Searching for the best places to live in Connecticut? The Constitution State is home to prestigious colleges like Yale University and University of Connecticut and is known for its beautiful New England scenery. While Connecticut can be expensive, with a cost of living above the U.S. average and a median home price of $276,319, there are many great Connecticut cities with affordable housing and top-notch amenities. Here are the top nine most affordable Connecticut cities to live in!
- New Britain
- Population: 147,002
- Home Price: $168,200 median purchase price; $1,111 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 17% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 10.5%
Bridgeport is the fifth-most populous city in New England and also one of the most affordable places to live in Connecticut! This coastal city attracts young professionals and families, thanks to the University of Bridgeport and major employers like Bridgeport Hospital and People’s United Bank. Known as Park City, Bridgeport has several public parks to explore, as well as great entertainment and dining spots, so there are plenty of fun things to do for people of all lifestyles. Plus, if you plan on commuting to other nearby Connecticut cities for work, you can take advantage of Greater Bridgeport Transit!
Things to Do in Bridgeport
Take a trip to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for a day of fun at the indoor rainforest exhibit, cafe, and carousel for the kids. Enjoy popular shows like Mamma Mia or Matilda at Downtown Cabaret Theatre. Find hands-on exhibits that focus on STEM, outer space, and more at Discovery Museum. Attend a concert or a Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) game at Webster Bank Arena. Spring for American tapas like Pulled Pork Arepas, Beer Battered Cheese Curds, or Cauliflower Tempura at Hub and Spoke. Feast on delectable dishes like Cavatelli Primavera, Baked Meat Lasagne, or Eggplant Rollatini at Ralph-n-Rich’s. Or listen to live music while dining on seafood classics like Fresh Fried Calamari, Clams Casino, or Lobster Rockefeller at BRYAC Restaurant & Raw Bar.
- Population: 60,437
- Home Price: $192,500 median purchase price; $895 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 68% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
If you’re looking for a quiet place to live close to Hartford, Bristol is an ideal choice! Once a clock-making city in the 1800s and now the headquarters of ESPN, Bristol has always been a hub for job opportunities. There are also endless things to do in this Connecticut city, such as exploring the local museums, attending the community festivals, or strolling through the beautiful parks. Bristol is a fantastic place to raise a family as well, thanks to its low crime rates, kid-friendly activities, and well-rated Bristol Public Schools.
Things to Do in Bristol
Spend a day with the family at Lake Compounce, a 332-acre amusement park filled with rides, water features, and rollercoasters like top-rated Boulder Dash. Explore the American Clock & Watch Museum, where you can learn more about the history behind American-made watches and check out unique watch collections. See stunning floral arrangements in the fall from local plant nurseries at Bristol Mum Festival. Spend an afternoon outdoors on a scenic bike ride or let your dog off leash at the dog park at Rockwell Park. Savor breakfast dishes like Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, Classic Eggs Benedict, or a Hash Brown Omelette at Riverside Restaurant. Grab a Greek Pizza, BLT Grinder, or Roasted Beef Sandwich at Amano’s Pizza. Order a hearty meal like a Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Fried Cod, or Pasta Primavera at One Fifty Central. Or dig into sweet treats like Peanut Butter Ganache Cupcakes or homemade donuts at Harvest Bakery Inc.
- Population: 9,240
- Home Price: $198,100 median purchase price; $935 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 60% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Want scenic outdoor views and stunning lighthouses in your New England home? Groton may be the perfect fit! As the Submarine Capital of the World, Groton is home to General Dynamics Electronic Boat, which has designed and built submarines for the U.S. Navy since the early 1900s. But this Connecticut city isn’t just a Navy hub—it also has educational opportunities at University of Connecticut-Avery Point and career options with major employers like Pfizer. In addition, this coastal Connecticut town is about an hour away from both Hartford and Providence.
Things to Do in Groton
Embark on a hike or a bike ride while spotting the wildlife at Bluff Point State Park. Go for a swim or watch boats and submarines launch from Eastern Point Beach. Look for over two million artifacts like marine paintings, ship plans, or ship models at the nation’s leading maritime museum, Mystic Seaport Museum. Head to UConn’s Avery Point campus to see the beautiful Avery Point Lighthouse, which dates back to 1944. Chow down on lunch specials like a Monte Cristo, Submarine Sub, or Chicken Tender Melt at Groton Townhouse Restaurant. Sample modern American fare like Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Porcini Mushroom Dusted Grilled Swordfish, or a Grass Fed Burger at Olio Restaurant & Bar. Or sit back and relax with tap beers like Mango Cloudbreak or Ocean Mist at Outer Light Brewing Company.
- Population: 124,320
- Home Price: $159,100 median purchase price; $914 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 6% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Looking for an affordable Connecticut city full of history, job opportunities, and fun things to do? Consider living in Hartford! The capital of Connecticut is known for its historical landmarks like the gold-domed State Capitol & Legislative Office Building and Connecticut’s Old State House. Residents in this Connecticut city can also work for top employers in the insurance, healthcare, and aerospace industries. Beyond that, Hartford offers top education with schools like the University of Hartford and incredible performing arts and museums!
Things to Do in Hartford
Learn about the history of the famous author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and see exhibits like Twain’s Attic at The Mark Twain House & Museum. Venture out to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art to study over 50,000 pieces of European and Contemporary works of art. Embark on a guided tour at Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, where you can find historic collections that showcase Stowe’s commitment to social justice. Explore over 165 interactive exhibits that cover topics like gravity, energy, and the Earth at Connecticut Science Center. Stroll through the beautiful rose garden or play a game of tennis on the court at Elizabeth Park. Get a specialty hot sandwich like the Take Five Meatloaf or Thanksgiving Sandwich at Take Five Cookery. Enjoy a Grilled Filet Mignon, Sausage Carbonara, or Shrimp Scampi at J Restaurant | Bar. Treat your tastebuds to Seafood Pad Thai, Miso Glazed Halibut, or a Black Jack Burger at Trumbull Kitchen. Or grab a glass of Pinot Grigio or Merlot in the lounge at the trendy Salute Restaurant.
- Population: 60,203
- Home Price: $174,800 median purchase price; $963 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 43% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
If you want a tight-knit community with affordable housing, check out Meriden! Located between New Haven and Hartford, Meriden is centrally located in Connecticut and is a budget-friendly place to settle down. Residents in this Connecticut city can proudly send their kids to Meriden Public Schools, one of the area’s best public school districts, which boasts four Blue Ribbon Elementary Schools. Also, with its many parks and scenic views for hiking near the Metacomet Ridge, there’s no shortage of outdoor recreation in Silver City!
Things to Do in Meriden
Visit Meriden Mall to shop at retailers like Express Factory Outlet, H&M, and Old Navy. Stop by the Meriden Public Library to peruse through books or take part in events like Mindfulness & Meditation, Trivia Night, or Not So YA Book Club. Take in stunning views of the lake or let the kids play on the playground at Hubbard Park. Go on a hike to Castle Craig, a stone observation tower located on East Peak. Get brick-oven pizzas cooked to perfection like the Mona Lisa, Hot Wheel, or Chicken Florentine at Hubbard Park Brick Oven Pizza. Savor authentic Brazilian fare like Pork Ribs, Risole, or Medallion Chicken with Bacon at Banana Brasil. Or try the world-famous Steamed Cheeseburgers where they originated at Ted’s Restaurant.
- Population: 46,933
- Home Price: $228,500 median purchase price; $1,062 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Middletown is an excellent place to live in Connecticut if you want to spend most of your time outdoors! Forest City is located along the Connecticut River, so you can take advantage of all kinds of activities near the water. Not to mention, Highlawn Forest is only ten minutes away and offers hiking or running trails, and there are plenty of parks to check out, including Butternut Hollow Park and Smith Park. You’ll also find a variety of restaurants and breweries, local entertainment, and things to do with kids in this Connecticut city!
Things to Do in Middletown
Venture out to Wadsworth Falls State Park to go hiking or for a scenic bike ride. Take a river cruise, have a picnic, or watch the gorgeous sunset at Harbor Park. Explore the Greater Middletown Military Museum, which pays tribute to local veterans and honors the rich military history in Middletown. Attend an open mic night, check out art exhibits, or listen to live music at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center. Order Tuscan-inspired meals like Italian Sweet Sausage Rigatoni or Oven Roasted King Salmon at Luce. Satisfy your hunger with Italian dishes like Mushroom Ravioli, Lobster & Crab Fettuccine, or Linguine & Clams at Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar. Or treat yourself to tap beers like Happy Treez or Porter Justice at Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company.
- Population: 72,876
- Home Price: $157,300 median purchase price; $925 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 29% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
About 20 minutes south of Hartford sits New Britain, a quiet city with a lot to offer. Nicknamed the Hardware City, this affordable Connecticut city has a deep history of manufacturing and is home to companies like Stanley Black & Decker. Residents can find higher education opportunities at the many schools in the area, including Central Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College. On top of that, New Britain has tons of museums, parks, restaurants, and shops for you to discover!
Things to Do in New Britain
Visit the Soldiers’ Monument located near New Britain’s Central Park, which commemorates Civil War veterans. Take a trip to New Britain Museum of American Art to see over 8,000 sculptures and paintings from American artists, including famous illustrators like Norman Rockwell and Howard Pyle. Spend an afternoon fishing or jogging on the trail at Stanley Quarter Park. Head to the historic Walnut Hill Park, which was designed by architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Sharpen your skills on the driving range or play a round of golf on the 27-hole course at Stanley Golf Course. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Carrot Cake, Macaroons, or Sugar Donuts at Borinquen Bakery. Order Crispy Duck, Coconut Shrimp, or Tangerine Prawns at Great Taste Chinese Restaurant. Or feast on authentic Polish dishes like Hunter’s Stew, Cheese Blintzes, or Meat Pieriogi at Staropolska.
- Population: 35,227
- Home Price: $162,300 median purchase price; $885 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Located about 20 minutes north of Waterbury, Torrington is a beautiful place to live in Connecticut, especially with its historic architecture, monuments, and fountains in the 56-acre Downtown Torrington Historic District. This Connecticut city has a thriving business community with top employers like O&G Industries and the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. With plenty of good food, outdoor recreation at nearby state parks, and the Mohawk Mountain Ski Area within 30 minutes of the city, Torrington has it all for those who want affordable Connecticut living!
Things to Do in Torrington
Attend an opera like Verdi’s La Traviata or see a classic production like A Christmas Carol at Warner Theatre. Set up a picnic next to the pond or hike through the forested trails at Burr Pond State Park. Spend an afternoon boating or taking in the views at Stillwater Pond State Park. Bring the kids to KidsPlay Children’s Museum, where they can participate in hands-on activities like a ball maze, puzzle wall, and light tables. Learn more about the history of Torrington by visiting the Torrington History Museum. Shop for antique jewelry and other unique pieces from vendors at New Brunswick Flea Market. Start your day with a Western & Cheese Omelette or Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a Bottomless Cup of Coffee at Angie’s Coffee. Try the Rigatoni Bolognese or Smokey Buffalo Wings from Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza. Or grab a Philly Cheese Steak or Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Tony’s Westside Restaurant.
- Population: 109,211
- Home Price: $129,500 median purchase price; $912 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of U.S. cities
- Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Searching for an affordable city in Connecticut with strong employment opportunities? Waterbury is the place for you! This New England city is ranked as one of the most diverse places to live in Connecticut, offers a growing job market, has a low cost of living that’s attractive for families, and it’s just 30 minutes outside of Hartford. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to retire or a place to raise your kids, Waterbury is an ideal locale!
Things to Do in Waterbury
Go back in time to explore Connecticut’s heritage through art and history exhibitions at Mattatuck Museum. Visit Naugatuck Valley Community College Fine Arts Center to listen to the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, which features over 100 musicians from across New England. Get your ballet fix or sing along to musicals at Palace Theater. Soak up the sun at the swimming pool or play a game of soccer or softball at Waterbury’s oldest city park, Hamilton Park. Spend a day outdoors while playing a round of golf at Western Hills Golf Course. Dig into Italian dishes like Eggplant Rollatini or Pan Seared Duck a l’Orange at Signatures Restaurant. Or bring your appetite to Golden Wok for Chicken Chow Mein, Wonton Soup, or Shrimp Fried Rice.
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City statistics from AreaVibes