New Haven, also known as the Elm City, is called the "cultural capitol of Connecticut" for a good reason: a long-standing commitment to the arts that continues to flourish in the 21st century. This itinerary is geared towards those who like to experience art, culture and history up close and personal -- there are no expensive entrance fees here, and you don't have to be a Yale student to know where the best art -- and coffee -- is. New Haven is a small coastal city waiting to be explored on foot or on bike. Having a car will make things easier for spin-off sites, but the public bus system can serve this need too.
Smack dab between New York City and Boston, directly on I-95 and accessible from the Merritt Parkway, Amtrak and Metro-North, New Haven is easy to get to and offers a great array of art, culture and history in a small space. From traditional and incomparable British and European paintings, to the science of paleontology to the contemporary art scene, there is something for everyone in New Haven. The Elm City's history goes back 375 years and there are historic sites of religious, civic, archaeological and architectural significance to see as well.
This itinerary also offers great places to take coffee or tea and have lunch and dinner because visitors need to stop to refuel -- and reflect on their discoveries. Due to its combination of "town" and "gown" sensibilities, there are significant historic food traditions like New Haven pizza, but also the international flavors of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and East Asia are found here in abundance too.
Add to all of this plenty of places to shop, attend the theater or a music performance and I think you'll find that New Haven really is the perfect small city. Welcome to the Elm City!