Derby, Connecticut is the smallest city in Connecticut by both area and population, but it has so much to offer visitors. As you walk through its understated, small-town streets that are so rich in history, there is a palpable New England charm that can’t be described — only experienced. The surrounding area is also rich in environmental features and wildlife, so the more adventurous have plenty to explore. The city is also right outside of New Haven, so it remains in close contact with the latest intellectual and cultural trends. There is truly something for everyone in Derby.
You can always feel relaxed in Derby knowing that there are over ten veterinary clinics in the area. Also, Derby and adjacent New Haven share nearly twenty Fido-approved lodging options, so you can be sure to find something that suits your needs. Whether you want to explore the vast woodlands of the nearby state parks, or just sit at a café in town and enjoy the tranquil New England atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Derby. There are also multiple dog parks in the area, so expect to meet some new friends, both two-legged and four-legged!
Derby is truly a wonderful place for dog owners to visit, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself planning a return trip soon after your departure.
Stevenson is a quiet and spacious neighborhood to the northeast of Derby. While it might be unassuming, there are some great things to do there for you and your dog! Check out Webb Mountain Discovery Zone, a 171-acre park with multiple hiking trails and 27 learning stations that provide information about the environment and wildlife in the park. They welcome four-legged friends as long as they remain leashed. You can also head a few minutes north to Lake Zoar, where you will find Lake Zoar Drive-In. They offer dog-friendly outdoor seating so you can enjoy your choice of the many American staples on their menu!
Travel south from Derby over the Housatonic River, and you will reach Huntington, a charming neighborhood with a great deal to offer visitors. Make sure to stop by Shelton Dog Park just a little more than a mile down the road — it is a fenced park with small and large dog areas, and there are even some obstacles for dogs to play on. If that’s not enough of a treat, you can travel to the Ice Cream Shoppe on Bridgeport Avenue for some of the best ice cream around! They offer outdoor seating to accommodate furry friends. If you’re looking for something more substantial, then head south to Captain’s Pizza; they also have outdoor seating so you can enjoy the best pizza in town.
The neighborhood of Naugy-Ox is just ten miles north of Derby, and it is definitely an area you do not want to miss if you love the outdoors. It is home to Naugatuck State Forest, which encompasses almost 5,000 acres! That’s a lot of ground to cover, so you might want to plan ahead for your visit. The forest has trails of varying difficulty, so there is something for everyone there. Southford Falls State Park is also a great place to visit in Naugatuck; it is known for its beautiful ponds and streams that run through its scenic woods. Both parks welcome four-legged friends on leashes.
Downtown Derby might sound like a horse race, but it is actually one of the most rewarding neighborhoods to visit for travelers in Connecticut. Take a walk through the heart of the town to experience the New England architecture and ambiance that the state is so well-known for. For a tasty treat, you can head to Peachwave Frozen Yogurt; they offer dog-friendly outdoor seating for canine customers. Osbornedale State Park is a terrific location to continue your visit — it contains numerous hiking trails through the beautiful Northeastern woodlands, and there is also an environmental center that provides information about environment preservation and sustainability.
Anyone visiting Derby should consider making the short, ten-mile drive into New Haven, home of Yale University. The atmosphere is surprisingly friendly there, and there are many activities for people and their pawesome pals to enjoy. Definitely check out Edgewood Park on Edgewood Street — it has an off-leash dog park where you are sure to make some new friends! For some great eats, try Maison Mathis, a Belgian-style restaurant that won’t disappoint. For something more traditional, head to Chap’s Grille, where you can find delicious burgers and other classics. Both restaurants have dog-friendly outdoor seating that doubles as a people-watching perch!