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Renter's Guide to Hartford
Covering 18 square miles, Hartford is the capital of Connecticut and the state’s fourth-largest city.
Hartford is 120 miles, or a 3-hour drive from New York City. It is a 2-hour drive from Boston, a one-and-a-half hour drive from Amherst, Massachusetts, and between four and four-and-a-half hours from Burlington, Vermont. Bradley International Airport in Connecticut is about a half-hour drive north of Hartford.
In recent years, Hartford has been ranked on Sperling’s Best Places lists for “Best Cities for Teleworking” and “Most Energetic Cities.” However, Hartford has also been included on ranking lists for highest crime rates and highest poverty rates.
Weather in Hartford, CT is typical of the humid continental climate zone. Hartford experiences four distinct seasons: summer from roughly June through August, autumn from September through November, winter from December through February, and spring from March through May. July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature of 87°F, and January the coldest, averaging a low of 25.5°F. Summers in Hartford are hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. Hartford receives an average of 46 inches of rain per year and about 45 inches of snowfall in the winter months.
Cost of Living in Hartford, CT
There are several public transportation systems that provide service in Hartford and the surrounding areas. CTTransit, the bus system operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, has routes in 26 towns in Hartford County and connects downtown Hartford to other parts of the metro and the state. Commuter express routes also operate during peak commuting hours between suburban areas and downtown Hartford. The Star Shuttle, a free circulator bus, runs regularly between major Hartford hotels and tourist attractions. There is also a Bradley Flyer bus service that charges a fare of $1.30 for direct service between Bradley International Airport, the Connecticut Convention Center, and Hartford Union Station.
The average commute time for Hartford is 22 minutes, which is slightly lower than the national average of 25.4 minutes.
A meal for two in a mid-range Hartford restaurant may cost anywhere between $45 and $70, and a regular cappuccino goes for about $4.30.
For a 915-square-foot apartment, Hartford, CT residents pay on average $175 for utilities (such as electricity, heating, water, or garbage removal), which is higher than the national average of $147 in monthly utility expenses.
Average Rent in Hartford, CT
- Hartford, CT Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,197 /mo
Hartford, CT Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0004%
Hartford, CT Rent Trends
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Living in Hartford, CT
There are obviously pros and cons to living in any city, and with Hartford it’s no different. As one of America’s oldest cities, there’s a great deal of history in Hartford. Residents enjoy many cultural opportunities as well as proximity to larger urban areas like New York and Boston. However, Hartford is also among the nation’s poorest cities, with about 30% of residents living below the poverty line, and has one of the highest crime rates in both Connecticut and the country.
Ethnic diversity on the other hand is among the great advantages to living in Hartford. Almost half of the city’s population is of Hispanic origin, with a just slightly smaller black community. White and Asian residents are in minority, accounting for less than a fifth of the city’s population combined.
Things to do in Hartford
There are an abundance of exciting things to do in Hartford. At the top of the list is the Mark Twain House & Museum, a national historic landmark celebrating the life and works of the famous author. Another must-see site in Hartford for history, literature, or architecture buffs is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, a historical site and museum commemorating the author’s life and putting on educational programming on social justice issues.
Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy Hartford’s urban parks, peaceful gardens, and nature preserves. Local favorites for walking, jogging, and cycling in Hartford include Elizabeth Park, Bushnell Park, and Riverside Park.
Families with children will enjoy an outing to the Connecticut Science Center, which features rotating exhibits and lots of hands-on activities for learners of all ages. For a date night in Hartford, couples should check out the newly revamped Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, which is ideal for a romantic stroll with its great picnic spots and lovely views of the city skyline. Among the most popular restaurants in Hartford are Salute, Max Downtown, Firebox, and Bear’s Smokehouse Barbecue.
There are also many outstanding cultural and performing arts venues in Hartford. Whether taking in a concert at Xfinity Theatre, seeing a show at the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts, supporting local theater at the Hartford Stage, or experiencing contemporary art through performances and public art projects at Real Art Ways, the Hartford cultural arts scene won’t fail to impress!
Employment and Economy
Hartford has been nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World,” as the city is home to headquarters of many major insurance companies and insurance remains one of the largest employment sectors in the area. Aetna—Hartford’s largest employer—along with the Hartford Financial Services Group, Conning & Co., and UnitedHealthcare are some of the insurance companies based in Hartford. Healthcare and medical research are also important sectors in Hartford’s economy. Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center are all based in Hartford.
Education in Hartford
The Hartford Public School system serves about 22,000 students in its 28 elementary schools and 16 middle and high schools, including Hartford Public High School, the second oldest in the nation. Hartford spends an average of $19,350 per student, which is above the national average. Among its nontraditional schooling options, Hartford has magnet schools, Montessori schools, academies of math, science, and the arts, technical high schools, as well as several religiously affiliated private schools.
A handful of higher education institutions are based in Hartford, including Trinity College and the University of Hartford. Additionally, Capital Community College and the Hartford Seminary are located in downtown Hartford, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Business and School of Law operate branches in the city.
Tips for Renting in Hartford
Prospective renters in Hartford should be vigilant about Connecticut state laws for rental properties and the terms of their lease agreement. For instance, Connecticut state law mandates that landlords can only charge a maximum of two months’ rent for a security deposit, and the deposit amount must be returned within 30 days after a tenant moves out of the property or 15 days of receiving the tenant’s forwarding address—whichever is later. Connecticut also requires landlords in Hartford to provide a summary of the Landlord-Tenant Code, as well as the name and address of anyone authorized to manage the property and premises or act on the landlord’s behalf, to tenants at the beginning of their lease term.
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