Traveling to Norwalk
Norwalk is actually more accessible than you may think! There is also more to do in Norwalk than just fighting robots.
Wikitravel is a great place to get started. Their page on Norwalk has lots of activities.
Our address is:
NHRL 165 Water Street Norwalk, CT 06854
Parking is available on site and in lots around the building.
Help for Bot Builders
We are always looking for ways to make it easier to compete.
- Folks wishing to come Friday before the event are welcome to use our facilities all day, the team often stays late the night before while preparing for the event.
- 50 Day is staffed M-F 10a-6p. If you want to mail your robot ahead of coming to the event that can be accommodated. We can be there to sign for it.
Getting to Norwalk, CT
Norwalk is pretty accessible by major highways. The closest exit to our location is Exit 15 off I-95. We are also accessible off Exit 40 from the Merritt Parkway. Route 7 Also terminates in norwalk and is a close drive. There is a good amount of parking available at and around our location.
Train / Mass Transit
NHRL is surprisingly accessible by train. If you are coming from the New York metro area you can take any New Haven Line train to the South Norwalk Station. From there its about a 0.5 mile walk. Also if you message any member of the crew in discord we are happy to pop over and pick you up. If you are taking the train from further away, the nearest Amtrak Acela stop is Stamford, CT. From there its a an easy transfer to the New Haven Line for a quick 10 minute ride to South Norwalk.
Trains stop running at about midnight. If you're planning to stay for the whole event, make sure you have some accommodations to spend the night.
Note that if you are taking the train from South Norwalk back to New York, you must enter the station from the State Street entrance on the station's west side. This is sometimes accessible from the station's east side via an underground tunnel, but the tunnel is closed sometimes, especially at night. You may want to give yourself a few extra minutes of walking time to account for this.
If you are looking to Fly to Norwalk typically the cheapest flights are headed into New York City. La Guardia (LGA) is the closest airport with a lot of flights. John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is not that much further away and has more flights. If you are lucky you might be able to find a flight into Westchester (HPN) which is substantially closer. Taking mass transit from any of these airports is rarely practical as typical travel times via mass transit are in the 2-3 hours range, with multiple changes required. Renting a car or an Uber/Lyft is likely your best bet. It can be anywhere from a 45 minute to 1 Hour 45 minute drive to Norwalk.
Getting your Robot to CT
We are willing to accept delivery of your robot ahead of your arrival. We get daily UPS/FedEx deliveries and have loading docks that can accept LTL shipments. Before shipping anything it is important to let our staff know it's coming! If you are shipping a robot it's best to ship it 50 Day street instead of 165 Water Street.
Suggested Robot Shipping Address:
[Your bot name] c/o Gil Hova 50 Day Street Norwalk, CT 06854
Staying Overnight in Norwalk
These hotels are nothing fancy but should provide you with a clean, relaxing stay before or after a long day of robot combat. You should be able to find accommodations for around $100 - $150 a night. In general if you stay places that are charging under $100 a night in CT you are going to have a bad time. It's worth the extra 20 bucks to stay somewhere nicer. Generally, Norwalk has pretty low crime and you can feel safe leaving robot stuff in your car.
- Residence Inn Norwalk
- It can get pricey but it is the only hotel in walking distance to the event.
- Large suites with kitchen and dishwasher, in case you're staying a while.
- Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk
- Affordable, clean, and very enthusiastic about working with us.
- About 10 minutes away by car.
- Shuttle service to and from the facility on event day (note that the shuttle service will likely close well before our event ends)
- Check our Discord and emails for discounts for the upcoming event!
- Even Hotel Norwalk
- Affordable, clean, last remodeled in 2018 and about 10 minutes away.
- Service has been reported to be good.
- All rooms have a barn door style frosted door to the bathroom. This means you can be seen fairly well when you are in the bathroom.
- Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk
- New in 2018 and about 10 minutes away
- Good restaurant and roof top bar
- DoubleTree Connecticut Avenue
- Decent international chain hotel
- Warm chocolate chip cookie (with nuts) at check-in
- Norwalk Inn
- This used to be in our "Not recommended" list as "Old, Busted, Unloved." However, we have had people stay there and say it's not so bad. It's possible that the hotel has been renovated. Don't go in with high expectations, and let us know if you think it should go back to "Not recommended"!
Not Recommended - Don't stay here
The following hotels have poor reviews from bot builders. In general they may be the cheapest but they tend to not be very nice or clean.
- Red Carpet Inn - Don't do it! Seriously! Sleep in your car first. It's not worth whatever savings they are offering.
There are multitude of local AirBnB available that are near the venue. If you are rooming with other builders this is likely the best way to achieve the lowest cost per night. Getting an AirBnB for just yourself will unlikely be cheaper than a hotel, but a large house split across many builders can be.
Where to Eat in Norwalk
Norwalk is home to dozens of wonderful restaurants!
If you need a quick bite to eat or take-out to bring back to NHRL, here are some good suggestions;
- SONO Harbor Deli and Cafe - Great breakfast/lunch stop walking distance from NHRL.
- Herb's Place - Ballpark-esque walk up food service, walking distance from NHRL.
- The Sono Baking Company & Cafe - Best known for desserts, but also has good breakfast/lunch options
- Mainport Fish and Chips - Famous local eatery serving street-food style fish, chicken, and gyro meals. Very affordable and filling meals.
- Mecha Noodle Bar - Noodle and rice dishes, open late.
- Blue Cactus Grill - Delicious cheesesteak with a wide selection of fixins
- Orem's Diner - Local Greasy Spoon. Austin's favorite in the area for breakfast.
These are some decent local sit-down restaurants.
- Famous Pizza House - Excellent pasta, pizza, and Italian meals. Available take-out or sit-down.
- Donovan's - Classic pub and eatery, I highly recommend the fish.
- The Blind Rhino - Easygoing saloon with pub food. Not recommended for families.
- Saltwater SONO Restaurant and Bar - Upscale New England style seafood
- SONO Seaport Seafood Inc. - New England seafood on the waterfront
Looking for a place to celebrate your win, spend your prize money, or enjoy a nice meal after a long day of bot fighting? You've come to the right place;
- Washington Prime - Steakhouse in Sono
- Barcelona - Great tapas a short drive away
- Rowayton Seafood - Awesome seafood in a cute little hamlet of Norwalk
What Else is There to do in Norwalk
NHRL is located pretty close to Norwalk's central business district. The area is known as SONO It's about a 5 minute walk from where the event is.
- Norwalk Aquarium - New Englands Largest Aquarium
- Switch Tower Museum - Cool old Train Stuff
- Stepping Stones Childrens Museum - Good for kids
- Lockwood Mathews Mansion - Rumored to be Austin's house.. but its not.
- Calf Pasture Beach - Very nice beach
- The Sono Collection - A huge mall in walking distance.
- US-1 Shopping Area - 5 minutes north of NHRL is the main shopping area for SONO. Every major retail store you can think of (Shop Rite, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc.) can be found here.