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. Continue reading to learn more about retiring in Branford, CT.
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. Use this comprehensive guide to get you started!
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.
For those looking to retire in Branford, a retirement community is an excellent option where residents pay zero property tax altogether. The top-rated retirement community in the area is Evergreen Woods, The community offers a variety of services with available 1,2, and 3-bedroom villa apartments.The information above should function as a starting point for your tax research but not be substituted for direct advice from a tax professional.
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 HealthNationally ranked among the best hospitals in the United States, according to the U.S. News and World Report. This 1,541-bed hospital offers top-quality services in areas including heart & vascular, cancer (oncology), transplantation, pediatrics, neurosciences, women’s health, digestive health, and more.
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 CenterMidState has been in its current location since 1998, but its history dates back to the 1800s. 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 Medical Center has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Stroke Care, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Obstetrics, Orthopedics, and Bariatric Surgery by the Women’s Choice Award®.
Fitness Centers and Nutritionists
Keeping active is one of the best ways to maintain health and wellness. While it’s easy to find a nearby gym through a quick Google search, there’s no guarantee that the first one you find will meet your needs. To aid in your search, we recommend using this tool to find age-friendly fitness locations in Branford.
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. The community offers 55+ active adult living, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and senior rehabilitation. They are a team dedicated to helping seniors live longer, healthier, happier lives. 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, Branford, CT 06405
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, Branford, CT 06405
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, Branford, CT 06405
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, Branford, CT 06405
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, Branford, CT 06405
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, Branford, CT 06405
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.2 Valley Rd, North Branford, CT 06471
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 Dr, Branford, CT 06405
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 Ave, Branford, CT 06405970 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, North Branford, CT 06471
Bar Eighty is a little cocktail, food, and music spot that is a local favorite. Those who visit enjoy the conversations, small atmosphere and good, local performers.
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 Yale56 Broadway, New Haven, CT 06511
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.
Guilford Commons1919 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437
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.
Connecticut Post Mall1201 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460
Connecticut Post Mall is the only super regional shopping center in New Haven County and the largest mall in Connecticut. Anchored by Macy’s, Boscov’s, and Target, this indoor shopping center offers a collection of over 150 stores to choose from including the most popular brands in fashion, beauty, dining and entertainment.
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.
While there are no professional sports teams in the immediate area, there is deep-rooted appreciation for college sports among Branford residents. Those who live in Branford are fans of the Yale University Bulldogs and the Quinnipiac University Bobcats, and the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Based in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale University Bulldogs compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Ivy League. As the local favorite college team, Yale has over 30 men’s and women’s varsity sports to enjoy. Men’s and Women’s sports at Yale include baseball, basketball, crew, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis and more.
Based in Hamden, Connecticut, the Quinnipiac University Bobcats compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Metro Atlantic Conference. Located close to Branford, Quinnipiac sports are enjoyed by those who reside in the area. The Bobcats have more than 20 men’s and women’s varsity sports including baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and more.
University of Connecticut
Based in Mansfield, Connecticut, the University of Connecticut Huskies are affectionately known in athletics as the UConn Huskies. The school is a member of the NCAA’s Division I and the Big East Conference. The Huskies have more than 20 men’s and women’s varsity sports including baseball, basketball, football, cross country/track and field, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, and swimming/diving, tennis. UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams are highly revered in the state as they are the 15x winner of the NCAA National Basketball Championship (Men’s Basketball – 1999, 2004, 2011, 2014; Women’s Basketball – 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
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 Point 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
As a part of the early colonial settlement, Branford’s rich history is featured in the museums, historical walking trails, and various markers throughout the area. Places to visit and museums that are frequented by residents include:
The Shore Line Trolley Museum
Located in East Haven, Connecticut, The Shore Line Trolley Museum is the oldest continuously running trolley line in the USA. It 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. The historical society offers a series of lectures throughout the year as well as changing exhibits, genealogy files, and guided tours.
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.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is dedicated to acquainting a diverse public to the delicate balance that exists between living things and their environment. As Connecticut’s only zoo, Beardsley has a proud history of over 90 years. It is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is a participant in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs. Animals in the zoo include an Amur Leopard, Amur Tiger, Gray Fox, Maned Wolf, Bald Eagle, Red Panda, a large assortment of birds, and more!
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Opened on July 16, 1988, The Maritime Aquarium focuses on the Long Island Sound ecosystem. The aquarium features harbor seals, river otters, sharks, jellyfish, loggerhead turtles, and hundreds of other animals living in re-creations of their natural Long Island Sound habitats.
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 Place300 York St, New Haven, CT 06511
In 1976, Toad’s Place Founder, Michael Spoerndle turned his restaurant into a live music venue. The venue has hosted numerous performers of different genres over the years. “If the walls could talk” they would tell incredible stories about performances from artists like Huey Lewis, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Seger, Radiohead, The Roots, Wu-Tang, and more.
College Street Music Hall238 College St, New Haven, CT 06510
Built in 1926 and named for a Connecticut hero of the American Revolution, the Roger Sherman Theater became the Palace Performing Arts Center in 1984. The building was shuttered in 2002. College Street Music Hall (CSMH) on the site of the old Palace and Roger Sherman Theatres in May 2015. Located in the heart of downtown New Haven’s arts and entertainment district, CSMH joins the scene as the hub for live music performance in New Haven and all of Southern New England.
Cafe Nine250 State St, New Haven, CT 06510
Cafe Nine is a long standing and beloved music venue in New Haven. It is home base to locals and a tour staple to many national touring acts. They regularly host a Live Music Happy Hour and Jam Sessions for anyone 21+ to attend.
Stella Blues204 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06510
Stella Blues is a New Haven staple. They offer a unique dive bar experience with a walk up to the grill. Between the cheap eats, cover bands, open mic nights, and various live music, you’ll instantly get a taste of what Stella Blues is all about – a colorful and laid-back atmosphere.
Yale University School of Music98 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511
Yale is the only Ivy League school with a separate school of music. It is considered one of the best and most prestigious music schools in the world. It’s home to multiple performing arts venues including Woolsey Hall, Adams Center for Musical Arts, and more. Performers include School of Music faculty, students in solo, chamber, large ensemble performances as well as guest performances.
New York City, Boston, and Beyond!
In addition to local music and museum opportunities, Branford is only a 2-hour drive to Boston, Massachusetts and “The Big Apple” – New York City! Those in the area enjoy day trips to both of these cities to enjoy musical acts, ballets, symphonies, and performers on some of the world’s most prestigious stages (Broadway, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Wang Theatre, Gillette Stadium, Berklee Performing Arts Center, 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+) 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 north of Branford, Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the second largest airport in New England. BDL serves 6 million passengers annually. 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). Flying to Philadelphia, travelers can connect to any destination served by American Airlines.
For a wider selection of direct flights, Branford residents can drive around two hours and have access to New York City and Boston airports with excellent options for domestic and international travel. These airport options include:
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
JFK is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America, the 20th-busiest airport in the world, the sixth-busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest airport in the New York airport system. They handle over 62.5 million passengers annually. More than ninety airlines operate from the airport, with nonstop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents. Top destinations from JFK include London, England; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Madrid, Spain; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida and more. The elevated AirTrain JFK people mover system connects JFK to the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Opened in 1928, EWR is considered the first major commercial airport in North America. In 2019, it was the twelfth-busiest airport in the United States handling over 46 million passengers annually. More than fifty airlines operate from the airport and is the third-largest hub for United Airlines. Top destinations from EWR include London, England; Tel Aviv, Israel; Orlando, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Toronto, Canada; Frankfurt, Germany; and more. Newark Airport is located 3 miles south of Downtown Newark, and 9 miles west-southwest of the borough of Manhattan.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
LGA is the third-busiest airport serving New York City after JFK and EWR. It is the twenty-first-busiest airport in the United State handling over 31 million passengers annually in most domestic destinations. In 1984, a “perimeter rule” was introduced to reduce air congestion, which prohibits incoming and outgoing flights that exceed 1,500 miles except on Saturdays, when the ban is lifted, and to Denver, Colorado, which has a grandfathered exemption. As a result, most transcontinental and international flights use JFK and Newark (although there are short-haul international flights to the Canadian cities of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa). Most major domestic airlines fly out of LGA including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and more. Top destinations from LGA include: Atlanta, Georgia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Miami, Florida; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Chicago, O’Hare; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado and Detroit, Michigan.
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Opened in 1923, BOS is the largest airport in both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the New England region. It is the sixteenth-busiest airport int the United States handling over 42 million passengers annually. More than forty airlines operate from the airport and it is the operating base for JetBlue as well as a significant hub for American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Cape Air. Top destinations from BOS include London, England; Toronto, Canada; Dublin Ireland; Paris, France; Orlando, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and more.
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.
According to Realtor.com, the median listing home price in Branford is $340k, while the median listing home prices are $217 per square foot.
Branford, located in New Haven County is one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Living in Branford offers residents a suburban feel in a close-knit community. There are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks in the area for residents to enjoy. 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:
Just north of 1-95 and Route 1, North Branford is a laid back area of established homes. It is a great area for retirees as it’s just away from the hustle/bustle of Branford. The area has all of the amenities you need as well as access to local shopping, and restaurants. The majority of homes in the area were built between 1970 and 1999.
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.
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.
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