Local Profile – Hamden
Thinking about moving to CT or over to New Haven county? Here’s some info about Hamden, CT, located one town north of New Haven. I lived here on two separate occasions and definitely miss a lot of things about it!
Hamden has a population of between 60,000 and 70,000 residents (newest data from 2014) and it’s about 33 square miles. The biggest employers are the town government, Quinnipiac University, Harborside Health Care, and ACES (school-related services).
Route 15 (Merritt Parkway) travels right through Hamden – exits 60, 61, and 62 bring you into town. Heading more north into Hamden, you can take 91 to the ‘Connector” which brings you out on Whitney Ave, nearer to Quinnipiac. There are also bus lines that run through town.
Hamden has a large public school system featuring 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school (7th and 8th grade) and 1 high school. Hamden High School has enrollment of approximately 1450 students. Additionally, there are two magnet schools – Wintergreen (K-8) and Highville Mustard Seed Charter School (9-12). Eli Whitney Technical High School is a technical school, open to students from various towns. In addition to a number of Catholic schools, there is also Hamden Hall Country Day School (K-12) with about 600 students.
What to do for fun?
If you’re an outdoorsy person, there are many places to go hiking or walking. Sleeping Giant is a huge park with many trails of varying difficulty. Arguably the most popular is the “Tower Trail” where you go up a big spiral and meet a large stone structure at the top that’s fun to walk through. (Also, it’s called Sleeping Giant because from the right angle, the hills look like the profile of a sleeping man). There are also parts of East Rock Park and West Rock Park in Hamden. There is also the Farmington Canal Trail which runs from New Haven all the way up through Massachusetts if you’re looking for a walk or bike ride.
Tower at Sleeping Giant
Edgerton Park straddles New Haven and Hamden and features beautifully landscaped grounds, a conservatory with an assortment of flowers, and, in non-Covid times, performances from the Elm Shakespeare Company. Similarly, in non-Covid times, there are free movies and concerts behind the library/middle school and fireworks on the 4th of July.
Food & Drink (My favorite part of any town)
These are some of my favorites:
Mikro – They moved a few years ago into a larger space off of Whitney. They feature a great selection of draught beers and ciders and a gastro menu.
Mikro used to be a train depot!
Texiko – This is where Mikro used to be located and is still related to Mikro, featuring a similarly great selection of drinks, but with a tex-mex BBQ menu. They’ve been doing some amazing take out options during Covid so I recommend checking them out on Facebook or Instagram!
Bangkok Boulevard – Located in the same plaza as Texiko (I swear, this isn’t intentional). Great Thai food and it’s BYOB.
Cumin India – delicious Indian food in an old IHOP structure. Great lunch buffet, but also good for dinner (eat in or take out!)
Common Grounds – my favorite coffee shop to hang out or meet up with clients and colleagues! Awesome selection of coffees and treats with comfy seating.
Playwright – Homey Irish pub on the corner of Putnam and Whitney with 2 nice outdoor patios and a killer Wednesday trivia night. Great for a Guinness or Magner’s.
Hopefully this is useful if you’re thinking about moving to Hamden. It’s a fairly large town with several neighborhoods. Many people opt to live here over New Haven due to lower rents and home prices without being too far from New Haven. I used to live off of Whitney Ave and it was a ~7 minute drive to get downtown! If you’re looking for a condo or townhome, Mix Ave is home to several complexes of varying styles and price points. Throughout town are a number of multi family homes, as well. Let me know if you have any other questions about Hamden!