Most people who move to Connecticut come from New York, drawn by an efficient, comfortable commute to New York City via Metro North trains, smart urban cores, idyllic parks and beaches, homes that range from charming cottages to sophisticated condos and stately mansions—plus the lowest maximum state income tax rate in the Tri-State area. (At 6.99 percent, it’s nearly two percentage points lower than New York and New Jersey.)
“If you’re looking for an easy commute to the opportunity and excitement of New York City but are ready for more space and a more relaxed home life, Connecticut is hard to beat. It also makes tons of financial sense,” says Chase Marsh, co-founder of Prevu Real Estate, a full-service brokerage that offers buyers a rebate of up to 2 percent of the purchase price.
“On top of paying less in state income taxes, our New York City clients discover that for the cost of a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, or Downtown Manhattan they can buy a four-bedroom house with a large backyard in one of Connecticut’s most desirable commuter towns located 45 minutes to an hour by train from Manhattan.”
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Top commuter towns frequently go hand-in-hand with top-rated public schools, says Marsh, “enabling many of our buyers to save tens of thousands per year in private school tuition they’d be paying in the city.”
Here’s a look at five of the best Connecticut commuting towns and the average time it takes to get to Manhattan’s Grand Central Station via express train.
1. Greenwich, CT (including Cos Cob, Riverside, and Old Greenwich): 45 minutes
With its abundant green space and beaches, rich maritime history, and high-end shopping and dining scenes, Greenwich consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Connecticut. The town of 61,171 is the largest on Fairfield County’s Gold Coast, noted for its extensive waterfront properties. It has a high median income, excellent public schools, and the fastest commuter times to NYC. Its four train stations (the most of any town on our list) include Greenwich proper, Cos Cob, Riverside, and Old Greenwich (the last three are neighborhoods or hamlets within the town of Greenwich). Each station parking operated by the town, and the Greenwich and Old Greenwich stations are ADA accessible.
“Greenwich has a very large commuter base to NYC, as there are a large number of express train options that can get you into Grand Central station in as little as 45 minutes,” says Marsh.
Greenwich is one of the safest, most educated towns in America, but don’t mistake it for a sleepy suburb: it also has a number of entertainment festivals, including the Greenwich Town Party and the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival.
2. Stamford, CT: 51 minutes
If you want more of an urban vibe, head to Stamford, which has a dense population of 131,000 and offers many big-city amenities, including public transportation in the form of a free trolley; a wide variety of housing options, from waterfront estates to downtown condos; and the largest public library in Connecticut.
Stamford is also an international city, with quick access to six airports and several major companies in town, including Pitney Bowes, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, NBC Sports Group, RBS, and three Fortune 500 companies: Charter Communications, Synchrony Financial, and United Rentals. And nearly half of all residents have a college degree, making Stamford one of the most well-educated municipalities in the country.
The Stamford station, meanwhile, offers charter bus, Amtrak, and Metro North service. The express train will get you to or from Manhattan in a mere 51 minutes, meaning you can work in the city and still make it back with plenty of time to take advantage of the music venues, theaters, nightclubs, and restaurants that comprise Stamford’s vibrant downtown.
3. New Canaan, CT: 68 minutes
Picture the stereotypical Connecticut suburb: quaint commercial downtown, schools brimming with bright students, manicured parks, eye-popping architecture. It looks a lot like New Canaan.
This proud town of about 20,000 has a lot to hang its hat on. Its public school system has been ranked as the best in Connecticut, and top 10 in the country. Its vast public parks, including the 300-acre Waveny Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and some of the best in New England. And its building stock encompasses the typical colonial manses and downtown condos, but also some 90 mid-century moderns, dating from a time when the town was home to architectural giants like Philip Johnson (his Glass House is here), Marcel Breuer, and Landis Gores.
The New Canaan train station has plenty of parking; peak commute time averages 68 minutes to Grand Central. It’s located in the heart of the bustling downtown, replete with upscale coffee shops, shopping boutiques, and a wide selection of high-quality restaurants.
4. Darien, CT: 60 minutes
You don’t even have to try to rub elbows with the rich and famous in Darien: it’s impossible not to. The Gold Coast town of about 21,000 people is the wealthiest municipality in the U.S., according to census data from the 2018 American community survey, with a median household income of $208,125.
“We have seen an influx of buyers interested in Darien who are focused on the school system and the town's convenient location along the Metro North line,” Marsh says. “In addition, there is a noticeable trend of homebuyers who believe Darien offers greater affordability than Greenwich and provides more of a neighborhood vibe than Greenwich, Stamford, or Norwalk.”
Darien is a bedroom community on the Long Island Sound, with few office buildings. It has all the aesthetic charm of old New England, with historic homes, ample park space, 16.5 acres of pristine waterfront, and two public beaches. An old stretch of the Boston Post Road, now commercialized, runs through downtown.
The social scene is legendary. Many residents volunteer at one of several charitable, cultural, or environmental outreach programs and/or join one of Darien’s many sporting clubs, such as the Darien Boat Club, the Noroton Yacht Club, or the Tokeneke Beach and Tennis Club. The library has a spring gala, and the Little League is one of the largest in the country. Participation is paramount.
The town is served by two train stations, one in Noroton Heights and the other in downtown Darien, where you can catch an express train that will have you in Midtown Manhattan in just under an hour.
5. Norwalk, CT: 62 minutes
Norwalk combines suburban serenity with industrial edginess in a fascinating package that make this town of 89,000 altogether more down-to-earth than its affluent counterparts on the Connecticut Gold Coast.
“Norwalk is booming with young professionals, drawn by the city’s proximity to New York City, an exciting food and nightlife scene, and comparatively affordable prices,” says Marsh. “The majority of homes are under $1 million.”
Norwalk has four Metro North stations: three on the main line of the New Haven route (Rowayton, South Norwalk, and East Norwalk) and a fourth on the Danbury Branch (Merritt 7).
The town’s racial and socioeconomic diversity rare for southern Connecticut. This is most evident in the waterfront South Norwalk neighborhood, known by locals as SoNo. Revitalized in the 1980s from derelict 19thcentury warehouses, SoNo is home to hip craft bars and cocktail lounges, some two dozen eateries, an indie cinema, and a boutique hotel. It also hosts the famed Oyster Fest, and two annual arts festivals that attract locals and tourists alike.
Interested in browsing properties in these locations? Visit Prevu to create a custom search.
Prevu is a digital home buying platform that enables you to search, offer, and save up to 2 percent when you buy. Click here to learn about Prevu’s Smart Buyer Rebate or to browse homes in Connecticut’s best commuter towns.
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Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford are just a few of the cute towns in Connecticut that we encourage visitors to explore. The Gold Coast of Connecticut is a charming corner of the state.How many people commute from Connecticut to NYC? ›
Out of the 110,000 daily total commuters on the New Haven Line, approximately 80,000 originate from Connecticut traveling to in-state or New York destinations.Can you live in Connecticut and commute to NYC? ›
Stamford is another great option for those looking for a Connecticut town to live in and commute to NYC. It's located just outside Greenwich and close to New Canaan. The average commute time from Stamford to NYC is 50 minutes to 1 hour.What part of Connecticut is best to live in? ›
- The best place to live in Connecticut is New Haven thanks to its wonderful cultural and entertainment scenes as well as its abundance of beautiful green spaces. ...
- The largest city in Connecticut's Gold Coast, Greenwich is one of the best towns to live in Connecticut.
Greenwich. Home to numerous parks, shopping districts, finest architecture, historical hubs, sandy beaches, world-class restaurants and art galleries, Greenwich is amongst the most beautiful towns in Connecticut. It is also known to be one of the richest towns in the United States.Is Connecticut cheaper than NYC? ›
For example, to keep the same standard of living that would require $22,000 in New York City you would need to make just about $13,049 in Hartford, Connecticut.How much is the train from NYC to Greenwich CT? ›
Overview: Train from New York City to Greenwich, CT
You can get the cheapest train tickets for this trip for as low as $14 (€12), but the average price of train tickets is $14 (€12).
- 1.) Tarrytown.
- 2.) Bronxville.
- 3.) Port Washington.
- 1.) Hoboken.
- 2.) Maplewood.
- 3.) Weehawken.
- 1.) Stamford.
- 2.) Greenwich.
If you live in CT and have a job in New York, where do your state income taxes go? Since NY has a higher state tax rate than CT, do you get the amount of NYS taxes paid in excess of CT back as a credit? You will have to file NY State for your NY related income and CT State for other income.Is Connecticut worth moving to? ›
Yes, between affordable home prices, outdoor recreation opportunities and the great public school system, Connecticut is a good place to live. The major downsides of living in Connecticut boil down to the high tax burden and poor job market.
Connecticut saw more people moving out of state than moving in during 2022, according to United Van Lines' annual National Movers Study, continuing a long trend for Connecticut and several other Northeastern states.Where do the rich people live in Connecticut? ›
It is located about 29 miles northeast of New York City, offering residents an easy commute to the city. Greenwich had a median household income of $180,484 in 2021 and is known as one of the richest cities in America.
In 2021, Ridgefield, Connecticut was named the sixth safest city in the US. That puts this city at the top of the charts for the safest cities in the state. In Ridgefield, there is a one in 8,344 chance you will be victimized by violent crime.Is Connecticut a good place for retirees? ›
Bankrate ranked Connecticut the 43rd best state to retire in overall, including its affordability along with its measures for well-being, culture and diversity, weather and crime. While Connecticut was among the worst states for affordability, it ranked high in three of the four other areas: the state was No.What is the most diverse town in CT? ›
New Haven's population is 135,081. The Hardware city has a 63.72 diversity score, ethnoracial diversity of 80, linguistic diversity of 13 and birthplace diversity of 235. New Britain's population is 73,841.What is the friendliest small town in America? ›
You may have heard Murray, Kentucky is considered the Friendliest Small Town in America. Even if you agreed, you may not know how that title was given to the town.Where is the Quiet Corner of Connecticut? ›
Quiet Corner, CT, is a peaceful, scenic area tucked away in northeastern Connecticut. It includes the towns of Woodstock, Pomfret, Thompson, Putnam, Killingly, Eastford, and Brooklyn. Quiet Corner receives a multitude of visitors from New York and Boston who are craving an escape from the busy city life.What part of Connecticut is most rural? ›
Northeastern Connecticut is, in contrast to the rest of the state, far more rural, with large swaths of scenic farmland, rivers and lakes, woodlands, and state forests.What is the richest state in Connecticut? ›
Incorporated county subdivisions.
|Per capita income||$105,846|
|Median household income||$174,611|
The newest municipality in Connecticut is West Haven, which was incorporated from Orange in June 1921.
|Rank||Population Growth Rate ▼||City / Population|
|1.||62.99%||Crystal Lake, CT / 2,378|
|2.||56.54%||Mashantucket, CT / 299|
|3.||43.85%||New Hartford Center, CT / 1,509|
|4.||43.37%||Collinsville, CT / 3,851|
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Yes, they do make the commute. Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line has a station in Bridgeport , offering multiple trains per hour every morning to Grand Central, and similar frequency for the return trip in the afternoon/evening. What is the best train line on the NYC MTA? Are the best US states NJ & CT?Where should I live to commute to York? ›
It's no surprise that commuter towns and villages near York like Sherburn in Elmet, Seacroft, Tadcaster and Selby have become popular with homebuyers. The A64 runs right into the heart of the historic city, while reliable train services mean you can be in the city in just a matter of minutes.