Traditional New England character along a remarkable coastline
Tucked between Bridgeport and New Haven lies the beautiful small city of Milford. With its several beaches and traditional New England character, Milford is the best place to experience a “small city with a big heart.” As one of the area’s oldest communities, Milford boasts New England’s old-world charm — the city was founded in 1639 and has 26 square miles of stunning architecture, beaches, and sprawling green spaces for outdoor activities.
The area has seen tremendous growth since Milford’s founding in 1639. The land was originally home to the Paugussett tribe before colonists purchased the land from their chief. During the Revolutionary War, Milford was a pass-through road to Boston and New York — it was one of the quickest ways for messages to pass to the larger cities. In 1902, Quaker Oats oatmeal boxes included a redeemable coupon for a plot of land in Milford. These small plots were carved out of a subdivision called “Liberty Park,” and in the 70s, the homes were foreclosed to build more suburban areas. Today, Milford boasts beautiful single-family homes built in the traditional New England style along tree-lined streets, making this small town a great place for families to call home.
• The Milford Oyster Festival, which brings in thousands of people each year
• The old-world character of the historic homes and tours of the Milford Historical Society
• Wheeler Wildlife Area, the perfect place to enjoy nature out on the water
With 54,000 residents, there are plenty of things to do and see in Milford. The downtown area has great restaurants, bars, independent boutiques, and community events. The Connecticut Post Mall offers over 150 stores to browse, and for outdoor activities, residents can visit one of several parks, like the Wheeler Wildlife Area.
Residents are mostly young families, retirees, or young entrepreneurs who commute to larger cities for work. Saltbox homes, Colonial and Victorian-style houses, and modern homes line the streets and beachfront, providing scenic views for residents. Milford boasts strong community ties and frequently holds neighborhood events to bring people together to celebrate the neighborhood and its people.
A New England tradition, Stonebridge Restaurant features elegant American food with fresh and unique flavors. Chef Brett Keating takes great care in ensuring his dishes meet the highest quality standards and strives to create fun and interesting meals for everyone. The deck and patio dining spaces overlook the Wepawaug River, creating a romantic atmosphere on a summer evening. Menu items include a signature shrimp cocktail, fresh lobster roll, and mango salmon.
Archie Moore’s Bar and Restaurant is the best place in Milford for nachos and wings. They even bottle their famous wing sauce and sell it online and in their four dining locations throughout Connecticut. Archie’s offers American fare in a casual and fun atmosphere — it’s the perfect place to go after a long day at work. Catch up with friends over a beer (they offer dozens of varieties on tap and by the bottle) and try one of their signature dishes. The nachos and wings are a given (and famous), but their wraps and burgers are just as incredible!
Tribus Beer Company is Connecticut’s first taproom and brewery. Founded in 2017, Tribus offers craft beer with witty names, uniquely designed labels, and a large outdoor area for relaxing. There’s a video game and ping-pong room in the back, and staff members go above and beyond to make your trip an enjoyable and welcoming experience.
For a myriad of shopping opportunities, downtown Milford has much to offer. Residents love the sprawling Connecticut Post Mall, which offers more than 150 shop options from designer brands to small boutiques. Downtown Milford supports local businesses, like Gilded Lily Gallery, which has handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces of art, and Sophie Claire’s and their vintage treasures and boutique gifts.
Named “The Best Food Festival in Connecticut” by National Geographic, the Milford Oyster Festival is the event of the year in Fairfield County. Featuring over 30,000 oysters, delicious food, wine, and spirited live music, the festival has been a Milford tradition for almost 50 years. There’s a classic car show, a canoe and kayak race, and arts and crafts for kids (and adults). Hundreds of businesses and organizations line Main Street with information about their services and activities for the community. This event truly brings everyone in Milford together in celebration of their accomplishments as a bustling small town.
Visit the Downtown Milford Farmers Market on Wasson Field from June-October. Susan Shaw, Susan Shackleford, Lisa Blanchard, and Ann Maher came together in 2005 when they saw a need for a farmers market in their community. Since its inception, these four women grew the market to become the hub of the Milford community. Featuring produce and products only from Connecticut, the farmers' market fosters support to the local economy and sums up the essence of community advocacy.
Milford has several high-achieving public and private schools in the area. Some include:
• Mathewson Elementary School, a public school for grades K-5
• Joseph A. Foran High School, an award-winning public school for grades 9-12
• Academy of Our Lady of Mercy - Lauralton Hall, a private school for girls in grades 9-12