things to do in bridgeport ct

UB Bucket List — 10 Can’t-Miss Spots for Students in Bridgeport, CT

As you prepare to embrace the exciting world of college life, don’t forget that your university experience extends beyond the classroom. If your academic journey leads you to Bridgeport, you’re in for a captivating ride. Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern charm, nestled along scenic Long Island Sound.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a foodie, a nature lover, or just looking for a tranquil spot to unwind between classes, you have to check out these top places #OffCampus.

Be sure to read until the end to discover the best BPT #HotSpots as voted upon by UB students!

Seaside Park

Right in University of Bridgeport’s backyard, Seaside Park is a 375-acre park that offers a mix of scenic natural beauty and recreational amenities.

Frederick Law Olmstead, the architect of Central Park in NYC, designed Seaside Park to connect the residents of Bridgeport to Long Island Sound and all that the shoreline has to offer. Those looking for an escape from the demands of their busy lives have Seaside Park’s large expanses of lawn greens, trails, beaches, and the ocean to turn to.

Many UB dorm rooms sport scenic views of Seaside and the Sound. The music festival Sound on Sound happens in the park every fall, featuring some of today’s biggest acts and bringing in thousands of fans from across the region. Rumor has it that a few famous folks have dined at Marina Dining Hall during the festival!

With the creation of the new Seaside Gateway Trail, spearheaded by UB faculty and students, Seaside is even more connected to the city of Bridgeport and UB, with accessible walking trails and outdoor gathering spaces that serve as outdoor classrooms.

Beardsley Zoo

Photo taken at Beardsley Zoo courtesy of Susan Ferency, assistant professor and clinical coordinator for clinical chemistry and Phlebotomy, Medical Laboratory Sciences program.

Most people love a good zoo experience, but if you have a passion for wildlife conservation and perhaps hope to study Biology, you’re going to want to check out Beardsley Zoo. Beardsley Zoo offers an escape from the daily grind as you stroll through the outdoor exhibits. It’s the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo in Connecticut and is free to Bridgeport residents on Saturdays in the summer. You may even find yourself your next internship opportunity!

Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater

If you’re looking for a cultural hub that checks all the boxes for a vibrant entertainment scene, add the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater to your list of must-do things in #Bridgeport.

This state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor venue, located within a few blocks of UB’s campus, has a seating capacity of over 5,000 and hosts a diverse range of events, from concerts featuring top-tier artists to community gatherings and cultural festivals. The amphitheater’s acoustics are impeccable — ensuring you a memorable experience. If you’re a music enthusiast seeking an unforgettable concert night, the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater is where Bridgeport comes alive.

Best of all, University of Bridgeport hosts its commencement ceremonies here each spring!

Mongers Market

Photo by Kaylin Pacheco on Unsplash

A #Thrifter’s dream right in Bridgeport, Monger’s Market is where you can find those unique vintage styles that round out your personal aesthetic.

Whether you’re looking for dorm essentials to make your space reflect your personality or that perfect 90s leather jacket you’ve wanted since last year, chances are you can find what you’re looking for at Mongers Market.

For a $3 entry fee, you can spend hours combing through antique and vintage finds. Beware, though, they’re only open one day a week from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., so plan accordingly!

Fayerweather Lighthouse

Photos of the Fayerweather Lighthouse courtesy of Susan Ferency, assistant professor, clinical coordinator for clinical chemistry and phlebotomy, Medical Laboratory Science

The Fayerweather Lighthouse is just down the oceanfront from UB and Seaside Park, marking the entrance to Black Rock Harbor. This is the place to capture some Instagram-ready photos with the beautiful seascape as your backdrop.

#BridgeportHistory fact: Fayerweather Lighthouse has had two female lighthouse keepers during its more than 200 years of service. Catherine Moore kept the light on from 1870-1871 after her father passed away, and Mary Elizabeth Clark was lighthouse keeper in 1906 after the previous keeper, her husband, passed away.

Rootsman Kitchen

Self-described as a rustic, counter-serve Caribbean restaurant in Bridgeport, Rootsman Kitchen is just a stone’s throw away from UB’s campus at 500 Park Avenue. If you ask anyone at UB, from faculty and staff to students, about places to eat in #Bridgeport, chances are you’ll hear about Rootsman Kitchen.
They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, where you can enjoy Caribbean favorites including:

  • Calaloo
  • Curry goat
  • Oxtail
  • Jerk chicken
  • Stew peas
  • And more!

The prices are great, and the servings are perfect for sharing or saving for leftovers.

Milkcraft 2.0

Located at 4651 North Main Street in Bridgeport, Milkcraft 2.0 is a small-batch creamery inspired by the creameries of Italy. Every scoop is made to order using food-grade liquid nitrogen — which they say creates a smoother ice cream. They make their waffle cones fresh daily and offer all the artisan ice cream toppings you can imagine.

Their patio is open year-round with firepits roaring all winter long — because the best ice cream is worth it, no matter the temps outside! Take a break between classes and check out Milkcraft 2.0. They also make pints to go (and they deliver!).

Trap Chicken

One of Bridgeport’s best-kept secrets, you won’t find Trap Chicken on social media (and they barely have a web presence). Also located at 500 Park Avenue, you can order Trap Chicken in person or have it delivered for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are best known for their fried chicken, fried shrimp, and soul food sides like candy yams, collard greens, and Trap Mac and Cheese.

They are open for delivery until 10 p.m. every day but Tuesday — and who doesn’t want fried chicken six days a week?

What do UB students have to say about their favorite off-campus spots?

We went to Instagram and asked UB students about their favorite off-campus spots, and here were the top-voted Bridgeport hot spots:

  • Seaside Park
  • Rootsman Kitchen
  • Trap Chicken
  • Milkcraft 2.0

While we think UB is the place to be, it doesn’t hurt to have all the culture, entertainment, and nature you could dream of to make Bridgeport one of the most up-and-coming college cities in the northeast.

To learn why #UBelong at UB, visit e80.thearrangementlife.com/ubelong