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5 Best Places to Live in Connecticut, 2021

By: Emily Kho
August 13, 2021

If you’re interested in moving to the Constitution State, a state known for its scenic outdoors, culture, and small-town feel, you’ll be faced with the challenge of figuring out where you’ll want to live. With so many incredible cities to choose from, you might have a hard time narrowing down your options.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you begin your Connecticut apartment search by narrowing down your options and choosing your ideal city. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you learn more about the best places to live in Connecticut and find the best city for you!

1. Bridgeport

The historic seaport city Bridgeport is the largest city in Connecticut and the fifth-most populated city in New England, including Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut. The showman P.T. Barnum, most famously known for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, was a resident of Bridgeport and even became mayor in the late 19th century.

Bridgeport consists of numerous neighborhoods, each with distinct features. These neighborhoods are broken into five more generalized geographic areas known as the West Side, the South End, the North End, the East Side, and Downtown.

The nickname of Bridgeport, which is the Park City, pays homage to the city’s renowned public park system. Today, Bridgeport has nearly 1,300 acres of public park space. The most popular parks include Seaside Park, boasting over 325 acres, Ellsworth Park, outdoor fitness equipment, picnic areas, walking trails, and Went Field, an excellent place for kids and adults to have fun and unwind.

People from across the United States are now migrating towards Bridgeport because it is an affordable city with a very high quality of life. In the first quarter of 2021, the most significant migration to Bridgeport came from New York, New York, making up an astonishing 51.4% of the moves into the city. Behind New York was New Haven, Connecticut, at 15.7%, and Hartford, Connecticut, at 3.8%.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Bridgeport.

2. New Haven

The coastal city of New Haven sits along the northern shore of Long Island Sound on New Haven Harbor. This city is Connecticut’s second-largest and was one of the first planned cities of the country. The Nine Square Plan, consisting of eight streets on a four-by-four grid, was laid out in 1638 by founding English Puritans. Today, the Nine Square Plan has been recognized as a National Planning Landmark by the American Planning Association.

New Haven flawlessly blends urban living with New England charm. You’ll find countless coffee shops, concert venues, and century-old architecture houses. As one of the most walkable city centers found between Boston and New York, anyone looking for peace is sure to find that in the rural homes of New Haven.

The Ivy League school Yale University is in New Haven, adding more charm to this city. Students of all disciplines and backgrounds flock to Yale, including celebrities, politicians, innovators, and artists.

Throughout the east coast, people are now increasingly moving to New Haven. In the first quarter of 2021, the most significant migrations to New Haven came from New York, New York, making up the most considerable portion at 20.1% of the moves into the city. Behind New York were Bridgeport, Connecticut, at 18.2%, and Hartford, Connecticut, at 15.8%.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in New Haven.

3. Stamford

The third-largest city in Connecticut is Stamford, which was named after Stamford, Lincolnshire in England. Today, Stamford is a booming metropolitan city home to nine Fortune 500 companies and countless large, well-known corporations. Outside of New York City, Stamford has one of the largest financial districts in the region and one of the largest concentrations of corporations in the country.

Despite being a financial epicenter, Stamford is still a nautical city. When living in Stamford, you should take advantage of your environment by getting involved with crabbing, fishing, or swimming at the public beaches at Cummings Park and Cove Island Park. The city spans over 19 miles of shoreline.

Stamford is the fastest growing city in Connecticut and there is an increasing number of millennials flocking to this famous city. Not surprisingly, seeing as Stamford has been ranked the safest city in New England and the 11th safest in the country.

While there is plenty to do all year round, one of the main events in Stamford is held each summer. The Alive@Five outdoor summer concert series is held annually at Columbus Park. Big names in music headline each year, over six weeks.

You can catch the Thanksgiving Day Parade in the fall, which brings over 100,000 spectators each year. This event is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country and features guest appearances, colorful balloons, eye-catching floats, and award-winning marching bands.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Stamford.

4. Hartford

Hartford, the capital city of Connecticut, is one of the oldest cities in the country. It was founded in 1635 and, as such, is home to some of the nation’s oldest entities, including the oldest continuously published newspaper, the Hartford Courant, the oldest publicly funded park, Bushnell Park, and the oldest public art museum, Wadsworth Atheneum. One of the most notable structures in Hartford is the Mark Twain House, where the famous author raised his family.

With an excellent blend of old metro areas with new fun, choosing the best neighborhood in Hartford can be tricky. Some of the most popular neighborhoods include South Green, Downtown Hartford, Frog Hollow, Asylum Hill, and Clay Arsenal.

Other popular attractions in Hartford include the Connecticut Science Center, with 168 exhibits and DIY activities, the State Capitol, which overlooks Bushnell Memorial Park, and the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, the country’s first municipal rose garden. Whether you’re a hiker or a stroller, there are tons of places to enjoy in Hartford, including the Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area, Metacomet Trail, and the Gillette Castle State Park and Mansion.

Throughout the east coast, people are now migrating to Hartford. In the first quarter of 2021, the most significant migrations to Hartford came from New Haven, Connecticut, making up 22.7% of the city’s biggest move. Behind New Haven were New York, New York, at 18.4%, and Springfield, Illinois, at 6.2%.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Hartford.

5. Waterbury

In west-central Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, you’ll find Waterbury, which was incorporated as a town in 1686 and later as a city in 1853. The city got its name for its plentiful waterways and has also been nicknamed the Brass City, as before World War II, Waterbury was the center of the American brass industry.

Waterbury is split up into 25 diverse neighborhoods. Some of the more popular neighborhoods in the city are East End, Oakville, Terryville, and Bunker Hill. The Downtown area of Waterbury offers more of a city feel, with parades, fancy stores, and live theater. The Matt, Mattatuck Museum and Arts Center has 25 rotating exhibits and can be found in the heart of downtown.

Other notable attractions in the city include Palace Theater, which has recently undergone a $30 million renovation and is a 1920 historic landmark. The Timexpo Museum is another unique spot for all ages that takes a look into the history of the watch and clock industry. Lastly, hop on the Railroad Museum of New England for a scenic exploration of the Mattatuck State Forest unlike any other.

You can find all different types of cuisine in Waterbury, from Sultan’s Turkish Restaurant to Diorio Restaurant and Bar. At the end of the day, wrap things up with a nightcap at Highland Brass Co., Scorecard Bar, and Grill, or Boru’s Bar and Grill.

Check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Waterbury.

Final Thoughts - Where Should I Move to in Connecticut?

No matter what you are looking for in Connecticut, whether it be fun along the water of the Naugatuck River in Waterbury or the hustle of a more metropolitan area like Stamford, there's something for everyone. Thankfully, some of the best places to live in Connecticut are still reasonably priced.

So, if you are interested in moving to Connecticut, now might be a good time to start your research. First, find out more information about the cost of living in Connecticut. Next, register with Apartment List today and start checking out the thousands of available apartments to rent in Connecticut!

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Emily is a professionally trained SEO writer who covers a wide range of topics but specializes in business and hospitality content. With over a decade of professional writing experience in the hospitality industry, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a BS from the world-renowned William F. Read More
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