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Old 05-27-2009, 05:13 PM
 
243 posts, read 447,959 times
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Many of us have different opinions on Connecticut and was wondering what everyone thought is the best of the best in terms of one of the greatest states in the country.

If you had to pick one and only one of each of the four types of living enviroments in the state of Connecticut what would they be? There isn't a list of factors that you need to evaluate just your own personal opinion.

Connecticut Magazine has ranked the towns by population, and I think the users here should do the same, how about by Urban (70,000+), Suburban(30-70,000), Rural-Suburban (15-30,000) and Rural (Under 15,000).

Urban: New Haven. When people think of New England they think of educated individuals and historical cities. I think New Haven def. fits this criteria with Yale University, Long Wharf Theater, countless restaurants that offer some of the most well-known pizza in the nation, etc. On top of that it offers the best nightlife in the state since Hartford and Bridgeport are virtually ghost towns after 5:00pm. Stamford is making a run but still has a couple more years.

Suburban: This is obviously a tough one since much of the state is Suburban. I think my vote would most likely go to Fairfield however. Fairfield as we all know is a large town with a fairly sized population. Fairfield offers its shoreline, which may lack compared to Eastern Connecticut communities such as Madison, Westbrook, Clinton, etc, but accompanied with the beaches are so many more services. Excellent schools, both public and private. On top of that there is great downtown area home of countless shops and boutiques as well as Black Rock Turnpike and Boston Post Route that offer everything you need. The homes in Fairfield range from modest ranches to sprawling estates and some of the most prime waterfront real estate in the country. There is a wide variation in home prices which also adds to my vote for Fairfield.

Rural-Suburban: What I mean by this are towns that are growing in size and still offer a slower paced lifestyle then other areas. I think my vote would go for East Lyme. Eastern Connecticut seems so much more "New-Englandly" than the more populated areas of southwestern connecticut and the Hartford area. I don't know why I get this feeling but I just do. Schools are very good and the beach is an added plus.

Rural: New Hartford. I think its a great town in Litchfield County and it has a very rural feel with alot of farms, small roads and basically no commericialization at all. The downtown is small but atleast it is there unlike many other towns that have lost there charecter.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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[/quote]Rural: New Hartford. I think its a great town in Litchfield County and it has a very rural feel with alot of farms, small roads and basically no commericialization at all. The downtown is small but atleast it is there unlike many other towns that have lost there charecter.[/quote]

You got my vote on New Hartford. We moved to New Hartford several years ago and I continue to be amazed at the lovely town in which we are fortunate to live.

So many towns in CT are wonderful though. We were down in the East Haddam area to visit Gillette Castle over the weekend. I was thinking on the drive home that it would be close to impossible to pick a perfect town in CT as there are so many nice towns, IMO.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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Urban: Stamford
Suburban: Westport
Rural Suburban: Monroe
Rural: Durham

Last edited by usmcfamily; 05-27-2009 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Fairfield County, CT
7,216 posts, read 5,107,517 times
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Urban: New Haven
Suburban: Westport
Rural Suburban: Madison
Rural: Chester
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Live in NY State, (sometimes) work in CT
6,626 posts, read 8,347,645 times
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Urban: tie - Stamford and New Haven, like equally for different reasons

Suburban: Westport (though I'll never be able to afford to live there, LOL! :-), but at least Sherwood Island SP isn't limited to town residents).

Rural-Suburban: Redding - Back in the 80s I actually had a HS English teacher who lived in an old farmhouse there and commuted all the way to Mt. Vernon, NY almost to the Bronx. He invited us to a party at his home up there at the end of the school year, was really cool place, but I put in this category because it's not truly "rural CT". Two years later when my sister had him he invited me again.

Rural: Durham
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,456 posts, read 4,923,780 times
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Urban: New Haven
Suburban: Guilford
Rural-Suburban: East Lyme
Rural: Durham
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:15 PM
 
127 posts, read 356,837 times
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Urban - New Haven. MetsNY captured why it's by far my fav.
Suburban - Glastonbury. Don't know it that well but it's charming, good schools, close to hartford/UConn, lots of shops and amenities. Plus the FFC towns are way too expensive and I think that should be a factor.
Rural-Suburban - Chester b/c it has my favorite village center in all of CT.
Rural - South Kent b/c it's absolutely beautiful.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:11 AM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 13,074,288 times
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I tried...I can't do it.

Each town and city has it's strengths and weaknesses, but none IMHO to put one above the other in a "best" category.

For instance:
Hartford for a city that has a "stand alone" feel, corporate might, nice downtown and nice burbs.

New Haven for the ocean and "culture".

Stamford for the proximity to NYC, Ocean and corporate might.

When you get into the smaller towns, it's get really difficult. Chester? Yep, nice town...but what about Litchfield? Or Putnam? East Haddam? Essex? Stonington? Mystic? Noank? etc etc

I sometimes hate lists for that reason as it secludes many nice places as "not best" and that can be taken as "not nice".
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Cheshire, Conn.
2,102 posts, read 5,191,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
When you get into the smaller towns, it's get really difficult. Chester? Yep, nice town...but what about Litchfield? Or Putnam? East Haddam? Essex? Stonington? Mystic? Noank?
For the most part, I agree. For some towns, it's the hamlets within them that have the charm. Mystic has a unique character distinct from the towns of Stonington and Groton in which it's location. The same can be said for Noank in the town of Groton.

There are some gems in Windham County. However, once other considerations are factored in (friends, family, jobs), these towns become less practical.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:43 AM
 
Location: USA East Coast
4,445 posts, read 4,754,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetsNY View Post
Many of us have different opinions on Connecticut and was wondering what everyone thought is the best of the best in terms of one of the greatest states in the country.

If you had to pick one and only one of each of the four types of living enviroments in the state of Connecticut what would they be? There isn't a list of factors that you need to evaluate just your own personal opinion.

Connecticut Magazine has ranked the towns by population, and I think the users here should do the same, how about by Urban (70,000+), Suburban(30-70,000), Rural-Suburban (15-30,000) and Rural (Under 15,000).

Urban: New Haven. When people think of New England they think of educated individuals and historical cities. I think New Haven def. fits this criteria with Yale University, Long Wharf Theater, countless restaurants that offer some of the most well-known pizza in the nation, etc. On top of that it offers the best nightlife in the state since Hartford and Bridgeport are virtually ghost towns after 5:00pm. Stamford is making a run but still has a couple more years.

Suburban: This is obviously a tough one since much of the state is Suburban. I think my vote would most likely go to Fairfield however. Fairfield as we all know is a large town with a fairly sized population. Fairfield offers its shoreline, which may lack compared to Eastern Connecticut communities such as Madison, Westbrook, Clinton, etc, but accompanied with the beaches are so many more services. Excellent schools, both public and private. On top of that there is great downtown area home of countless shops and boutiques as well as Black Rock Turnpike and Boston Post Route that offer everything you need. The homes in Fairfield range from modest ranches to sprawling estates and some of the most prime waterfront real estate in the country. There is a wide variation in home prices which also adds to my vote for Fairfield.

Rural-Suburban: What I mean by this are towns that are growing in size and still offer a slower paced lifestyle then other areas. I think my vote would go for East Lyme. Eastern Connecticut seems so much more "New-Englandly" than the more populated areas of southwestern connecticut and the Hartford area. I don't know why I get this feeling but I just do. Schools are very good and the beach is an added plus.

Rural: New Hartford. I think its a great town in Litchfield County and it has a very rural feel with alot of farms, small roads and basically no commericialization at all. The downtown is small but atleast it is there unlike many other towns that have lost there charecter.
URBAN: New Haven hands down. It offers the best mix of urban living, the arts, entertainment, education, restaurants, and looks and feels like a port city. Hartford… and much more Bridgeport seem to have a different look and feel and I agree they are ghost towns after 5:00 PM. I really don’t know much about Stamford.

As far as suburban and rural…there are just way too many towns that fall into this group to make a fair choice.

One note however about something you said about East Lyme:

In terms of “New Englandy” I think coastal eastern Connecticut in areas like East Lyme is the least New Englandy region of all of Connecticut by far. Compared to the rocky and hilly terrain of much of inland Connecticut (like much of New England itself)…eastern coastal Connecticut from around Madison eastward to the Rhode Island state line…is flat with tidal marshes and flat unrocky beaches. Unlike the real New England coast with crashing waves on rocky headlands, and large expensive homes perched on large tracts of land…coastal eastern Connecticut has a mix of homes and home styles, ramshackle beach cottages, fishing shacks, and most communities are low lying. Having traveled up and down the East Coast…I think eastern Connecticut feels and looks much more like the flat and marshy low lying tidal middle Atlantic coast than the real New England coast.
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