August 28, 2017

Living in Hamden, Connecticut Hamden is a highly desirable town in New Haven County. 

The town has the charming nickname “The Land of the Sleeping Giant”, and that is not where the charm ends.  This is such a great town with a pretty rare blend of urban and suburban lifestyles. Hamden is a suburb of the city of New Haven. 

The town was settled in 1786 and was largely developed as a nodal collection of village like settlements (which remain distinct today), including Mount Carmel, Whitneyville, Spring Glen, West Woods and Highwood. This town has a great location and is bordered by six other towns.  Cheshire and Wallingford are located to its North, North Haven to its East, and New Haven to its South.  To its West, you will find Woodbridge and Bethany.  

Hamden offers such easy access to surrounding cities, which is very helpful on the commuting side of things.  The Wilbur Cross Parkway runs through the center of the town serving as a connection to Hartford to the North and New York metropolitan area to the South.  The town is connected to Interstate 91 via CT Route 40, a spur expressway to the Mount Carmel section of town.  The main Route from the town’s center to New Haven is RT 10 (which is a common commute for many residents of Hamden).  CT Transit New Haven provides the public transportation for Hamden.

There is certainly not a shortage of wonderful things to say about Hamden, but I would like to start with the National recognition it consistently receives.  In 2008, CNN Money Magazine and Fortune chose Hamden as #33 on their “Best Places to live and Launch” list, citing Hamden’s great blend of urban and suburban lifestyles.  The article also points out Hamden’s exceptional education system, as well as, its New England charm.  In 2010, Hamden was honored again by being voted #87 by CNN Money Magazine and Fortune as “Best Places to Live”.   Keeping it consistent, Hamden was chosen again in 2012 by CNN Money Magazine and Fortune, this time for “Americas Best Small Cities”, earning a spot at #53. 

Their reasoning for voting Hamden among the top 100 places to live and considering it one of America’s best small cities is due to the fact that Hamden prides itself on having an involved community.   Hamden has an all-volunteer orchestra,  the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, which performs year round. 

Also, the land of the Sleeping Giants Mountains, hills and parks coupled with the Quinnipiac University’s college town energy makes this classic New England town the ideal abode for many growing families.  Hamden certainly does its part to keep residents close to home with great small business incentives. 
As well as having excellent public schools, Hamden is home to several private religious schools, charter schools, a University and an art college.  The secondary schools you will find in Hamden are top notch and are as follows; Quinnipiac University and Paier College of Art . Hamden is a beautiful town that has a very distinct look.  The town hall at the center of Hamden has an eye catching appearance.  Across the street from town hall is Freedom Park, which contains a fountain with stepping stones leading to a sign that pleads for peace in several different languages.  The outdoor activities here are just endless. 

Hamden is home to the Quinnipiac River and Lake Wintergreen, as well as, numerous small streams to enjoy. The Northern section of town, the neighborhood of Mount Carmel is the location of the unique Sleeping Giant hill formation that is the source of the town’s nickname.  The Farmington Canal right of way has become, in recent years, a popular walking and bicycling trail as it passes by some of the well-preserved locks of the canal, as well as some of Hamden’s oldest sites (which are definitely worth seeing). Sleeping Giant is more than a nickname for this sweet little town; it is a wonderful park with miles of trails to explore.  It’s hard not to appreciate the scenery, the fresh air and the natural beauty of it all.  The park is free to enter and includes a parking lot, picnic area, bathrooms and, of course, the trains.  There are always maps available for the paths and fellow hikers are unbelievably friendly.  The scenery is an ongoing opportunity for viewing cool rock formations, different types of trees, caves and birds.  This park is so fascinating and uniquely Connecticut at its best.  The view from the top is gorgeous. What do I think about the quality of life in Hamden?  I feel that the blending of lifestyles (urban and suburban) leads to amenities such as music and entertainment programs,  while not compromising its close knit communities of friendly neighbors from many different ethnic and economic backgrounds.   Hamden is also known for having a very strong economic and community development department that values the importance of workforce development.  The town offers great business incentive programs and an active Chamber of Commerce. When you ask yourself the question “Do I prefer to live near the beach or Mountains”?  while house hunting, I urge you to consider Hamden.  It just might be the place for you.  It’s just a ten minute commute to either Sleeping Giant State Park, perfect for hiking or the Connecticut shoreline, perfect for the beach lovers.  Hamden is a bustling town in its own right with a bevy of small business, stunning parks, bike paths and a traditional New England vibe.

Last Updated on September 12, 2017 by Minna Reid

About the author 

Minna Reid

Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.

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