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Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale
155 Temple Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

48 Hours in New Haven

With Yale University at the center of the city—and only steps away from the Omni New Haven Hotel—it’s no wonder that this region is filled with rich history and stunning architecture. The university itself is home to towering buildings constructed in Gothic and Victorian styles, and the culture of the campus seeps into the lives of everyone in New Haven, offering art galleries, stage shows and more to enjoy. Off campus, the city’s up-and-coming foodie scene is complemented by numerous cocktail lounges and walking tours.

Omni New Haven Hotel will place you right in the heart of the action, and this special two-day itinerary will let you know where to wine, dine and explore in New Haven. 

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Day One

Morning

Since Yale is so close to the hotel, expect it to be the center point of many of your meals and activities. On your first morning, you’ll feel just like an Ivy League student while dining at Claire’s Corner Copia for a healthy cafeteria-style breakfast of organic oatmeal, an egg sandwich or whole grain pancakes.

If you’re in town for the weekend, head to Olives and Oil for brunch. The nearby Italian eatery offers a breakfast pizza, a prosciutto and melon Benedict, and an all-you-can-eat waffle bar with plenty of toppings in a modern space.

After breakfast is finished, pay a visit to Jordan’s Furniture—but not to shop. The store is known for the It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course, the largest in the world, comprised of more than 100 bridges, rope ladders, planks, cargo nets and swinging beams. The space is also home to zip lines, four climbing walls, a free fall jump experience and a Liquid Fireworks water show.

Spend the rest of the morning at the Knights of Columbus Museum, where world-class historical exhibits touch on topics like World War I, the Vatican and the 9/11 attack, through the lens of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization founded in New Haven in the 1880s.

Afternoon

For simple yet delicious Japanese fare, visit the sleek Miso. Only a five-minute walk from the hotel, diners can, of course, start with miso soup or with the spicy seafood variety. For the main dish, consider a variety of sushi and sashimi dishes or one of the restaurant’s 12 signature rolls.

If pizza is more your style, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is less than a mile from Omni New Haven, offering coal-fired pizzas with specialties like the white clam pizza, the margherita or the spinach, mushroom and gorgonzola. In addition, Foxon Park sodas like Kola, White Birch Beer, Gassosa and cream soda are served at the restaurant.

After you eat, head north to the Grove Street Cemetery for a tour of the grounds. Led by guide Darlene Casella, these free, one-hour experiences will take you around the graveyard, which was the first chartered cemetery in the country. The oldest grave dates back to the 1790s.

Another great option for the afternoon is a Taste of New Haven tour. During the Broadway Chapel Tour, walk the downtown area while learning about Yale University and the nearby architecture, then sample a variety of different cuisines like Greek and Turkish food before visiting local shops.

Evening

When dinnertime rolls around, head out onto the nearby streets to enjoy an upscale French dinner. One option is a visit to ROIA Restaurant for egg-yolk ribbon pastas, pan-seared duck breast, steak fries or a cheese plate put together by the chef.

Another block further, you’ll find Union League Café, whose French dinner menu is even more traditional, offering house-made Cornish goat cheese tortellini, slow roasted veal, Nova Scotia lobster with a lobster bisque sauce or baked escargot with garlic and parsley.

Venture over to the Yale campus after dinner and stop by the College Street Music Hall, which will give you a show to watch—possibly with big-name artists, but definitely with quality, state-of-the-art audio. Another option is to visit the Yale Repertory Theatre for shows like “The Prisoner” and “Twelfth Night.”

Day Two

Morning

When you wake up, head up to the 19th floor for breakfast with a view. Tall glass windows overlook the Ivy League campus below, but inside, dine on Omni’s signature Art of Breakfast buffet, with stations dedicated to fresh baked goods, eggs, meats, potatoes, fruit and yogurt. They also offer banana pancakes, smoked salmon toast, grapefruit brulee and an egg white frittata.

For something a little lighter, venture off the property to Atticus Bookstore Café. Feast your eyes while people watching out the storefront’s glass windows or opt to read one of the independent bookstores' quality novels while enjoying oatmeal, a breakfast sandwich, eggs with mixed greens or cranberry pecan French toast.

Today, make your way around some of the other offerings at the Yale campus—starting with a tour of the grounds. Learn about the history of one of America’s oldest and most respected colleges in a variety of different ways: General guided tours will detail the history of the university as well as different aspects of student life, but there are also prospective student tours, an mp3 tour, foreign language tours and a children’s treasure hunt. There are also self-guided tours in subjects like architecture, art, sustainability or women at Yale.

If your tour doesn’t take you there, make sure to stop by Beinecke Library while you’re in the area, where you can view rare books and historical manuscripts like the Gutenberg Bible.

Afternoon

Half a mile away, burger joint Louis’ Lunch will hit the spot after your walking tour. The family-owned restaurant is operated by its fourth generation (since 1895) and is recognized by the Library of Congress as the birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich. The restaurant stays true to their original classic hamburger made from a proprietary blend of five meats and only offers a few simple toppings— cheese, onion and tomato, exclusively.

If Mexican food is what you crave, another option is to dine at the hip Southwest grill and tequila bar Geronimo. Sip one of the numerous tequilas or margaritas on the menu, which happen to be the perfect complement for the braised short rib tacos, the buffalo chili nachos, the chicken tinga burrito or the pork relleno.

For the rest of the afternoon, it’s all about art. First up, the Yale Center for British Art presents pieces from the Elizabethan era through modern times. As the largest museum for British art outside of the U.K., it houses everything from paintings and drawings to sculptures and manuscripts.

Then, make sure to stop by the Yale University Art Gallery. Though not as specialized as the first museum, this gallery offers an equally impressive collection, with more than 200,000 artifacts dating from ancient to current times.

Evening

Head to the 19th floor of the hotel and dine at John Davenport’s at the Top of the Park. In additional to spectacular views, you will be treated to creative regional cuisine made from fresh products from the Hudson Valley to Prince Edward Island.

Or visit another local favorite for Italian-style cuisine at Tarry Lodge. Start out with octopus, pork belly or spicy, dry-cured coppa. Although the menu features house-made pasta and meats cooked over a grill, for the main course, it’s pizza all the way: burrata with pancetta, margherita, goat cheese, clams, prosciutto or many other options.

After dinner, enjoy a tour of the city with your favorite beverage. The Elm City Party Bike allows you to bring you own beer, wine, liquor or cocktails along, then takes you around New Haven, stopping a couple times for visits to bars, shops or museums along the way.

End the night down by the water with a show at the Long Wharf Theatre. Despite its small stature, this nonprofit theater has featured shows with world-famous actors and has earned various awards since opening in the 1960s. Examples of its productions include “Crowns,” “An Iliad” and “Menopause the Musical.”

If you have more time...

Do some shopping at The Shops at Yale, where more than 60 unique boutiques provide everything from jewelry and candy by the pound to books, home decor and hiking gear.

Another option is to visit nearby Essex, about 30 miles away, and get on board the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat. The tour begins in vintage train cars that gracefully roll guests through the scenic Connecticut countryside and ends with a ride on the Becky Thatcher riverboat cruising the Connecticut River.

The Omni New Haven Hotel concierge team and Market New Haven contributed to this article. Find out more at InfoNewHaven.com.

Building exterior in New Haven