This is the third in a series of posts from Jessica’s Utterly Unofficial Guide to New Haven. Previous posts:
- The Utterly Unofficial Guide to New Haven: Events
- The Utterly Unofficial Guide to New Haven: Parks and Outdoor Spaces
Places or collections of places worth checking out in the Elm City. This part of the list is long enough that we’ll break it out into a two posts to make it easier to peruse.
- Leitner Observatory: The Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium is open to the public with open viewing hours on Tuesday nights and planetarium shows multiple times a week, including Sunday afternoons. It’s walkable from downtown, but a car, shuttle, or bike might be helpful to get there faster. http://leitnerobservatory.org/.
- Farmers’ Markets: There are five different farmers’ markets that happen around New Haven, each in a different neighborhood and at a different time. The stands accept cash, credit, and SNAP benefits. Most markets are seasonal, but the Wooster Square market (the first of the five to form) covers most of the year. Details and schedules can be found here: http://cityseed.org
- 360 State, Devil’s Gear, and the Elm City Market: 360 State is a recently-erected apartment highrise in downtown. It also houses Devil’s Gear, a favorite local bike shop, and the Elm City Market, a grocery coop owned by many members of the New Haven community.
- Thrift stores: In need of something vintage or just unexpected? Check out Fashionista, the English Building Market, or the Salvation Army, all within walking distance of downtown.
- Museums: Where some cities have a Starbucks on every corner (and don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of coffee shops), New Haven has a museum in nearly every neighborhood. Among those worth checking out:
- Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop: On the site where Eli Whitney (a New Haven native) constructed the first American factory in 1798, this museum and workshop focuses on experiential learning and hands-on activities.
- Yale Center for British Art: Houses the largest collection of British art outside the UK itself, and a landmark of architecture built by Louis Kahn. Free and open to the public.
- Yale University Art Gallery: Also free and open to the public, the YUAG has incredible collections of art from around the world. Check out the regularly-scheduled speakers, tours, and exhibit openings here and at the YCBA.
- New Haven Museum: Originally founded as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862, the New Haven Museum has its 150th anniversary this year. The museum has artifacts from across the city’s history, as well as private rooms of materials for researchers.
- Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History: Check out its dinosaur skeletons, mummies, and 11 million more items in its collection of objects from nature.
- Knights of Columbus: Located at the headquarters of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, the city of the organization’s founding, this museum has primarily Catholic artwork and historical artifacts.
- Trolley Museum: The Trolley Museum is located outside of New Haven proper, but it has a cool array of trolleys and streetcars from Connecticut.
- Artspace: Artspace serves as a regular art display space as well as the organizer and host of the aforementioned City-Wide Open Studios.
- Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library: Such a beautiful space. Such a beautiful Belle-worthy collection of books and manuscripts and art with meaning and history to lose yourself in. The famous authors in the Beinecke collection are too numerous to name, so you’re going to have to check them out for yourself in person, on the website, or on the Beinecke’s own social media feeds. Don’t miss this. It’s worth a visit for the marbled light alone.
- Creative Arts Workshop: CAW is not a typical museum, but it does have exhibition space and studios in its building. It’s most known for the 300+ arts courses it offers to the community every year.
- Farms: Spend time on a farm within city limits at the Yale Farm, Common Ground High School, or in partnership with the New Haven Farms non-profit. Bike to other CT farms on the annual Tour des Farms (http://www.ctfolk.com/tour.html) or find Pick-Your-Own destinations here: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=3260&q=399080.
- Restaurants: To list every great restaurant in New Haven would take a book. Fortunately, someone’s written one, and it’s called the Fearless Critic: http://www.fearlesscritic.com/newhaven. Alternatively, start with Yelp or the New Haven Restaurant Week list and work your way through. Louis’ Lunch (http://www.louislunch.com/) is a cult classic as the home of America’s first hamburger, as are the pizza places listed below for their historical significance. Don’t forget niche favorites like Miya’s Sushi and Mamoun’s, and be sure you’re up on the happy hour specials using Roammeo or other calendars.
- Pizza tour: New Haven’s pizza/”apizza” is on most tourist lists of New Haven. Traditional leaders include Sally’s, Pepe’s, Modern, and Bar. Try the mashed potato pizza, clam pizza, or just the traditional. And if you’re looking for more historical eating spots, try Louis’ Lunch, inventor of the hamburger.
- New Haven Food Tours: Choose from three different food tours to get a taste of all that New Haven has to offer. Details and dates here: http://tasteofnewhaven.com/events/
- Colleges: There are a bunch of colleges to check out in the New Haven area. These include Albertus Magnus College, Gateway Community College, Yale University, Quinnipiac University, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, and University of New Haven. Each one offers its own programs and events for visitors and residents.
- Live music: Cafe Nine, Toad’s, Bar, Firehouse 12 (especially for jazz), Olde School Saloon and Bistro, and Stella Blues are all regular hosts of live music during the week.
- City Hall and the County Courthouse: These two civic buildings are located on the edges of the New Haven Green. Observe court cases where possible, or sit in on Aldermanic meetings in City Hall.
- The waterfront: Walk along Long Wharf and the New Haven Harbor or travel to Lighthouse Point. You can also walk along the banks of the Quinnipiac River. Take a sunset cruise (or themed cruises for fireworks, kids, etc.) and BYOB and BYOPicnic for a great ride on the harbor on one of the available schooners: http://www.schoonerinc.org/public-sails.html.
Sections that are still to come: the rest of destinations and venues//how to get around//basic urbanite facts//get involved//email lists and more. Sign up here for email blasts from Roammeo that will include the new posts as they arrive! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get all of the updates. And download the Roammeo app to find the events going on in your city.
Happy exploring, part #3, and happy New Year!