Itineraries: Weekend Getaway

Itineraries: Weekend Getaway


Duration: 3 days, 2 nights



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:


Friday begins your weekend stay in the spirit of Yale and the artful world of New Haven, with a reservation at Graduate New Haven. The masterful hospitality minds behind this glorious boutique hotel have lovingly transformed New Haven’s storied Hotel Duncan into a tour de force of gloriously handcrafted interiors, by channeling its old-world past with nuanced nods to New Haven’s eclectic art scene and Yale Bulldog pride. Pet-friendly and offering delightful amenities, Graduate New Haven will make your stay a highlight of your weekend getaway.


After settling in, stop in at the hotel’s hidden gem downstairs, Old Heidelberg at Graduate New Haven, for a taste of history. Set in an iconic bar that operated continuously for 230 years, Old Heidelberg underwent a timeless transformation in 2019. Among its richly restored architectural details, enjoy locally inspired cocktails, expertly crafted; or savor a stein of beer with a heavy pour. Snack on popcorn freshly made all day or order up authentic German bar snacks like soft pretzels and bratwurst and sauerkraut. Fun fact: there’s a hidden message in the bar that only Yalies can decode. See if you can find it!


Hungry for more?  You won’t need to go far to dine well in New Haven, one of the best foodie cities in America. There are more than 35 dining options at The Shops at Yale, from casual restaurants like Shake Shack and Pokemoto to full-service dining experiences at Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant and Zinc New Haven. From classic American fare to cuisine the cruises the globe, explore an inspirational array within walking distance! You’ll also have your pick of plenty of places to dine al fresco and enjoy the small-city atmosphere.



Make your first stop a special visit to a Downtown New Haven institution and Yale favorite: Claire’s Corner Copia. Since 1975, Chef Claire LaPia Criscuolo has poured her love of cooking and baking into award-winning vegetarian cuisine using sustainable and organic ingredients. Pair an aromatic cup of coffee with a freshly baked muffin or scone, or tuck in to Claire’s tempting list of breakfast creations including omelets, tofu scramble, cinnamon-infused vegan French toast, vegan whole grain pancakes with warm fruit and pure maple syrup, and more.  Come back for more later! Claire’s Corner Copia is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring daily specials every weekend. It’s also one of New Haven’s only kosher-certified restaurants!


After breakfast, start shopping! Step outside of Claire’s onto Chapel Street and look to the left and the right: The Shops at Yale boasts a collection of curated boutiques right where you are. Find fine apparel, artisan jewelry and accent pieces for the home at idiom Boutique; or check out the edgy, fashion-forward women’s clothing and accessories meeting many styles and budgets at More Amour Boutique. dwell New Haven offers a great selection of Yale and New Haven merchandise, and you can head up York Street to the Broadway District to The Yale Book Store and Campus Customs to find more Yale merch, souvenirs and swag. Stop in at J. Press on Elm Street, a pillar of Ivy league style since 1902. Mix it up with unique fashions and affordable accessories at nearby Lou Lou Boutique. Be inspired by the original fashions for men and women at Neville Wisdom’s Fashion Studio, where head designer and owner Neville Wisdom produces his New Haven-based clothing label.


Be sure to make some time to see Yale! As one of America’s most beautiful urban campuses, walking 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.


Next, make the culinary highlight of your night an unforgettable dining experience at the award-winning Union League Café. Be sure to make reservations in advance of your stay for this incredibly popular venue, most recently named Connecticut’s best overall restaurant 2023 by Connecticut Magazine! Be prepared to be steeped in the old-world charm of a formal, lively Parisian brasserie; paired with impeccable attention to memorable food, wine, and service. Located in the Chapel Street Historic District, Union League Café’s Sherman building was designed in the Beaux Arts tradition by New Haven architect Richard Williams. Once a townhouse for industrialist Gaius Fenn Warner, from the 1880’s into the 1940’s, this city landmark was home to the private Union League Club. The site itself harkens even further back in New Haven history, as the homestead of New Haven’s first mayor, Roger Sherman—the only American whose name appears on the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.


What’s better than dinner? Dinner and show! Cap off your night with a live performance at one of our amazing theaters. 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 more than 40 Tony Award nominations and 10 Tony Awards. Yale Rep is also the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Most shows run Friday night and Saturday, so be sure to check out Yale Rep’s performance schedule.


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 and features renowned artists of all cultures. Find the magic of live theater, music, and special performances in Shubert Theatre’s beautifully restored theatre wrapped within a contemporary setting. View Shubert Theatre’s performance schedule here.


For a fantastic last stop, head to Loose Leaf Boba Tea, open late until 10:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends. Enjoy a delicious fresh quality tea made with all natural ingredients before turning in to get some rest before tomorrow’s adventure!



Wake up Sunday morning ready to explore more of Yale’s amazing architecture and rich history. First, grab a cup of coffee at Book Trader Café or Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea on York Street. Next, experience an impactful Yale educational journey with the insightful, self-guided Yale Special Topic Tour, “History of Slavery.” Developed in response to the findings of the Yale and Slavery Research Project, this walking tour highlights people, places, and moments in Yale’s history tied to slavery and its aftermath.


With your early morning complete, it’s time for unforgettable Sunday brunch! New Haveners and Yalies alike love to brunch at Pacifico, with its warm and welcoming Nuevo-Latino flair, popular mojitos, and cocktails; and at South Bay Mediterranean Kitchen and Sherkaan Indian Street Food, where it’s always fun to pair a delicious brunch with sparkling wines or cocktails.


Spend your Sunday fun day afternoon visiting New Haven’s free museums including Yale University Art Gallery and the newly reinvented Yale Peabody Museum; or turn to the pages of history at The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library on the Yale campus. Or visit visionary NXTHVN for an impactful experience at New Haven’s arts and community incubator.


Yale University Art Gallery

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. 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! 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 that you’re visiting 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 Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscripts Library

A stunning work of architecture, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscripts Library houses a famous collection of the world’s oldest books, maps, and documents. Beinecke’s vast 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 cube-shaped building is uniquely 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.



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.


Finally, here’s a parting fun tip for your trip: If you have about two hours to spare this weekend, explore Yale and Downtown New Haven with a Scavenger Hunt! You can start the 1.24-mile scavenger scramble whenever you’re ready, and the hunt includes eight stops. Along the way, your team will solve puzzles, complete challenges, and explore historic landmarks!