There’s nothing like the charm of New England. Each state has its own benefits, but all share a similar history and cozy vibe. Often overlooked in favor of its larger or more popular sister states, Connecticut is a hidden gem of the region. Centrally located between Boston and New York, and with both coastline and mountain views, the best places to live in Connecticut have a little something for everyone.
If you value time with the family, Connecticut is a great place to put down roots. In fact, a recent survey ranked the state fifth in the nation for best places to be a working dad. And with recent research suggesting most American families spend less than an hour of quality time together each day, states that enable a better work-life balance are ideal for those who’d prefer to spend more time with the ones they love.
Even if you’re a solo agent, Connecticut still has plenty to offer. With access to the Atlantic on one side of the state and the Berkshire Mountains on the other, nature lovers can find a happy home in Connecticut. Research shows that living close to nature is connected to greater levels of happiness and satisfaction, even more than income, physical health, or employment. Career builders will enjoy Connecticut’s short commute to major cities like Boston and New York, as well as smaller cities like Hartford.
Whatever your reason for considering a move to Connecticut, you’re sure to find no shortage of choices. With everything from bigger city lights to quaint small towns, there’s a little bit of everything in the Constitution State. To help narrow down your list, StudyFinds scoured the internet for expert opinions on the best places to live in Connecticut. Here are our top five, but if we missed your favorite, be sure to let us know in the comments.
The List: Best Places to Live in Connecticut, According to Experts
1. West Hartford
Our top spot goes to West Hartford, a charming suburb of Connecticut’s capital. And locals tend to agree that the town is a gem. “Ranked the best place to live in Connecticut three years in a row, West Hartford attracts a diverse group—everyone from young professionals and families to retirees wants to put down roots here,” claims PureWow.
“Even outside of our ranking, West Hartford sounds more like a town in a fairytale than one in Connecticut,” boasts Movoto. “The Center and the Square is always buzzing with some kind of festival or market going on, the West Hartford Reservoir looks like something straight out of Hyrule, and you can even take your kids to Westmoor Park where they can meet llamas, donkeys, horses, cows, goats, and more.”
Community activities, great schools, and access to nearby Hartford make this spot a great one to settle in. “Local people say that there is a lot to love about this area and that it is an ideal location to situate yourself to raise a family, The Crazy Tourist says. “The town is safe and secure and there are plenty of activities on offer for people of all ages; hiking, swimming, and social clubs to name but a few.”
If you’re considering a move to Connecticut to enjoy the scenery, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Simsbury. Located alongside the Farmington River and with plenty of classic New England history and beauty, it’s hard not to love the charming suburb.
“Simsbury mixes livability, natural beauty and centuries of history,” says PureWow. “Expect an abundance of activities, from kayaking to fishing. You’ll also find Talcott Mountain State Park and the trail leading up to the Heublein Tower. Plus, Simsbury has great recreational sports. Kiddos can get involved in town soccer, hockey and lacrosse from an early age.”
For young people, families, retirees, and everyone in between, Simsbury has plenty of qualities to make a move worthwhile. “Simsbury is a great place to live if you want a quiet, suburban community with excellent schools. It is one of the safest places in Connecticut with plenty of amenities,” Movingist notes.
“Throw in some first-class amenities, a diverse, welcoming community, and the kind of job market that’s able to support the highly attractive household median income of $116,444, and it’s understandable why so many people dream of living here,” adds Money Inc.
If you dream of mountain views with downtown conveniences, Ridgefield might be the perfect Connecticut hometown for you. PureWow describes it as “an affluent and adorable town in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.” But the scenery doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. “It’s just an hour from New York City!” PureWow adds.
And whether you’re a single professional hoping for plenty of restaurants and activities, or a young family looking for great schools, Ridgefield has it all and more. “Ridgefield is a quaint and beautiful town, known throughout the state for its stellar schools and world-class dining options,” boasts Movoto. “Things to do and places to eat aside (as we could probably devote an entire post to this alone), Ridgefield residents have an overall high quality of life.”
All in all, if you make the move to Ridgefield, “you can expect a first-class school system, safe, clean streets with little to no crime, a great sense of community, an outstanding calendar of events and festivities, and more than enough shops, restaurants, and recreational venues to keep all but the most hard-core city slicker well-kept in entertainment,” Money Inc says. But of course, if you are in need of a day trip to the city, Hartford and New York City are but an hour away.
Small town comforts meet big city conveniences in the small city of Glastonbury. “Set in Hartford County, just a 15-minute drive from Harford, this small city has the feel of a cozy town,” PlanetWare says. “Founded in the late 1600s, this historic spot is about as charming as you’d expect from a quaint New England city–we’re talking a Main Street lined with Georgian, Colonial and Gothic Revival buildings and quaint cafés.”
“With a population of 34,688, Glastonbury manages to combine the attractions, amenities and recreational opportunities of big city living with a small town, friendly vibe,” claims Money Inc. And for young families, the friendly community and great school system make a compelling case for the city. “Parents who want their children to attend outstanding public schools would see themselves right to relocate here. It is one of the larger schooling districts in Connecticut, and with 46 outstanding schools to choose from, you can’t go too far wrong,” The Crazy Tourist adds.
If you prefer the pace and views of life on the coast, Westport should find itself near the top of your list. “It’s so very easy to fall in love with Westport,” says PlanetWare. “Whether you’re charmed by the kaleidoscopic flowers peeking out from behind white picket fences or captivated by the small-town feel of the adorable Main Street, you won’t want to rush your visit to this lovely town.”
Wondering what a typical day in Westport might look like? “Activities abound,” claims PureWow. “Spend the day frolicking at Compo Beach or Sherwood Island State Park. Play a few rounds of golf. Shop til you drop along Main Street. Dine on the banks of the Saugatuck River. Or catch a show at the Westport Country Playhouse. Planning a summer escape? Levitt Pavilion puts on free concerts during the warmer months.”
Of course, Westport is known for its high cost of living. But experts say the price tag is well worth it. “Westport didn’t just rank well because of its money; it also scored well for the lowest student-teacher ratio in our ranking, just 11 to 1, and lots of amenities,” says Movoto. “All of this gave Westport the best score for overall quality of life of any of the places we looked at. In fact, the only thing really wrong with this place seems to be the high average commute time of 41 minutes-a small price to pay for the highest quality of life in the state, wouldn’t you say?”
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- NY Rent Own Sell
- The Crazy Tourist
- Chamber of Commerce
- Money Inc
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.