- 1 How do you reach New York City from Connecticut?
- 2 Are there any affordable places to live in Connecticut near NYC?
- 3 The Best Places to Live in Connecticut near NYC
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Interested in moving out of Manhattan for the suburbs? Or, you’re interested in raising a family without dragging a stroller up and down your subway station stairs. Maybe you’re just ready for a new experience. Although it pains me to say, sometimes we outgrow the constant go-go-go culture of New York City.
Regardless of your reasons, congratulations on considering a move to one of the beautiful Connecticut cities near NYC. Although this area is expensive with a capital E, the Constitution State is a great place to settle down overall.
Known as the Gold Coast of Connecticut, the southern piece of Fairfield County is notorious for being a haven for the ultra-wealthy.
Movies and series like The Stepford Wives, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and Billions feature the area’s affluence. Celebrities like Gene Wilder, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward have called this region home.
If you’re interested in a suburban life while staying close to the City, both Fairfield and New Haven counties have ideal places to live in Connecticut near NYC.
How do you reach New York City from Connecticut?
There are two main methods of transportation to reach New York City from Connecticut–driving and taking the Metro-North train.
Although it would only take about 45 minutes to drive to Grand Central Terminal from Stamford, Connecticut, this time estimate does not factor in traffic delays.
However, it takes just 59 minutes on the express Metro-North train from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
Are there any affordable places to live in Connecticut near NYC?
Depending on your salary and average spending habits, there are a few affordable Connecticut towns near NYC. The further away from the New York-Connecticut state border, the less expensive the rent and cost of living becomes.
|Town||Distance from NYC||Population (2020 Census)||Median Household Income in 2020 Dollars (2016-2020)||Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2016-2020)||Median Gross Rent (2016-2020)||Closest Train Station||Time to Grand Central Terminal|
|Greenwich||35 miles||63,518||$167,537||$1,377,800||$2,014||Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside, and Old Greenwich||60 minutes|
|Stamford||40 miles||135,470||$96,885||$541,600||$1,877||Stamford||55 minutes|
|Darien||45 miles||21,499||$243,750||$1,465,800||$3,052||Darien||63 minutes|
|New Canaan||50 miles||20,622||$200,203||$1,245,400||$2,324||New Canaan||78 minutes|
|Norwalk||52 miles||91,184||$89,486||$438,900||$1,691||South Norwalk, East Norwalk||69 minutes|
|Westport||55 miles||27,141||$222,375||$1,116,000||$1,889||Westport, Green's Farms||75 minutes|
|Fairfield||60 miles||61,512||$140,308||$604,500||$1,900||Fairfield, Fairfield Metro||84 minutes|
|Stratford||65 miles||52,355||$82,286||$268,100||$1,367||Stratford||99 minutes|
|New Haven||80 miles||134,023||$44,507||$205,100||$1,219||New Haven, New Haven-State Street||118 minutes|
|Ridgefield||60 miles||25,033||$152,630||$656,800||$1,774||Redding||118 minutes|
|Danbury||70 miles||86,518||$73,204||$311,200||$1,475||Danbury||133 minutes|
The Best Places to Live in Connecticut near NYC
This first charming town on our list of Connecticut cities near NYC is the closest city to New York, and the westernmost and southernmost city in the state.
Although this ultra-wealthy community has a quaint downtown area that rivals any New England main street, the shops are filled with high-end brands.
With tons of luxury shops and restaurants, plus several unique museums, galleries, and historical sites, it’s easy to spend hours browsing downtown.
Greenwich is also home to many cultural institutions, including the Bruce Museum, the Greenwich International Film Festival, the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, and Greenwich Food + Wine, one of the best Connecticut fall festivals.
And you should see the historic homes. With the median home price in Greenwich–including its suburban neighborhoods like Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, and Riverside–exceeding $1.3 million, it seems like every street is lined with mansions.
The best way to reach Greenwich from NYC is by the Metro-North Train. The trip is speedy, taking only about 45 minutes.
If you’re ready to get out of New York City without reallllly leaving behind a city vibe, Stamford, Connecticut, is the best choice for you. With a population of over 130,000 people, Stamford is the third largest city in the state, after Bridgeport and New Haven.
Since this is one of the only true cities on our list, you’ll find Stamford has all the makings of a metropolitan area. Here, you’ll find a public transportation network, top-notch restaurants, a vibrant social scene, and a wide variety of housing options at different price points.
And just like NYC at night, Stamford has become a go-to spot for after-hours amusement. You’ll find waterfront bars like Brennan’s By The Beach or the Beer Garden at Shippan Landing, excellent restaurants, and fascinating museums like the Ukrainian Museum & Library.
However, the best part about living in Stamford and commuting to NYC is the train options to get back into Manhattan. An express train from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal on Metro-North will only take an hour, with one quick stop at Harlem-125th Street. Or, the local train clocks in at just under an hour and 20 minutes.
Located just south of Norwalk, Darien, Connecticut, is another excellent option for those looking to live close to NYC but still want to be in suburbia.
Like many of the cities on this list, many people move to Darien, Connecticut, from New York City because it offers a high quality of life. Its wealth rivals Greenwich and it has the youngest non-college town population in the state.
Darien is known for its quaint beaches, landmarks like the Frederick J. Smith House, designed in the 1960s by architect Richard Meier, and for having one of the most-used public libraries in the state.
And even though Darien does have its own Metro-North train stop, if you commute to work every day by car, you’ll love the convenience of being close to several major highways, including Route 124, I-95, and the Merritt Parkway.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Settled in 1731, New Canaan is an attractive town with a big reputation.
It has one of the best public school systems in the state, as well as a Tudor-style brick castle on the 300-acre Waveny Park, a selection of modern homes designed in the mid-1900s by the “Harvard Five,” culminating in the Glass House by architect Philip Johnson, and the professional Summer Theatre of New Canaan.
Several large financial companies like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, as well as a few hedge funds, have offices in town.
However, New Canaan is not your place if you’re looking for affordable housing. With so much money flowing through the community, there are plenty of gorgeous homes, high-end stores, restaurants, and other luxe amenities in town.
You can take the Metro-North train from New Canaan’s beautiful Victorian-style train station to New York City in for an average commute of about 78 minutes by train.
Suppose you must head into Manhattan every day for work but you don’t want to actually live within the Big Apple. In that case, Norwalk is one of the best Connecticut cities near New York City. It has a quick commute, and it’s more affordable when compared to its neighbors–Darien and Westport.
Established in 1649, the town was the site for the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Norwalk, where most of the town was burned to the ground. In the neighborhood of South Norwalk, the South Main and Washington Streets Historic District makes up more than 35 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town offers a range of great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options.
Norwalk has two train stations, South Norwalk and East Norwalk, that can bring you to New York City for a decent commute.
Located along the coast of Long Island Sound, Westport is a quiet, affluent town that attracts many well-to-do professionals who enjoy living in an area with easy access to New York City.
It’s also a great town to raise a family, as Westport Public Schools provides excellent education opportunities for kids.
Catch a performance at the acclaimed Westport Country Playhouse or visit one of the many museums and art galleries in town, too.
As far as shopping goes, you’ll find some great boutiques and specialty stores in its vibrant downtown. And the weekly Farmer’s Market sells local produce, baked goods, and flowers from May to November.
To reach Grand Central Terminal, you can take a Metro-North train from either the Westport or Green’s Farm stations.
Know Before You Go: Established in 2018, Connecticut’s Passport to Parks Program gives any resident with Connecticut license plates free parking in all state parks. This means many of the best beaches in Connecticut are entirely free to access for state residents, since they’re located within Connecticut state parks.
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Fairfield, Connecticut, is home to both Sacred Heart University and Fairfield University, which is located right around the corner from the Fairfield train station. With a population of around 60,000 people, the town is also the seat of Fairfield County.
This college town blends local Connecticut living and activities catering to the student population. It’s a very diverse city, with a mix of residential neighborhoods, commercial districts, and green spaces.
And with the universities, you can find excellent art museums, interesting lectures, and fun evening events like football games and performances by ensembles.
There are two Metro-North stations in Fairfield: Fairfield Station and Fairfield Metro Station. Both offer direct service to Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
Situated where the Housatonic River meets the Long Island Sound, Stratford has its own storied history spanning aviation, theatre, and the U.S. armed forces.
Founded as part of the Puritan’s Great Migration in the 1630s, Stratford was an early New England Pilgrim town where community members could practice religious freedom.
Fun Fact: Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, descended from one of the founding families of Stratford, Connecticut.
Since it’s a bit further north than many of these other Connecticut towns near NYC, it’s not dominated by hedge funds and bank office outposts. It doesn’t have much by way of luxury shopping or high-ticket housing.
Instead, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is the town’s primary company. Igor Sikorsky invented one of the first commercial helicopters here in Stratford in the 1930s, and the company is still manufacturing helicopters here.
Spend some time on one of the town’s beaches, visit the Connecticut Air & Space Center or the National Helicopter Museum, or cross right over the border into Bridgeport to check out the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo.
The Stratford train station will take you right into New York City on Metro-North’s New Haven line.
New Haven, Connecticut
Located off the last stop on Metro-North’s New Haven Line, New Haven is the farthest city in Connecticut near NYC that you can access by direct train.
If you take a train from Grand Central Terminal, it will take you a little over two hours to get to Union Station in New Haven.
I grew up just outside of New Haven, and there are so many things to do in this historic town.
With several colleges in town, including the historic, Ivy League institution Yale University, you’ll find that New Haven has a ton of different hidden gems, museums, and nightlife to keep you entertained if you’re looking to leave New York City.
Not to mention, there are some beautiful public beaches around New Haven county you can enjoy on summer days.
Found right on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains range, Ridgefield is a cute town located northwest of New Canaan.
It’s home to the Ridgefield Playhouse, a professional regional theater that produces its own productions, shows movies, and hosts concerts throughout the year. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and public parks like Seth Low Pierrepont State Park Reserve.
Also found in town is the Keeler Tavern Museum, an 18th-century house used during the Revolutionary War and then owned as a summer home by architect Cass Gilbert in the early 1900s.
Although Ridgefield doesn’t have its own train station, you can catch a Metro-North train at the Redding station on the Danbury line. Making it another Connecticut town with an easy transportation connection to New York City.
The last of the Connecticut cities close to New York is Danbury. It has its own unique moniker–the home of America’s hat industry!
Danbury had been producing hats since before the Revolutionary War began; but unfortunately, the tradition came to a close in the 1980s.
Even if you’re not in a huge city like NYC, you certainly won’t run out of things to do here. Danbury has several beautiful parks, a large shopping mall, several museums both in its bustling downtown and affiliated with Western Connecticut State University and the outdoor theater company Musicals at Richter.
And since Danbury is right on the border with New York state, it’s easy to reach the Hudson Valley or head north to cities like Poughkeepsie for weekend getaways.
You can reach Danbury by taking a Metro-North train and transferring to the Danbury line.
Although there’s nothing like living in New York City, if you want to live right next door, look no further than Connecticut. Here, you’ll find plenty of housing options ranging from affordable to ultra-expensive, beautiful scenery, and thriving culture.
You won’t regret choosing one of these Connecticut cities near NYC as your new home!
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