These 6 CT Suburbs are a Little Farther Out – But Definitely Worth the Drive

Apr 10, 2023

Not commuting daily – or don’t mind a few extra minutes on the train? Start here. 

Commute time (and comfort) used to top just about every client’s list. Now, though, we’re seeing a sharp pivot – specifically, among people moving to the suburbs who don’t have to commute to NYC every single day. And that’s opening up more and more possibilities when it comes to must-see towns. 

If you’re considering the Connecticut suburbs and are ready to expand your search, check out these amazing communities. With commutes in the hour-plus range, you’ll still have easy access to the city but, likely, get more value for your investment without sacrificing A+ schools, amenities, and more. 

Fairfield, CT

This relaxed beach town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast is just 90 minutes from Manhattan via train – but with so much going on, why leave? From culture to nightlife to access to the great outdoors, Fairfield has it all. Spend your morning browsing in the shops and art galleries along Post Road, or drop by Fairfield Museum and History Center to explore Fairfield’s rich history. Or pick up a picnic lunch and spend an afternoon exploring the 155-acre Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary.

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But the real draw of this coastal community? The waterfront access. There are multiple beaches in this Sound-side town, but Fairfield insiders know to head to the more secluded Penfield Beach and Sasco Beach to enjoy the waves while avoiding the crowds. Lake life more your style? Check out Lake Mohegan, a 170-acre freshwater lake, where you can swim or hike through the surrounding forest. If you’re visiting with kids, Sandcastle Park at Jennings Beach is a must see.

West Hartford, CT

There’s a reason West Hartford is consistently ranked one of “The Best Place to Live in Connecticut.” Located directly between Boston and New York City, West Hartford has a calm, laid-back New England vibe. As you’re exploring, start at The Center, where you’ll find shopping, dining, and nightlife. Want a taste of the outdoors? Head to Elizabeth Park, with more than 800 types of roses, a wildflower trail, and a pond, or Westmoor Park, an environmental education center with a working farm, meadow, gardens, and woodland trails. 

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Kids in tow? Check out the Children’s Museum, where kids can explore interactive demos, workshops, multi-sensory exhibits, and a wildlife sanctuary. The museum even runs a play-based preschool with a child-driven curriculum and daily STEAM activities – should you land in West Hartford, it’s a popular school to consider. 

Weston, CT

Celebrities from Tom Cruise and Keith Richards to Robert Redford and Christopher Walken have called this Connecticut suburb “home” throughout the years – and with one visit, you’ll see why. This quiet town has a rural, secluded vibe paired with easy access to the city and tons of city-level amenities in neighboring Westport, from destination restaurants to entertainment and more. And if it’s wide-open spaces you want, Weston’s got that, too: nearly one-quarter of the town’s land is dedicated to open space use, including nature preserves like Lucius Pond Ordway/Devil’s Den Preserve, The Nature Conservancy’s biggest preserve in Connecticut.
Also popular: Lachat Town Farm, a thriving communal garden space with a farmer’s market, live music, and food trucks.

Other major draws? The town’s two-acre minimum lots, recreation programs, and A+ schools

Ridgefield, CT

Arts and culture, top-tier schools, and open spaces with a vibrant theater scene, acclaimed restaurants, and a walkable Main Street – and that’s just the beginning of Ridgefield’s appeal. 

While Ridgefield was the first town in the state with a designated cultural arts district, this 300-year-old community isn’t just an arts and culture mecca. Hit the downtown boutiques, soak in local history at the Weir Farm Historical Site and the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center, or hit the town’s miles of walking trails, lakes, and secluded country roads. If you’re visiting in the summer, check out one of the free outdoor concerts at Ballard Park or stop by the Ridgefield Aquatic Club for horseback riding, golf, hiking, and swimming, all in the Berkshires foothills.   

Guilford and Madison, CT

If sand and surf is what you’re after, head to the neighboring beach communities of Guilford and Madison. These towns line the Long Island Sound, offering oceanfront living with easy access to nearby New Haven. 

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Although they’re right next door to each other, the towns have distinctly different feels. With its inviting green and historic homes, Guilford is the epitome of New England charm while Madison’s small town feel has been described as “neither too hip, nor too boring” by The New York Times. Explore both to see which town suits you best — and while you’re visiting, swing by Surf Club Beach, and explore its sandy beach, play areas, and sailboat and kayak launch, and Jacob’s Beach, a 25-acre beach in Guilford. 

Curious about life in Connecticut? Let’s chat! Contact us today to schedule your FREE suburban strategy session.

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