Groton, CT? — The Bump
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Groton, CT?

We just received verbal orders to Groton, CT. DH and I met and married here in VA, so this will be my first military move. Can anyone tell me about the area? We're considering base housing, which will also be a first for both of us. Looking at local rents, utilities and schools, it seems like housing would be a good option as it feeds into what looks like a decent elementary (Barnum). PCS probably won't be til near the holidays, but I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect. TIA!

Mom to DS - 9/24/2005 Ectopic Pregnancy - 5/7/2012 Miscarriage - 12/13/2012. Mom to DD - 9/13/2013

Re: Groton, CT?

  • IrishcurlsIrishcurls member
    edited May 2014
    We have family there so I'm very familiar with the area--it gets mixed reviews from people. Loving (unlovingly?) called Rotten Groton by the locals but it has beautiful water views, definitely some decent to good food nearby (New London is a little more city-like, Mystic is quaint touristy). My husband went to school there but we've never lived there with the military (well together anyway). I can't say anything about base housing but knowing the real estate market a bit, I would say it's not going to be a bad option for the money. 

    As far as CT goes, they get WAY less snow than the rest of the state. You can make a big night out to Providence if you wanted. There is plenty of beach between there and the Misquamicut RI area. Lots of shopping malls. Not far to the Providence airport--it's really a pretty nice place all around. If you end up looking for economy rentals, feel free to PM me, I can ask around. 
      It's a girl!! EDD 2/28/15
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  • i miss groton. small town, tight knit community but it is safe, the people are friendly. no traffic, coming to hampton roads made me want to go back to groton. i always said i would never live in housing but we really enjoyed housing there. we lived in dolphin gardens. out in town utilities are high.

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  • Groton was our last duty station. We miss it a lot. I would definitely suggest base housing. It is still considered base housing even though it is off base and they allow civilians to rent in the area as well. Balfour Beatty runs the housing. I would really suggest looking to live in the Nautilus parks. 1&3 have the newest houses. We lived in NP2 and enjoyed it for the most part.

    Only one housing section of Balfour doesn't take all of the BAH. The houses in that area definitely aren't as nice as the others. Your heat, which you will need for sure, is run off gas. 90% of the homes do not have central air. The houses are heated by base board heaters. Rent costs and oil costs alone are worth giving up your BAH. Almost everyone we knew that lived off base was trying to get on.

    We didn't have children while we lived there. But most people I knew that did have kids really liked Barnum. There are two elementary schools near base housing. I can't remember the other's name.

    My husband and I loved going to Mystic. That's where they filmed Mystic Pizza, a Julia Roberts movie from the 80s. There are a ton of great restaurants in the area and plenty of nice beaches. Especially if you take a drive up to Rhode Island.
  • Thanks, ladies! Hardcopy orders came in this week - we'll be headed that way in Jan/Feb. I'm both excited and frightened, but I love hearing so many good things. And thanks for the updates on which sections of housing are newest - I've seen a lot on boards about remodels over the past few years. I'm going to try to call Balfour in the next few days to find out which sections are zoned for Barnum and how we can get on a waitlist. We have 2 kids now but plan on trying for a third in the next few months, meaning I might be pregnant by the time we move. Any guesses on how big of a house we might end up with?

    I'm looking forward to exploring and daytrips around the area. Plus DH is a nuke and has been on a ship for our entire relationship, so this shore command will be the first time he has a more normal schedule, so I'm super excited to do more of that kind of stuff as a family.

    Mom to DS - 9/24/2005 Ectopic Pregnancy - 5/7/2012 Miscarriage - 12/13/2012. Mom to DD - 9/13/2013
  • You should qualify for at least a 3 bedroom house. But Balfour is very flexible, so you might get more. When we were there the wait list was 0-3months. We got a house the first day we were there.

    The MWR is awesome there! They plan a ton of family oriented events. You can sign up to receive an email from MWR and ITT about upcoming events.

    There are a ton of great places to visit in the area. One of our favorite pales to go was Buttonwood Farms. They have huge fields of sunflowers. Once they harvest what they need they create a maze in the field and have tractor rides. They make their own ice cream from the cows that live on the property. It's delicious!

    If you'd like any info just let me know :)
  • Oh my gosh - sunflowers AND ice cream in the same place? My two favorite things! I'm getting really excited now. And I'm so glad to hear that they run lots of family events. It's looking like we might move mid-school-year, so getting settled in quick and meeting others close by will help. DH came home from an underway Friday with a long list of phone numbers to call next week. And I'm so glad to have heard good things about Balfour - we live in Hampton Roads off base, but I've heard lots of issues with the management companies here. DH still wants to look at other options around the area, but I'm thinking that as enlisted with family, base housing might be our best option.
    Mom to DS - 9/24/2005 Ectopic Pregnancy - 5/7/2012 Miscarriage - 12/13/2012. Mom to DD - 9/13/2013
  • If you're planning on living in Groton and not one of the cities close by, I would definitely keep considering base housing. (Even though it is off base technically lol). The rental rates are so high for houses and the oil bill to heat during the winter is extremely high. There is no escaping the cold during the winter there.

    Good luck!
  • We moved here in December from Newport News, VA. I prefer the Hampton Roads area over here, to be honest. 

    Housing will be your best interest with having two children already. Rentals are expensive and most heating here is oil. We're in a gorgeous apartment complex but its just my DH and I with a little one on the way and hoping to be at shore duty by May of next year. Which is why we didn't do housing.

    There isn't much to do in Groton itself but they have quite a few state parks nearby [most have fees and are more expensive if out of state resident], the casinos with dining and entertainment [for date nights], Providence is an hour away, NYC and Boston are about 2 hours away. I've gone to Boston a few times already and just took the train out of New London. Cheap that way. Mystic is a nearby town that has a lot of cute boutique shopping and the seaport area is nice to go down by. 

    BFP #1 - 12.25.13 // MMC - 01.23.14
    BFP #2 - 03.27.14 // EDD - 12.07.14

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