Overnight: Explore Yale, Experience Downtown

Overnight: Explore Yale, Experience Downtown


Duration: Two Days, One Night


With Yale University at its heart, Downtown New Haven has it all. Intertwined with Yale’s historic, walkable campus of architectural gems, this classic small city is blessed with world-class museums and galleries, storied theaters, award-winning restaurants, unique boutiques, popular national retail shops, and so much more. Here are some great tips for a memorable trip:


Reserve your overnight stay at The Study at Yale. Located in a prime location on the Yale campus, this beautifully appointed boutique hotel combines the style of its scholarly surrounds with contemporary living. The Study at Yale provides comfort and unparalleled personal service to cultured guests and visitors of Yale University.


Checking in early? Get in some shopping! The Shops at Yale is a one-of-a-kind collection of over 30 unique boutiques and national retail stores like Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, lululemon, Warby Parker, and the Apple Store. Get your at Yale merch at Campus Customs and The Yale Bookstore, visit J. Press, a pillar of Ivy League style, or mix it up with unique fashions and affordable accessories at Lou Lou Boutique.


Settle in for the evening with a memorable meal at Heirloom at The Study at Yale, where Chef Seth Marino thoughtfully crafts ingredients curated from heritage growers and area artisan suppliers to deliver a taste of New England with the warmth of family gatherings. Your dining experience will confirm Heirloom’s belief that food and wine inspire extraordinary moments and lasting memories. Or, adventure out to dine among New Haven’s foodie-friendly array of enticing cafes, casual eateries, and award-winning restaurants.


Whether you stay in or head out, spend some quiet moments before dinner relaxing in The Study at Yale’s living room. Sink into a leather reading chair with a great book from the impressive collection of works authored by Yale faculty or alumni. You’ll find more creative and inventive work on display in the hotel’s Aisling Gallery, featuring a rotation of extraordinary exhibitions by Yale students.


After a restful night, wake to campus views, and prepare to seize the new day! Get a jump start at Common Grounds, featuring brews from beans sourced around the world and roasted locally. Or treat yourself to decadent donut, delightfully concocted by the brilliant bakers at Donut Crazy!


Looking for entertainment? It’s right around the corner, with cultural gems like the famed Yale Repertory Theatre and the Shubert Theatre, Downtown New Haven’s historic Broadway house. Plan some time to take in the world-famous collection and exhibits of The Yale University Art Gallery, or stop by The Yale School of Architecture Gallery to celebrate works of architectural genius. Travel back to the age of dinosaurs at the world-renowned Yale Peabody Museum, newly renovated and brimming with astounding exhibits spanning the history of our natural world. Visit visionary NXTHVN (“Next Haven”) to experience an impactful exhibit, program, or event celebrating original works presented by world-class artists of color and the next generation of emerging artists.


There’s always time for a quick snack! Head over to Ashley’s Ice Cream or Arethusa Farm Dairy for an ice cream interlude; or stop by Atticus Bookstore and Café, a New Haven institution blending its a wide selection of books with a European style café serving delicious sandwiches, breads, and soups. Or, go international: from classic American fare to cuisine the cruises the globe, explore an inspirational array of more than 35 restaurants within walking distance when you dine at The Shops at Yale. Many venues offer seasonal outdoor seating to enjoy the small-city ambiance!


Attractions: Yale Campus Tour, Yale Museums, Theaters and more!


Yale Campus Tour

Be sure to make some time to see Yale! As one of America’s most beautiful urban campuses, walking around Yale is like visiting an outdoor museum of architecture spanning a history of 300 years. Schedule a Yale campus tour or stroll Yale’s beautiful grounds on your own. For a head start, take a digital stroll with the virtual tour to help map your own path along Yale’s tree-lined streets. Here are some Yale campus must sees:


Secret Society Buildings

Can we tell you a secret? Yale is home to a number of secret society buildings, and many of their exteriors are right in public view! Among the first to be founded among Yale’s “ancient eight consortium,” were Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key, Old Wolf’s Head, and Book and Snake. As you walk the Yale campus, the secret to spotting these unmarked, unmapped locations is to look for large, windowless stone buildings that often resemble tombs.


The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

A stunning work of architecture, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscripts Library is home to a famous collection of the world’s oldest books, maps, and documents. Beinecke’s vast store of print antiquities range from papyrus artifacts to medieval manuscripts to the original mysterious Voynich Manuscript (yet to be deciphered), and much more. Designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and opened in 1963, this unique, cube-shaped building is clad in large “windows” of translucent Vermont marble panels. As the panels diffuse sunlight, protecting the books inside, the interior is bathed in a unique, warm hue. Public visitors are welcome in the exhibition hall on the ground floor and mezzanine.


Yale War Memorial Building

Take a moment to take in the curving, marble walls of Memorial Hall, inscribed with the names of over 1,000 from Yale who lost their lives in wars throughout U.S. history. Built in 1901 and recently refreshed, Memorial Hall’s impressive collection of engraved remembrances is accessed through the building’s elegant Rotunda. The Rotunda is also the shared entryway to Schwarzman Center with its cultural events, galleries, and Yale’s spectacular dining Commons. It’s also the access to Yale’s legendary landmark Woolsey Hall, a spectacular, 2,650-seat concert auditorium. Be sure to check public hours before visiting.


Yale University Art Gallery Tour

Filling three notable buildings and spanning one and a half city blocks, world-class Yale University Art Gallery is also one of the world’s largest academic-based museums, and admission is always free. Wind your way past more than 4,000 works on display inside, and step outside to enjoy the rooftop terrace and sculpture garden. From ancient times to modern day, the Gallery puts you in the room with ancient works from across the globe, including masterworks by van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, and more. To learn more about the Gallery’s astounding assortment of contemporary art and objects, join undergraduate guides for an interactive tour of the Gallery’s history, architecture, and global collection. Focusing on a handful of objects chosen to showcase both the permanent collection and special exhibitions currently on view, no two tours are the same! Tours are available on select days, check the schedule here. Can’t catch a tour? Download the Smartify mobile app (free from the App Store and Google Play) for an engaging guide to the Gallery’s collection and architecture.


Yale Peabody Museum

After more than three years of transformative renovations, the iconic Yale Peabody Museum is open and ready for your visit, admission is free! This world-renowned museum is home to over 14 million specimens and objects, including the world’s original Brontosaurus. Newly posed with a more scientifically accurate and dynamic stance, the gargantuan Brontosaurus skeleton dominates the famed Burke Hall of Dinosaurs. It’s a towering reminder you’re inside one of the world’s oldest and largest natural history museums. Part of Yale and New Haven for more than 150 years, the newly renovated Peabody has been reinvented for the 21st century to continue offering cutting-edge research, extraordinary education, and breathtaking exhibitions.


The Yale School of Architecture Gallery

Located on the second floor of Yale’s School of Architecture building, the Yale School of Architecture Gallery is open weekdays (except holidays) and on Saturdays. This intimate space celebrates the work of architectural geniuses across time and the globe, together with exhibits of works by Yale’s own inventive students! See the gallery’s schedule for its exception exhibitions program, founded in 1979 by famous architects Cesar Pelli and George Ranalli to provide a critical space for the continuing exploration of architectural ideas and discourse in New Haven and beyond.



Visit visionary NXTHVN (“Next Haven”) to experience an impactful exhibit, program, or event. At nonprofit NXTHVN, you’ll find opportunities to engage with original works presented by world-class artists of color and the next generation of emerging artists. Designed as a sustainable arts and community incubator helping to revitalize New Haven’s Dixwell neighborhood, NXTHVN has transformed two former factory buildings with adaptive reuse spaces and illuminates the streetscape with a modern glass façade creating soaring, light-filled industrial studio spaces. At this new, New Haven landmark, future artists are being fostered and professional talent is being celebrated. Learn more at NXTHVN.


Yale Repertory Theatre

A leading professional American theatre with an international reputation, Yale Repertory Theatre pushes boundaries with new plays and bold interpretations of classics. A champion of new works, Yale Rep has raised the curtain on well over one hundred premieres by emerging and established playwrights, including two Pulitzer Prize winners and four other nominated finalists. Seventeen Yale Rep productions have advanced to Broadway, garnering over 40 Tony Award nominations and 10 Tony Awards. The Tony Awards have also honored Yale Rep with a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With most shows taking place Friday night and Saturday, you’ve arrived at the perfect time! View The Yale Rep’s performance schedule here. Theatre lovers will also want to check out what’s on stage at Yale’s University Theatre, home to the Yale Dramatic Association, one of the oldest collegiate theatrical companies in the United States. The theatre is home Yale’s premier undergraduate production company and an incubator for many luminary members of the craft.


Shubert Theatre

In Downtown New Haven, the Shubert Theatre shares a history with the bright lights of Broadway. Since first opening in 1914 in New Haven, Shubert Theatre has played host to over 600 pre-Broadway tryouts, including over 300 world premieres and 50 American premieres! Shubert Theatre produces artistic programming of the highest quality to delight and educate diverse audiences with renowned artists of all cultures. You’ll find the magic of live theater, music, and special performances in Shubert Theatre’s beautifully restored theatre wrapped within a contemporary setting. Select your show from the Shubert Theatre performance schedule.