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The Nine Most Affordable Places To Live In Connecticut in 2022-2023

I’m sure you’ve heard of how expensive it is to live in Connecticut – it’s a well-known fact. There are plenty of great reasons to live here, though, and there are actually some pretty affordable places in Connecticut, as well.

Let’s dive in and learn where the most affordable places to live in Connecticut are.

Is it expensive to live in Connecticut?

Connecticut is one of the most expensive states to live in the United States. It’s easy for a homeowner in Greenwich to spend over $200,000 a year on a mortgage, property taxes, and auto and homeowners insurance. That’s quite a bit of money.

On the other hand, a homeowner in Willimantic can spend just a little more than $25,000 a year on a mortgage, property taxes, and insurance. 

Renters also find it expensive to live in Connecticut. A renter in Darien can easily spend over $41,000 annually on rent, auto insurance, and taxes.

In Willimantic, on the other hand, the same renter can pay $20,700 a year for rent and auto insurance, and taxes.

That’s half the cost! So, you see there is a big difference in the cost of living from city to city in CT.

That being said, many consider even Willimantic to be expensive.

Making matters worse are the increases in both housing prices and rents, which accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As reported in the New Haven Register, home values have increased, the supply of homes for sale has decreased, and the demand for houses for sale, especially from out-of-state buyers, has increased.

Meanwhile, Connecticut residents are finding themselves increasingly priced out of the housing market and are renting houses, condos, and apartments.

A combination of increased demand for rental housing and inflation has led to rent increases. 

The Connecticut Explorer has set out to find the nine most affordable places to live in the state.

While it is no surprise that the most affordable places to live in Connecticut are not in Fairfield County, Greater New Haven, or along much of the shoreline, the surprise is that the majority of the communities on the list are concentrated in the northwestern and eastern parts of the state.

image of hand stacking coins opposite wooden houses, finding the most affordable places to live in Connecticut.

How we came up with the most affordable places to live in Connecticut

To determine the most affordable places to live, the Connecticut Explorer looked at the median home prices for all 169 towns and cities and a handful of boroughs and villages in the state, as determined by Realtor.com in April 2022.

Because many current and future Connecticut residents are either not able to afford to purchase a house, we also looked at the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in each community, as determined by Apartments.com in May 2022. 

Property taxes

We also determined the property taxes for both a median price home and an automobile valued at $15,000 in each community, using the mill rates for the 2021-2022 fiscal year as listed on the State of Connecticut’s website, and including any special tax rates levied community-wide, like for a fire district.

The property taxes listed for the median-priced house in each community are based on the appraised value of the median-priced home, which is 70 percent of the home’s selling price. 

In Connecticut, property taxes for a motor vehicle are capped at 45 mills, meaning that a community with a property tax rate higher than 45 mills can only assess property taxes on a motor vehicle at 45 mills.

Two of the communities on the list have property tax rates higher than 45 mills. In those communities, the property tax for a $15,000 automobile is capped at $675.

Two state senators and Governor Ned Lamont have separate proposals that would reduce motor vehicle property taxes in some instances in many of the state’s communities. 

For Connecticut residents, this can’t come soon enough.

Homeowner’s and car insurance

We also wanted to determine the homeowners’ and auto insurance costs in each community. While the website Value Penguin.com gave homeowners’ insurance rates for some Connecticut communities, it did not provide rates for all communities, thus no comparison could be made between the communities on the list.

The website Car Insurance.org did provide typical monthly car insurance rates for each community, however.

Both homeowner’s insurance and car insurance vary drastically on many factors – too many for us to tell you what you can expect.

Grocery prices

Each community on this list, except for one, has at least one supermarket. The state’s largest grocers keep their food prices about the same across all their stores statewide.

None of the communities on the list have a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods Market, but each community has a farmers’ market or is located next to a community with a farmers’ market.

Three of the communities have a cooperative or a specialty market selling some of the same products as Whole Foods. None of the places for affordable living in Connecticut are considered “food deserts”.

Utility Prices

Each community on the list is serviced by at least two internet providers. Frontier services all nine communities.

The second internet provider, depending on the community, is either Cox, Optimum, Spectrum, or Xfinity.

According to price comparisons on Cable TV.com, Cox, Optimum, Spectrum, and Xfinity’s introductory rates are either the same as or lower than Frontier’s rates for equivalent or faster internet service. 

Gas Prices

Depending on the community, gas prices can either be less expensive or more expensive than they are in the larger metropolitan areas.

Using data from GasBuddy, the Connecticut Explorer compared gas prices in mid-May between each of the communities and Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, and Waterbury.

One community had gas prices lower than all five cities while one community had gas prices higher than all five cities.

The remaining seven communities on the list had higher gas prices than Waterbury, lower gas prices than New Haven, and were within twelve cents a gallon of the prices in Bridgeport, Hartford, and Stamford. 

The 9 most affordable places to live in Connecticut

The nine most affordable places to live in Connecticut were determined when the Connecticut Explorer added the annual mortgage or rental costs for a median-priced house or apartment, the property taxes on a $15,000 car, the annual car insurance fees, and the property taxes on a median-priced house. 

The nine communities on the list did not necessarily have the lowest median-priced house, lowest median apartment rent, lowest property tax rates, or lowest car insurance prices, but when everything was added together, the nine communities on the list came out on top. 

Some of the costs of living in each community are the same. Except for one community with its own municipal utility company, they share the same electricity provider, Eversource. 

Each community has its pros and cons that need to be weighed before considering a move.

That’s why each community profile includes, along with the facts and figures, an overview covering commute times, public transportation, history, entertainment and cultural activities/festivals, notable and/or popular local restaurants, how the crime rate compares to the state and national averages, the better neighborhoods, parks and recreational areas, the nearest hospital, and shopping. 

Here are the nine most affordable places to live in Connecticut. Median home prices and rents may have changed since this article was written. 

Rockville

  • Population:  7,920 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $162,500  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,335  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  39.63 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $199,900 Home:  $4,508
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $594
  • Commute:  20 minutes to Hartford and UConn, 30 minutes to Bradley Airport
  • Public Transportation:  CT Transit local and express bus service 
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $362 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Xfinity

Rockville, a village within Vernon, is a Hartford suburb with easy access to Interstate 84. Rockville was originally a mill community, with the first mill having opened in 1809. In 1821, Colonel Francis McLean was the first to use water power from the Hockanum River to power a textile mill.

The success of the mills brought families to Rockville. The mills flourished up until the end of World War II, when the textile industry declined.

Many factories closed. Meanwhile, the construction of Interstate 84 and the Charter Oak Bridge turned neighboring Vernon into a Hartford suburb.

Many of Rockville’s commercial businesses moved to Vernon. In 1965, Rockville was consolidated into Vernon. 

Many of Rockville’s historic buildings became part of the Rockville Historic District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The Rockville Downtown Association is actively trying to revitalize the former city. Three former mills have been revitalized into apartments, a museum, and a mixed-use development.

Meanwhile, Vernon is looking for developers to transform three additional mills into a multipurpose development that will serve as a gateway to downtown Rockville. 

Some of Vernon’s events, including the annual July in the Sky fireworks show and carnival and a summer concert series, take place at a park just outside Rockville.

The New England Civil War Museum and the New England Motorcycle Museum are also located in Rockville. 

Rockville has a limited number of chain and local restaurants. The restaurant best known in Rockville for its food is Craig’s Kitchen.

Within Vernon, there are more restaurants, including Rein’s New York Style Deli, Sichuan Pepper, and Utsav Indian Cuisine

Rockville’s property and violent crime rates, along with Vernon’s property and violent crime rates, are below both the national and state averages. 

Rockville has two neighborhoods, Rockville East and Rockville. Both neighborhoods are primarily residential.

The mills were originally located in the Rockville neighborhood, which now has a blend of homes, apartments, and commercial businesses.

The Rockville East neighborhood has a mix of single-family homes and apartments and enjoys easier access to Interstate 84. 

Rockville has four parks and a dog park, maintained by the Town of Vernon. Rockville residents have access to Vernon’s parks, two of which have beaches and swimming areas.

Vernon has numerous trails, maintained by the town and Vernon Greenways.

There are also rail trails. The Hockanum River Linear Park runs through Vernon.  Kayakers can paddle along the Hockanum River.

Nearby Upper Bolton Lake is open to non-motorized boating, paddleboarding, and fishing

Rockville General Hospital is located in the Rockville neighborhood. The hospital does not provide labor and delivery services, intensive care, or certain other services, although that may change after the hospital’s sale to Yale New Haven Health is completed. 

Rockville has one supermarket, four pharmacies, and a few specialty shops. Most Rockville residents shop in Vernon and Manchester. The nearest farmers’ market is in Ellington.   

Norwich

  • Population:  40,125 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $189,700  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,356  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  48.64 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $189,700 Home:  $6,459
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $675 (Capped at 45 mills per state law)
  • Commute:  40 minutes to Hartford, 60 minutes to New Haven, 30 minutes to Mystic
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $358 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Xfinity

Called the Rose of New England, Norwich sits at the junction of the Thames, Shetucket, and Yantic Rivers. Norwich’s settlers constructed a landing in what would become downtown Norwich, which allowed the city to be a trading center.

After the Revolutionary War, textile companies used water power from the Shetucket and Yantic Rivers to build mills. The textile mills allowed Norwich to be the commercial hub for southeastern Connecticut. 

Norwich diversified its manufacturing base with companies producing a variety of goods in the city. European and French Canadian immigrants arrived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and worked in the factories and mills.

After World War II, Norwich’s factories and mills gradually closed, with production moved to less expensive areas of the country or overseas.

One former mill became a condominium complex. A few factories are used by local businesses, but the majority of the historical factories and mills remain vacant. 

Norwich is one of five Connecticut communities with its own electric and natural gas utility company. Norwich Public Utilities provides service at a lower cost than Eversource or United Illuminating. 

During the summer, Norwich hosts a summer concert series called Rock the Docks. Local theater groups perform plays and musicals at the Chestnut Street Playhouse and the Norwich Arts Center.

The Slater Memorial Museum is an art museum located at Norwich Free Academy. 

Norwich has a variety of local restaurants, including the well-reviewed Peruvian restaurant Canggio, Uncle D’s Blazin BBQ, family-style Olde Tymes Restaurant, and the popular Lazizah Bakery.

Nearby Mohegan Sun has 40 fine dining, casual dining, quick service, and takeout restaurants. 

Norwich’s property crime rate is below both the national and state averages. The violent crime rate is below the national average but above the state average. 

The East Great Plains neighborhood, covering much of west Norwich, has the largest selection of homes for sale in the city,

Norwichtown was Norwich’s first neighborhood and includes the Norwichtown Historic District.

The Occum neighborhood, on the Shetucket River, was originally a mill village. Taftville, also on the Shetucket River, is home to Ponemah Mills, a former mill that became an apartment complex.   

Norwich’s municipal park system includes parks, playgrounds, playing fields, open space areas, and a rose garden.

One city park, Mohegan Park, has a swimming beach. The Walk Norwich Heritage Trail connects Norwich’s harbor to the Yantic Falls waterfall

Stoddard Hill State Park is nearby. The Route 169 National Scenic Byway starts in Norwich and goes north through the Quiet Corner to the Massachusetts state line. 

Hartford Healthcare’s William W. Backus Hospital is located in Norwich. The hospital provides most medical services, including emergency care. 

Norwich has three shopping centers, one on Town Street and two on Route 82. Many residents shop in nearby Lisbon.

In Uncasville, Mohegan Sun has 30 specialty shops. Two farmers’ markets are held weekly in season. 

Click here to read more about living in Norwich, CT.

Willimantic

  • Population:  18,149 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $190,000  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,343 (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  37.21 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $190,000 Home:  $4,949
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $558
  • Commute:  35 minutes to Hartford or New London, 15 minutes to UConn
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $339 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Spectrum

Willimantic is a borough within the town of Windham. Willimantic was an industrial city since its incorporation in 1692, when sawmills, grist mills, and blacksmith shops opened in the city. 

Water power generated from the Willimantic River allowed businessmen to build cotton factories starting in 1822. 

Thanks to railroads that transported goods from Willimantic’s factories and mills and trolleys that transported people between Willimantic and Hartford,

Willimantic grew and became a major thread manufacturing center. In the 1920s, European and French Canadian immigrants arrived and worked in the mills. 

In the 1980s, most of Willimantic’s factories either closed or moved to the southern United States, including the American Thread Company, at that time Willimantic’s largest employer. Willimantic and Windham consolidated and became one town. 

Today, Willimantic is undergoing a major revitalization, with festivals like the Willimantic Third Thursday Street Fest, concerts by the Willimantic Orchestra, live shows by the Windham Theatre Guild, and by the students attending performing arts magnet school EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater.

Willimantic has two museums, the Willimantic Textile & History Museum, and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum

Downtown Willimantic is Windham County’s dining hub, with a thriving restaurant scene.

A number of its restaurants have been voted among the best in the state by Connecticut Magazine’s readers, including Willimantic Brewing Company, Stone Row Kitchen + Bar, A Mano Taco Shop, Pho Delight, and That Breakfast Place.

Willimantic’s property crime rate is below both the national and state averages. The violent crime rate is below the national average and above the state average. 

Willimantic’s better neighborhoods include Willimantic South, which extends from south of the Willimantic River to the Pomeroy State Park Scenic Reserve; Willimantic West, where residents can walk to work at three of Willimantic’s largest employers, including  Eastern Connecticut State University; and Willimantic North, which has a number of apartment complexes and somewhat higher new home prices.  

Willimantic’s municipal park system has four parks, two fields, a garden, an outdoor stage, and two municipal trails that are part of the East Coast Greenway.

A community center with a gym, pool, and fitness area opened in May 2022.

Beaver Brook State Park is in Windham while the Air Line State Park Trail runs through Windham. The Willimantic River Water Trail is open to paddlers. 

Hartford Healthcare’s Windham Memorial Hospital is located in Willimantic. The hospital does not provide labor and delivery services, nor does it have an intensive care unit. 

Willimantic’s major shopping area is located near the junction of Routes 6 and 32. Additional shopping is located in Windham on Route 6 and in Mansfield at the junction of Routes 6 and 195. 

A weekly farmers’ market is held during the summer and early fall. Downtown Willimantic has a food cooperative.  

Stafford

  • Population:  11,472 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $199,900  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 1 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,000  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  37.21 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $199,900 Home:  $5,207
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $558
  • Commute:  35 minutes to Hartford, 30 minutes to UConn
  • Public Transportation:  None within Stafford, CT Transit express bus service from Tolland or Enfield to downtown Hartford
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $349 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Cox, Frontier

In terms of size, Stafford is Connecticut’s fourth-largest town, covering 56 square miles.

The northeastern Connecticut town has a mix of rural and suburban areas and allows commuters to access Interstate 84 via Route 32 and Interstate 91 via Route 190. 

Stafford was well known for its mineral springs, which were originally discovered by the indigenous Nipmuck.

The Nipmuck told the Puritans about the springs, which brought both attention and visitors, including John Adams, to the area.

There was even a direct stage route between Boston and Stafford. Once water from the springs started to be bottled in the 1840s, visitors didn’t need to come to Stafford.

Today, the springs are next to the Stafford Historical Society museum, but the water is not potable.

When Stafford was incorporated in 1719, it was divided into a number of agricultural villages, the best known being Stafford Springs.

In the early 1800s, water power from the Willimantic River brought factories to town, including textile mills and companies making machinery for textile mills throughout Connecticut.

Most of Stafford’s commerce was centralized in Stafford Springs. 

In the second half of the 20th century, most of the town’s factories closed, consolidated operations, or moved out of state.

Stafford is in the process of identifying, cleaning up, and sustainably reusing many of the blighted mills and factories. 

Stafford Springs hosts a monthly arts and music event called Stafford Springs Arts on Main. Concerts take place at the Stafford Palace Theater.

Stafford High School’s music department and drama club put on performances during the school year. The Stafford Historical Society Museum and the Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Museum welcome visitors. 

The Stafford Motor Speedway hosts modified car races. Rusty Wallace Racing offers the public a chance to drive or ride along in a race car at the Speedway. 

Most of Stafford’s restaurants are located in Stafford Springs. Local favorites include Basil’s American Italian Grill, Hang’s Asian Bistro, Stafford House of Pizza, J&D Pizza, Pub & Grill, and the Stafford Coffee Company

Stafford’s property crime rate is above both the national and state averages. The violent crime rate is below the national average, but above the state average. 

The village of West Stafford has many medium and larger homes, mainly built in the latter half of the 20th century, and is home to many of the town’s health care providers.

Central Stafford, located north of Stafford Springs, has many older homes and is near the town library and three schools.  

Stafford has a handful of municipal parks and athletic fields. Staffordville Lake is open to kayakers, paddleboarders, and swimmers.

The Shenipsit and Nipmuck State Forests are located in Stafford.  The Northern Connecticut Land Trust and the Stafford Conservation Commission maintain a number of hiking trails.

The Shenipsit Trail, a Connecticut Blue Blaze Hiking Trail, goes between Stafford and East Hampton. The Middle and Willimantic Rivers are open to kayakers.  

Trinity Health’s Johnson Memorial Hospital is located in West Stafford. The hospital provides most medical services, including emergency care. 

Stafford has one supermarket, one smaller market, two pharmacies, a variety store, a hardware store, a farm and ranch supply store, and a number of small, locally owned businesses. Many residents shop in Enfield. In season, the town has two weekly farmers’ markets. Stafford also has a large number of farm stands

Torrington

  • Population:  35,515 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $199,900  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,082  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  46.17 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $199,900 Home:  $6,461
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $675 (Capped at 45 mills per state law)
  • Commute:  45 minutes to Hartford, 25 minutes to Waterbury
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $363 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Optimum

The largest city in northwestern Connecticut, Torrington is surrounded by countryside.

First settled in 1735, Torrington was originally an agricultural community, with farms established in the hills.

In 1813, Frederick Wolcott built the first mill, using water power from the Naugatuck River. The mill attracted workers to Torrington.

In 1834, two brass mills located on the Naugatuck River opened, starting the city’s brass industry. The construction of the Naugatuck Valley Railroad turned Torrington into a truly industrial city.

Local resident Gail Borden opened one of her canned milk plants in Torrington. From the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, European immigrants started working in Torrington’s factories. 

Torrington’s manufacturing peak occurred during World War II. After the war, factory production decreased. In 1955, the Naugatuck River flooded, destroying some of the city’s factories.

Many companies moved their factories elsewhere or closed completely. Today, Torrington’s largest employers are in the healthcare industry and residents increasingly commute to jobs in Hartford and Waterbury. 

Today, many of Torrington’s old factories have been repurposed as commercial businesses and housing. Much of Downtown Torrington is located in a historical district.

Two historical museums and one children’s museum are open to the public. The site where abolitionist John Brown’s childhood home was located is a stop on Connecticut’s African American Freedom Trail

Torrington is also Northwest Connecticut’s cultural center, with the Warner Theatre, Torrington Symphony Orchestra, the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, and The Five Points Art Gallery calling the city home.

In April 2022, the State of Connecticut approved Torrington’s application to create a cultural district. 

Torrington’s two main restaurant districts are in downtown Torrington and along Route 202 east of Route 8. Some of the better-reviewed restaurants include YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen, Pizzeria Marzano, Vientiane Thai Cuisine, and Taste of Thailand

Downtown Torrington holds an annual Strawberry Festival and Oktoberfest. Santa Claus spends some time each December at Carl Bozenski’s Christmas Village in the Torrington Armory. 

Torrington’s property and violent crime rates are below both the national and state averages. 

Torrington’s better neighborhoods include Newberry Corner, with a mix of small apartment buildings and single-family older homes; Torrington East, a smaller neighborhood with small and medium-size homes; Northeast Torrington, a moderate-income neighborhood within walking distance of the city’s high school; and South Torrington, a working-class neighborhood with single-family and multi-family homes and some commercial businesses. 

Recreational Areas:  Torrington’s extensive municipal park system includes 17 city parks, a skate park, a dog park, and three sports complexes.

Four state parks, Burr Pond State Park, John A. Minetto State Park, Stillwater Pond State Park, and Sunnybrook State Park, are located in Torrington. 

The Sue Grossman Still River Greenway, a rail trail, connects Torrington to Winsted. There are hiking trails at Charlene Susan Besse Park. The John Muir Trail, a blue blazed trail, is accessible from trails at Burr Pond and Sunnyside State Parks. 

Hartford Healthcare’s Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is located in Torrington. The hospital provides most medical services, including emergency care. 

Torrington has three major shopping districts, one near downtown Torrington, one on Main Street in north Torrington, and one along Route 202 east of Route 8.  A farmers’ market is held twice weekly in season. 

New London

  • Population:  27,367 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $210,000  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,572  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  37.95 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $210,000 Home:  $5,579
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $569
  • Commute:  55 minutes to Hartford and New Haven
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $354 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Xfinity

New London started as a shipbuilding town, with the first shipyard built in 1651.

Its location where the Thames River flows into Long Island Sound made it an ideal shipping and trading port.

Both the shipbuilding and trading industries were destroyed during the Revolutionary War after an attack on New London destroyed ships, wharves, homes, and businesses. 

After the Revolutionary War, New London reinvented itself and by the 1830s, the town became a major whaling port.

The whaling revenue helped pay for most of downtown New London and many key town buildings. The whaling industry declined after the oil well was invented.

New London pivoted and attracted a range of manufacturing companies. 

Today, while there are still some manufacturing companies in New London, it is a college town.

The Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, and Mitchell College are all located in New London.

New London also attracts visitors thanks to its waterfront and close proximity to Mystic, other shoreline towns, and the casinos. 

New London attracts both visitors and local residents by staging events such as the Downtown Live summer concert series and the Eat in the Street food festival.

Click here for a list of things to do in New London, CT.

The Garde Arts Center and the Hygienic Art Park host concerts, shows, and recitals. The town has numerous historical sites and museums, including Fort Trumbull State Park, the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and a Black Heritage Trail.

Construction is scheduled to begin on the National Coast Guard Museum at City Pier in summer 2022. 

On The Waterfront and Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock are New London’s best-known restaurants, offering seafood and scenic waterfront views.

Other New London restaurants receiving a high number of votes in the New London Day’s annual Best of the Best reader’s poll include Muddy Waters Cafe, Swad Tandoori, Tony D’s, Right Path Organic Cafe, and Jasmine Thai

New London’s property and violent crime rates are below the national average, but above the state average. 

The Osprey Beach and Neptune Park neighborhoods, in southeast New London, are older neighborhoods situated on both Long Island Sound and the Thames River with small and medium size houses and apartments and reasonable home prices away from the water.

The Willetts Neighborhood is directly north of Osprey Beach and Neptune Park and is another older neighborhood with small and medium houses and less expensive home prices.

The East New London neighborhood, home to Connecticut College and the Coast Guard Academy, has many apartments, attracting both college students and residents who work from home. 

New London’s municipal park system includes 15 parks, five school playgrounds and fields, a toddlersplayground, and three sports fields.

Two New London parks have beaches, Green Harbor Beach and Ocean Beach.

Walking and hiking trails are located at Fort Trumbull State Park, the Connecticut College Arboretum, Bates Woods Park, and Mitchell College’s ball field.

Long Island Sound and the Thames River are open to boaters, kayakers, and paddle boarders. The New London Cup is an annual paddle board race. 

Yale New Haven Health’s Lawrence & Memorial Hospital is located in New London. The hospital provides most medical services, including emergency care. 

New London’s two main shopping centers are located across Interstate 95 from each other. Some locally owned shops and boutiques are located in downtown New London.

Most New London residents travel to Waterford or Groton to shop. Two farmers’ markets are held weekly in season. New London has a food cooperative

New London’s gas prices are among the lowest in Connecticut, with prices ten cents a gallon lower than in Waterbury, twenty-five cents a gallon lower than in Bridgeport, Hartford, and Stamford, and thirty-five cents a gallon lower than in New Haven. 

New London is not only one of the most affordable places to live in Connecticut, but one of the most exciting and culturally diverse.

Winsted

  • Population:  7,192 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $218,800  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,135  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  33.54 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $218,800 Home:  $5,137
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $503
  • Commute:  45 minutes to Hartford, 15 minutes to Torrington, 30 minutes to Waterbury
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $361 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Spectrum

The city of Winsted, now part of the town of Winchester, is a gateway for visitors heading to the Berkshires, thanks to its location at the junction of Routes 8 and 44.

Located at the junction of the Mad and Still Rivers, Winsted was one of Connecticut’s first mill communities.

While companies in Winsted started manufacturing goods in 1792, the city was best known as a clock manufacturing center, thanks to the Gilbert Clock Company

In 1955, the Mad and Still Rivers overflowed, resulting in the closure of many of Winsted’s factories, including the Gilbert Clock Company.

Today, while there are some companies manufacturing aerospace parts, and the Sterling Name Tape Company still occupies its original factory building, many of the former factory buildings remain vacant. 

Winsted remains the business center for the town of Winchester. Artist studios and housing now occupy the former Winsted Hosiery Mill, now called Whiting Mills.

The Friends of Main Street Winsted hosts a variety of events, including a summer concert series and the American Mural Project houses the world’s largest indoor collaborative mural.

The Gilson Cafe Cinema offers live entertainment along with first-run and art house films. Winsted has two museums and several historical buildings open to the public.  

Most of Winsted’s restaurants are located on Route 44 in the downtown area. Notable restaurants include Mama Pho, Noujaims Bistro, Padre’s, Mario’s Tuscany Grill, and The Tributary

Winsted’s property and violent crime rates are below both the national and state averages. 

The Winsted East neighborhood has a larger percentage of homes for sale around the median home price than Winsted’s other neighborhoods. The neighborhood has many small, older homes. 

Winsted’s municipal park system includes the city green, two sports fields, a playground, and two beaches at Highland Lake.

Several state recreational areas are nearby, including Platt Hill Scenic Preserve, American Legion and People’s State Forests, and Burr Pond, John A. Minetto, Ivy Mountain, and Dennis Hill State Parks.

The Winchester Land Trust has five trail areas. The Sue Grossman Still River Greenway is a rail trail connecting Winsted to Torrington. 

Hartford Healthcare’s Winsted Health Center provides primary and limited specialty health care services, including limited hour basic emergency care. The closest hospital is in Torrington.  

There is one shopping center in Winsted with a supermarket. Downtown Winsted has a  natural/organic/local food market.

A farmers’ market is held weekly during the summer. Most residents travel to Torrington or the Farmington Valley to shop. 

Putnam

  • Population:  9,224 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $244,500  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,365  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  31.64 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $244,500 Home:  $5,415
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $475
  • Commute:  60 minutes to Hartford, 40 minutes to UConn, 45 minutes to New London
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $349 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Spectrum

Located on the Quinebaug River at the intersection of Interstate 395 and Route 44, Putnam is one of the largest towns in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner.

Like many of the other affordable Connecticut communities, Putnam was originally a mill town. 

Putnam saw grist and saw mills open in the mid 1700’s. A century later, the town had numerous cotton mills and a cargo railroad line that transported finished goods from the mills to markets throughout the country.

Shortly after Putnam was incorporated in 1855, the mills began making clothing and other items for the U.S. Civil War soldiers. The success of the mills brought immigrants from Canada and Europe to Putnam. 

In the 20th century, the mills started to close, particularly after World War II.

In 1955, the Quinebaug River overflowed, destroying homes, businesses, and the rail line. In the 1970’s, Putnam started converting the vacant downtown mills into retail space, which attracted several antiques dealers. In the 2000’s, most of the antique shops closed.

The store spaces are now occupied by restaurants, other merchants, and art and pottery galleries. 

First Fridays take place monthly in downtown Putnam, bringing artists, musicians, entertainers, and food vendors together to showcase their talents.

Concerts, plays, musicals, and comedy shows take place at the Bradley Playhouse. Putnam’s museums are the Aspinock Historical Society Museum and the Gertrude Chandler Warner Boxcar Children Museum.  

Many locally owned restaurants are located in downtown Putnam and on Routes 44 and 171. Some of Putnam’s better known restaurants include Elizabeth’s Farmhouse, 85 Main, and Jessica Tuesday’s

Putnam’s property crime rate is below both the national and state averages. The violent crime rate is below the national average, but above the state average. 

The Putnam West neighborhood, encompassing northwestern Putnam, features a mix of older houses built before World War II and houses built in the last part of the 20th century.

It is family friendly, with the town’s schools, a park, and a playground located in the neighborhood. 

Putnam has two municipal parks, one playground, and a dog park. Six state parks are located in Killingly, Pomfret Center, and Thompson.

The Putnam River Mill Heritage & River Trails, a historic rail trail, runs along the Quinebaug River. Additional hiking trails, fishing and boating lakes and ponds, and campgrounds are located in neighboring towns. 

Day Kimball Hospital is located in Putnam. The hospital provides many medical services, including emergency care.

Patients needing more comprehensive care may be referred to health care providers in Worcester, Mass.

Downtown Putnam has a variety of locally-owned shops and is still a destination for antique shoppers, thanks to Jeremiah’s Antiques and Antiques Marketplace. A former Montgomery Ward store is now home to a number of small shops. 

Putnam has two shopping centers, one near downtown, the other at the junction of Interstate 395 and Route 44. Many residents shop in nearby Killingly.

A farmers’ market is held weekly in season and Assawaga Farm sells organic vegetables at their farm stand.  

Putnam’s gas prices are among the highest in Connecticut, with prices ten cents a gallon higher than in New Haven; twenty cents a gallon higher than in Bridgeport, Hartford, and Stamford; and thirty-five cents a gallon higher than in Waterbury. 

Willington

  • Population:  5,566 (2020 census)
  • Median Home Listing Price:  $250,000  (Realtor.com, April 2022)
  • Average 2 Bedroom Apartment Rent:  $1,403  (Apartments.com. May 2022)
  • Base Property Tax Mill Rate:  29.99 mills (2021-2022 Fiscal Year)
  • Annual Property Tax on a $250,000 Home:  $5,248
  • Annual Property Tax on a $15,000 Car:  $450
  • Commute:  30 minutes to Hartford, 15 minutes to UConn
  • Monthly Car Insurance Rate:  $349 (Car insurance.org, April 2022)
  • Primary Internet Providers:  Frontier, Spectrum

Willington is the most rural town on this list, with farms, rolling hills, and open space. Yet, Willington is also a bedroom community located 25 miles from Hartford.

Willington is also a short distance from the University of Connecticut. 

Bordered by the Willimantic River, Willington was a farming community when the town was incorporated in 1727. During the Industrial Revolution, the Willimantic River provided water power for mills and a glass factory.

By 1845, Willington had a thread mill, a cotton mill, silk factories, button factories, and the glass factory. In 1850, a railroad station was built.  

The first of Willington’s factories to close was the glass factory in 1872. Most of the town’s mills and factories closed between the 1930’s and 1960’s. The train station closed in 1947.

The town has returned to its farming roots, with one major exception: A FedEx Ground package distribution facility is located close to Interstate 84.

Many of the town’s historic homes and the town green are part of the Willington Common Historic District.  

Willington hosts a Wednesdays in the Park concert series during the summer. Some residents drive to UConn, where the Jorgensen Theater at UConn offers student concerts, dance recitals, plays, musicals, and is a venue for nationally known entertainers.

One of Connecticut’s remaining drive-in movie theaters is in nearby Mansfield. The drive-in is also home to a large flea market.

Willington has a handful of restaurants, the best known being the Willington Pizza House. Some residents travel to restaurants in Tolland, Storrs, Mansfield, and Willimantic.  

Willington’s property and violent crime rates are below both the national and state averages. Resident State Police troopers patrol Willington. 

Willington has one neighborhood with three villages. South Willington is a mill village that originally housed employees of the Hall Thread Company.

West Willington is home to the town’s only shopping center along with many commercial businesses.

East Willington is close to an elementary school, a park, and two campgrounds. 

Willington has two municipal parks, an athletic complex, and a pond with a swimming area. The town has a free weekday kayak and life jacket loaner program.

Willington’s hiking trails include the Nipmuck Trail, a Connecticut Blue Blaze Hiking Trail.  

The nearest hospitals are Rockville General Hospital and Hartford Healthcare’s Windham Memorial Hospital.

Both hospitals provide basic medical care. Residents needing medical services like labor and delivery and intensive care will need to travel to Norwich, Manchester, or Hartford. 

There is one shopping center with a handful of shops and services, but no supermarket. The nearest supermarkets are in Tolland, Mansfield, Stafford, and Coventry.

A farmers’ market is located in Tolland. Willington has five farm stands. Most Willington residents shop in Mansfield and Willimantic. 


There you have it – the 9 most affordable places to live in Connecticut, broken down into detail.

As you can see, this list of places to live in Connecticut are not only affordable, but full of history and culture.

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