With a nickname like "The Constitution State," Connecticut might conjure up images of stately Colonial architecture, history-class memories of Revolutionary heroes, and the words to "Yankee Doodle" (Connecticut's official state song). But there's more than staid American history when it comes to this charming part of New England. This is the state that gave us the hamburger, Polaroid camera, color television and Pez candy! Connecticut is a land full of surprises, which makes it an interesting place to look for apartments and establish a home.
Connecticut's economy has always centered on manufacturing. In the 1700s, the state forged cannons for the Revolutionary War (and the citizens themselves were loyal supporters; it's said that at least half of Washington's army in 1776 was from Connecticut). Today, manufacturing continues to play a vital role in the economy, but the financial sector has been gaining importance, driven in large part by the vast insurance industry centered in Hartford.
You can expect to experience four distinct seasons in Connecticut, where the summers are long and hot, and the winters are cold and snowy. Spring can be brief, depending on the year, but fall never fails to charm residents and visitors alike with apple picking excursions and vibrant leaves that change color from bright green to brilliant reds and oranges before dropping off to blanket the ground. Summer temperatures venture into the 80s while winter drops down into the 20s and 30s.
Connecticut has numerous historical sites as well as places of serene natural beauty, all of which are easily accessible in this compact state, which measures 60 miles from north to south and 90 miles across. In fact, Connecticut is the third smallest state of the Union.
Outside of the cities, you might fancy yourself in Colonial-era New England, with the picture-perfect white churches, village greens and stately Victorian and Tudor homes. However, the major cities are peppered with all the modern American amenities you could want, from apartments for rent for every budget to trendy stores and eclectic restaurants.
Hartford, the state capital, has a population of 121,000 in the city and 1.1 million in the greater metropolitan area. It boasts a captivating blend of big-city culture and nightlife while retaining the charm of its rich historical heritage. Hartford is home to many of the country's leading financial institutions, including Aetna, ING and Lincoln Life, to name just a few. From urban apartments for rent to stately Victorian homes, you'll find housing for every budget. Apartment rentals offer plenty of choices, with basic apartments starting in the $500 range and quickly climbing in price, especially for preferred buildings with historical significance or urban sophistication.
Bridgeport is the state's largest city, with approximately 140,000 residents. Its most famous resident was P.T. Barnum, the founder of the "Greatest Show on Earth" and a mayor of Bridgeport. The most recognizable icons of the city are the port, lighthouse and seemingly endless number of boats going in and out of the harbor. With easy access to transportation on the sea, the city has long had an economic emphasis on manufacturing. One advantage the city offers is significantly lower-priced apartment rentals compared with the rest of the state.
New Haven is the state's third largest city and is best known for housing prestigious Yale University. A true college town, there is an exciting combination of culture, music, international cuisine and other enticing qualities. With all those college students, it's no surprise that apartments for rent are in plentiful supply. They aren't cheap though--expect to pay from $700 for studio apartments up to $1,500 or more for snazzier digs.
If its serenity you're looking for, you'll certainly find it in Connecticut. But don't be fooled by this quaint state. Its nearness to Manhattan means that if you're willing to commute, you'll find boundless options for employment and apartments. The downside? The nearer you are to Manhattan and the train line that connects much of Connecticut to this bustling metropolis, the higher the rent on the apartment rentals becomes.