Route 1 can be brutal at times (especially when school is out) but hey, that is just a minor inconvenience considering all of the positives.
Are you a member of a country club/beach club/yacht club?
We are not, currently. We spend a lot of time at our home in Maine in the summer so we have not thought about joining one at this time, but you never know down the road.
What has your experience been so far with schools in Greenwich?
We just started Pippa this year in the 2’s program at First Presbyterian Nursery School in Greenwich. We could not be happier with the program there. The nursery school came very highly recommended to us and has far exceeded any expectations we had. I have heard nothing but great things about the public schools in Greenwich and often it is cited as why a lot of families choose to move to Greenwich.
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
Neither of us commute right now but I did for six years. The commute is not bad from Greenwich. I took the 6:02 am express train for years, which was a ~50 minute train ride. There are several express trains during peak travel but even the non express trains are less than an hour. I parked at the Greenwich train station across the street from L’Escale restaurant and it was super easy. There you do not need a parking permit but can pay daily.
Any tips/advice you can give to someone who is looking to move to the area?
Come visit! I always try to convince friends I know who are considering NYC suburbs to come spend time with us. I am biased but also feel blessed to live in such a great town with too many resources to count. I think there are many great options in southern Connecticut. I would say come out and spend a day. Greenwich in the spring and summer turns into such a cute beach town.
You just launched a new website. Tell me more about it.
Yes! Stephstell.com is an online destination for travel, New England and beyond, as well as some Lifestyle and Motherhood. My website is basically a continuation of my Instagram account. After receiving numerous requests over the summer for guides to New England destinations, mostly Kennebunkport, I realized I needed a place to house all my suggestions and that could serve as a resource for others.
Stephanie Stellwagen is a Content Creator, Influencer and Blogger focused on Travel & Lifestyle. She is also an experienced Marketing & Event Management Consultant bringing with her eighteen years of experience in Events, Corporate Access & Marketing on Wall Street.
Stephanie’s sophisticated yet casual content has landed her in partnerships with a wide range of businesses from hotel groups to retail brands. As Founder of StephStell.com you will find a colorful, bright and happy destination for all things travel, lifestyle and motherhood.
Both Stephanie & her husband, Matt have a love of endurance sports, the great outdoors and share a passion for living a healthy and active lifestyle that they now share with their energetic two year old, Pippa. Stephanie has completed 6 marathons, over a dozen Ironman 70.3 triathlons and the Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon which included a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 run.
Stephanie, Matt and Pippa reside in Greenwich, Connecticut and Kennebunkport, Maine. They also enjoy spending a lot of time at the family ski home in the Berkshire Mountains.
@stephstell on instagram