Central Connecticut's Walkable Town Centers Last Updated: July 2023

Whether you're window shopping, searching for a great meal, or simply enjoying the view, the charm of a walkable New England town just can't be matched. Hartford, Middlesex and New Haven counties have many town centers where a stroll takes you to shops, restaurants, galleries, museums and even a park bench or two. Here are some of the best ones to consider for a day of safe, leisurely exploration.

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West Hartford Center

The intersection of Farmington Avenue and South Main Street in West Hartford can lead you to many shopping or dining pleasures, and eventually to the adjacent Blue Back Square.

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New Haven

There's so much to see and do in New Haven — all in a walkable setting! Stroll the New Haven Green and pop in the Shops at Yale. You're sure to find many dining options as well, including the #1 rated pizza in the U.S.

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If it’s small-town charm you’re looking for, you won’t find a better destination than Chester, in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Galleries, tasteful little shops and an interesting variety of restaurants.

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Historic Wethersfield

Over 375 years old, this living New England village is home to artifact-rich museums, historic homes, shops and places of interest for all ages.

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Downtown Essex

Dubbed “The Perfect Small American Town” in the “1,000 Places To See Before You Die” travel guide and among “The 100 Best Small Towns in America”, Essex offers an ideal blend of history, art, shops, restaurants and so much more to explore.

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Historic Main Street Middletown

Experience the “Renaissance” in Downtown Middletown. Restaurants and shops are booming in this happening city, founded 360 years ago on the banks of the Connecticut River.