Living in Hartford CountyIyna Bort Caruso
Hartford, located on the Connecticut River, has its roots as a trading port. During an era of piracy, fires and shipwrecks, merchants devised an informal system to protect their interests and mitigate their risks, and thus, the insurance industry was born.
Insurance remains one of the major industries of Connecticut’s capital city, which is also home to some of the state’s largest corporations. Hartford is comprised of 17 neighborhoods that range from the walkable downtown business center of modern high rises and loft conversions to areas of Victorian mansions in districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
West Hartford is an affluent suburb located about five miles from downtown. It’s been cited as an outstanding place for young families as well as a dining and shopping destination.
Beyond the city, many areas of Hartford County have a rural New England feel. Excellent schools attract wealthy home buyers who find good value in the Hartford housing market. Many have pedigrees. In some areas, estates have names and not just street addresses, caretaker’s quarters and custom-built wine cellars.
The historic municipality of Glastonbury, southeast of Hartford on the Connecticut River, represents one of the state’s wealthier zip codes. Residents favor its open spaces, parks and views that capture both the river valley and the Hartford skyline. North of Hartford is rural and residential Granby located in the Litchfield Hills of the Berkshire Mountains, less than a half hour from the Massachusetts border. The town of Simsbury, roughly equidistant from New York City and Boston, was once named to a list of Top Places to Live by Time Magazine. Its drop-dead gorgeous scenery in the Farmington Valley counts for much of the attraction, especially among hikers and mountain bikers. It is also home to the Talcott Mountain Music Festival featuring the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the outdoor music venue Simsbury Meadows.