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8 Things to Do in New Haven, CT

There’s an adventure for everyone in New Haven—alumni reliving their glory days, parents visiting their students, and travelers in search of a piece of Northeastern history. English Puritans founded New Haven in 1638 and laid the town out in a grid, making it one of America’s first planned communities. Yet spontaneity is still the name of the game, since you never know what a day in New Haven will bring. 

Sip local beer, stroll through campus, or bite into local donuts, all in a day in New Haven. Take on the town with our eight favorite things to do, see, and eat, all within reach of Graduate New Haven.


College Street Music Hall

Variety is the name of the game at College Street Music Hall. This restored theater hosts everything from comedy to music groups, making it a favorite for anyone in New Haven in search of live entertainment. Catch big name groups in person or discover a new act to love. 

Built in 1926, the theater is as awe-inspiring as the performances themselves. Snap a photo with the old-timey marquee or the draped curtains, both true to the theater’s history. 

Insider Tip

Keep your eyes peeled for show announcements on Mondays and Tuesdays – that’s the best date to grab a front row seat to your favorite show!

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If you’ve never tasted farm-to-table cuisine with an Asian flair, let ZINC introduce you. This New Haven favorite has served up global flavors with local hospitality you just can’t beat. Sink your teeth into smoked duck nachos, Saigon beef lettuce wraps, and even burrata. 

For a heartier meal, don’t miss their Szechuan lo mein with duck confit or the Waygu burger topped with melty Grafton smoked cheddar cheese. Be sure to ask for a table by the window so you can enjoy your meal with a side of people watching. 

Insider Tip

The Saigon Beef Lettuce Wrap is the perfect small plate to kick start your Saturday.

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East Rock Brewing Company

This family-owned brewery is known for pouring the best German-inspired beer in New Haven. Their beer is always crisp, cold, and directly from the tab, making it a great way to blow off some steam or simply relax after a long day of adventure. Their traditional beer-making methods can be time-intensive for the brewer, but the payoff is all yours. 

Sip their easy drinking or Vienna-style lagers, or opt for a seasonal brew like their peach gose. Pair it all with a perfectly soft pretzel.

Insider Tip

Take advantage of our Beds and Brews package, it includes (2) full pour beers and (2) etched pint glasses with your overnight stay!

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The Shops at Yale

Shop, dine, and explore at The Shops at Yale, New Haven’s premiere outdoor shopping destination. Here, you can bulk up your wardrobe or replace pieces you may have forgotten at home, then dig into a mouthwatering meal or sip on a sweet cup of boba tea.

At the Shops at Yale, you can come for some shopping and stay for a show. Swing by the Shubert Theater for a touring Broadway show or see a brand new play at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

Insider Tip

Looking for affordable campus gear? Since 1975 Campus Customs has offered a variety of Yale University clothing and fan gear at affordable prices.

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Sally’s Apizza

In 1938, Salvatore “Sally” Consiglio set out to bring coal-fired, brick oven pizza to New Haven. Sally’s Apizza was born. Nearly 80 years later, Sally’s is still serving up New Haven’s favorite pizza piled high with melty cheese and toppings like pepperoni, onions, tomato, and basil. 

Opt for something traditional or test your taste buds with the white clam pizza or white potato pie, topped with potato, onion, mozzarella, and imported parmesan. 

Insider Tip

Order your pizza from our hotel lobby, jump in our pizza payphones by the front desk for a direct line to Sally’s Apizza!

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Donut Crazy

Donut Crazy says that their donuts are “covered in crazy.” Though here, crazy just means toppings and flavors that’ll blow your mind. Sink your teeth into slightly sweetened dough topped with Pop-Tarts, chocolate chips, and even a freshly roasted s’more. 

Don’t forget to balance the sweet with a little caffeine. Their cold brew, nitro coffee, and cold brew tea (all straight from the tap!) make the perfect pair for any of their donuts.

Insider Tip

Their gourmet doughnuts are prepared daily – get ’em while they’re hot!

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Atticus Bookstore Café 

Books and coffee come together at Atticus Bookstore Café. Their shelves are lined with books new and old, and their mugs are filled with rich coffee and other caffeinated creations. Pick up a bestseller or discover a new favorite, all over your drink of choice. 

New Haven has flocked to Atticus since 1975 for books, coffee, and a welcoming atmosphere. Simply buy a book or grab a table and stay a while—it’s all welcome at Atticus.

Insider Tip

Shop quality books and sip on locally sourced coffee, just steps from the hotel.

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Shore Line Trolley Museum

Ride on the longest continuously operated suburban trolley line in the United States. Though the trolley rides are one of Shore Line Trolley Museum’s best attractions, the museum actually strives to educate visitors on the trolley and other forms of mass transit. The museum itself is even on the National Register of Historic Places! 

Head to the museum and purchase a ticket before moving on to their indoor exhibits detailing the technology behind trolleys. Then move on to board a trolley tour of the Branford Electric Railway.

Insider Tip

Bring a picnic lunch to the picnic grove. This wonderful nearby attraction is fun for Motormen and women of all ages.

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