The population in Fairfield County is approaching a million, and it already holds the distinction of being the most densely populated such area in the state. Plus, much of this southernmost Connecticut county is located along the state's so-called Gold Coast, named as much for the fact that it sits upon an actual body of water--the Long Island Sound--as for the high concentration of lovely, exceptionally large homes.
What are the Best Communities in Fairfield County
Any list of the top communities in this area will almost certainly leave out plenty of high-quality towns and neighborhoods. That said, the best places to live in Fairfield County probably would include any of the big three towns of New Canaan, Greenwich, and Darien, all of which have scores of spectacular houses, excellent schools, and large tracts of beautiful open spaces, but are likely lacking in any sort of affordable rental apartments.
For those seeking more modest housing than a palatial mansion, the city of Stamford not only has become something a magnet for corporate headquarters--and, thus, lots of professional, managerial-type jobs--but also boasts a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene, as well as an increasingly active cultural landscape. The city of Danbury is also a good place for those seeking apartments that are more affordable than in places right on the water, such as Westport.
The Most Urban and Densely Populated Corner of Connecticut
Apartments are in demand throughout most of the state, but by far the greatest concentration of people in the Nutmeg State--and, therefore, the greatest need for housing--is in Fairfield County. Located in the southwestern-most portion of Connecticut, Fairfield is both the state's most heavily populated county and its most densely populated county. In large measure this is because it is the home of four of Connecticut largest cities. Those cities, Bridgeport (the state's largest), Stamford (which is ranked third), Norwalk (sixth), and Danbury (seventh), contribute nearly half the population of the county as a whole.
In addition to all of these urban areas, Fairfield County is also the location of the so-called Gold Coast of Connecticut. Lining the placid, beach- and boating-friendly waters of the Long Island Sound, the towns of the Gold Coast include the likes of Darien, New Canaan, Cos Cobb, Westport, Easton, Monroe, and Trumbull, all of which can be considered among the most coveted suburban areas in which to live anywhere in the state. And locals would probably expand that description to include "anywhere on the East Coast"!
So when you consider finding a home in Fairfield County, you should know that there is a huge range of neighborhoods, types of homes, and price ranges available. The cities offer apartments within luxury high-rises and modest mid-sized buildings, brownstones and townhouses and row homes, multi-building complexes and pre-war gems. Apartments in the more suburban-village areas would more likely include two- or three-story garden apartments, small-scale enclosed communities, or even small efficiency apartments within the properties of the area's grander homes.
What Makes Fairfield County Appealing to So Many?
Living in Fairfield County is desirable for many people, and for many reasons. Just in and of itself, the suburban areas of Fairfield are lovely, with old-growth trees, expansive lawns, and charming downtown-areas in the the villages. Fairfield's waterfront on the Long Island Sound is everything you'd expect it to be, with sandy beaches and public spaces and harbors. And there's the energy, food, nightlife, and culture of city life, especially in Stamford, which has become something of a destination for young people in the past couple of decades, with the opening of multiple corporate headquarters by Fortune 500 companies, as well as a huge hedge-fund and finance presence.
Much of Fairfield County is also appealing because of its proximity to New York City, and tens of thousands of residents commute to work (and go in to have fun) either by car down I-95 or the Merritt Parkway or, more sensibly, via the Metro-North New Haven line, a rail service with stations in every one of the county's coastal towns. Living in Fairfield also means ready access to Amtrak trains that run along the Regional Northeast Route, with stations in both Bridgeport and Stamford.
For a detailed look at many the apartment living situations in Fairfield County's most popular cities and towns, take a look at the in-depths guide to places such as Wilton, Trumbull, Westport, Stanford, Danbury, Norwalk, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Bridgeport, and Norwalk.