Hamden, CT is just a short distance from the more bustling city of New Haven and boasts a nickname of “The Land of the Sleeping Giant.” While it’s a small town, Hamden is full of a number of things to do, including museums, farms, state parks and great restaurants.
1.Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
© Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
The Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in Hamden, Connecticut is located on the campus of Quinnipiac University and highlights the Famine, along with its impact, through artwork. The Famine is interpreted at the museum through visual means, letting artists explore the impact of the erosion of culture and language, the leeching that occured of the land, and the loss of life. These artists are both those who work today and those familiar with the Great Hunger. One-hour guided tours are offered on Wednesday and Saturday with no reservation needed. Ireland's Great Hunger Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.
3011 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518, Phone: 203-582-6500
2.Farmington Canal State Park
The Farmington Canal State Park is home to a trail that runs through both Hamden and Cheshire, Connecticut. The trail is part of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail that travels through the state from New Haven to Suffield. The trail follows down the Farmington Canal, which formerly served the Hamden area back between the years of 1828 and 1847. The Farmington Canal State Park Trail is no used by joggers, inline skaters, strollers, bicyclists, walks, and other visitors who want to use the historic and scenic byway for outdoor recreational activities. There are four different trail access points in the area.
200 Mount Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT 06518
3.West Rock Ridge State Park
© Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com
The West Rock Ridge State Park near Hamden, Connecticut is a public park and recreation area. The park spans across the towns of Hamden, Woodbridge, and New Haven. The state park gets its name from the West Rock Ridge, a trap rock measuring four hundred to seven hundred feet. West Rock Ridge is a part of the area’s Metacomet Ridge that extends from the Long Island Sound all the way to the border of Vermont. The park features west-facing open cliffs spanning across seven miles and offering vistas that encompass the metropolitan area of New Haven and the surrounding suburban towns.
1134 Wintergreen Ave, New Hamden, CT 06514
4.Counter Weight Brewing Co
© Counter Weight Brewing Co
The Counter Weight Brewing Company is extremely passionate about all things beer, from brewing beer to drinking beer to sharing beer with others. The goal at the brewery is to always honor the longtime brewing traditions that already exist while also exploring innovative and new methods of brewing that highlight each ingredient that goes into the beer brewed at Counter Weight, as well as that delights palates with each sip. Beers offered by Counter Weight Brewing Co. range from hoppy American IPAs to German lagers to rustic Belgian ales. The brewery hosts events and food trucks throughout the week.
23 Raccio Park Rd, Hamden, CT 06514, Phone: 203-821-7333
5.Eli Whitney Museum
© Eli Whitney Museum
The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop, located along the Mill River, collects, interprets, and teaches experiments that are the origins of invention and design. The museum is more of a workshop for experimental learning for families, teachers, and students, rather than the typical contemplative, quiet museum atmosphere. Students and children can prepare kits in teams, assemble X-Wing Fighters, assemble toy trains, and much more. There are also things to do for adults as well who are visiting without children. The museum offers vacation and summer programs, birthday parties, and weekend walk-in projects for kids ages five to twelve.
915 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06517, Phone: 203-777-1833
© Hindinger Farm
The Hindinger family has a long history of farming the grounds of Hindinger Farm in the town of Hamden. The farm has been around since the year 1893 and the family today invites visitors to come and take in the amazing scenery, eat fresh vegetables and fruits, and have fun in the friendly atmosphere. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00am until 5:00pm and Sundays from 9:00am until 4:00pm, the Hindinger Farm is a open for guests to come and explore on a seasonal basis, typically from the beginning of May through the middle of December.
835 Dunbar Hill Rd, Hamden, CT, 06514, Phone: 203-288-0700
7.Johnson’s Duckpin Lanes
© Oleg Znamenskiy/stock.adobe.com
Johnson’s Duckpin Lanes has been operating in the Hamden, Connecticut community since back in 1955, offering a unique bowling experience for both visitors and locals alike. Visitors can come and experience what has made Duckpin bowling such a staple business in with the locals in town for more than fifty years. Johnson’s Duckpin Lanes is the only bowling center in the state of Connecticut that features synthetic lands, providing the most accurate scoring. Guests will find everything the need for a fun bowling experience, including twenty bowling lanes, a game room, and a snack bar.
2100 Dixwell Ave, Hamden, CT 06514, Phone: 203-248-1563
Mickey’s Restaurant and Bar in the town of Hamden is a great mix of comfort, ambience, and fine dining. The menu features a wide variety of dishes from throughout the world with influences from Italy and the Mediterranean. Happy House specials are offered at Mickey’s cocktail lounge and full-service bar as well. The freshest ingredients available are used for the dishes served at Mickey’s Restaurant, all made daily from scratch, and there is also a long list of specials are offered every day. There is also a room in the back that can be used for private parties.
2323 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518, Phone: 203-288-4700
© Luce Ristorante
Luce Ristorante, owned and operated by the Iannaccone family, offers an inviting dining experience in a stunningly renovated dining room. Guests can also take part in a dinner or just some drinks in the elegant cocktail lounge. The patio area at Luce Ristorante is open during the summer season for cocktails and dining as well. The restaurant’s wine list features more than one thousand wines spanning across five decades. The wine program at Luce is something that’s very important to the restaurant, and has been a recipient of the Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence many consecutive years.
2987 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518, Phone: 203-407-8000
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10.Eli's On Whitney
© Eli's On Whitney
Eli’s On Whitney boasts that it is a place where, if you’re a local, everybody knows your name. The restaurant serves casual American fare with a bit of a sophisticated flair. Eli’s is located in the heart of Hamden, Connecticut on Whitney Avenue and features a menu consists of fresh seafood and juicy burgers, chops, and steaks. Enticing appetizers and salads are on the menu as well. The 80-foot horseshoe shaped bar includes 23 HD televisions, sixteen wines offered by the glass, twenty-three different beers on tap, martinis, and a late night menu, making it a great place to hang out.
2392 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518, Phone: 203-287-1101
10 Best Things to Do in Hamden, Connecticut
- Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, Photo: Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
- Farmington Canal State Park, Photo: ArenaCreative/stock.adobe.com
- West Rock Ridge State Park, Photo: Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com
- Counter Weight Brewing Co, Photo: Counter Weight Brewing Co
- Eli Whitney Museum, Photo: Eli Whitney Museum
- Hindinger Farm, Photo: Hindinger Farm
- Johnson’s Duckpin Lanes, Photo: Oleg Znamenskiy/stock.adobe.com
- Mickey's, Photo: Mickey's
- Luce Ristorante, Photo: Luce Ristorante
- Eli's On Whitney, Photo: Eli's On Whitney
- Cover Photo: Town of Hamden, Connecticut