Branford was first settled in mid-1644 as part of the New Haven Colony and officially renamed in 1653 after the Town of Brentford, England. The Town consists of several communities which have been able to maintain their unique characteristics based and geography. Branford's Center is home to several shops, restaurants and coffee houses that line the Main Street along with the Town Green being at the center. The Branford Festival, road races and parades throughout the year add to the quality of life offered in a shoreline community, yet offers easy to get to and from New York, Boston and Hartford. Those who visit Branford can take in a cruise (or private charter) to our majestic archipelago of islands called the Thimble Islands (seal watching cruises are also available in the spring.) There are over fifteen town maintained parks and two beaches, hiking trails, lakes, ponds and a path to the Shoreline Greenway Trail. Branford enjoys over 20 miles of coastline with more than a dozen marinas. Having a population of approximately 28,000 and a thriving modern residential, commercial and industrial community, Branford is proud of its history, quality of life and economic vitality.