Thanks to Barbara Malmberg of the Greater New Haven Ct. Convention & Visitors Bureau for providing this most helpful information. If you like to absorb up to date info “by tweet” you can follow https://www.twitter.com/visitNewHaven
Foliage.org: What are the projected dates for Greater New Haven’s foliage season?
Dates can vary depending on summer weather conditions. Generally the first or second week in October through the first week of November are when the foliage changes, depending on elevation. We recommend you check with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection prior to your visit. Connecticut Dept. Environmental Protection foliage map.
Foliage.org: Are there towns within Greater New Haven that are known for their autumn foliage displays?
Middlefield, the home of Lyman Orchards, is one of the towns that truly celebrates autumn. With a working farm, Lyman hosts a variety of events year-round but locals love the corn maze (usually open early September through the beginning of November), as well as pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and other fun activities. Special events are common with hay rides and other country favorites. lymanorchards.com
Foliage.org: What roads and highways in Greater New Haven are popular scenic routes for fall tourists?
Salt Marshes and Winding Country Roads
Coming from the New York / New Haven area, take exit 53 off I-95 north. Follow signs for Route 146 east. Route 146 is one of two designated scenic roads on your foliage tour and will bring you along Long Island Sound and into the town of Branford. Continue on Route 146 into Guilford, where you will come to Route 77, the second of the designated scenic roads on your trip.
Turn left onto Route 77 north and follow it through to the Guilford Green and all the way up through North Guilford and into Durham. Route 77 will merge with Route 17 north. Continue a short distance on Durham’s historic Main Street. At the traffic light at the Town Green, turn left, then left again around the green returning to Route 17 heading south.
Returning to the Route 17 & 79 junction, bear left onto Route 79 south. Follow Rte. 79 turning left onto Route 148. Go right onto Route 81 turn right on Route 80, then left back onto Route 79. Follow Route 79 into the center of Madison which is a left onto Route 1. From Route 1, go left on Wall Street and follow around to Route 79 again. Go right on 79 for entrances to I-95.
POINTS OF INTEREST: Shore Line Trolley Museum, Scenic Route 146, Stony Creek / Thimble Islands, Henry Whitfield Museum, Guilford Green, Guilford Handcraft Center, Scenic Route 77, Dudley Farm, Madison Center shops.
Merritt Parkway – If heading to New Haven from New York, consider taking the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15). The Merritt Parkway is one of the view roads listed on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places and it will make getting here part of the fun!
Foliage.org: Please describe any fall festivals or other public events that take place in Greater New Haven during foliage season.
North Haven Fair Large agricultural fair featuring animal and agricultural exhibits, entertainment, vendors, rides and food. Arts and crafts, petting zoo, pony rides. Enjoy live music and special attractions. 203-239-3700 northhaven-fair.com
Durham Agricultural Fair. Connecticut’s largest agricultural fair—is a weekend of fun. See top entertainment, crafts on the green, carnival rides and games and plenty more. There’s lots to eat, exhibits showcasing livestock, fruits, vegetables, art, baking, needlework, photography, and more. 860-349-9495 durhamfair.com
Apple Festival. The annual festival is hosted by the First Congregational Church, celebrates the days of yore with arts and crafts, food and entertainment. Free. West Haven Green. 203-937-3631 cityofwesthaven.com
City-Wide Open Studios, New Haven. During this annual autumn event— the largest of its kind on the East Coast— annual open studios weekends, more than 500 artists fling open their doors to the public to show off their work and provide a glimpse into the creative process. From painting and pottery, to collage and sculpture, artwork of every style and medium is on view and for sale. Map and main exhibition at Artspace. 50 Orange Street, New Haven. 203-772-2709
Sleeping Giant Park, Mt. Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT hosts a variety of hiking events. 203-789-7498 Sleeping Giant Park
November 8. Fall Hikers’ Hike A strenuous hike over rough terrain – experienced hikers only! 11am-1pm. Sleeping Giant Park, Mt. Carmel Avenue, Hamden. 203-789-7498 sgpa.org
5. Are there historic sites in Greater New Haven that are also known for their fall foliage displays?
Grove Street Cemetery: A National Historic Landmark, the cemetery was established in 1796, and is presumed to be the oldest in the nation with this type of grid layout and is the first chartered burial ground in the United States. Amongst the eminent people buried there are Eli Whitney, Noah Webster, Gen. David Humphreys, Roger Sherman, Charles Goodyear, Walter Camp and Bart Giamatti. Free one-hour walking tours every Saturday at 11:00am, late spring through October. Tours are sponsored by the Friends of the Grove Street Cemetery. Meet at the Cemetery’s chapel building immediately inside the Egyptian revival gates on Grove Street at High Street. grovestreetcemetery.org
New Haven Crypt: This unique historic crypt is located under the First Church of Christ on the New Haven Green bearing tombstones that date back to 1687. Tours: Apr.-Oct., Thurs. & Sat. 11am-1pm. Group tours by appointment.
Foliage.org: What are favorite tourist attractions of autumn travelers? What are some of the less well known but much loved attractions?
In Greater New Haven you can find yourself in the country or in the city with lots of outdoor activities to consider. Head south to the shoreline or north to the mountains, you’ll find a recreation trail for every “walk” of life. The trails allow for recreational activities such hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, and horseback riding. Check out the links to the many recreation trails available in the towns and cities in Greater New Haven, courtesy of the South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments (COG). visitnewhaven.com
Madison Mile Outdoor Sculpture – Downtown Madison
The sculptures placed in business courtyards and on the broad lawns of homeowners and businesses have attracted curious strollers. Youngsters are particularly drawn to the works, whether they are abstract or realistic.The largest concentration of pieces can be found at Scranton Park
Castle View Balloon Rides
The beautiful skies over central Connecticut can be seen in all their splendor on your majestic one-hour sunrise balloon flight. Based in Cheshire, Connecticut, Castle View Balloons has been providing hot air balloon rides since 1998. Pamper yourself with a champagne toast, a getaway vacation to a charming bed and breakfast and a magical balloon ride filled with the scenic beauty of New England. On a clear day, you can view Long Island and the rolling hills of the Berkshires. Relax, forget your hectic pace, and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime floating in the basket of a hot air balloon. castleviewballoons.com
1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford
Pick Your Own
Raspberries: Late Aug- mid Oct
Apples: Late Aug – Oct 22
Pumpkins: Sept 6 – Oct 31
Rte. 147 & Rte. 157, Middlefield
Pick Your Own
Apples: Mid Aug – Oct
Pumpkins: Mid Sept – Oct
Corn Maze: Aug 30 – Oct 26
835 Dunbar Hill Rd., Hamden
Special events June and Oct
BLUE HILLS ORCHARDS
141 Blue Hills Road, Wallingford
ROBERT TREAT FARM
Corner of New Haven and Merwin Avenues, Milford
9 am – 5pm (Closed Wednesdays)
The farmer’s markets listed below are generally open through October, depending on harvest and weather conditions.
Downtown Milford Farmers’ Market. Saturday: 9am-1pm. Free. 58 River Street, Milford.
Madison Farmers’ Market. Friday: 3pm-6pm. Free. Madison Historic Town Green, 26 Meeting House Road, Madison. 860-713-2500
Hamden Farmers’ Market. Friday: 12:30pm-5:30pm. Free. Town Center Park next to Miller Library, 2901 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden. buyctgrown.com
Fair Haven Farmers’ Market. Thursday: 3pm-7pm. Free. Quinnipiac River Park, near corner of Grand Avenue and Front Street, New Haven. cityseed.org
Clinton Landing Farmers Market. Friday: 3pm-6pm. Free. Clinton Landing Farmers’ Market, 48 East Main Street, Clinton.
West Haven Farmers’ Market. The quaint Green evokes a New England marketplace where passers-by can pick out homegrown fruits and vegetables. Thursday: noon-6pm, Saturday: 10am-2pm. West Haven Green. 203-937-3631 cityofwesthaven.com
Chamard Vineyards Farmers’ Market. Sunday: noon-3pm. Free. 115 Cow Hill Road, Clinton.chamard.com
Edgewood Park Farmers’ Market. Sunday: 10am-2pm. Free. Edgewood Park, Corner of West Rock and Whalley Avenues, New Haven. cityseed.org
Downtown Farmers’ Market. Wednesday: 11am-3pm. Free. On the Green, Church Street, New Haven. cityseed.org
Upper State Street Farmers’ Market. Saturday: 10am-2pm. Free. 1006 State Street, New Haven. upperstatestreet.org
Wooster Square Farmers’ Market. Saturday: 9am-1pm. Free. Russo Park, corner of DePalma Court and Chapel Street, New Haven. cityseed.org
Walking Tours of New Haven. There are various guided walking tours of the New Haven area. More info at New Haven CT Tours
7. Are there towns that are favorite destinations for history, literature, or architecture buffs, or antique collectors?
New Haven is a mecca for history, literary and architecture fans. Home to Yale University we are blessed with beautiful architecture, a Gutenberg Bible (resides in the stunning Beinecke Library) and a whole of host of historic destinations, including the New Haven Museum and Historical Society, Fort Hale Park, the three churches on the historic New Haven Green, Union League Café housed in the former home of the first mayor of New Haven, Roger Sherman and so much more.
New Haven is also the home to Cesar Pelli’s architecture firm.
8. What are favorite fall destinations or activities of families traveling with children in Greater New Haven?
Haunted Halloween and Pumpkin Patch trolley rides. Come in costume and join the fun! Shore Line Trolley Museum, 17 River Street, East Haven. Schedules, fees and more info: Shoreline Trolley
Planetarium Show. The Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium is open every Tuesday night for a planetarium show. Weather permitting there will also be public viewing through the telescopes in the observatory. Tuesday: 7pm & 8pm until 10/31, after 11/1 6pm & 7pm. Free. Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium, 355 Prospect Street, New Haven. 203-285-8840
Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum: Museum with over 80,000 items including comic strips, cartoon, Western, TV and advertising collectibles (from 1873 to present). Grounds include Cartoon Theatre, storybook stage, Western area, children’s playhouse, trivia games, scavenger hunts, Snow White wishing well, California Raisin and Gumby Museum. Animation art and fine art sculpture gallery. For hours see barkermuseum.com
Yale Peabody Museum: Visit the only museum in Connecticut with fossil dinosaur material on permanent display in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs. Also on view, the Pulitzer Award winning “The Age of Reptiles” mural plus outstanding permanent collections of prehistoric mammals, dioramas, birds of CT, human origins, cultures and more. Call for special events and children’s programs. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12-5pm. peabody.yale.edu
9. Please name a few helpful resources for discovering Greater New Haven inns, B&Bs and boutique hotels?
10. Anything else you would like to add to help visitors thinking about traveling to New Haven for the fall foliage season?
One of the great features of New Haven is the abundance of fine dining available. In the downtown area alone, there are over 100 restaurants within walking distance of the New Haven Green. In addition, no visit to New Haven is complete without a tour of Yale University. Meet at Yale Visitor Center, 149 Elm St., New Haven. You will get a brief introduction to the university and then you are free to follow your whims. Perhaps the Beinecke Library, the Peabody Museum, the Yale Art Gallery or Yale Center for British Art? Evening entertainment includes lively nightclubs and vibrant theater productions at the Yale Repertory Theater, Shubert Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. So, even if the weather is less than ideal, Greater New Haven can still be the perfect fall getaway.