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Situated in sleepy central Connecticut, Rocky Hill is a diverse town ideal for families and singles. With a convenient location just 10 miles south of Hartford and 30 miles north of New Haven along the I-91 corridor, it’s a popular place to call home for those who work in downtown Hartford or the nearby Aetna headquarters. Since it’s also midway between Boston and New York City and just a short drive to southern Vermont, it also sees its fair share of tourists, who often stop to gas up their cars or get a bite to eat. The Connecticut River follows the town’s eastern boundaries, offering many warm-weather activities for residents.
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As of October 2018, the average apartment rent in Rocky Hill, CT is $1,061 for a studio, $1,227 for one bedroom, $1,406 for two bedrooms, and $1,855 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Rocky Hill has decreased by -0.3% in the past year.
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Living in Rocky Hill
Connecticut isn’t known for its variety of chain restaurants, but Rocky Hill has its fair share, along with many small independent restaurants. Most of the town’s eateries are located along Cromwell Avenue or Silas Deane Highway, which enjoys easy access from I-91.
Shad Row, a BYOB establishment at Ferry Landing, is the only restaurant in town located right on the Connecticut River, making it a popular summer destination. Though it’s little more than a shack on the beach, it has plenty of outdoor seating where guests can nosh on items such as the lobstah grilled cheese, whole belly clam rolls or a barbecue pork Cubano sandwich. Since many residents launch their boats from Ferry Landing, the restaurant also does a booming to-go business during the warmer months.
For a more sophisticated meal, Rocky Hill residents head to the Saybrook Fish House. Brick walls, dark wood tones and paper-covered tables give it the feel of a high-end steakhouse, but the menu is all about seafood with an infusion of the classic Italian food usually found in most Hartford suburbs. Many guests partake in the raw bar offerings before chowing down on dishes such as mussels Florentine, bouillabaisse and fresh Maine lobster. The restaurant’s lounge gets quite busy during happy hour and on the weekends thanks to its extensive lounge menu and beer, wine and martini lists.
Most of the younger crowd in Rocky Hill head to Hartford or New Haven at night for cocktails and dancing, but the area has many bars and pubs that manage to keep quite busy. Algarve Bar and Grill offers a comfortable pub-like atmosphere with plenty of casual food offerings, while Billy Tee’s offers a sports bar atmosphere.
Originally owned by the Wangunks Native American tribe, the area now known as Rocky Hill saw an influx of Europeans in the mid-1600s. It became known as Stepney Parish, and its location on the Connecticut River made it a hub for shipbuilding and trade. Rocky Hill, named for a local trap rock ridge, was originally part of nearby Wethersfield, but it incorporated in 1843. Rocky Hill experienced significant growth in the 1970s when Aetna chose the area as the location of the company's headquarters. Condominiums sprung up everywhere, and the town’s population became filled with young professional singles and families.
Though the town is filled with historical places, only a handful of museums are in operation. The Academy Hall Museum captures the seafaring history of the area, while the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum documents the area’s history during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Plan to get around by car in Rocky Hill, although public buses offer a viable option. You’ll find plentiful parking, usually in the form of metered parking in the center of town and parking lots in the outlying areas. Uber operates in Rocky Hill, and several private car companies and shuttles offer transportation to and from downtown Hartford and the nearby Bradley airport, but taxis aren’t often seen around town. While you can call and request cab service, there is little chance that you will be able to simply hail a cab. Many of Rocky Hill’s streets have dedicated bike lanes, including Elm Street, West Street and Hayes Road, but biking along roads such as the Silas Deane Highway can be dangerous due to the heavy traffic and limited road shoulders.
You’ll find plenty of access to outlying areas via I-91, which runs from New Haven, passes through Massachusetts and ends in southern Vermont. Head to the southwest corner of Rocky Hill to pick up Route 9, which runs from Newington all the way to the shoreline city of Old Lyme.
Like most of Connecticut, life in Rocky Hill comes at a cost. The average one-bedroom rental goes for almost $1,150, and a draft beer may cost you anywhere from less than $5 to more than $10. Shop around for the best gas prices in town, as they tend to be significantly higher than the national average — usually 17 percent or higher.
Just like the town’s eateries, most of its stores and shops center around Silas Deane Highway and Cromwell Avenue. No indoor malls exist in Rocky Hill, but there are plenty of strip malls that house everything from department stores such as Kohl’s to boutique shops such as Mariella Creations. Value-conscious residents shop at the area’s many consignment stores for everything from children’s clothes to women’s dresses, with Lily Madison, Uptown Consignment and Elite Repeats being some of the most popular.
Many Rocky Hill residents start their grocery shopping at Walmart or Aldi, and then head over to Big Y or Stop and Shop to pick up whatever remains on their list, but savvy shoppers and foodies start at Pete the Butcher and City Fish Market, located in nearby Wethersfield, for the freshest proteins possible. Although there are no farmers’ markets operating in Rocky Hill, the Wethersfield Farmers’ Market sits just a short drive away, and Fair Weather Acres right on the town’s outskirts offers fresh produce through its seasonal stand.
Rocky Hill residents tend to stay active, and they take their parks seriously. Elm Ridge Park offers more than 100 acres of outdoor recreational activities. It also houses the town’s leash-free dog park, as well as a pool, three baseball and softball fields, volleyball and basketball courts, an ice skating rink, a skate park and an amphitheater. Several other local parks offer a variety of picnic, sporting and hiking or biking options, including Quarry, Sunnycrest, Maxwell and Bulkley parks. Both Shipyard Park and Ferry Park also feature fishing piers, boat launches and a view of the river.
The 63-acre Dinosaur State Park is by far the most popular attraction in Rocky Hill, drawing many tourists each year. It’s one of North America’s largest dinosaur track sites, protected by a geodesic dome. It also offers picnic facilities, interactive displays and an arboretum in addition to its track casting area and museum.
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Rockwood Manor35 Grimes Rd, Rocky Hill, CT 06067$1,000 - 1,200 1-2 Bed Available Now203-745-0018
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Apartments for Rent Under $600 in Rocky Hill, CT
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