Norwalk Connecticut is a harbor town set on the northern shore of Long Island Sound where the Norwalk River empties into the Sound. Norwalk was founded in 1649 and is statistically part of the New York metropolitan area. The city is known for shopping, fine dining, and nightlife comparable to that found in New York City. The harbor has some of the best-protected marinas on the Connecticut shore, and pleasure boating, sunset cruises, and visits to offshore islands are very popular. The Maritime Aquarium, historic lighthouses, and many public beaches are top attractions. The protected waters support many watersports including rowing, small boat sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.