New Haven is a great city to live in. I grew up here, went to college here, spent med school in NYC, and still wanted to come back to the Elm City for residency. Yale is a big part of living in New Haven and really shapes the culture of the city. There are two world class museums, The Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, just blocks from the hospitals with everything from Van Goghs to Hoppers to art of the Roman Empire. The Beinecke Rare Book Library has rotating exhibits from the collection, and the Bass Library has a café. My personal favorite quiet study spaces are the reading rooms in the stacks of the Sterling Memorial Library, the main library of the Yale system built to resemble a cathedral. The Yale Dramatic Association and the Yale Repertory Theater both offer a schedule of productions throughout the year starring student and professional actors. I missed Paul Giamatti in Hamlet, which got excellent reviews, and it’s still a sore spot with me. The University and the School of Medicine also have film societies that screen classic and modern movies on a weekly to monthly basis.
But beyond Yale, the city of New Haven has plenty to offer. There are plenty of great restaurants including Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, Chinese, and of course pizza, for which New Haven is famous. There is a restaurant week every year, which is definitely worth taking advantage of. Like every college town, there are places to go dancing and sing karaoke, and there are a plethora of coffee shops. The Shubert Theater is in the center of downtown and has many traveling shows as well as productions that are premiering on their way to Broadway. The Long Wharf Theater, located by the waterfront, always has an eclectic season of plays. I saw a production of Eugene O’Neil’s “Mourning Becomes Electra” there which was pretty fantastic. The end of every summer also signals the time for Shakespeare in the Park when the Elm Shakespeare Company presents one of Shakespeare’s plays in Edgerton Park.
There are also plenty of things to do outdoors in the New Haven area. The seasonal changes and foliage in this area are some of the finest in New England. Within the city limits, West Rock and East Rock are great places for hiking and biking. Sleeping Giant in nearby Hamden is also a great hiking spot. The Farmington Canal Trail stretches from New Haven to Massachusetts and is great for running, biking, or jogging with your dog if you’re lucky enough to have one. A little farther away in Branford, Stony Creek Harbor is beautiful for kayaking.
There are many great things to do and see in New Haven and in the surrounding areas of Connecticut. There are antique shops, orchards, amusement parks, casinos, and plenty of places to explore. And since Connecticut is such a small place, if you actually do everything there is to do in New Haven and find yourself bored, you can catch a train to NYC, hop a bus to Boston, or drive to Newport.
View Yale University Living in New Haven Website.