New London is located where the broad Thames River empties into the Long Island Sound. Norwich lies about 13 miles upriver. New London has a rich maritime history and is now home to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Norwich is an early industrial center, where the first paper and iron nails were made in the mid-1700’s. Both cities remain fairly industrial but have modestly attractive downtown cores with areas of historic buildings. New London is also home to two small colleges.
Norwich has some local arts amenities but is also transforming itself into a regional weekend tourist destination, with large casinos, upscale hotels and spas. The central location to New England and New York just might make this work. Air and many other services are available in Providence, 60 miles northeast. Employment projections have declined. Cost of living, while high, is moderate on a Connecticut scale.
Level terrain with marshes and beach at the coast give way to rolling and wooded terrain to the north. Hills around Norwich rise 500 feet. The climate is New England continental moderated by proximity to water. Summers are warm and humid but with refreshing sea breezes. The inland Norwich area is typically warmer in summer and colder in winter. Winters are cold and wet with occasional periods of more extreme cold. Since the area lies east of the main part of Long Island, coastal “noreaster” storms are strong and can produce significant rain and snow. First freeze is late October, last is late April.