10 Reasons Guilford CT is a great town
Guilford CT is a great town!FEBRUARY
Whether you’re a home buyer looking to relocate to Guilford, Connecticut, or a home seller trying to sell your home in Guilford, here are the top 10 things you will LOVE about this great town. (Full disclosure: I am a realtor here in town AND live here. I moved here 15 years ago, am raising my 3 sons here, and this little town has stolen my heart.)1) The Guilford Green
Photo: Guilford Green facing First Church n
The historic Town Green is the heart of the town. On any given day you will find children riding bikes, climbing the Civil War statue, tossing a frisbee or a football. People stroll the paved, crisscrossed paths and picnic on the immaculate green grass. Dogs are walked, neighbors are met, ice cream cones are licked, and concerts are enjoyed. Boutiques, restaurants, the town Library, and four churches as well as the third largest collection of historic New England homessurround the Green. We meet here, shop here, our children graduate high school here, pose for prom pictures here, and have wedding photos taken here. The Green made me fall in love with Guilford. I get a little surge of happy each day that I walk into our office located right on the corner overlooking the Green. Thinking of moving to Guilford? Start at the Town Green!n2) Community Events
Photo: personal archives
Guilford’s Town Green, along with our spacious, multi-purpose Community Center (above), hosts many of our favorite community events. Summer brings something almost every weekend! June kicks things off with the Little Folks Fair on the Town Green, done by the co-op Community Nursery School. Sunday twilight concerts follow, welcoming blankets and picnic baskets. The annual 4-day Shakespeare on the Shoreline production gets raves – last year brought us King Lear; 2015 will feature Comedy of Errors. The Guilford Art Center Craft Expo and Antique Show attract many out-of-town guests. Autumn brings us a ‘Trunk or Treat’ event and a daylight trick-or-treating tour by local businesses for the youngsters on Halloween eve. My favorite event of the year, however, is the Guilford Tree Lighting in early December. I see some of my oldest and dearest friends at this event.
Photo: Guilford Fairn
The Guilford Fair Grounds is another popular venue, busiest perhaps each September when the 3-day Guilford Fair fills this space with animals, tractor pulls, the Spelling Bee, amusement rides, food stations, carnival games, and high-flying circus performers like the internationally acclaimed Flying Wallendas (shown in photo above). The Fairgrounds also host our July Fireworks, the annual antique Car Show, Lobsterfest, and Taste of the Shoreline.3) History
Guilford, Connecticut was settled in 1639 and recently celebrated a year-long 375th anniversary celebration in 2014. Our town has been listed as one of the top 100 places to live by Money Magazine in 2005. It is known for having one of the largest collections of historic homes in the country. On occasion, our real estate team gets lucky enough to market one of these antique homes, steps from the Green and oozing with charm. It’s part of what i love most about real estate in Guilford!
Photo: Hyland House
In addition to private antique homes, Guilford has several historic home museums open to the public. Griswold House and Hyland House (above) are personal favorites, hosting ‘Early Guilford Days’ for public school 4th graders to cap off a year studying colonial history. Everyone, including parents and teachers, dresses in Colonial wear and experiences firsthand key activities from the era, including forging iron, weaving, and sewing. The Henry Whitfield House is another popular well-known historic landmark, as is Dudley Farm, which hosts a weekend farmers market spring through fall. Be sure to check out their tree swing!4) Shopping
Photo: Pages Hardware
I’ll start with the wonderful shops located right on the Guilford Green because I frequent most of them!n
- Flutterby was the first store I went to when I moved here, and it is still my favorite go-to for retail therapy, filled with whimsical glassware, delicious smelling candles, and unique toys and jewelry.
- I also love Mix with its unusual glassware. Last year I bought my cousin a beautiful set of brandy glasses, my mom a set of 12 mismatched colorful cloth napkins, my sisters purses made of recycled newspapers, and my business partner the cutest i-Pad case you ever saw.
- Lulus has luxurious PJs, gorgeous jewelry and soft as clouds lounge ware – I also got my most favorite blue linen pants and polka dotted straw bag here!
- Breakwater Books has a wonderful selection of adult and kids books, with some good writing paper and puzzles thrown in.
- Marijanes is an edgy resale shop where you can also find some boutique items consigned from Therapy in New Haven.
- Page Hardware is a favorite with locals and non-locals alike. Known for their high quality appliances and their spot on customer service, this is a store I frequent in all seasons!
For food shopping, we are lucky to have 2 amazing butcher/grocery stores, Guilford Food Center and Forte’s (both cater as well); 2 specialty retailers, FoodWorks and The Fresh Market (soon to be here) as well as Bishop’s Orchards for fruits, veggies and baked goods and a Big Y which has delicious produce department and lots of Buy One Get One specials.5) Schools
The highly rated Guilford schools are a top reason people relocate to this town. As I mentioned prevously, I have 3 sons who all attend the schools here and I have been quite happy with their education to date. The schools are set up with 4 “neighborhood” elementary schools (Guilford Lakes, Calvin Leete, Cox and Melissa Jones); Baldwin, a middle school for 5th and 6th grade which all the elementary schools funnel to; Adams, which houses the 7th and 8th graders of the town; and Guilford High School for 9-12 grades. We are very lucky to be building a brand new high school which should be completed by the middle of next year (just in time for my oldest son to graduate from and my middle son to start high school in).6) Proximity to water
Photo: Guilford shoreline scene
Whether it is relaxing at Jacob’s Beach and gazing out at the Long Island Sound, cooling off in the water at Lake Quonnipaug or sailing at one of the yacht clubs, the water is very much a part of this CT town.7) Town Parks and Hiking Trails
Photo: Chaffinch Island State Parkn
Along with all of our wonderful public school fields and facilities, the town maintains many naturally beautiful parks, beaches and sports fields for use by organized sports clubs, groups, and in some cases, for private use.n
- Bittner Park has a playground, softball field, running path, skate park and outdoor ice skating rink
- Chaffinch Island
- Chittenden Park
- Jacobs Beach
- Lake Quonnipaug
- Long Hill Field
- Mill Pond for fishing and supervised pond skating in winter.
(As a hockey mom. I have spent many winter afternoons around the fire handing out hot chocolates and this is a favorite spot for me!)
When you move to a new town, the hardest thing is to meet other people. Get rid of the guesswork and anxiety and join Newcomers. This is a social club and offers something for everyone – playgroups, book clubs, lunch outings, Bunco and much more than I can remember since it’s been a few years since I have been a member. It used to be that you could be a member for 7 years but now there are no time limits and I know friends who have lived here longer than I and who still belong! Many of my closest friends I met in Newcomers. It’s a great benefit to new town members!n9) Locationn
Photo: Guilford’s train station on Shoreline Eastnn
Located on the Rte 95 corridor, Guilford is about 2 hours from New York and 3 hours from Boston. It’s an easy commute to New Haven or to Hartford. You can drive or catch the train right here in Guilford.n10) Restaurants and Coffee Shopsn
Photo: Ballou’s Wine Barnn
Whatever your appetite craves, you’ll find it among Guilford wide variety of restaurants, cafes, pizza parlors, and pubs. There’s plenty of takeout options too!nn
- Quattro’s nt
- Guilford Bistro (BYOB) nt
- Whitfield’s (a personal fave!) nt
- The Stone House (great bar, fab seafood and apps) nt
- The Mooring nt
- Centro (pizza overlooking the Green) nt
- South Lane Bistro nt
- Cilantro’s (my coffee haunt, right next door to our office) nt
- The Dough Market nt
- The Hidden Kitchen (great breakfast, cash only!) nt
- Sunnyside Up nt
- The Shoreline Diner (our Vegetarian Enclave, and the deliver too!) n
No matter what you like, Guilford can likely fill the bill. If you’re searching for a new home along the shoreline, give us a call. We’d love to help!n