I grew up in the suburbs and lived in the city of Hartford after college. The city is a mess, services stink, crime can be bad, your car insurance will double, but the suburbs can be deadly boring. If you are single, you may want to live in the city. As you probably know, insurance dominates in Hartford
I am also qualified to answer. In all my years living here I have never feared walking around Hartford. I NOT only work in Downtown Hartford, but on the weekend I come here for entertaintment. It seems that "certain" individuals left Hartford with a bitter taste so therefore move ON!
Hartford is home to 123,243 Hartfordians. With an area of 17.4 square miles, Hartford has a population density of 7,083 persons per square mile, which makes it more dense than many other cities of comparable size.
The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area boasts a population of 1,206,836 people, of which Hartford proper’s population makes up 10%.
Don't live in Hartford if you are working in Simsbury.
Expats moving to Hartford will make their home in the capital of the state of Connecticut, nicknamed the “insurance capital of the world”. Founded in 1635, it is one of the oldest cities in the USA.
Located on the Connecticut River, at a more or less equal distance west of Boston and north of New York City, Hartford offers its inhabitants a city spirit without the drawbacks of congested neighbourhoods.
The city experiences a hot climate in summer and cool to cold weather in winter, making it an attractive destination for expats who enjoy outdoor activities. Expats moving to Hartford will enjoy the amazing seasons of New England: blossoming springs, warm summers, colourful falls and snow-white winters.
Farmington is a nice town - lowest taxes west of Hartford by far, housing prices are great right now, and if you have children, the schools are excellent. It's about 13 miles to downtown Hartford. Hartford itself is one of those cities that has been trying to get some kind of New Urbanism thing going since I was a teenager at least during the 1970s with some success, although there are some great restaurants and maybe not as much cultural life as Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, but on the other hand it's less than three hours from either Boston or New York.
Also, for a small city, Hartford has a very good arts & culture scene - the Wadsworth Atheneum is a nice museum, Hartford Stage is a well respected theater, The Bushnell has big Broadway shows every year (last year, they had Wicked, this coming year, Pippin just finished and they'l have Kinky Boots later), etc. The Science Center in Hartford is a great place for kids to visit and is well respected throughout the Northeast.
to continue - east of Hartford, you have Glastonbury, a town with a lot of good restaurants and very good schools. South Windsor has a ton of shopping and also has good schools - a bit more affordable alternative to Glastonbury. Manchester schools are not as good as South Windsor, but it's cheaper and has some nice residential neighborhoods. I'd avoid East Hartford, though it does have some nice residential areas as well, you won't get as much resale value in town as the schools are pretty weak.
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Hartford is a great small city. It is a very livable metropolitan area with wonderful suburbs to raise a family. Despite what others say there is a lot to do here. In addition to what has already been mentioned there is the wonderful Infinity Music Theater which offers all kinds a great shows. You also have a number of great restaurants and bars around downtown. The nice thing about Hartford is that there is so much so near. You want mountains, go north to the Berkshires, Vermont or New Hampshire. You want beach, head south to the Connecticut shore or southeast to Rhide Island or even Cape Cod. You want countryside, drive a short distance and you can be in the beautiful Connectivut countryside. You want big city you can drive a couple hours southwest to New York or northeast to Boston. About the only thing we don't have here is desert. There is history, charm, beauty. It is a great area to live.
The OP did not mention the type of community they would like to live in or what they expect for their budget. Generally the most desirable and thus the most expensive towns are West Hartford, Farmington, Avon, Simsbury and Glastonbury. These are generally more upscale towns with excellent schools and a lot for families. Each town though is somewhat different. West Hartford is a more mature and semi dense town with a wonderful downtown. It is one of the most walkable towns in the region. Farmington, Avon and Simsbury are stunning towns located to a beautiful quiet valley just over a line of small mountains west of Hartford that give the area a sort of Shang ra la feel to it. Glastonbury is located southeast of Hartford and is a nice mix of neighborhoods, businesses and a few farms.
South of Hartford are three great more middle class suburbs. Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Newington are all nice and slightly more affordable. The OP should be able to get a nice home for their budget here. Old Wethersfield is a wonderful section of town filled with charming old homes many dating back to colonial times. I could keep going on since there are many more towns convenient to Hartford. I do think we need to know more of what the OP likes so we can help them more. Jay
I am moving to Hartford, CT this fall and am currently figuring out what would be the best decision to take for short-term (2-3 years) living. I am a newbie but am interested in investing in my own place, which maybe I can later rent or profit from it. Since there are many experienced investor (hopefully with knowledge of this area), I would like to ask for any advice on locations, things that you wish you would have known, or any suggestions in general are greatly appreciated. Currently, I am looking for properties under 200K and take advantage of the FHA loan.
Hartford offers everything you need, including a clinic, dentist, pharmacy, optometrist, chiropractor, rehab specialists, and much more! Consider your retail needs covered with a grocery store, several convenience stores, boutiques, hardware/lumber store, and everything in between.
Utilize the Business Directory and Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce website to find local businesses in your area.
From the award winning West Central School District to the City's always-growing trail system, Hartford has you covered.
Hartford is the historic international center of the insurance industry, with companies like Aetna, Conning & Company, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, United Healthcare and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city, and companies like Travelers and Lincoln National Corporation with major operations here. Hartford is also the corporate headquarters to Northeast Utilities, U.S. Fire Arms, and United Technologies. It is a center for medical care, research, and education. Right in the city you will find Hartford Hospital, The Institute of Living, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and St. Francis Hospital and Medical center (which merged with Mt. Sinai Hospital). The area is also called the Knowledge Corridor because of its 29 colleges and universities and 120,000 college students.
Lots of great options in West Hartford, Grocery stories include two Whole Foods which have excellent seafood. Pizza, there is Frank Peppes out post in West Hartford, and Little City in Simsbury plus several choices in West Hartford. Oysters, venture to down Hartford and check out the recently renovated Max Downtown Chop House and Whiskey Bar. During happy hour Oysters ar a buck a piece. Usually only one variety and it is usual North Atlantic something like a blue point, malpeque etc You can Hardly go wrong with Brico for contemporary Italian or Grants. Plan B for burgers. Avert for a French bistro and it’s sister resturant Treva for continental northern Italian . I had an excellent rabbit dish there. Barcelona form tapas and Spanish flair, but Costa DelSol in Hartford for paella. Good local brew include entries include Back East Brewing, Thomas Hooker, Hanging Hills and Hog River. There are many more. Micro brews got a late start in CT because of our inane beverage laws, but it is alive and well now.