New Haven, CT was one of the first planned cities in the U.S.A. a year after its founding by English Puritans in 1638, eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating the "Nine Square Plan". The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square at the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark, and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark. The city is named "New Haven", meaning "new harbor".
New Haven is the home of Yale University, New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer, and an integral part of the city's economy. Health care, professional and financial services and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.
The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. New Haven had the first public tree planting program in the U.S., producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave the city the nickname "The Elm City".
Places to Visit:
- Yale University; offers two world renowned art museums and the Peabody Museum of Natural History
- Shubert Theater
- Long Wharf Theater
- Knights of Columbus Museum
- Lighthouse Point Park
New Haven, CT has a humid continental climate with cold winters and mild to hot and humid summers. January is the coldest month, with average high temperatures in the mid-30s Fahrenheit and lows around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. July is typically the warmest month of the year with average high temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the upper 50s. The area receives an average of 43 inches of rain per year, with summer months receiving more precipitation than winter months. Snowfall is also common during the winter months, averaging about 40 inches each season.
New Haven is connected to New York City and points along the Northeast Corridor by commuter rail, regional rail and inter-city rail. The city's main railroad station is the historic Beaux-Arts Union Station, which serves Metro-North, Hartford Line, and Shore Line East commuter trains. Union Station is also served by four Amtrak lines. An additional station, State Street Station, was opened in 2002, providing passengers easier access to downtown New Haven. State Street Station is currently serviced by Shore Line East and Hartford Line trains, plus some peak-hour Metro-North trips.
The New Haven Division of Connecticut Transit (CT Transit), the state's bus system, is the second largest division in the state with 24 routes. All routes originate from the New Haven Green, making it the central transfer hub of the city. Service is provided to 19 different municipalities throughout Greater New Haven. Bus routes were formerly identified by letters, but as of October 8, 2017, all service was renamed using 200-series numbers, in accordance with a renumbering of CTtransit's statewide services. The CT Transit's Union Station Shuttle provides free service from Union Station to the New Haven Green and several New Haven parking garages. Peter Pan and Greyhound bus lines have scheduled stops at Union Station, and connections downtown can be made via the Union Station Shuttle. A private company operates the New Haven/Hartford Express which provides commuter bus service to Hartford. The Yale University Shuttle provides free transportation around New Haven for Yale students, faculty, and staff.
New Haven lies at the intersection of Interstate 95 on the coast—which provides access southwards and/or westwards to the western coast of Connecticut and to New York City, and eastwards to the eastern Connecticut shoreline, Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts—and Interstate 91, which leads northward to the interior of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont and the Canada–US border. I-95 is infamous for traffic jams increasing with proximity to New York City; on the east side of New Haven it passes over the Quinnipiac River via the Pearl Harbor Memorial, or "Q Bridge", which often presents a major bottleneck to traffic. I-91, however, is relatively less congested, except at the intersection with I-95 during peak travel times.
The Oak Street Connector (Connecticut Route 34) intersects I-91 at exit 1, just south of the I-95/I-91 interchange, and runs northwest for a few blocks as an expressway spur into downtown before emptying onto surface roads. The Wilbur Cross Parkway (Connecticut Route 15) runs parallel to I-95 west of New Haven, turning northwards as it nears the city and then running northwards parallel to I-91 through the outer rim of New Haven and Hamden, offering an alternative to the I-95/I-91 journey (restricted to non-commercial vehicles). Route 15 in New Haven is the site of the only highway tunnel in the state (officially designated as Heroes Tunnel), running through West Rock, home to West Rock Park and the Three Judges Cave.
The city also has several major surface arteries. U.S. Route 1 (Columbus Avenue, Union Avenue, Water Street, Forbes Avenue) runs in an east–west direction south of downtown serving Union Station and leading out of the city to Milford, West Haven, East Haven and Branford. The main road from downtown heading northwest is Whalley Avenue (partly signed as Route 10 and Route 63) leading to Westville and Woodbridge. Heading north towards Hamden, there are two major thoroughfares, Dixwell Avenue and Whitney Avenue. To the northeast are Middletown Avenue (Route 17), which leads to the Montowese section of North Haven, and Foxon Boulevard (Route 80), which leads to the Foxon section of East Haven and to the town of North Branford. To the west is Route 34, which leads to the city of Derby. Other major intracity arteries are Ella Grasso Boulevard (Route 10) west of downtown, and College Street, Temple Street, Church Street, Elm Street, and Grove Street in the downtown area.
Tweed New Haven Regional Airport is located within the city limits 3 miles east of the business district. Bus service between Downtown New Haven and Tweed is available via the CT Transit New Haven Division. Taxi service and rental cars are available at the airport. Travel time from Tweed to downtown takes approximately 15 minutes by car.