1. Blog
  2. New Haven Apartments
  3. Downtown New Haven
  4. 5 Must-Do Spring Activities
    in New Haven

5 Must-Do Spring Activities
in New Haven

Share:

As the ice melts and the plants defrost, you’ll begin to hear more bird song, see those flowers bloom and get ready to celebrate that spring has officially arrived! Spring in New Haven doesn’t only mean warmer weather. It’s also a great opportunity to get out and explore the glorious city and its green spaces.

Whether it’s your first spring in the city or your fifth, this list of must-do activities will help you have the best season yet!

Cherry Blossom in Wooster Square

A short walk from New Haven Green is Wooster Square, home of the famous traditional pizzerias, Pepe’s and Sally’s. A popular location all year around, Wooster Square isn’t only known for its Italian routes. Every spring, locals and tourists flock to Wooster Square’s Park to marvel at its stunning cherry blossom.

Every year (apart from 2020 and 2021), there is a cherry blossom festival that commemorates the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973. It’s become a very popular event that hosts thousands of visitors each year with live music and great food.

Although the festival is cancelled this year, you should still take a stroll over to the park around mid to late April and really capture the blossom in full bloom. It’s even included in National Geographic’s list of “Best places to see cherry blossoms in the US”. Mark it in your calendar, remember to fully charge your phone or bring a camera, and why not grab a pizza while you’re over there?

Take a trip to Lighthouse Point Park

A short bus-ride away is Lighthouse Point Park, an 82-acre space looking out onto the Long Island Sound. It’s sandy beach, nature trails, historical carousel, and bird sanctuary may seem more like a summer activity but spring is really the best time to enjoy Connecticut’s coast!

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the ocean waves and feel the sand under your feet before the summer crowds arrive. It’s warm enough to enjoy those beach picnics and weekend strolls by the coast.

From New Haven Green, you can catch the 206 bus and 25 minutes later, you’ll get to the park! With just short walk through the trees, you’ll come out to this coastal beauty. The carousel may only be open during summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day), but you can walk along the boardwalk and grab a snack from the Short Shack whilst you’re there.

Enjoy a spot of outdoor dining

Downtown New Haven is known year-round for its dining options. With the milder weather returning, outdoor dining is back on the menu and as we continue to social distance and keep safe, an element of normalcy is returning thanks to spring!

Whether it’s a morning coffee and a catch up with friends or a birthday dinner and cocktails, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants available with outdoor seating. My outdoor dining recommendations include:

Cafes

  • Maison Mathis (By Broadway’s Shops at Yale)
  • Orchard Café on the Green (enter through New Haven Public Library and sit on the terrace)
  • G Café Bakery (Public seating on Orange Street)

Brunch

  • Union League Café (Chapel Street with outdoor dining behind building)
  • Claire’s Corner Copia (Chapel Street)
  • South Bay (Mediterranean on College Street)

Dinner

  • Geronimo (Mexican on Crown Street)
  • Sherkaan Indian Street Food (Broadway)
  • The Trinity Bar & Restaurant (Irish pub on Orange Street)
  • Pacifico (Latin American on College Street)

Cocktails

  • Elm City Social (on College Street)
  • Geronimo (Again! amazing food and drinks)
outdoor dining new haven ct

Full Bloom Views from East Rock

Spring is a great time for a hike. It’s warm but not too warm, the birds and other woodland creatures are reemerging from their winter naps, and the views are breathtaking! My favorite hike for this time of year is through East Rock Park.

You can either walk up Whitney Ave from Downtown to get to the Eli Whitney Museum or get the 228 bus for 8 minutes. From there, you can walk across the bridge and up the path to the top of East Rock. It’s a beginner-friendly hike with easy-to-follow trails. You can go through the trees or up the road. Just watch out for cyclists and cars!

From the top of East Rock, you can see across the Long Island Sound and the whole of New Haven. If you want to see the trees blossoming, mid to late April is the best time to venture up there.

I’d recommend walking back down Orange Street to refuel at P&M Fine Foods. It’s an Italian Market with great sandwiches and salads made fresh to order at the back of the shop. They have outdoor seating too so you can rest up before walking back downtown.

Vintage and Boutique Shopping Downtown

Although spring is the time to tidy and clean, it’s also the time to refresh and renew! There are some vibrant and quirky independent shops downtown full of hidden treasures for your apartment and for your closet! Whether you’re into all things vintage or looking for something unique, New Haven has the stores for you.

One of my favorite stores to explore is EBM Vintage on Chapel Street. It’s a few steps from New Haven Green and is filled with houseware, fabrics, furnishings, clothes and some impressive house plants. Their vintage clothing area is called Civvies Vintage and specializes in clothing from 1900s through 1970s.

For second-hand books and a cup of coffee, check out Book Trader Café and spend hours looking through their towering shelves that are filled to the brim! There are more independent stores up Chapel Street including Merwin’s Art Stop and Dwell New Haven to browse on a sunny weekend.

Enjoy the delights that New Haven has to offer this spring. Get outdoors, meet up with friends and explore some of city’s hidden gems!