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35 Reasons Moving to Connecticut is an AWESOME Idea!

To start, I figured I would let you know that I am someone who has lived in Connecticut most of my life and I am proud of my home state. I have also lived in a few other places such as Texas, North Carolina (and a couple places I’d rather not go back to in the Middle East) while I was in the Air Force. After my enlistment ended, I decided that moving to Connecticut was best for me because I felt that this was where I wanted to call home again.

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Now that I have a family of my own, I understand that it’s important to live in a state that I feel will be the best choice for their long term success. I could move to any state I want, but I choose to live in Connecticut because I really do feel that this is a great place to raise a family. After all, geographically we are located directly in between two major cities, Boston and New York, with excellent transportation options close by such as highways, railroads and multiple international airports. In addition, each Connecticut town and city is uniquely charming with highly desirable classic New England characteristics. Also, being a coastal state we have excellent beaches and direct waterfront property for residences, personal enjoyment and commercial operations.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly aware that Connecticut has it’s share of challenges that it is facing right now. However, it’s impossible to ignore all the positive qualities that we have available to us as residents of CT. I decided to write the article because of all the attention lately is focused on the negative aspects of living here and all the positive is constantly being overlooked. Connecticut can and will become highly desirable and sought after again and now is a great time to live here because home affordability is at it’s best level in a long time. Below are the 35 reasons that I feel make moving to Connecticut and living in Connecticut an AWESOME idea!

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Move to Connecticut for Hartford’s Next Great Era

I’m bullish on Hartford for a few reasons. First of all, let me start by saying the city has taken it on the chin for a long time now. It was once a really great small city and many large insurance companies choose to do business here. Which earned Hartford the nickname “the Insurance Capital of the World”. However, a lot of those insurance companies have become more distributed across the state and country, taking thousand of jobs with them. In addition, most people who work in Hartford, choose to reside in surrounding towns outside of the city. The effects have been significant on Hartford.

Living in Hartford Connecticut

However, I’m noticing a change, it’s been a while in the making and it started with the Front Street Project. After years of slow development there it seemed to really kick into gear once UCONN announced it would be relocating the West Hartford Campus to Downtown in the old Hartford Times building which is adjacent to Front Street. Then came the announcement that the New Britian Rock Cats would be building a new stadium called Dunkin Donuts park in Hartford and become the Hartford Yard Goats. Which then transpired into the announcement that a Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe would be built across the street from the stadium. The icing on the cake is that when you walk around the city, you can’t help but notice that extensive work is taking place to freshen up the city as well as old office buildings that have been renovated into modern apartments. Which is attracting new residents to live in Hartford CT and breathing much needed life into the city.

Has Hartford turned a corner? It’s too early to tell, but the pieces are being put together for that to happen and watching this take place is exciting for those lucky enough to be living in Connecticut or considering a move here. Below are my favorite points of interest in Downtown Hartford and the start of my list “35 Reasons Moving to Connecticut is an AWESOME idea”.

1) Check out Hartford’s Front Street District

hartford connecticut front street

Front Street District is the area of Hartford along the banks of the Connecticut River and adjacent to the business district. The major attractions are the Connecticut Science Center, which is a designed to bring science learned in the classrooms to life for children of all ages as well as adults. The exhibits change over time and always stay fresh. Personally, I love bringing my kids here a few times a year.

Next up, is the Convention Center and the adjacent Marriott hotel. I’ve been to a lot of convention centers around the country and this is one of the nicest I’ve seen. The architects did a great job designing this building and it’s nice to start seeing some reoccurring conventions happening here such as ConnectiCon, which is our version of ComicCon. When you stay in the Downtown Hartford Marriott hotel you are in the middle of everything the district has to offer and you won’t have to go far from your hotel room for first class dining and entertainment.

Take a walk across the street and you end up on the actual Front Street, major players have moved in here such as Infinity Hall and Bistro, Spotlight Theatres, the Capital Grille and others. There are a few spaces left and it’s going to be interesting to see who else moves in and what the future holds for this district.

2) Hartford’s Brand Spanking New Baseball Stadium and Team

Hartford Yard Goats – Yes, that is the correct name and we don’t know what to think about it yet. Put the name choice aside and most people agree that bringing this baseball organization to Downtown Hartford is all good. The Yard Goats are a Double-A minor league baseball team that is affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Formally they were known as the New Britain Rock Cats. They are building a brand spanking new stadium called Dunkin’ Donuts Park and people living in Connecticut are already huge fans. Bringing the team to downtown was controversial. In order for Hartford to gain the team, New Britain had to lose the team. However, they have since formed an agreement with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and the New Britain Bees will be playing there from now on.

yard goats stadium dunkin donuts park

3) Party Like a Rock Star in Hartford CT

stay at hard rock hotel and cafe hartford connecticut

Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe – This is huge for Hartford Connecticut and when this development was announced, people living in Connecticut had something to pump their chests out for. Slated to open in 2018, this will be a 170 room rock and roll themed hotel with a cafe as well. The plan is to be located across the street from the Hartford Yard Goats Dunkin’ Donut’s Park. This is sure to be not just another hotel, but a destination for a weekend getaway for residents of Connecticut as well as travelers from other states.

4) Escape the Concrete Metropolis and Enjoy the Park

hartford ct capital building

Bushnell Park – Every city needs a good park to escape the concrete metropolis and enjoy the outdoors. Hartford CT has Bushnell Park and is over 50 acres of open green space for anyone to enjoy and is overlooked by Connecticut State Capital Building. Fun facts about the park is that it’s the oldest publicly funded park in the United States, has a carousel that is over 100 years old, was just recently renovated and has a river that runs underground after the Army Corps of Engineers buried it to prevent spring flooding to the city.

5) Rise Above the Noise of the City

Constitution Plaza – If you were to walk around Constitution Plaza today you would wonder why I would call it out as a special landmark of Hartford. The plaza is an elevated area from the rest of the city and connects the various commercial office buildings together, as well as the Front Street District, Riverfront and even East Hartford.

downtown hartford ct

The truth is I remember coming here as a kid for events and thinking about how cool it was to go to the city, I couldn’t wait to work in such an exciting environment when I was older. There was always festivals and functions going on, such as the Taste of Hartford where local restaurants would setup areas for attendees to purchase tickets and sample the local flavors. There was also the Festival of Lights Christmas display and opening ceremony that featured Santa Claus making an appearance on top of the buildings for the kids to enjoy. Hopefully a revitalization of Constitution Plaza is near. Fueled by the other developments in Hartford, I’m hopeful some great companies will view this area as something special and will decide to setup their operations here and make it great again.

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Connecticut’s Main Streets and Town Centers and Historic Districts

Connecticut is an area that is rich with history. A lot of towns come alive with business, culture and history and you can’t help but to feel proud to live in Connecticut when walking down a great main street, town center or historical district. Typically decorated for the season, you will find the streets lined with American flags, flowers or pumpkins. This is where you want to take a stroll down the road and see where you end up. Sit on a bench after grabbing a coffee or ice cream and just people watch or socialize, depending on your personality. Main Street America is Connecticut. Below are some of my favorites from around the state.

6) A Renaissance Main Street

downtown middletown ct

Downtown Middletown is a local destination that has benefited from a renaissance and local business’s here are could not be more proud to call it home. Located close to Wesleyan University, there is no doubt that the college students love coming here and it is packed full of excitement and things to do. But don’t think the fun is only for college students, this strip was named one of Americas most romantic Main Streets!

7) Rodeo Drive of the Northeast

Greenwich Avenue

Greenwich Avenue is probably Connecticut’s most prestigious road. A lot of locals even refer to it as the “Rodeo Drive of the Northeast”. Those who decide to stroll through Greenwich Avenue will not be disappointed with a pretty exclusive set of stores that are upscale and pricey. This is surely a destination to go to when you want a taste of the good life with retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co. When referring to Greenwich Avenue, sound like a local and just call it “the Avenue”.

8) Classic American Town Center

the center of west hartford ct

West Hartford Center is a major attraction for people living in West Hartford and surrounding towns and it even gets a lot of visits from tourists who are in the area. It’s represents so much that is good about Connecticut. Shopping includes a good mix of local Mom and Pop shoppes and national retailers. The Center also features amazing food, with a ton of highly successful local restaurants and a few larger ones such as the Cheesecake Factory and Flemings Steakhouse.

9) Best American Small Town

essex village ct

Essex Village is quintessential Connecticut having earned the title of “The Perfect Small American Town” in the “1,000 Places To See Before You Die” travel guide and being named the top town in “The 100 Best Small Towns in America”. Rich in history, you should spend a night at the Griswold Inn which is the oldest continuously run tavern in the United States. Quick tip for those not familiar with the area, take the 1 minute ferry ride to Essex Island Marina and eat at Marley’s Cafe while watching the boats come and go into the marina.

10) Escape from it all in the Northwest Corner

kent connecticut

Kent is nestled along the Housotonic River and this is what small town New England is all about. Early settler’s homes have been converted into local specialty shops for visitors to browse through. The town draws people in with the phrase “Shop, Eat, Play, Stay” and it couldn’t be more true. Spend a day here or stay for a weekend in a local bed and breakfast such as the Inn as Kent Falls or the Fife n Drum Inn and see what Kent is all about.

11) Waterfront Main Street Alive With Culture

new london ct waterfront

New London Main Street is a waterfront community and a historic district that can be enjoyed year round and not just during the summer months. The culture in this area is heavily influenced with creativity featuring many musical, artistic and design businesses and venues. The culture here is amazing and really draws people into the town. After checking out all the arts, be sure to stop and eat at one of over 30 restaurants, diners and eateries along this historical district. Located close to the waterfront, be sure to stop by and get some fresh air by the water, or watch the ferries come and go.

 


 

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Day Trips and Things to Do Around Connecticut

The saying goes that good things come in small packages and Connecticut fits that expression perfectly. Connecticut is the third smallest state by geographic area, with only Delaware and Rhode Island being smaller. The best part of being such a small state is the excitement of traveling across the state for a day trip for a perfectly planned adventure. Who doesn’t love a good day trip or just something to do on the weekend or a day off of work? Living in Connecticut has a ton of options to explore. Some of my favorites are below.

12) Leaf Peeping in the Fall

fall foliage in connecticut
During peak fall foliage season, you can take a drive either around your area of Connecticut or to the Litchfield Hills in the northwest corner and go leaf peeping. The name may sound strange to some but trust me on this. Get out your favorite fall hoodie and jeans and just drive around with a pumpkin spiced latte to sip on. Go find the best windy roads and just enjoy the views of rolling hills, country sides and beautiful landscapes, where the trees are changing to various shades of red, yellow and orange. Take some time to enjoy what is perhaps the most spectacular views of the year. Don’t plan things out too much, just drive, when you are hungry stop and eat at a diner or local restaurant along the way.

13) Hit the Slopes with Skiing and Snowboarding

skiing connecticut
When it’s cold outside you have two options, 1 – you can stay inside by the fire and watch a good movie and eat your comfort food or 2 – get outside and enjoy an activity that can only be done during this time of year. I say, bundle up and go hit the slopes to go skiing or snowboarding. Experienced skiers and snowboarders prefer to take a short drive up to Vermont or New Hampshire but Connecticut offers some solid options, if you are looking for some smaller mountains and don’t feel like driving too far. Another option is to check out night skiing or snowboarding in Connecticut, it’s wicked fun to hit the slopes at night for a couple hours! Check out each of these mountains in CT.

14) Connecticut Wine Trail

People moving to Connecticut are probably not aware that the state is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the United States and features 25 wineries that make up the Connecticut Wine Trail. The trail is flexible for where you are looking to go in the state. You choose where to start, how many wineries to visit and where to end your adventure for the day. They are spread throughout CT, so a smart day tripper will chunk out the trip into a few different adventures. For example, combine your leaf peeping trip with hitting up Miranda Vineyard and Sunset Meadow Vineyard in Goshen along with Haight-Brown Vineyard in Litchfield Hills. Or on a nice summer day, couple a beach trip with Bishop’s Orchard Winery in Guilford, Charmed Vineyards in Clinton and Salt Water Farm Vineyard in Stonington. The possibilities are endless as this is truly a choose your own adventure day trip! Careful about driving though, it’s very easily to get tipsy quickly, best to have a designated driver or better yet, rent a limo for the day!

15) World Class Culture in a Small State

“If you want to look at art, there is more of it to be seen per square mile on the east coast of the United States than there is in any other place on earth.” -Richard Dorment

Culture is alive and celebrated in Connecticut, in fact, 19 world class museums and historic sites have aligned themselves together to form the Connecticut Art Trail. Anyone looking to explore these various destinations can purchase “the Art Pass”, which allows you to visit multiple sites per day and makes for the perfect day trip. Just like the CT Wine Trail, you can break it up into chunks and make multiple trips out if it. Take the River Valley tour by stopping by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, New Britian Museum of American Art and the Art Gallery at the University of Saint Joseph one day. And take a trip to the Shoreline another day by traveling to Lyman Allyn Museum of Art, Slater Memorial Museum and the Florence Griswold Museum. The possibilities are endless, use the creative genius right side of your brain and make this day trip a work of art.

16) Connecticut Loves Good Beer

It’s official, the people have spoken and they are sick and tired of mass produced commercial beer options. It seems that every week a new microbrewery is popping up in Connecticut. These breweries feature local craft beers that have been brewed by CT residents, who’s recipes can compete and in a lot of cases surpass the big name brands. These craft beers can be enjoyed both at the actual microbreweries and at a local pub with them on tap. Oh yea, and a new Connecticut growler law, allows us to take home either a 64 or 32oz growler that has been filled with any of the beers you want to enjoy later at home. Score! The best part about these microbreweries is the culture around them, Connecticut beer enthusiasts or beer nerds make trying out different styles of beer fun. With tastings, events and fundraisers commonly being held at these microbreweries, you can be sure to have a good time here. Come for the beer and stay for the good times.

conecticut breweries

One of the larger and more successful operations is Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford. Another larger brewery in Bloomfield Connecticut is Thomas Hooker, named after perhaps the states most prominent public figure from Colonial times. A brewery that will always be special to me is City Steam Brewery in Hartford CT. Located in the former Brown Thomson Restaurant, this is a historical building for Hartford and I’m glad to see what City Steam has created here. Don’t think these are the only 3 options, there are many more and one creative group started the CT Beer Trail. Which brings a level of organization to this popular community of beer connoisseurs.

17) Say Goodbye to Summer and Hello to Fair Season

connecticut fairs
Late summer through early fall is a special time for people living in Connecticut. As we get ready to say good bye to the summer weather and anticipate the fall foliage, we have Fair Season to look forward to in every corner and throughout the state. Everyone has their favorites fairs to attend, they usually stick to the ones that are close to home or the ones they went to growing up in Connecticut. Some of our fairs have become pretty big and are attracting some big name entertainment acts that will headline the show. Personally, my favorite part is the guilty pleasure food. It doesn’t matter if it’s crepes, fried dough or anything else that is just terribly bad for you, I will eat it and love it. Second to food, I love taking my chances in the game section to win a big prize for my kids, riding on some thrilling rides and checking out the vendor section for some great local businesses. Below is a list of some really awesome fairs in Connecticut.

18) People Living in CT Love Beaches

It’s impossible not to take a trip to the beach when you live in Connecticut, after all they are so close by. Connecticut’s shoreline features shores that have become a summer playground as well as a retreat during the other seasons for people of all ages to come and enjoy. Pick your adventure here by either laying out and getting some sun, playing frisbee or launching your boat. Check out these AWESOME Connecticut beaches.

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Higher Education – Colleges and Universities

The running joke in New England is if you throw a stone, you will probably hit a college and Connecticut is no exception. Higher education is a top priority for people living in Connecticut and we have an abundance of prestigious and highly competitive universities to choose from. The states average amount of high school graduates who go on to college level academia is 78%, which is a whopping 15 points above the national average of 63%! Another great statistic for the state, is that of those who choose to further their education past high school, the majority choose to attend a school within the state. Which if you are like me, you would want to be close to your kids and having them attend a college in Connecticut would be perfect if you live here!

19) Pride of New Haven – Yale University

yale university new haven ct
At the top of the list is Yale, which only lets in about 6% of total applicants and is located in downtown New Haven. Famous alumni of Yale include former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton as well as Hillary Clinton and some of the top Hollywood names such as Paul Newman and Meryl Streep. If you have worked hard enough to get accepted to Yale, you have your work cut out for you in order to graduate, but the rewards are huge when you do. Yale’s alumni go on to do great things in the world. Check out these 30 famous Yale Graduates.

20) Go Huskies – University of Connecticut

university of connecticut
The University of Connecticut, or UCONN is by far the pride and joy of the state. In fact, as UCONNs popularity grows and the number of applicants increases year over year, the total undergraduate population is still made up of 80% of students who grew up in here in Connecticut. The main campus is nestled in Storrs CT, which is far from the big city. In fact, the campus is over 7 miles away from highway access and you have to travel through some beautiful Connecticut back roads just to get there. The UCONN sports program is huge here (I’ll discuss that in the sports section of this article) but providing top notch education is the schools primary focus and students moving to Connecticut to attend school here are in for a surprise if they think it is just a party school.

21) Crime Scene Investigation – University of New Haven

university of new haven ct
Are you a fan of the television show CSI or interested in National Security? The University of New Haven has some pretty cool programs in the Dr. Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. Dr. Lee has become probably the most influential forensic scientist in the world, working on prominent cases such as O.J Simpson, Jon Benet Ramsey, Lacy Peterson and the Washington DC sniper shootings, among others. In the schools department, students can earn degrees in various Forensic Sciences, National Security, Fire Sciences, Investigations and Emergency Management. Graduates of this program can go on to do some pretty incredible work and hold influential jobs in both public and private sectors.

22) Enter as Cadet and Leave as an Officer – United States Coast Guard Academy

coast guard academy ct
Looking for a more structured and patriotic option for your higher education? In New London Connecticut, you can attend the United States Coast Guard Academy. This school is one of only 5 United States Military Academies that offer undergraduate education and training to become commissioned officers of the US Military upon graduation. Students here are called cadets, with freshmen being 4th class, sophomores being 3rd class, juniors being 2nd class and seniors being 1st class. In addition to education, the cadets take on progressive levels of responsibility to develop the leadership skills needed for today’s military. It’s institutions like this one that contribute to keeping our country safe and Connecticut takes pride in being the start of many long and successful careers in the United States Coast Guard.

 

People Living in Connecticut Love Good Food 

Connecticut’s Restaurant Scene

It’s an undeniable fact, Connecticut loves to eat and it is probably because of the abundance of restaurants that serve up the most mouth-watering dishes. I love it when a restaurant “get’s it right” by focusing on high quality food, outstanding customer service and providing an ambiance that allows you to completely indulge yourself in your meal. One measure of success in the restaurant industry is having multiple locations or becoming a group of restaurants under the management of the same individuals. Below are restaurants that have achieved that level of success and will continue to dominate the restaurant market in Connecticut.

23) Max Restaurant Group

Founding chef and entrepreneur Richard Rosenthal started his restaurant empire in 1986 with the opening of Max on Main in Downtown Hartford’s Main Street, which has since moved to it’s current location in City Place Hartford. Since it’s opening Rosenthal has expanded into 8 unique restaurant concepts throughout the state, a catering company and seasonal Chef to Farm dinner series at a local Simsbury CT farm. Max’s Restaurant Group has won a series of high profile awards for these restaurants on both the state and national level. Be sure to check out each of the below locations.

  • Max A Mia Ristorante – Located in Avon CT, this casual Italian bistro features pies directly from a stone oven as well as an amazing selection of pastas and seafood dishes. For drinks, be sure to order a Tiramisu Martini or finish of your night off with a Grappa, which is an Italian brandy.
  • Max Amore Ristorante – Located in Glastonbury CT, this concept resembles Max A Mia but with a flare all of it’s own. My appetizer of choice is the Sicilian Calamari with Mediterranean flavors that will defy the traditional fried calamari you are used to. This is the place to order a pie and a bottle of wine, nobody will judge because they are doing it too!
  • Max Fish – Another location in Glastonbury CT, come here to get your seafood fix. Ordering for the table? Get the “Skyscraper” which is a shellfish sampler made up of mussels, clams, jumbo shrimp, and crab claws and will feed 6-8 people, or 3-4 if you are at my table.
  • Max Downtown – Located in Hartford CT, this is the restaurant that started it all, originally named Max on Main but changed it’s name to Max Downtown after moving into City Place Hartford. Come here and check out the wine list, the selection is exquisite and so is the menu. This is how to do upscale dining, they are not messing around here.
  • Trumbull Kitchen – I love the this restaurant, also located in downtown Hartford CT, the menu here is all over the place but it works. My favorite is the chicken pad thai, but don’t think that this will be a dish like you get at your local take out, this interpretation is in a class by itself.
  • Max’s Oyster Bar – Located in the exclusive West Hartford center, come here for the raw bar but stay for the dessert, more specifically the chocolate peanut butter bombe, just order it, enough said.
  • Max Burger – Also located in West Hartford center, upscale burger joints are all the rage right now and this is how Max’s does it. Looking for a blow out meal when not counting calories? Order the Fatty Melt, its a burger between not 1 but 2 grilled cheeses, oh yea and bacon!
  • Max’s Chef to Farm – I have to admit, I have never been here, I just became aware of it while looking at their website. They are only open during the summer and source food from local Connecticut farms to make meals from whatever is harvested that week. This sounds delicious and I’ll be going here this summer for sure.

24) Mill Restaurant Group

With over 30 years in the restaurant business the Mill Restaurant Group is another undeniable example of a group of people who know what they are doing. The flagship restaurant and what started it all is the Mill on the River in South Windsor, CT. Not only is this a restaurant, it is also a popular destination for parties such as wedding receptions, graduations and christenings, etc. After building up the business, the owners decided to expand and now have 3 other locations in Connecticut. Each has it’s own concept, based around a kitchen that pumps out quality food for it’s patrons.

mill restaurant group

  • The Mill on the River, Located in my home town of South Windsor CT on the Podunk River. This restaurant is the quintessential example of Connecticut’s restaurant scene. It has withstood the test of time and continues to deliver every time I go there. The menu is modern American and the ambience is rich in local history. Don’t forget to give your date a kiss on the “Kissing Bridge” which you need to cross in order to enter or leave the restaurant.
  • Abigail’s Grille and Wine Bar, Located in Simsbury CT, this restaurant is rich with American history and in it’s current form the restaurant serves it’s past proudly. Harriott Beecher Stowe is among the famous patrons who frequented this restaurant back when it was called Pettibone Tavern in the mid 1800’s. Currently, I recommend coming here for Sunday brunch and ordering the Filet Mignon Benedict which is an eggs benedict dish that has been kicked up a notch.
  • The Republic Restaurant, Located in Bloomfield CT, this is a restaurant concept that I can really get into. It is a gastropub which is a pub that specialized in serving high-end food. Come here and order a pint, or a glass of small batch whiskey at the bar, the bartenders know how to take care of you. Staying for a meal? Start out with the Deviled Eggs and then move on to the Thomas Hooker Fish and Chips. One word. Delicious.
  • Market Grille, When this restaurant opened in Manchester CT, I knew it would be a hit. The decor is top of line with an outdoor section that has a gas fireplace and overlooks the most stunning view of Greater Hartford. The bar has an interesting twist with only serving American made spirits. The food is new-American style and everything I’ve eaten here is just perfect.

25) Bears BBQ Smokehouse

This restaurant is the new kid on the block, but right away has earned it’s stripes and is one of my favorite places to eat in Connecticut. The backstory on this restaurant is almost as good as the barbecue. The owner Jamie “the Bear” McDonald is actually a competitive eater. Seriously check out his YouTube channel, you can watch him eat 7-10 pounds of various foods in a single sitting! He won the money to open his restaurants by competing in a eating contest where the finalists pitched their business ideas to race car driver Danica Patrick. He won and the result is delicious barbecue in 3 locations in Connecticut. I wouldn’t be surprised to see upwards of 10 locations in the coming years! The food here is legendary in Greater Hartford, we have been accustomed to barbecue that was just ok until now. This barbecue is at another level, there is noting pretentious about the food here, just meat and sides and 2 choices of sauce, sweet or spicy. I love everything about this place.

  • Hartford CT – 89 Arch Street
  • Windsor CT – 2152 Poquonock Avenue
  • South Windsor CT – Opening soon

Bears BBQ CT

26) Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

pepe's pizza new haven ct
When people think of the best pizza hot spot they typically think of New York. However, Connecticut holds it’s own and the locals here would put the pizza that originated out of New Haven up against anything that gets made anywhere else. The pizza joint that started it all was Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, or sound like a local and just call it Pepe’s. The flagship locations are in New Haven and it all started way back in 1925 and has since expanded into 9 locations, 7 of which are located in Connecticut. The pizza here is baked in a coal-fired oven that is visible for everyone to see and it comes out of this oven as a slightly charred masterpiece. Perhaps the most famous pizza to order here is the white clam pie, which is made with FRESH shucked clams, garlic, olive oil, and grated cheese with the signature charcoal crust. Not a clam fan? Get the original tomato pie with mozzarella,you don’t need a pizza loaded with toppings here, less is more when dining at Pepe’s.

  • New Haven CT – 157 Wooster Street
  • New Haven CT – 163 Wooster Street “the Spot”
  • Fairfield CT – 238 Commerce Drive
  • Manchester CT – 221 Buckland Hills Drive
  • Mohegan Sun Casino – 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
  • Danbury CT – 59 Federal Road
  • West Hartford CT – 1148 New Britain Avenue

27) Plan B Restaurants

Burgers – Beers – Bourbon, now there is a restaurant concept that I can get into and so can a lot of other people living in Connecticut. Fun fact about CT is that the hamburger was invented in New Haven by Louis Lassen and this restaurant would make him proud. The drink menu is filled with bourbons such as small batch, single barrel and Kentucky straight. Don’t like it neat, order a bourbon mixed drink such as the “Whiskey Smash” and work your way up to straight up! For the food, you have to check out the burgers and my personal recommendation is the “New Englander” which is topped with lobster, gouda, cartelized onions. With locations throughout Connecticut, you should always be able get your drink and burger on and get your fix of Plan B.

  • Fairfield CT – 1262 Post Road
  • Glastonbury CT – 120 Hebron Avenue
  • Milford CT – 1638 Boston Post Road
  • Simsbury CT – 4 Railroad Street
  • Stamford CT – 230 Tresser Boulevard
  • West Hartford CT – 138 Park Road

what is my connecticut house worth

Connecticut’s Seafood

Anyone who is a seafood connoisseur will tell you the fresher the better and Connecticut’s shoreline provides an slew of mouth-watering seafood options to choose from. Don’t feel like you need to catch them yourself though (although you can) check out a local businesses that does all the work for you and serves up fresh seafood options for you to enjoy. Below are some of my favorite options to choose from.

28) Seafood Shacks

Any trip to Connecticut’s shorelines deserve a stop at a local seafood shack, where they serve up the food on picnic tables with views of the ocean to take in while you eat. My go-to option at these restaurants is the lobster roll, which is hoagie buns filled with lobster meat. You can get them 2 ways, either cold, which is usually a lobster salad with mayo, celery or coleslaw, etc. or hot, which is juicy lobster meat that’s drenched in butter. Two of my favorite seafood shacks are The Lobster Shack in Branford and Captain Scotts Lobster Dock in New London. You can’t go wrong with trying out a seafood shack, although a lot are seasonal so make sure they are open before taking the trip!

seafood new london ct

29) New England Clam Chowder

One thing people who move to Connecticut are consistently surprised with is that pretty much every restaurant offers their version of New England Clam Chowder, but I recommend the USS Chowder Pot in Branford or Hartford. Now NE Clam Chowder is not exclusive to Connecticut and I’m not even sure where in New England it originated from, but we love it. Don’t you dare put tomato’s in the chowder, that would make it Manhattan clam chowder and that’s not allowed across state lines!

30) Connecticut Oysters

Developing a taste for NE clam chowder is pretty easy, but when you are ready to step up your seafood game you can venture into oysters. Connecticut has the most succulent Blue Point oysters and getting them fresh off the docks will instantly get you hooked. Don’t think that they all will taste the same, they can vary greatly depending on origin and season they were harvested. When it comes to eating an oyster, the correct way is to slurp the meat out of it’s shell (after it has been shucked) with all of it’s natural juices and make sure you chew it a couple times before swallowing. If eating them naked is not your thing, you can add some toppings such as cocktail sauce, lemon juice, tabasco or a mignonette sauce. My personal recommendation, is to get a nice bottle of wine to go with them, ideally a bottle from one of Connecticut’s vineyards!

Connecticut Loves Desserts

31) Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Connecticut’s Ice Cream. When it comes to dessert, Connecticut is not messing around and we take our ice cream seriously. Perhaps the obsession comes from the dairy farms that are prevalent throughout the state or just a love of tasty treats but one things is for sure, Connecticut gets ice cream right. My personal favorite is at UCONN Dairy Bar, which is right on the Storrs campus. The award winning ice cream here is still manufactured according to it’s original recipe from the early 1900’s.

uconn dair bar storrs ct

Be sure to check out these AWESOME local ice cream shoppes too!

Connecticut Loves Sports

Without any of the highest level of professional sports teams, Connecticut still holds it’s own with what we do have and fans here tend to be fanatical over our teams.

35) U-C-O-N-N HUSKIES

UCONN Huskies

This program is perhaps the crown jewel of Connecticut, the UCONN Huskies Mens and Women’s basketball program. The mens program has won the NCAA Championship a total of 4 times in 1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014. The womens program has won the NCAA Championship a whopping 10 times in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015! Watch as Husky mania takes over the state and don’t think about planning anything around game time with a fan, they will definitely be watching the game!

33) PGA’s Travelers Championship

TravelersChampionshipLogo-jpg

Travelers is one of the states major employers with the majority of it’s workforce in Hartford CT. The residents of the state are very grateful that they have chosen to sponsor the Travelers Championship and we look forward to the excitement every summer. Hosted at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, the defending champion is Bubba Watson and he has actually won 2 times, the first being his first career PGA tour victory in 2010.

34) Hartford’s Wolfpack

Hartford-Wolf-Pack

A member of the American Hockey league, this team is an affiliate of the NY Rangers and has developed quite the following after Hartford lost the Whalers. In fact, the Wolfpack was rebranded as the Connecticut Whales to bring back the nostalgia for the Whalers, but was brought back to the Wolfpack because it just didn’t feel right. They play their home games in the XL Center in Downtown Hartford and the city comes alive during their games.

35) Redsox – Yankees Rivalry

boston-vs-newyork

Connecticut is nestled directly between two of the best professional baseball teams and the rivaly between the two makes for great competition within the state. Depending on what poll you pay attention to you will get varying information as to what team wins the majority of fans for people who live in CT. The Yankees and Redsox rivalry is one that is healthy and alive here and not going away any time soon.

Conclusion

So that was my list of reason why I feel Connecticut is an AWESOME place to live and if you are thinking about making a move here, this hopefully convince you that this is the place for you.

Do you already live here or familiar with the area and feel there is something I missed? Please leave a comment down below. Scroll down!


Kris Lippi

About the Author: The above real estate information on 35 Reasons Moving to Connecticut is an AWESOME Idea was provided by Kris Lippi, a local Connecticut real estate agent.

Are you currently thinking about buying or selling a home? I have an awesome marketing plan that focuses on what works to sell your home and welcome the opportunity to help you find your next home in Connecticut! Contact Kris Lippi for a no obligation discussion, call or text 860-930-1371.

Kris Lippi services real estate sales in the following Hartford and Tolland County towns: Andover, Avon, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bolton, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Columbia, Coventry, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartland, Hartford, Hebron, Manchester, Mansfield, Marlborough, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, South Windsor, Southington, Stafford, Suffield, Tolland, Union, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Willington, Windsor, Windsor Locks Connecticut

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Comments ( 4 )

  • Rhea says:

    That’s quite a lot of reasons to take into consideration. I’m hoping to be assigned at Connecticut soon. I somehow got a time to visit on one of trip but i never roam around because of the busy scedule.

  • Jen Vincent says:

    Thanks for all your time sharing so many great things about moving here. We are originally from Colorado but are currently in Wyoming and have summiteers a relocation to Simsbury through my husbands work.. at first it was just a running joke in the house that any place has to be better than this! The more I read on Connecticut we are super excited to get there asap…
    This article makes us super pumped. We started looking on RE/MAX app and have a super awesome Realtor in West Hartford that went to College in our home town out here otherwise we would totally be calling you. Thanks again for all of this.

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