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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.