Follow your nose to the most distinct district of downtown New Haven. Wooster Street was the center of New Haven's Italian community prior to the construction of I-91 and I-95 that rip right through the heart of the street. Today, Wooster Street is host to New Haven's finest and most renowned Italian restaurants, with the famous Pepe's and Sally's pizzerie. A few blocks up is the famed Lucibello's Italian pastry shop where you can taste all your favorite Neapolitan sweets. Wooster Street is the best part of town to explore and get a great meal.
Many would be surprised to find that one of the premier independent bookstores in the country, albeit a small one compared to the sheer size of many others, is located in Madison, just a 15-minute drive from New Haven. R.J. Julia has been the most unique and appealing independent bookseller in the area since 1989, with a small cafe and coffee shop as well as a huge area dedicated to children's books. Stepping into R.J. Julia is like venturing into a Victorian home, filled with books and trinkets galore. One of the best reasons to show up here is to hear one of the numerous, noted authors promote their latest works, and there is a book event nearly every day. Plenty of big names are attracted to this bookstore which caters to young and old, and will do its best to ensure you can get what you need.
Do you love shopping for antiques? Then head to Clinton, about a half hour drive along I-95 from New Haven and a little longer from Hartford to spend the day stopping in a variety of antique shops. The Clinton Antique Center is by far the largest, with about 85 dealers displaying quality antiques from silver spoons to sleighs. Enjoy poking through history and perhaps walking out with a piece of local heritage.
One of the state's best places to get an apple pie or pick-your-own fruit, Lyman Orchards offers fresh, local produce at great prices. There are a slew of annual events at the Orchards, starting with the Apple Hunt at Easter, where the Easter Bunny puts aside his candy for some healthy apples. During the summer months, there is the Sunflower Maze, and then if visiting in September and October, stop by the Corn Maze, which is spread across four acres of property. If golf is your game, there are two courses on the premises. You will never run out of things to do at Lyman Orchards!
Located only 20 miles (32 kilometers) from New Haven, Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets offers upscale outlet shopping with an impressive collection of 70 designer and name brand outlet stores. Enjoy savings of 25 to 65 percent every day from stores like Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Coach, Adidas, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and many more.
One of the best in the area, Evan's Toy Shoppe is a locally owned toy store. All the toys are hand picked by the owners to ensure that the selection is top notch in both quality and fun. Kids can pick out everything from baby dolls to blocks, card games, train sets, stuffed animals and everything in between. They also sell kids' bikes and tricycles and can personalize most items in the store.