Walking Tours 2019

Experience the wonders and see the hidden treasures that make up the vibrant fabric of New Haven. The Festival is proud to work with community organizations to give you a glimpse of the city. RESERVATIONS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: Reserve your spot now through the tour page of your choice.

Check back as more tours will be added!

Make Haven

presented with Make Haven

A tour of New Haven's community makerspace with an opportunity to meet makers in action.

Westville Studios, Galleries, and Public Art

presented with the Westville Village Renaissance Alliance

The Westville section of New Haven is home to a thriving arts community. Join us for a walking tour of individual artists studios at West River Arts, the Kehler Liddell and DaSilva Galleries, and the public art projects in the district.

Orchestra on the Trail

presented with the Yale-China Association

Join us for a walk to the old district of Fair Haven, along the Mill River Trail, on an excursion for your ears. Be part of an impromptu orchestra on this soundwalk and experiment with sounds in unique spaces and places along the trail. Participants are encouraged to bring their own sound objects – a plastic bottle, a pair of bamboo chopsticks, balloons – to make big and small sounds on the walk! All ages welcome. Led by Alice Wong, Yale-China Association’s “HKETO-NY Arts Activator.

Hillhouse Avenue

presented with New Haven Preservation Trust

Tour Hillhouse Avenue National Historic District and discover why Charles Dickens described it as “the most beautiful street in America”, 150 years ago. Compare the restored, historic mansions to early drawings and photographs. Learn of James Hillhouse’s Arcadian vision for America, when he lined the street with elm trees in 1792 and its evolution from the first gas light to the ‘bluelights’ of Yale. Hear tales of the business, educational and social achievements of some of the residents, including two US Presidents. Led by Channing Harris

Lost in New Haven: An Adventure into the Elm City's Cabinet of Curiosities

presented with Lost in New Haven

Come get "Lost in New Haven" history with local artist and collector Robert S. Greenberg. View an ever expanding collection of New Haven's illustrious past with authentic artifacts and stories from the individuals and families who built New Haven from the ground up. Lost in New Haven is located in the city's first bus depot, a 1920s structure built during the last days of the trolley system.

Dockside tours of the Amistad at Long Wharf

presented with Discovering Amistad

Learn the history of the Amistad, the 1839 uprising of African captives as well as historic and present-day issues of freedom, equality and justice.

Luckey Climbers, Kid Architects.

presented with Luckey LLC

A guided tour by owner Spencer Luckey, chronicling the history and work of Luckey Climbers.

Fair Haven

presented with the New Haven Preservation Trust

The Fair Haven neighborhood was once a small village whose residents depended upon the tidal river nearby – the Quinnipiac – for their livelihood as oystermen, coastal traders, sailors, and shipbuilders. Over time, Fair Haven became ever more closely integrated into the city of New Haven, but even today, many of the historic homes and other buildings along the river recall the area’s maritime heritage. This walking tour, concentrating on Front Street north of Grand Avenue, will be led by Bruce Clouette, longtime Connecticut historian and historic preservationist. Led by Bruce Clouette

Explore the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

presented with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Tour of the offices of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, including a brief history of the Alberses and an opportunity to see some of their work. This pioneering couple met at the Bauhaus in the 1920s, emigrated to the US to teach first at Black Mountain College and then Yale.

Peeking into New Haven's Closet

presented with the New Haven Pride Center

A tour of some of the LGBTQ+ historic spots throughout downtown New Haven and Yale led by New Haven Pride Center's Founder and LGBTQ+ historian John D. Allen, Ed.D.

The Big Read Walking Tour

Take a walk to the different locations mentioned in The Namesake as part of the Big Read.

New Haven Industrial Heritage Trails: Ghost Town

presented with Yale School of Architecture

New Haven Industrial Heritage Trails invites you to explore a set of interpretive proposals for buildings and landscapes that reflect New Haven’s history as an industrial city - a city of factories, coal-fired power plants, railroads, and trolleys. The built legacy of this history is distributed across our city in different ways. Some buildings have been adapted and reused. Others remain dormant. Some are threatened by neglect. And in some cases, the buildings themselves are gone but have left traces of “ghosted” networks. Created by students at the Yale School of Architecture, our intention is to provoke public consideration of these places-what they have meant in the past and what they might mean for the future of New Haven-and to propose creative ways to mark these diverse and sometimes dissonant narratives.

Autumn Street

presented with the New Haven Preservation Trust

Autumn Street - Led by Charlotte Hitchcock

Yale's New Residential Colleges

presented with the Yale University Visitor Center

Tour Yale's newest additions to the residential college system, Pauli Murray College and Benjamin Franklin College. These beautiful new spaces were designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Ives Squared at the New Haven Free Public Library

presented with the New Haven Free Public Library

Join us for a tour of the New Haven Free Public Library's Ives Squared, a new center for innovation and collaboration at the main downtown library that opened last summer. As an anchor institution in the Elm City Innovation Collaborative (ECIC), Ives Squared is designed to inspire and augment the vibrant civic and entrepreneurial culture of the New Haven community with the Tinker Lab, a makerspace; the Exchange, for co-working, entrepreneurship, and small business development; the Switchboard, for in-person questions and information; and G Café Bakery.

Fair Haven Farm and Garden Tour

presented with New Haven Farms & the New Haven Land Trust

Join New Haven Farms and the New Haven Land Trust for a tour of the farms and gardens in the Fair Haven neighborhood.

Lincoln and Bradley Streets

presented with the New Haven Preservation Trust

Sandwiched between Orange Street and Whitney Avenue, the Lincoln/Bradley neighborhood is one of New Haven's hidden gems, offering peaceful, tree-lined streets and architecture ranging from the Greek Revival to Modernism, just a few blocks from downtown. Led by Chris Wigren