[nggallery id=2]

Dear Class of 2014,

Welcome to Wesleyan (you’ll be hearing that a lot during the next few weeks). By the time your four years here are over, you will have been academically challenged, you will think about the gender binary when watching TV (or in any and every aspect of your life) and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to drop some Foucault during a dinner party in Brooklyn after you’ve graduated.

I know, four years seems like a long time – but it’s not. As a senior (gulp!) I wish I had gotten to know the area in and around Middletown sooner in my Wes career. So here are my top six (because five and ten are too obvious) list of things to do, see, and eat before you leave these hal- lowed halls and that glorious, sunny, and sometimes smoky hill. Warning: don’t leave all of this for senior week, you’ll be far too busy doing other things you will most likely regret later.

Yours truly, Lydia

Millers Pond

Millers Pond is the perfect escape when the mercury is rising and that little fan in your dorm room just isn’t cutting it. The large pond is the perfect place to take a dip and the surrounding trails make for a pleasant walk. Spending a September or May afternoon here is a quintessentially Wesleyan thing to do.

Address: Millers Pond State Park, Durham, CT

Distance from campus: 15 minute drive

Cost: Free, but put on some sunscreen.

Lyman Orchards

It is easy to forget the natural beauty of Connecticut when sitting in Olin or waiting in the omelet line in Usdan. But when the leaves begin to change color during the gorgeous New England autumn, it’s time to go enjoy the scenery and pick some apples. From Ida Reds to Golden Delicious, Lyman has many varieties of apples that will make the perfect pie filling.

Address: 32 Reeds Gap Road, Middlefield, CT

Distance from campus: 15 minute drive

Cost: Depends on how much you pick.

Vecchitto’s Italian Ice

Go! Go now! Put down this Argus and walk all the way down Washington Street and take a left to Vecchitto’s. Vecchitto’s is one of Middletown’s true gems. This small, down-to-earth Italian ice shop makes heaven in a small paper cup. The flavors range from almond (my personal favorite) to watermelon and they also serve gelato. The Italian ice is the perfect smooth texture and the flavors are just strong enough. But make haste, this local establishment is seasonal—it closes soon after Labor Day and doesn’t open again until Memorial Day.

Address: 323 Dekoven Dr., Middletown, CT

Distance from campus: A walk down the hill

Cost: One small Italian Ice costs $1.75. A large will run you $2.50.

O’Rourke’s Diner

Main Street Middletown is chock-full of restaurants and cafes, but O’Rourke’s stands out from the crowd as a hometown favorite that often has lines out the door.

Breakfast runs from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. so don’t worry about getting up early, but if you miss breakfast, be sure to order the house specialty, a steamed hamburger for dinner.

Address: 728 Main Street, Middletown, CT

Distance from campus: A walk down the hill

Cost: The Graduation Omelet (must be a Wesleyan graduate to order) will cost you $10.50.

Wadsworth Mansion

Every now and again, I day- dream about making it big and building my own palatial dream home in Middletown. Until that dream comes true, there is the lovely Wadsworth Mansion.

Tours of the mansion are offered every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the second tour of every month comes with a spot of tea. The parklands around the estate are worth exploring and the surrounding trails are excellent for adventurous joggers.

Address: 421 Wadsworth Street, Middletown, Connecticut

Distance from campus: 5 minute drive

Cost: Free

Wooster Street

This street in downtown New Haven is home to some of America’s best pizza. The rivalry between Pepe’s and Sally’s is legendary and the line at both pizzerias is always out the door. This year marks the 85th anniversary of Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria – here’s to an- other 85!

Address: Sally’s Apizza 237 Wooster Street and Frank Pepe 157 Wooster Street, New Haven, CT

Distance from campus: 35 minute drive

Cost: At Pepe’s a large original tomato pie costs $12.50.

Comments are closed