A Comprehensive Guide to Retiring in Branford, Connecticut
Located 11 miles east of New Haven and 40 miles south of Hartford, Branford, Connecticut is a shoreline community positioned on the northern side of the Long Island Sound. This New England town offers a unique mix of geography with the archipelago of the Thimble Islands and panoramic views of Mt. Shawn and Jade Ridge. For those looking to retire here, it’s a picturesque place to enjoy nature, picnics and beach days. As a colonial settlement, Branford’s main street is home to quaint shops, restaurants and coffee houses where there’s something for everyone.
Branford is a quintessential New England town with an ideal coastal location for retirement. The weather allows residents of the area to enjoy all four seasons and the proximity to Boston, New York City and Hartford are a draw for those looking to settle here in retirement.
If you’re considering Branford as your retirement destination, there’s a lot you’ll want to know. Our comprehensive retirement guide offers everything you need to know. To skip to a specific section, just click the links below!
Connecticut offers tax relief assistance for seniors. State law provides a property tax credit program for Connecticut homeowners who are elderly or totally disabled, and whose incomes do not exceed certain limits. Property tax credit can be up to $1,250 for married couples and $1,000 for single people. Credits are based on a graduated income scale and the recipient or spouse must be 65 years of age or older.
Experiencing all four seasons throughout the year is one of the many reasons people enjoy retiring in Branford. On average, temperatures range from 26°F to 38°F in January (the coldest month) and from 69°F to 80°F in July (the warmest month). Snowfall is common in this region, averaging 33 inches of snow per year, which is slightly higher than normal compared to the US average of 28 inches per year. Branford gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 111 days per year. The city receives 48 inches of rainfall per year, which is higher than the US average of 34.7 inches.
Health & Wellness
When relocating to a new area, familiarizing yourself with local healthcare options is an important task. One of the most appealing features of Branford, Connecticut is the top-rated healthcare services available to all residents.
The Branford area has two premier healthcare systems, Yale New Haven Health and Hartford Healthcare Medical Group Their convenient locations and comprehensive operating hours offer a peace of mind for the city’s residents.
Healthcare Systems / Hospitals
Yale New Haven Health
Yale New Haven Health is Connecticut’s leading healthcare system affiliated with prestigious Yale University and the Yale School of Medicine. A provider of comprehensive, integrated, family-focused care in more than 100 medical specialties. Yale New Haven Health is making it easier for people to access the latest medical treatments, advanced research and innovations.
- Yale New Haven Hospital – Nationally ranked among the best hospitals in the United States, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
Hartford Healthcare Medical Group
Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s truly integrated healthcare system. The system offers the full continuum of care with seven acute-care hospitals, the state’s longest-running air-ambulance service, behavioral health and rehabilitation services, a physician group and clinical integration organization, skilled-nursing and home health services, and a comprehensive range of services for seniors.
- MidState Medical Center – Located in Meriden, MidState provides a spectrum of medical services from emergency care to cardiac care, maternity care to geriatric care, minor care to intensive care. MidState has been in its current location since 1998, but its history dates back to the 1800s.
Fitness Centers and Nutritionists
A vital part of maintaining and improving your overall health is through exercise and diet. When researching gyms in a local area, you may find that you have too many options, and it can be overwhelming. Identifying age-friendly fitness centers can improve the quality of workout you’re doing. The International Council on Active Aging offers a fantastic resource to help you find the perfect fitness center for you. Nutrition is another aspect of wellness that is crucial to reaching that goal weight or optimal fitness you’re looking for. You can use this tool from HealthGrades to help you identify someone who specializes in dietetics.
Senior Living Communities
Retirement communities are an excellent choice for seniors living in the North Branford, Branford, Guilford, and New Haven area. Eliminate the burden of owning a home with maintenance-free living, fresh culinary programs, unique social events and activities, and daily wellness options. The top-rated community in this area is Evergreen Woods. Their community offers 55+ active adult living, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and senior rehabilitation. To learn more about Evergreen Woods, click here.
Food & Drink
A melting pot of unique fare and libations, Branford offers a wide range of options for residents. From fresh local seafood and contemporary american to sushi and French fare, there’s a wide range to choose from. Here are the top-rated restaurant and drinks establishments in Branford.
Top-Rated Restaurants in Branford:
Takumi Sushi, Ramen & Lounge906 W Main St.
Takumi prides themselves on serving delicious genuine dishes through sushi, Japanese cuisine and ramen. Their ingredients are fresh and made to order.
G-Zen Restaurant2 E Main St.
G-Zen stands for green business ethics, plant-based cuisine and living mindfully. The restaurant has become well-known for many who are seeking sustainable, organic, and vegetarian friendly food on the Connecticut Coastline.
Le Petit Café225 Montowese St.
Chef and owner, Roy Ip believes in letting the food communicate with his customers’ palates. His cooking philosophy revolves around thoughtfully pairing the textures of his ingredients, and delivering a subtle flavor and elegant presentation. Since the restaurant’s opening in ‘97, he has achieved a rating of “Extraordinary” from the New York Times.
Hornets Nest Deli269 E Main St.
The Hornet’s Nest is owned and operated by Connecticut natives Dino and Anita Maniatis. Their ingredients are locally sourced to create a variety of signature breakfast items and sandwiches making them a beloved spot to grab a bite in Branford.
Mosaico Cuisine539 Main St.
This Venezuelan food restaurant is a fusion of flavors perfectly combined to give you palate an unforgettable trip.
Top-Rated Drinks in Branford:
The Friki Tiki3 Linden Ave.
The Friki Tiki is part Hawaiian tiki hut, part ‘70s Florida Keys resort and only open during the warmer months! This oasis is a favorite in Branford for new and exotic tiki-inspired cocktails.
Rose Vineyards and Winery2 Valley Road
A family-owned winery in North Branford. The Rose family produces 9 wines from grapes that arrive in full clusters from California and Chile. They crush, press, ferment and bottle them on site.
Thimble Island Brewing Company16 Business Park Drive
Established in 2010, Thimble Island Brewing Company was founded by Justin Gargano and Mike Fawcett; two friends and home brewers who shared a desire to make great beer for this local community.
5 Indian Neck Avenue970 Boardwalk, 916 N Ocean Blvd
The small experienced team at Stony Creek Brewery are ambitious about creating craft beer for Connecticut. They have created a full lineup of aggressively laid back beers, all available in their waterfront tasting room and in establishments throughout the state.
Bar Eighty203 Foxon Rd.
Good Food, Cold Beer, Live Music.
For those who enjoy shopping, Branford has a small shopping district, but the surrounding area has an abundance of incredible options! Whether you prefer strolling through big shopping malls, finding a killer deal or browsing local boutiques, you’re sure to find somewhere that meets your retail needs. Here’s the breakdown of the top places to shop in the Branford area:
The Shops at Yale
Just outside of Branford in New Haven are The Shops at Yale! This complex offers a one-of-a-kind collection of local boutiques, national retailers, cafes, casual eateries, award-winning restaurants, and world-renowned theaters, galleries and museums at Yale University in the heart of historic downtown New Haven.
Shop over 127,000 square feet of retail at the Guilford Commons! This affluent shopping district is home to over 16 different retailers, local boutiques, and grocery shops.
While there aren’t any professional sports teams in the area, collegiate sports teams are a fun local option. The Yale University Bulldogs, based in New Haven are a favorite with many men’s and women’s sports to choose from. If you’re looking for someone to root for, residents typically join the fanbases for Boston or New York based teams including the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, New York Jets, New York Giants, Brooklyn Nets, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Yankees and more.
Parks & Recreation
Located along the Long Island Sound coast, Branford is home to many beaches, parks and recreation facilities for residents to enjoy year-round. Here are some of the most popular spots that the locals love:
Shoreline Greenway Trail
The Shoreline Greenway Trail is a project to build a trail and connect communities in a 25-mile corridor from New Haven to Madison, improving bicycle and pedestrian accessibility between and within those towns. The goal of this trail is to create a place where cyclists, walkers, runners, joggers, and those in wheelchairs have a safe, convenient place to enjoy nature.
Branford Trolley Rail Trail
The Branford Trolley Trail is essentially a long footbridge occupying an old bridge along the route of an abandoned trolley track. The bridge links nature trails on both sides of the water through a marsh habitat that is home to many shorebirds, fish, mammals and invertebrates. The trail is part of the growing Shoreline Greenway Trail that will one day stretch 25 miles through four towns along Connecticut’s southern coast.
Route 146 Scenic Drive
Route 146 is a state road that serves as a scenic alternative to US 1 between Branford and Guilford in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Route 146 is 13 miles of beautiful road weaving through towns, the best time of year to drive this is during Autumn.
Stony Creek Beach & Branford Beach
While small, both of these beaches are popular during the warm months with residents and visitors alike. The beaches are located in the south section of town, are open to the general public and staffed with lifeguards.
Arts & Entertainment
Enjoying live music and national performers is prevalent in this area. From small venues in Branford to mid-size performance venues in New Haven there’s a range of performers to enjoy. Some of the top locations in the Branford area to see your favorite performers are:
- Toad’s Place
- College Street Music Hall
- The State House
- Cafe Nine
- Yale University School of Music
As a part of a colonial settlement, Branford’s rich history is featured in the museums, historical walking trails, and various markers throughout. Local museums that are frequented by residents include:
The Shore Line Trolley Museum
The Shore Line Trolley Museum maintains several diverse collections of equipment, photographs, documents and artifacts which preserve the history and heritage of the Trolley Era. The Museum owns nearly 100 vintage transit vehicles which you can both ride and step inside of.
Branford Historical Society
The Branford Historical Society, founded in 1960, maintains the Harrison House Museum, Barn, and Gardens as part of its mission to discover, preserve, and educate about Branford’s heritage.
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Founded in the 1800’s, the mission of the Peabody Museum is to serve Yale University by advancing our understanding of earth’s history through geological, biological, and anthropological research. The museum has a wide variety of permanent, temporary and special exhibits which rotate throughout the year.
In addition to local music and museum opportunities, Branford is only a 2-hour drive to New York City! Those in the area enjoy day trips to the city to enjoy musical acts and performers on the prestigious Broadway stages, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Madison Square Garden. For those who are interested in museums, New York City has some of the world’s best history and art exhibits in renowned institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, American Museum of National History and more.
The main highways connecting Branford are Interstate 95 and Route 1. Both span from Northern Maine to Southern Florida along the east coast. In Branford, these highways allow quick access to New Haven, New York City and Boston.
The public transit system in the Connecticut area is called CTtransit. The local bus routes make frequent stops to connect a variety of different towns. The bus system provides options for those who want to use shuttles, express bus rides, or need connecting routes.
The CTtransit buses all have wheelchair lifts or ramps for access by persons with disabilities. Senior citizens (65 years +) and persons with a qualifying disability can travel for a reduced fare at any time on CTtransit and all other bus systems operating under contract to the CTDOT.
Located about an hour away from Branford, Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the second largest airport in New England. The airport serves 6 million passengers per year. Another option closer to Branford is the Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) serving approximately 50,000 passengers per year with 2 destinations (Philadelphia and Nantucket – Seasonal).
Additionally, Providence, Hartford, New York City and Boston area airports are within 2 hours driving distance and give you an abundance of options for domestic and international air travel.
The flexibility in airports makes it easy for you to travel to your favorite destinations and explore the world. While having multiple options friends and family to easily travel and visit Branford.
According to NeighborhoodScout, Branford has an overall crime rate of 14 per 1,000 residents, making the crime rate here near the average for all cities and towns of all sizes in America. Branford’s crime rate is lower than approximately 38% of Connecticut communities. However, compared to other communities of a similar population size, Branford has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than average. Make sure to check out our neighborhoods section below to learn more about different subdivisions in Branford.
Branford, located in New Haven County is one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Living in Branford offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. According to Niche.com, the median home price is $293,900. In Branford there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. It’s a great suburban town for many young professionals and retirees alike. Some of the best areas in and around Branford to lay down roots are:
Pine Orchard/Stony Creek
Pine Orchard/Stony Creek is a beautiful coastal neighborhood that is the perfect place for a family looking for upscale medium-sized homes. Located along the coast, the median home value in this area is $602,635. If you’re interested in outdoor recreational activities or just want to be in close proximity to the Long Island Sound, this neighborhood is a great choice for you.
Just north of 1-95 and Route 1, North Branford is a laid back area of established homes. The majority of homes in the area were built between 1970 and 1999. The area has all of the amenities you need as well as access to local shopping, and restaurants.
Myrtle Beach Awaits
Branford is quintessential New England. The charm, cozy atmosphere and friendly presence make it the perfect place to retire. The proximity to Hartford, Boston and New York City gives you the opportunity to enjoy the big cities while residing in a quaint, relaxed coastal settlement. You’ll wonder why you didn’t move here earlier.