Guide To A Three-Day Weekend In New Haven

January 25, 2014 8:00 AM

File photo of the Yale University campus. (Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)
There is more to the Elm City than Yale. It is an urban playground; a great place to spend a three-day weekend where visitors (or city dwellers) can eat well, party hearty, enjoy the arts and even get a little frightened by the spirits who by legend haunt much of the Nutmeg State’s signature city.

93 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 624-3373

Friday night should start with a hearty and unique meal in an historic yet also romantic restaurant – and Caseus on Whitney Avenue is both. A “Fromagerie and Bistro,” it is also arguably the number one cheese monger in the Elm City – with over 120 artisan and famous cheeses to choose from. Caseus also has a big and well-stocked wine cellar. That means diners can enjoy a fine meal in a casual yet charming Gallic atmosphere with French delicacies and vintage wines, or build a munchies meal from charcuterie and cheese boards. Best of all, they can purchase a selection of cheeses and accompanying treats (and wine) for a Saturday picnic in the park or, in colder weather, in their hotel room.

Long Wharf Theatre
222 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 787-4282

Friday night in New Haven is a great night to go the theater, and while there are many in town to choose from, the Long Wharf is always a good buy’ and a good bet. In January, you can catch “The Consultant,” a world premiere play by Heidi Schreck, and, in February, Amy Herzog’s “4000 Miles.” In other words, there is always something worth seeing at the Long Wharf.

Ghosts Of New Haven

It gets dark early in winter, and that is when the ghosts come out and play – and New Haven has plenty of them, at least according to the people who run the Ghosts of New Haven tours. From the gates of Yale to the alleys behind the historic Union League Café, there are spirits aplenty, from captains of industry like Cornelius Vanderbilt to gods of rock, like Jimi Hendrix, whom the guides swear can often be heard strumming his guitar in Woolsey Hall. An evening tour of these and other areas of haunted New Haven can jump start any Saturday night, and keep up the “spirit” of a three-day getaway in the Elm City.

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Toad’s Place
300 York St. #1
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 624-8623

Saturday nights are for partying to the music – and for dancing – and there is no livelier way to celebrate a three-day weekend in New Haven than spending the night doing all of that at the city’s legendary rock and roll haunt, Toad’s Place. A stellar venue for big name acts, tribute bands and up-and-coming performers and groups since 1975, Toad’s has always has somebody on stage. And just as it has been every Saturday since the place opened, Saturday is DJ Dance Party Night. While the cover charge for those who show up the night of a performance or for dancing is a bit high, those who plan ahead can order tickets for about half that price, and won’t have to wait to get in.  Well drinks are cheap, and for those who want to escape the main room, there is the Lilly Pad and the Rainforest Room, for a more intimate atmosphere for dancing and partying the night away.

Bella’s Cafe
896 Whaley Ave.
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 387-7107

After a weekend of dining, dancing, drinking, going to the theater and maybe seeing some ghosts comes Sunday morning. Breakfast or brunch on Sunday is a good way to get over Saturday night, and also gets Sunday off to a good start for the drive home. Bella’s Café claims to make the best pancakes in the city – and also has a stunning Sunday brunch. That brunch menu changes with the seasons and the whims of the chef. In December, for example, it included “Mistletoe Cinnamon Donut French Toast” and “Catfish Rancheros” to name just a few of the unique offerings.

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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at

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