August 10, 2023

Best Connecticut Towns for NYC Commuters

Best Connecticut Towns for NYC Commuters

Many people who work in New York City are choosing to live in Connecticut, especially in towns along the Metro-North Railroad in Fairfield County. The “Gold Coast” region of Connecticut offers a high quality of life, good public schools, lower taxes, and more affordable housing than New York City and its suburbs. This allows NYC commuters to have the best of both worlds – an exciting career in the big city paired with a comfortable suburban lifestyle. This article dives into our favorite towns along the Gold Coast for commuters, whether it’s due to the town’s unique local culture, a more convenient commute, or the unique historic and coastal properties available.

Map of Connecticut with Fairfield county highlighted

Benefits of Living in Connecticut and Commuting to NYC

  • Lower Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Connecticut is significantly lower than New York City. Housing costs are roughly 30-40% lower in Connecticut towns compared to comparable NYC suburbs. Groceries, utilities, childcare, and other costs are also cheaper. This means your salary will stretch further when living in CT.

  • Good Public Schools

    Most Fairfield County towns have highly-ranked public school systems that are superior to New York City and many Long Island schools. This is a major draw for families who want great schools along with reasonable property

  • More Space and Amenities

    For the same housing budget, you’ll get significantly more indoor and outdoor space in Connecticut. Houses are larger with private yards, and many towns have great amenities like parks, beaches, and hiking trails that may be hard to access in NYC.

  • Lower Taxes

    The property taxes in Connecticut are lower than the New York City suburbs in Westchester County, Long Island, and New Jersey. There are also no local or city income taxes.

Top Towns in Fairfield County, CT

Greenwich, CT

Greenwich is one of the most desirable and affluent commuter towns. It has excellent public schools and numerous luxury amenities. However, housing is very expensive. The commute is around 45 minutes to Grand Central on the Metro-North Railroad.

Stamford, CT

Stamford has a nice mix of affordability, urban amenities, and a quick commute time to Grand Central. The schools are decent and the growing downtown has tons of restaurants and cultural attractions.

Norwalk, CT

Norwalk is more reasonably priced than other Fairfield County towns while still having great schools and a thriving downtown. The commute time is reasonnable, and it’s easy to access I-95 and the Merritt Parkway.

Darien, CT

Darien has a preppy New England vibe with some of the state’s best public schools. However, housing prices are much higher than other town across Fairfield County. If you’re looking to spend a little more for a guaranteed higher end neighborhood, Darien is a good place to look.

Westport, CT

Westport boasts highly-ranked schools, beautiful beaches and parks, and a quaint downtown. Expect upper middle class home prices and a reasonable commute by train.

Choosing the Right Connecticut Town

Commute Time and Access to Trains

The commute time to NYC can vary greatly depending on how close you are to the train station. Most towns have commute times ranging from 55-100 minutes to Grand Central, with more affordable areas like Bridgeport and Norwalk at the higher end.

Housing Affordability

Once you’ve established commute time limits, evaluate how much house you can get for your budget. Housing prices are highest in Greenwich and Darien and more reasonable further east. Rental options also exist in Stamford and Norwalk.

School Quality

Check rankings for the public school district in each town you’re considering. Top districts like Greenwich, Westport, and Darien are a major selling point for families. For families with adult children, locations around New Haven may be worth considering owing to great education opportunities such as Yale, University of New Haven, and other nationally recognized universities.

Local Amenities

Think about which town amenities would improve your quality of life like great restaurants, beaches, parks, or a nice downtown area to spend time in. Nearby access to major highways is also useful. For those looking to partake in Connecticut’s unique coastal lifestyle, consider beachfront properties, homes with access to shared private beaches, what local parks are available, and how your local community tends to gather.

Tips for Commuting from CT

Living in Connecticut provides an excellent quality of life and competitive commute time to NYC. Weigh factors like home prices, school districts, amenities, commute time, and proximity to train stations to pick the right town for your family. Utilize commuter passes and make the most of your travel time. With so many scenic towns to choose from, you’re sure to find your ideal community.


Q: How long is the commute to New York City from Ridgefield?2023-10-20T18:19:42+00:00

The commute to New York City is approximately 1-1.5 hours by car or you can take a train from the nearby town of Katonah.

Is driving or taking the train better for NYC commuters from CT?2023-08-10T17:35:02+00:00

Taking Metro-North is generally better since you can relax or work instead of fighting traffic. Monthly rail passes also offer discounts, but driving 1-3 times per week can break up the commute.

Which towns along Metro-North have the most affordable real estate prices?2023-08-10T17:34:41+00:00

Norwalk, Stratford, Bridgeport, and Milford are among the most reasonably priced towns for homebuyers. Stamford also has affordable condo and rental options. Prices rise significantly heading toward Greenwich.

What are the best places to live in Connecticut for people of all ages?2023-10-13T18:00:21+00:00

Top family-friendly towns include Westport, Wilton, Madison, and Glastonbury which offer highly rated schools, safe neighborhoods, amenities like parks and beaches, and reasonable commutes to NYC.

How long is the Metro-North commute from Connecticut towns to NYC?2023-08-10T17:34:12+00:00

Commute times range from 35 minutes from Stamford to nearly 1.5 hours from the easternmost towns. Most Fairfield County towns have commutes between 45-55 minutes to Grand Central Station in Manhattan.

What are the best school districts for commuting to NYC from Connecticut?2023-08-10T17:33:55+00:00

The top public school districts in southwestern Connecticut are Greenwich, Westport, Wilton, Darien, and New Canaan. All provide a high quality education coupled with reasonable commute times under two hours to New York City.


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Meet Sarah Perrotti


Based in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Sarah is a distinguished full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties and concierge services tailored to discerning buyers and sellers.

With a Masters degree in Social Work, Sarah brings a unique perspective to real estate, ensuring confidentiality and seamless transactions.

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