Located in Central Connecticut, West Hartford is a residential town with an upscale downtown area. Abundant shopping, dining, and community events, combined with multiple golf courses and hiking trails, make this a popular retirement destination. In addition, residents love its proximity to the historic sites and museums within the Hartford area.
Climate & Geography
West Hartford has a humid continental climate characterized by warm and pleasant summers and variable winters. Polar air masses from the north and tropical, moist air from the south meet in the area and can create strong winter storms. There is high precipitation all year, resulting in more rain and snow than the national average. Residents can expect about 190 days of sun each year.
The town is located in the Connecticut River Valley, and the western border is flanked by the Metacomet Ridge. Downtown Hartford is five miles to the east.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
West Hartford has several options for outdoor recreation. Talcott Mountain on the Metacomet Ridge is notable peak for hikers, and the Metacomet Trail is 51 miles long and traverses the entire ridge. For more relaxing recreation, residents enjoy the biking and walking trails through the wooded West Hartford Reservoir and enjoying the rose gardens and tennis courts at the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. This park also hosts a popular outdoor summer concert series.
The Center, West Hartford’s downtown area, is expansive, featuring numerous local shops and eateries. Within The Center is the Blue Back Square, a popular complex featuring a brewery, boutiques, eateries, a bookstore, and a movie theater. Residents also gather here for community events like fun runs, holiday strolls, and a farmers market.
Other popular amenities include the six golf courses in the city, as well as the Westfarms, an upscale shopping center with over 160 retailers and restaurants. For more amenities, such as historic sites and educational museums, Hartford is minutes away.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in West Hartford is higher than the national average because of high housing and utility costs. Groceries and transportation are also above the national average.
Connecticut taxes Social Security, but exempts it below a certain level. For single filers, the limit is $50,000 and for joint filers, $60,000. All other forms of retirement income are also taxed as regular income. Additionally, property taxes are very high, and sales taxes are moderate with no additional local rates.
The Hartford metro area ranks in the top 100 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index. The same poll ranks Connecticut in the top 16 states.
The nearest hospitals that are rated high performing by U.S. News are in neighboring Hartford. These are St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and Hartford Hospital. In New Britain, Hospital of Central Connecticut is also high performing.