Connecticut Town Info: Things to Do for Fun

Moving to Middleton and looking for some Connecticut town info on things to do for fun? You’ve come to the right place! This post will sum up some of your best options for having fun either in or around Middleton.

Visit Wadsworth Falls State Park

Have an affinity for the great outdoors? Visit Wadsworth Falls State Park. Lots of hiking and swimming opportunities are made available in the park. Also, the waterfalls create quite the ambiance for rest and relaxation once you’re sitting back and simply enjoying the view.

Tour Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center

Have a few hours to spare? Enjoy fun and quirky things? Tour Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center. It’s the place to go to when you’re in the mood for feeling nostalgic about the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.

Solve a Challenge at Adventure Rooms Connecticut

Like solving challenging puzzles? Make reservations to go to Adventure Rooms Connecticut. It’s a unique and interesting way to spend an hour with a group of friends or a romantic date.

Have a Blast at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park

When the weather’s nice again, be sure to spend some time at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park. There are zip lines there that will take you right into the water below. Also, there are water slides and kayaks for you to enjoy once the weather warms up again.

Kidcity Children’s Museum

If you have a child that you adore in your life, then you’ll want to make a trip to Kidcity Children’s Museum. The place is filled with fun activities for toddlers and kids.

Contact us to learn more about living in Connecticut.

Connecticut Town Info for Foodies

As someone who loves dining out and trying new foods, you’re probably more than just a little interested in knowing about the food scene in Connecticut before making the move. That’s why we’ve decided to compile this post of great places to eat in or near Glastonbury. Keep reading for Connecticut town info for foodies.

Plan B Burger Bar

Do you sometimes find yourself hankering for a nice and juicy burger? Then Plan B Burger Bar will certainly be one of your favorite places in town. Offering a multitude of burger choices on their menu, this restaurant will easily satisfy your hunger for a burger. Just make sure to try whatever burger you order on their crowd-favorite pretzel bun. Also, definitely opt for the side of truffle fries.

Salute

In the mood for some classic Italian food? Head on down to Salute. They’ll start your meal off right with a delicious serving of cheesy garlic bread. Then they’ll turn you into a fan with either their chicken gnocchi or sweet potato ravioli.

Bear’s Smokehouse

If you think good barbecue can only be found in the south, then you obviously haven’t tried Bear’s Smokehouse. Their brisket is both tender and juicy. The pulled pork is seasoned just right, and the Moink ball is a wonderful concoction of bacon and meatballs.

Trumbull Kitchen

Looking for a restaurant that has something to please everyone in your dining party? Give Trumbull Kitchen a try. They serve everything from steak to pad thai.

Contact us to learn more about relocating to Connecticut today!

Pumpkins and Apples and Leaves-Oh My! 5 Warm and Cozy Autumn DIY Decorating Tips For Your Home

Any New Englander knows that autumn is hands down the best time of year. The air has turned crisp, cool, and comfortable, football season is in full swing, and the breeze always seems to carry the smell of warm apple pies. So whether you are new to the area, or a veteran of the quintessential New England autumn, embrace the season and have some fun by dressing up your house. Check out these awesome autumn DIY decorating tips for outside your home:

1. Pumpkin Wreath Chandelier

Who knows decorating better than Martha Stewart? This rustic decoration is a charming way to light your porch and welcome guests on a cool fall evening. The warm colors from fallen leaves and miniature pumpkins casts a cozy glow over your home. Make several and hang them from ceiling hooks in front of your windows for an inviting atmosphere. This project is fairly simple and uses easy-to-find materials like miniature pumpkins, leaves from your lawn, and a grapevine wreath. Get the simple directions here.

2. Repurposed Porch Decor

As those of us living in Connecticut know, the state is an antiques hot spot. If you love finding incredible old treasures and turning them into something new, check out the Connecticut Antiques Trail. You can find some of the materials to make a beautiful autumn porch display. A delightful old wagon filled with gourds, an antique frame turned chalkboard (with a welcoming message!), a rustic basket overflowing with mums, and a warm, fuzzy plaid blanket create a porch decoration that makes your home look warm and fuzzy.

3. Apples, Apples, Apples!

Don’t restrict your use of apples this autumn to pies and cider-in addition to being supremely tasty, they also make excellent decorations! This adorable rustic apple porch decor will make people want to stop in off the street for a seat at your charming home. Your porch will exude homespun warmth with a hand-painted, apple-green table adorned with a red and white plaid tablecloth. Top your table with mason jars full of cider and autumn tableware. Add large hay bales for seats, wooden crates topped with yellow mums, and a wooden wheelbarrow brimming with fresh apples.

4. Mailbox Magic

Why stop at the front door? Bring your autumn decorations all the way to the street by sprucing up your mailbox. Dried cornstalks are a perfect decoration for mailboxes because they are tall and eye-catching. In addition to your cornstalks, arrange some hay bales around your mailbox and top them with potted mums and pumpkins for a quick, easy, and colorful mailbox decoration.

5. Painted Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a versatile fall decoration. Carve them, paint them, leave them in all their orange glory-any way you look at it, they make beautiful decor. Try giving your pumpkins a magical look with a shimmery metallic silver paint, or create different patterns by wrapping rubber bands around your pumpkin before painting. Pair painted pumpkins with rustic lanterns-you could even put a miniature pumpkin inside some of your lanterns for a different effect!

Living in Connecticut is all about embracing the changing seasons. New England offers the chance to appreciate cool, brightly colored autumn days, and sparkling snowy winters. Dressing up your home for each season is all part of the fun of living here. Please contact us for more DIY tips for your home.

Now is the Time to Buy a New Home So You Can Be in for the Holidays

Here in Connecticut, we’re all still enjoying the fall weather. Most days are still warm enough that we can even pretend it’s still summer, but the days are getting shorter, which means the holidays will be here before you know it. If you want to buy a new home and move in before the holidays, now is the time to make a move.

If you still don’t believe us that the winter season is not far away, just walk into any big box retailer. Yes, the Halloween decorations and costumes are out, of course, but take a turn down the next aisle and you’ll see it. Yes, the Christmas trees are up, and the stockings are hung with care.

Maybe you’ve been casually browsing the local real estate market, but if you want to hang your own stocking in a new house this year, it’s time to make a call. We can help you find the perfect home to celebrate the holidays. Whether you’re looking for a large dining room to host the family Thanksgiving dinner, or vaulted ceilings so you can get the biggest Christmas tree on the lot, we will do our best to find you the home of your dreams.

Unfortunately, real estate is not an instant business. It’s not like running into the store for a gallon of milk. It’s a process and it takes some time for banks and lawyers to get everything in order to finalize the transaction. For buyers, that means you need to think ahead when it comes to putting in a purchase offer. If you find something soon, you’ll most likely be able to celebrate the holidays in your new house, so contact us and we will work with you to find your new home.

Connecticut Town Info for New Parents

Thinking about settling down in Connecticut now that you’re starting to raise a family? Then you’ll want to read the following post. It’s full of Connecticut town info that’s important for new parents to know.

Feel Good About Your Decision to Move

It’s common to feel a bit unsure when you’re moving to a place. But if you’re moving to Connecticut to raise a family, then you should be rather proud of your decision. Connecticut is considered by many to be one of the best states in to the country to raise children. Hence, you’re more than welcome to feel good about your relocation decision.

Have Fun at The Dinosaur Place

One of the things your youngsters are going to love most about living in Connecticut is the fact that they’ll be living close to The Dinosaur Place. Located in the Nature’s Art Village, The Dinosaur Place is a spectacular place to take the kids for some great outdoor fun. On the nature trail, you and your munchkins will have the opportunity to come face to face with more than 40 life-sized dinosaurs. As if that’s not enough to get the kids all giddy with excitement, there’s also a huge playground, bounce house, splash pad, and maze to thrill your little ones.

Explore the Mystic Aquarium

When the weather’s not so great outside, you don’t have to worry about not having a place to take your kids for some fantastic family fun. The Mystic Aquarium has lots to offer everyone in the family. Obviously, there are sea creatures for your family to see. But also fun is the 4D theatre and the Exploration Wild exhibit for your family to enjoy.

Contact us to learn more about living in Connecticut.

Ready for a Change? Here are some Reasons to Consider Moving to CT!

Connecticut

From green farmlands and small towns dotted with white-steeple churches to high-rise urban buildings, Connecticut has lots to offer everyone. Perhaps you’d thought about moving to CT but weren’t quite sure if it was the right choice-if so, we’ve got a few things for you to carefully consider.

Location

Connecticut is located close enough to New York City that hopping a train or bus to the Big Apple for a day trip is easy enough to do. In fact, Connecticut is bordered by Long Island Sound to the south, and three of this state’s eight counties are considered a part of the New York City combined statistical area. The fact that taxes are much lower in Connecticut than they are in New York inspires many to commute there for employment on a daily basis.

Since Connecticut is the third-smallest state in our union, getting from one side of her to another is very easy to do. This means that no matter where you are, you’ll find the beach to be only a short drive away. Connecticut has over 332 miles of coastland, 82 miles of which are protected areas. In addition, the Connecticut River virtually dissects the state in two, and offers ample opportunities for fishing, boating and water sports.

History and Culture

Connecticut has 61 places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A few of them include several historic houses, the old statehouse in Hartford, an Underground Railroad station, and an entire district in New Haven. There are also 20 different lighthouses located along Long Island Sound, numerous covered bridges, and several state parks that also have historical significance.

If you’re into studying early American history, you’ll find a wealth of information available here in the Constitution State. The University of Connecticut, Rocky Hill Historical Society and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History all provide resources for those wishing to learn about Puritan culture and the events that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Nationally Recognized

CNN Magazine has previously recognized five Connecticut cities on their “top 100 places to live in America” list. Those cities are Bristol, West Hartford, Stamford, Hamden and Norwalk. In choosing cities for the list, things such as income, job opportunities, school quality, safety, health care and arts and leisure were all taken into consideration. Several of these cities also have low crimes rates as well.

In all, moving to the Constitution State makes good sense for a lot of reasons. If you’re ready to make the move, contact us for help in finding your dream home.

Connecticut’s Top Rated Locations for Leisure

Connecticut

Looking for a location for living and relaxing?

Good news! Connecticut is full of towns, large and small, that have been rated by Connecticutmag.com as the best places to live for leisure activities.

The top rated largest town (6,500-10,000 people): Essex, CT.  You can easily find entertainment, food and outdoor activity in and around Essex.

Located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, Essex has easy access to water for those who like to boat or fish.  Are you more of a shopper? The quaint center of town is a walker’s delight. From ice cream to gifts, you can easily saunter around and window shop. Essex also hosts a summer arts and crafts festival, bringing vendors from all over New England. And don’t forget to take a ride on the famous Essex steam train which takes you along the scenic CT River.

Top rated medium town (3,500-6,000 people): Washington, CT. Located on north western side of the state, Washington is at the foot of the Berkshires. If you like hiking, beautiful views and relaxing, this is the town to visit.

Washington also has Waramaug State Park . It’s the second largest natural lake in the state. You can swim, fish and camp. Can you imagine eating dinner each night overlooking the lake or looking at the Berkshires? What a great way to relax after work.

Top rated smallest town (up to 3,500 people): Cornwall, CT. Trek over to the northwest corner of the state to visit the smallest town ranked highest in leisure. With only 1,420 people, this town has more nature than people. It’s beautiful. You can hike in Cathedral Pines nature preserve or in winter, ski Mohawk Mountain. If you like history, stroll around the historic Cornwall Bridge, one of the few covered bridges in CT.

Contact me, Michelle Manter Giglietti, and I’ll help you search properties in these leisurely towns. Just be sure to bring your overnight bag. You might find you want to stay longer than just a day.

 

Connecticut Real Estate, on the Map with the Best Small Cities

ConnecticutEvery year, Money Magazine publishes the Best Places to Live, their list of America’s best small cities. As we are all about Connecticut real estate, this list, if it were up to us, would simply have 100 Connecticut locations. But because the folks at Money have to be fair, in 2012 it featured four of our fine cities. And considering big states like California, Colorado and Texas only got five, we think that’s a pretty big deal.

According to Money, the best Connecticut small city of 2012 is Greenwich. It has the benefits of NYC being just an hour away on train without the hassle of actually living there. Plus you’ve got the 147-acre Greenwich Point Beach on a picturesque peninsula extending into Long Island Sound. As Money notes, “Greenwich is synonymous with luxury.”

While New Haven is hustling and bustling, we head 30 minutes up the road to Hamden for the next small city being honored. Home to Quinnipiac University, you get that college-town vibe that many enjoy, plus you get to go “Ooh, that’s us!” whenever they’re mentioned for their many political tracking polls. What’s more, they have the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, which is all-volunteer! Music for the love of music–neat!

Of course, if you really like the university lifestyle, Fairfield isn’t a bad place to be either. Home to both Sacred Heart and Fairfield University, it’s also got five miles of shoreline and is just an hour away from New York City. If the kids say “Aww, there’s nothing to do!” you can look back and say “Are you kidding?” Plus, with a highly rated school system, you know they could probably be doing their homework anyway.

Finally, any list of “best places to live” is rarely complete without looking at West Hartford. It’s pretty much a perennial favorite in lists looking for great places to set up a household. As Money notes, “Suburbs often compete with their big-city neighbor when it comes to nightlife and entertainment. Not so with West Hartford.” Families get the best of all worlds; Blue Black Square is the place to be for shopping, eating and culture, and the two public high-schools in town are in the top ten for the state.

If your in the market for a home in Connecticut, check out our  CT Home Buyer Guides before you start your Home Search.

There are so many great places to live in Connecticut. The four above are just the start; we could go on and on about 2011’s selections of Tolland, South Windsor, Simsbury, Cheshire and Portland (yes, we have one too). To hear us go on, and to get started on finding your ideal place to call home, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help.

 

 

 

Why Relocate to Connecticut–Because It’s (objectively) the Best State

relocate to Connecticut

Previously we have asked “Why relocate to Connecticut?” and frankly, the answers have just been obvious.  Great winter sports, great spring festivals, so much awesome.  But in those previous discussions, we’ve cited the American Human Development Index, which states objectively that Connecticut is the best in the nation.  So now, we’re going to discuss what that “best” actually means.

The American Human Development Index considers that the well-being of a people cannot be measured in just one aspect like GDP.  That sort of thing only measures the economy; while that may be a good indicator, it doesn’t really tell the entire story.  Instead, the AHDI looks at a combination of three factors–health, education, and standard of living.  While Connecticut may not be first in any of those categories, we’re high enough up in all three to make us the best overall.

The health index is measured by using the state’s life expectancy at birth.  Hawaii tops this list, followed by Minnesota, California, New York and then Connecticut.

The education index looks at two factors; those currently enrolled in school, and those who have attained some form of degree.  Looking at that, Connecticut is third, behind only DC and Massachusetts.

Finally, the standard of living index is measured by using the median income of all full-time and part-time workers aged 16 and older.  There, Connecticut is fourth, behind DC, New Jersey and Maryland.

But what makes Connecticut the tops in all of this is when you combine the three factors for an average.  DC may have Connecticut beat on income and education, but its average is brought down by being well below the national average on health.  Indeed, the life expectancy for DC is a full five-years shorter than for someone born in Connecticut.  (Yikes!)

Meanwhile, those with higher life expectancies (Hawaii only being one year longer than Connecticut’s, by the way) all have lower scores in education and income.  Indeed, any state that beats us in one factor lags behind in the others.  Let’s face it, Connecticut is the place to be!

Obviously, raw data isn’t going to be the only factor when considering relocation.  But it does provide a good starting point, and a great way to brag about us; if you want a state that’s  healthy, wealthy and wise, you want Connecticut.

And if you find that the siren call of our best in nation status too great to ignore, we’re here to help you get on your way to relocating to Connecticut.  All you have to do is contact us.

Why Relocate to Connecticut–Spring

relocate to Connecticut--Spring

Winter must end sometime.  Whether you take this with the sadness of a downhill skier (“Awwwww”) or the grim hope of a sidewalk shoveler (“Finally”), it’s true.  And springtime in Connecticut must surely follow, and with it, three festivals that you don’t want to miss.

For starters, spring means flowers, and no one knows that better than the fine folks in Meriden, CT.  The Meriden Daffodil Festival will be on its 35th year in 2013, and on April 27th and 28th, you could experience crafts, music, entertainment, amusement rides and a fireworks display.  But more importantly,  you could see nature’s fireworks, in the form of 600,001 blooming daffodils!  That’s 1,800 acres of nature’s beauty, with 61 different species of daffodil.  Considering some of us only knew about the one species (the “yellow” daffodil), this sort of event is worth marking down on the calendar every year.

Thinking of vast seas of yellow, who doesn’t want to watch thousands of yellow rubber ducks floating down a river?  No one at this year’s Pequabuck River Duck Race on May 5th in Bristol, that’s for sure.  That’s 5,000 rubber ducks ambling down-river, with the first thirty-two finishers ready to win prizes for their lucky ticket holders.  With a craft fair and entertainment as well, you know that this is going to be a load of fun.  It’s a sure sign of spring when the ducks return to the water, even if they are fake.

After that, you’ll want to head to Guilford, CT as one of the first Renaissance festivals of the year takes off.  The Robin Hood Springtime Festival takes places Saturdays and Sundays in the month of May, and the Guilford Fairgrounds is looking to create a sense of great wonder in kids of all ages.

So, is all this a sufficient answer to the question “Why relocate to Connecticut?”  We like to think so, but we’re biased.  Sure, these sorts of events happen all around the country (though we think that extra flower in the 600,001 daffodil count puts that festival over the top).  But if you lived here, you would get to experience this every year, and in the convenience of practically your own backyard!

Plus, you’d get to live in Connecticut, the state that is the top in the nation when it comes to the American Human Development Index, an aggregate of health, education and income indicators.  Basically, when it comes to being “healthy, wealthy and wise,” there is no place better than Connecticut.

So come for the daffodils and ducks but stay for the best combination of living factors, including the fifth longest life expectancy (80.2 years, if you were wondering).

Why Relocate to Connecticut – Winter Sports

connecticut winter sports

Why relocate to Connecticut? For us, this isn’t the real question.  The real question is “Why wouldn’t you relocate to Connecticut?”  Consider the American Human Development Index, which measures the 50 states and Washington D.C. in terms of life expectancy, access to knowledge, and standards of living.  Connecticut is, once again, number one on that list!  There is no state better!

But let’s set aside the fact that the AHDI is an “apples-to-apples” comparison of just how objectively awesome Connecticut is compared to everywhere else.  Today we’re going to discuss another reason why Connecticut is the place to be in winter–playing outside.

When you’re thinking winter sports, skiing and snowboarding leap immediately into mind, and Connecticut is the place to be for hitting the slopes.  As a great destination for skiers of all skill levels, it’s obvious why Connecticut attracts tourists from throughout the Tri-State area, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Connecticut Ski MapThe largest and oldest of Connecticut’s ski areas is Mohawk Mountain, in the northwestern town on West Cornwall, in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.  They have 25 ski trails, seven ski lifts and snowmaking coverage on 95% of the mountain. (By the way, Mohawk invented snowmaking; pretty cool!)  Plus, this family owned-and-operated resort offers night skiing every night save Sunday.

Heading over to Plantsville (near Hartford), you will find Mount Southington, which features fourteen trails and seven lifts, many of which are well lit and open until 10 p.m. most nights.

With over 150 dedicated staff who teach daily lessons to children and adults of all skill levels, Ski Sundown also has programs for the advanced and intermediate skier.  Located two miles northeast of New Hartford, they have five lifts and fifteen trails, fourteen of which are available for night skiing.

With the largest tubing park close to Manhattan, you can see why the Woodbury Ski Area is a big draw.  You’ve got 100 acres of ski-able property on twelve trails and five lifts, and five new tubing runs.  And like the other ski areas, plenty of night skiing is available.

For those who don’t necessarily feel the “need for speed,” Connecticut also has some of the best cross country skiing out there, including the thirteen-mile network of fully mapped runs in the Winding Trails Cross Country Ski Center in Farmington Valley (just ten miles southwest of Hartford) and thirty-five miles of roads and trails at White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield.

Plus, there’s ways to be athletic for those who don’t want to strap boards to their feet.  The New Year starts with five runs on New Year’s Day, and January brings us two Boston Buildups in Norwalk (January 6th and 20th), a 5k run in East Hartford, an indoor triathlon in Enfield, a half marathon and marathon relay in Hartford on the 26th, and the Milford Winter Wonderland 5-miler on the 27th.  And that’s just January; there are so many running events year-round, you’ll wonder if any of us actually need our cars!

Connecticut is the place to be when it comes to being fit and fun in the outdoors and not just in the winter.  For all the opportunities for keeping fit, even in the winter, it’s easy to understand why Connecticut is in the top 10 of states with the lowest obesity rates.

Again we ask: Who wouldn’t want to relocate here?

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