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Top Activities in New Haven

See all 41 things to do in New Haven

New Haven Attractions

More than a college town, New Haven has long billed itself as the Cultural Capital of New England. Situated on the Long Island Sound between New York and Boston, it's easy to see why. In addition to being home to the United States' second-oldest Ivy League institution, the city of New Haven is a hub of rigorous inquiry and time-honored tradition. A stone's throw from the Yale University campus, museums sprout up beside restaurants like Louis' Lunch, which is reputed to be the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich. Whether you're a theater enthusiast who wants to take in a show, or a scholarly type who enjoys a craft cocktail or two on the weekends, you're sure to find delight in The Elm City.

Areas & Neighborhoods in New Haven

A 1-hour journey from Bradley International Airport lands you in New Haven, where English Puritans organized one of the United States' first colonies. Almost four centuries later, the settlement of New Haven Green is still the beating heart of New Haven. Nearby, urban and residential neighborhoods beckon, offering something for every type of traveler.

Yale University

A trip to New Haven isn’t complete without a stroll through Yale, which dates back to 1701. In addition to the 19th-century structures on display, sites like the Sterling Memorial Library and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History appeal to scholarly types and sightseers of all persuasions.

Wooster Square Historic District

Named for an American Revolutionary War hero, the Wooster Square Historic District is New Haven's former Italian enclave. Today, a stand of intoxicating cherry trees reward travelers in spring, while the wafting aroma of garlic and tomato sauce clues in visitors to the presence of the region's best pizza.

Westville

New Haven was the first city in the United States to introduce a public tree-planting program, which inspired its nickname—The Elm City. See New Haven's elms nodding in the breeze during a visit to Westville, an airy neighborhood dotted with cafes, pubs, art galleries, and antique shops.

Crown Street

A beloved after-hours destination, Crown Street offers myriad attractions for academics on study break and travelers on holiday. For live music, head to the College Street Music Hall or Cafe Nine, which showcases local acts in an intimate space.

Things to See in New Haven

From inventor of the cotton gin Eli Whitney to Academy-Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, some of the most famous members of American society have graduated from Yale—many of them from the Yale School of Drama. This helps explain why New Haven is known as a city of playhouses, with plenty of performance halls to drop into during your stay. To get the inside scoop on the future of entertainment in the United States, head to the Yale Repertory Theatre and watch emerging actors perform dramatic pieces by the metropolis’ iconoclastic playwrights. Likewise, you can also settle into plush seats in the Long Wharf Theatre or the Shubert—the sister stage to the distinguished New York City performance space.

Sightseeing in New Haven

Whether New Haven is a single stop on your exploration of Connecticut's Art Trail or you're planning a week-long getaway, there are endless things to do in The Elm City. For a look at New Haven's world-class museums, begin at the Yale University Art Gallery where you'll discover masterpieces from the Ancient Americas through the present day. Nearby, the Yale Center for British Art houses the most extensive collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom, with pieces from the Elizabethan period onward. At the New Haven Museum, historians document the city’s past as a Puritan village that evolved into a major industrial center known as the Arsenal of America at the height of arms manufacturing in the United States. Traveling with young kids? New Haven caters to both the young and the young at heart. Little ones adore the Connecticut Children's Museum and travelers of all ages love Lighthouse Point Park, located at the eastern edge of New Haven Harbor.

Things to Do in New Haven with Kids

You'll find loads of fun things to do with your kids in and near New Haven. Keep the gang entertained with our family friendly experiences.

Free Things to Do in New Haven

Touring on a limited budget in New Haven? Spend time, not money, on terrific experiences.

Yale University Art Gallery - Talk to the staff and gain an insight into the collections on display at this museum.

East Rock Park - Make this among your first stops if you're chasing fun during your getaway.

Yale University - If you plan to explore the history of the region through its landmarks, mark this one down on your must-see list.

Wooster Square - Amble down the sidewalks and immerse yourself in the ambiance of this lively local haunt.

Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University - Speak to a local resident and learn why many travelers swing by this place.

Center Church on the Green - Incorporate a bit of spirituality into your escape by checking out this holy site.

Lighthouse Point Park - Toss a ball around with the young ones or lay back and enjoy the warm sun at this popular coastal spot.

West Rock Park - It's easy to reconnect with Mother Nature at this picturesque place.

New Haven Green - Find your green thumb and enjoy admiring the various plants on show.

Explore The Neighborhoods of New Haven

Downtown

While visiting Downtown, you might make a stop by sights like Shubert Theater and New Haven Green.

East Rock

East Rock is well-liked for its monuments. If you'd like to do some sightseeing in the greater New Haven area, you might plan a trip to Shubert Theater or Eli Whitney Museum.

ForestsSunsetsSkyscrapers

West New Haven

If you're spending some time in West New Haven, Yale Bowl and Connecticut Tennis Center are top sights worth seeing.

Long Wharf

Long Wharf is popular for its ample dining options, and you might make a stop by Long Wharf Theatre, a top place to visit in the area.

UniversitiesCafesDining

Branford Center

Travelers like the parks in Branford Center, and Stony Creek Brewery is a top attraction you might want to visit.

Natural Parks

East Shore

You'll enjoy the beaches and museums in East Shore. You might want to make time for a stop at Lighthouse Point Park or Lighthouse Point Carousel.

SunsetsStargazingBird Watching

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in New Haven on a sunny day?

Make the best of a sunny day with fun outdoor activities like a Vacation Photographer in New Haven and a Vacation Photographer in Hartford.

What should I not miss in New Haven?

Pack your appetite for adventure and head directly toward these top-rated attractions:

  • Yale University
  • East Rock Park
  • Yale Bowl

What can you do in New Haven for free?

Your escape to New Haven needn't break the bank with free things like these on offer:

  • Yale University
  • East Rock Park
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Palace Theatre