Stuff to do in/near New Haven?
May 13, 2015 6:46 AM   Subscribe

Hey, y'all! I've gotten a short-notice approval to go to a professional conference in New Haven, Connecticut. The conference ends on a Friday afternoon, and I'd like to take the next couple days to poke around in the area before returning home. Any recommendations as to what a solo female should do over a weekend in that neck of the woods? Thanks!
posted by schooley to Travel & Transportation around Connecticut (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you like pizza, check out Modern , Sally's, or Peppe's.

Yale has the awesome Peabody Museum of Natural History with the famous Age of Reptiles mural. Or if you're into rare books & libraries, check out the Beinecke Rare Book Room. If possible, go on a sunny day to see the marble 'windows' glow.

If you want some time by the beach, try Lighthouse Point in New Haven or Silver Sands in Milford.

Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden has good hiking and castle-like lookout tower at the top.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:59 AM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Just a quick word about the Beinecke--it's gorgeous and wonderful and absolutely worth visiting, but the public exhibition space is closing on Monday, May 18th as part of a year-long renovation. (The reading room has already closed, with a temporary reading room now open in Sterling Memorial Library.)
posted by 2or3things at 7:20 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Free art museum at Yale, don't miss the Van Gogh.
posted by RoadScholar at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to rent a car and do a day trip the cute little beach towns of Madison, Guilford and Old Lyme are fun to visit. RJ Julia is a wonderful book store in Madison. Rte 1 is a fun mishmash of boat yards, seafood shacks, and commercial businesses. Eating on the patio by the singing bridge (which was redone and I'm not sure how much it sings these days) at Bills Seafood is a summer tradition.

I used to like visiting Deep River, another small town a bit further up from the shore on the river. Right near by is Gillette Castle and is a unique historical spot. To get there you can take the Chester - Hadlyme Ferry which is just the cutest little ferry I've ever been on.
posted by rdnnyc at 8:34 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

What do you like?

The Daily Nutmeg does a nice roundup of New Haven events listings: link

The Olive Oil store is fun to visit because you can taste all of the oils.

This tea shop is lovely.

Group W Bench is an old head shop from the '60s: incense, hippie clothes, silver jewelry, b&w postcards, that sort of thing.
posted by xo at 9:12 AM on May 13, 2015
posted by sammyo at 9:24 AM on May 13, 2015

You can easily take a Metro-North train to Manhattan, if you are so inclined.
posted by tckma at 9:38 AM on May 13, 2015

Seconding the Peabody and Sleeping Giant State Park.

For food, check out Miya's if you're game for sustainable and inventive sushi
posted by mlo at 9:51 AM on May 13, 2015

Atlas Obscura is always my go-to on this kind of thing....enter "New Haven, CT" in the "near" search box (you don't need to fill out the "what" field).
posted by blue suede stockings at 10:02 AM on May 13, 2015

New Haven is so nice this time of year. I would still advise you to take care though, just because muggings are still common in the city even in Downtown near Yale, particularly in the late evenings.

A few really yummy eating places:
- Prime 16 (fantastic burgers)
- Zinc (upscale New American, but I always went for their cheese tasting)
- Caseus (cheese bistro)
- Maison Mathis (delicious pastries)
- Claire's (drool, the coffee cake)

Places to visit:
- East Rock (lovely park)
- Beinecke (nthing previous posters)
- Yale University Art Gallery (nthing previous posters again; great collections of porcelain, African art, and European 19th/20th century paintings)
- Campus/architecture tour of Yale (alternatively, if you just hang around near a residential college gate, a student will let you in, and the flowers will still be gorgeous this time of year)

Events! This would be my personal favorite. Yale has incredible events all year round (especially Yale School of Music, Yale Rep). Commencement events (this coming weekend) are usually open to the public and those are all amazing.
posted by hotchocolate at 1:10 PM on May 13, 2015

You don't really mention what you're into, but certainly New Haven has plenty of food to offer. Obviously the pizza places are what it's known for, but there's lots of other food too, including an awesome cheese-focused restaurant and my favorite breakfast place.

East Rock is a cute little neighborhood to go toodling around in, as well as an actual gigantic rock you can hike up for some stellar views of the area. The Yale Center for British Art is unfortunately closed for awhile, but quite a few of their treasures are on display across the street in the Yale Art Gallery across the street mentioned above. The nave at Sterling Memorial Library has also reopened after a long renovation and it is stunning.

There are all the picturesque little coast towns rdnnyc mentioned, and there's also a large outlet mall in Clinton, right next to Madison, if you're looking to do some cheap shopping. And depending on how far afield you're willing to go, in addition to New York, Providence is in day trip range if you're driving, and there is also the ferry at Bridgeport to Long Island, which is pleasant on a nice day.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:14 PM on May 13, 2015

Want to nth that if you are at all a pizza aficionado, it is V V important that you go to Sally's or Pepe's.
posted by holborne at 1:26 PM on May 13, 2015

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