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A Look Inside New Haven, A New York Times Honored Destination

Have you ever wondered how the Pulitzer prize winning, global journalistic powerhouse, national newspaper of record would describe New Haven, CT? Wonder no longer. “A home to tinkerers and rebels, and a treasure trove of contemporary art and architecture,” reads the billing of the 50th destination on The New York Times ‘52 Places to Go in 2023’ list. 

Each year, this curated and honored list highlights destinations around the globe which  represent the best in culture, dining, adventure, and community. This year, New Haven was honored alongside such diverse destinations from London to Palm Springs, Bhutan, Martinique, Auckland, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and Morioka. The theme for 2023, according to the New York Times, is the consumer’s love for travel, highlighting the industry’s rebound and revealing “the depth of our drive to explore the world.” 

So how did New Haven make the cut?

In line with this year’s theme, each of the 52 chosen destinations offer travelers rich local culture, stunning environmental experiences and historic architecture, authentic flavors on cutting edge dishes, and more. These destinations are enticing, inviting, and begging to be explored. New Haven is no different. In fact, New Haven falls perfectly in line. 

Here’s what sparked the interest of the venerable New York Times

The New Haven Preservation Trust, rolling into its 62nd anniversary, had the well-deserved opportunity to bask in the spotlight.  From renovations to educational projects, the mission of the Trust has always been clear – keep the legacy of New Haven alive. Another spotlight was shone on one of our newest neighbors, Hotel Marcel. With its prime location and modernist design, it’s a no-brainer for travelers, but more than that, it’s the first of its kind. Hotel Marcel is the first completely solar-powered, energy-neutral hotel in the United States. The hotel offers sustainable dining and an eco-friendly experience in the heart of downtown New Haven. Together, these local giants represent the thesis of New Haven – preserving the past, while welcoming, and promising, a brighter future. 

Another New Haven highlight in this story was NXTHVN, home to out-of-the-box thinkers and creative tinkerers. Founded by artist Titus Kaphar, NXTHVN collaborates with artists, art professionals, and local entrepreneurs to bring to life artistic creation in order to provoke thought. A long time New Haven resident, Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art, before going on to have his works included in the collections of notable museums across the country.  His work, Analogous Colors was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in June 2020, an issue honoring the life and loss of George Floyd.

Rounding out this snapshot of our city was the newly opened Villa Lulu, feeding locals and visitors delicious contemporary Italian dishes. Nestled on “Restaurant Row” in historic downtown New Haven, Villa Lulu’s bold and eclectic style comes together over a plate of traditional Italian fare, blending the classic with the avant garde. 

New Haven has always been a city of connections, and with this new honor, we welcome new faces into our home. The love for our city and the dedication to innovate and grow has elevated the New Haven name on a national, and now global, stage. Forever remaining a “place to go.”

This list is no “where to go January,” the chosen destinations stand the test of time, regardless of season. That’s why this year, we will continue to uphold and celebrate this new distinction, spotlighting our (more than) 52 reasons to visit New Haven. 

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photo credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times