U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Connecticut
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:24 PM
 
2 posts, read 15,462 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

We (a late 20-something) couple are on the verge of relocating to Connecticut. We strongly desire to live in (or within walking distance of) a great, safe "downtown" area - but not one in a large city e.g. Hartford, Stamford, etc. We will be moving out of the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston and are looking for an area with similar, walkable amenities.

The only area we know that could fit the bill is West Hartford Center. Are there any other areas within, say, 45-60 minutes of Hartford that have a clean, safe, downtown area?

Ideally, this "downtown" would have at least a handful of decent restaurants, some culture (e.g. a theater), a small to mid sized grocery store, and necessities (e.g. post office, drug store). A place where one could live and get by without use of a car everyday.

Thank you so much in advance for your suggestions! I have tried to search on this topic without luck, but perhaps there are threads out there that I can be directed to.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,200,053 times
Reputation: 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by bceagles39 View Post
We (a late 20-something) couple are on the verge of relocating to Connecticut. We strongly desire to live in (or within walking distance of) a great, safe "downtown" area - but not one in a large city e.g. Hartford, Stamford, etc. We will be moving out of the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston and are looking for an area with similar, walkable amenities.

The only area we know that could fit the bill is West Hartford Center. Are there any other areas within, say, 45-60 minutes of Hartford that have a clean, safe, downtown area?

Ideally, this "downtown" would have at least a handful of decent restaurants, some culture (e.g. a theater), a small to mid sized grocery store, and necessities (e.g. post office, drug store). A place where one could live and get by without use of a car everyday.

Thank you so much in advance for your suggestions! I have tried to search on this topic without luck, but perhaps there are threads out there that I can be directed to.
Manchester and Middletown come to mind, but they are more "middle class" and not so "chic" as WH. That translates into "more affordable" if that matters to you.

Manchester DT is IMHO "more safe" then Middletown, but Middletown does have a "natural" grocery store which Manchester does not. (But Manchester does have Highland Park market about 1 mile from DT)

I can't speak to or remember exactly if Middletown has a drug store, post office or theather located right in downtown but I'm pretty sure it does.

Manchester has all the above, again, aside from the grocery store. I can think of two pizza places (One like a pub atmosphere), Vietmanese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, a "Gourmet" burger bar, a couple cafe's, two bakeries (three if you count going a block or two off main street), hardware store, dollar store, post office, pharmacy, a Halall (sp?) market, two banks, a furniture store, antique store, printer, bike shop, several barber shops and salons, a "quick" mart, couple liquor stores, dance studios, massage therapists, jewlers, fitness (Curves etc), shoe cobbler, doctors and dentists, two nice parks, walking trails, excellent library, town hall, music shop and a whole lot more I can't think of off the top of my head...all on main street. Oh and the little Cheney theater just off main street on Hartford road (about 3 blocks). A small indie band place about 1/4 mile off main if that. (The Hungry Tiger)

Some links to the above:

http://www.downtownmanchester.org
http://www.downtownmanchester.org/directory.htm

http://www.catsupandmustard.com
http://thelandmarkcafe.com
http://www.yelp.com/biz/chaus-restaurant-manchester
http://www.yelp.com/biz/brass-key-restaurant-manchester
http://www.ghbreadct.com
http://manchesterhardware.doitbest.com/home.aspx
http://www.dynamicpercussion.com
http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl...66183001795996
http://mulberrystreetnow.com
http://www.restaurantandfood.com/restaurant/?view=menu&restaurant=3100&menu=349 (broken link)
http://www.cheneyhall.org
http://library.ci.manchester.ct.us/intro.html (broken link)

http://www.thehungrytiger.com

That's really about it on the smaller city side I'm afraid.

Last edited by JViello; 04-21-2010 at 01:05 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
2,727 posts, read 5,187,206 times
Reputation: 1962
I'm not sure where the post office and if/where a theater might be in Middletown, but Route 66 has stores and such. There is a Walgreens on there too. It's been a while sicne I've been that way but I know they've added a Five Guys on Route 66 also.

Route 66 intersects with Main Street, so not too, too far from downtown is all this other stuff.

However, *I* would choose West Hartford Center over Middletown.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
2,727 posts, read 5,187,206 times
Reputation: 1962
Oh yeah, and I like Manchester very much too.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 01:16 PM
 
2 posts, read 15,462 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you both for the leads. If Google Street View is any indication, both look promising in terms of the "feel" we are looking for. Thanks again!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,200,053 times
Reputation: 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by bceagles39 View Post
Thank you both for the leads. If Google Street View is any indication, both look promising in terms of the "feel" we are looking for. Thanks again!
NP, the streetview is about as bad as it gets regarding quality etc for Manchester so it'll only get better from here. lol

Here is a directory of some pics I have on a server. Mostly our annual car show and whatnot, but at least you can see past it and have a little better picture.

Index of /personal02/Manchester

This is an arial of Main Street.



Edit: I forgot about this youtube of our annual road race on Thanksgiving day. You can get some shots around DT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6d8UjoBFqk
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,577 posts, read 40,140,661 times
Reputation: 6947
Middletown has movie theaters right off Main Street plus there are a lot of cultural activities related to Wesleyan. Manchester's downtown does not have theaters or cultural attractions downtown. There are movie theaters out by the mall and over by The Parkade but you really have to drive to them.

Many towns along the shoreline have the downtown you are looking for particularly as you get closer to New York. To be within an hour of Hartford though makes it difficult. For some reason except for West Hartford, there are not a lot of towns with the amenities you are looking for. Jay
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Groton, CT
181 posts, read 477,631 times
Reputation: 103
I'm not sure how big the downtown you are looking for needs to be, or what you do for work, but depending on those criteria you might even check out New London or Mystic. Both have very nice, small downtowns with several shops and nice restaurants, are quite walkable, and depending on your job might just fit your bill. They aren't quite Beacon Hill, to be sure, but they do have quite a bit of culture and arts from the Eugene O'Neill and Connecticut College theaters and movie theaters, to the many cultural festivals and events that are held annually (including "The Race" Harvard-Yale Regatta on the Thames river every June). It's a great area, and just about 45-60 minutes from Hartford. I would suggest checking it out.

Hope you find what you are looking for!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2010, 06:24 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,200,053 times
Reputation: 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Middletown has movie theaters right off Main Street plus there are a lot of cultural activities related to Wesleyan. Manchester's downtown does not have theaters or cultural attractions downtown. There are movie theaters out by the mall and over by The Parkade but you really have to drive to them.
Hey Jay, I don't think they were talking about "lowes cinema". I could be wrong, but when they say "culture (I.E. Theater)" I think they ment local stage. Manchester does indeed have that in Downtown. Cheney Hall is about 2 blocks off Main Street. The Little Cheney Theater has a surprising number of good shows.

Of course, Hartford is just 15 minutes down the road too if they want to get out to some of the more "broadway" stuff.

And to be fair, and as much as I love West Hartford, the main "cultural attraction" there is eating and shopping.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2010, 09:46 AM
 
498 posts, read 373,119 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by bceagles39 View Post
We (a late 20-something) couple are on the verge of relocating to Connecticut. We strongly desire to live in (or within walking distance of) a great, safe "downtown" area - but not one in a large city e.g. Hartford, Stamford, etc. We will be moving out of the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston and are looking for an area with similar, walkable amenities.

The only area we know that could fit the bill is West Hartford Center. Are there any other areas within, say, 45-60 minutes of Hartford that have a clean, safe, downtown area?

Ideally, this "downtown" would have at least a handful of decent restaurants, some culture (e.g. a theater), a small to mid sized grocery store, and necessities (e.g. post office, drug store). A place where one could live and get by without use of a car everyday.

Thank you so much in advance for your suggestions! I have tried to search on this topic without luck, but perhaps there are threads out there that I can be directed to.
Definitely WEST HARTFORD CENTER!!! It's perfect for you and just splendid for walks!!!
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Connecticut
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top