Unofficial Orientation Series: Exploring In and Around Middletown

 “Come along with us! *clap clap* Come along to [Middletown]! Come along with us *clap clap* and wipe away your frown!”

MiddletownMainSt

As much as there is to do on Wesleyan’s always active campus, there’s even more fun to be had beyond the bubble. For all those times when the thought of another meal at Usdan makes you sick, when the Film Series isn’t playing your favorite film, or when you just need a change of scenery, here’s a list of some of the things Middletown has to offer.

Main Street

Did you know that in 2011, Middletown was considered to have one of the most romantic main streets in America? Well, whether or not you agree, there’s no doubt that Main Street is an excellent addition to our little college town. The food options here are top-notch and of all different types: Italian, Japanese, Thai, and more! There will be a post next week going more in detail about these eateries, but I’ll just give a quick shout out to the New England Food Emporium, which not only serves kick-butt breakfast sandwiches but is also just a really awesome place thanks to its old fashioned decor, complete with candy that even your parents will reminisce over.

Main Street offers a lot more than food though. For you history-philes, there’s the Middletown Historical Society. If you are in need of a faster way to get around and don’t have a car, Pedal Power may be the place for you to find a good price on a used bike. If working out on campus isn’t doing it for you, Yoga in Middletown offers 50% off to students and lots of classes. If you are in a literature class and you need some cheaper books, or you just love to read, check out the local used book store, Book Bower. There’s also the necessities: Rite Aid, the It’s Only Natural food market, and Amato’s Toy and Hobby Store.

Washington Street

Here, you’ll find more fun places to eat, including most of Middletown’s fast food options, and some places for essentials: a Price Chopper, a Home Depot,  some gas stations, a Verizon store and more. Also on Washington Street is everyone’s favorite Goodwill, some cool antique shops, and a few other little eateries (Nardelli’s has student discounts), some of which will also be elaborated upon in upcoming posts.

Surrounding Nature

There’s a lot to do in Middletown that’s not on the streets immediately on campus, especially in terms of enjoying the outdoors. A student favorite is Wadsworth Falls, which has a nice waterfall and some walking/hiking trails. A bit closer than that is Wesleyan’s very own Long Lane Farm, where students grow produce and enjoy the running trails immediately behind the farm. There’s also Middletown’s waterfront, home of Wes crew team races and a very nice view. Within driving distance are some more options including Miller’s Pond and Crystal Lake, which are great swimming spots in the warmer months. The latter is attached to Ron McCutcheon Park, which also has some nice picnic areas.

Other Cool Things to Do

You’re not outdoorsy you say? Don’t fret, friend. There’s still a bunch for you to do. For example, there’s Russell Library, a cool little place to check out books from. Also, about a five minute drive from campus is this awesome place called Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center that is full of thousands of things that you want but don’t need. I could be mistaken, but I think that they also had/have/or will have a haunted house. Either way, it’s a really fun place to go. And then, of course, there’s New Haven if you want to go to Yale or Pepe’s Pizza (and a bunch of other cool places).

Volunteering in the Community

And if all this isn’t enough for you – or not fulfilling your unbeatable urge to do good in the world – why not get involved in the community? Check out the Office of Community Services’ page to see some of the partnerships that Wes and Middletown have already established. There’s also the Center for Community Partnerships’ website, which has a huge amount of information on how students and the Middletown community collaborate on activities both on and off-campus.

Phew! We did it! Now to pelt you with links: