New Haven is not a big city, but its distinguished reputation is well-known across the country. For Americans, 'New Haven' connotes intellectual brilliance, colonial tradition and, sometimes, controversy. It is the home of prestigious Yale University, the charter for which was granted in 1701. Having suffered a decline in population and the economy from the 1960s until the late 1990s, the recent revitalization of downtown New Haven owes its success to the initiatives of both the local government and Yale's own property management programme, despite historic disputes between 'town and gown'.
Yale University, New Haven © Emilie Foyer
Today, New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut, but it remains steeped in history and elegance and retains the atmosphere of a much smaller town. It has more National Historic Landmarks than anywhere else in Connecticut. Walking along tree-lined Wooster Square, historic New Haven Green and the many leafy downtown streets, it is easy to understand how the 'Elm City' got its nickname. After visitors have taken in the beautiful vista of Long Island Sound and enjoyed hiking, biking and canoeing in the public parklands surrounding the city, New Haven's abundance of theatres, museums, music venues, restaurants, shops and nightlife options await. The Chapel Street Historic District buzzes with galleries, boutiques and bistros, and the newly redeveloped Broadway area is a shopper's heaven. The Shubert, Long Wharf and Yale Repertory Theaters are renowned for ground-breaking performances, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is the fourth oldest in the country.