Middletown is a small college and business town on the Connecticut River about 15 miles south of Hartford. It is the southernmost city in the Knowledge Corridor region, an area featuring a relatively high concentration of universities and institutions, and about 120,000 university students. Middletown features a large variety of restaurants (3 Mexican places, 3 Indian places, 2 Thai places, a Tibetan place and uncountable Italian places.)
There is one major college - Wesleyan University - located up the hill from downtown but aside from the restaurants and bars on Main Street, there aren't many things for college students to do right in Middletown. Where are the bookstores? The import clothing stores? Well, there may be one or two but they're hiding. To find the heart of Middletown you've got to do a little snooping around.
There are excellent resources here for those with an artistic bent. The Buttonwood Tree is an intimate performance art space on the North End of Main St. Oddfellows Playhouse provides a start in the world of theater for kids of all ages. Then there's Kid City - sort of an exploratorium - a great place to take your kids on a rainy afternoon. And of course all the cultural offerings of Wesleyan University. A few years ago it was rated one of the 100 best art towns in America.
Middletown is also the home to Connecticut Valley Hospital, the major psychiatric facility for southern New England. So if you see a few questionable people on the streets, relax, they're outpatients and they're probably properly medicated.
By bus (via Middletown Area Transit), by car or possibly on foot. Main Street is lined with parking spaces and meters, a free two-hour parking lot on Washington Street behind Main Street Market and there is a medium-sized parking lot at Destinta Theatres. Traffic does get busy during the work day and around dinner time.
Amici Italian Grill Restaurant, 280 Main St, +1 860 346-0075. Casual chic, classic Italian food, romantic or business atmosphere. $10-20. Open M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-10PM. Accepts reservations for any size party.
Coyote Blue Tex Mex Cafe, 1960 Saybrook Rd, +1 860 345-2403.  Casual Mexican fare, great Margaritas served in 16oz mugs. No reservations.
Javapalooza, 330 Main St, +1 860 346-5282.  Cafe and coffee house features local bands weekly. Open Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Sundays. $4-$10.
Klekolo World Coffee, 181 Court St (across from the police station), +1 860 343-9444. Very cool independent coffee shop / espresso bar. Lots of odd college kids mixed with locals provides an interesting atmosphere. International coffees and based drinks. Teas - black, green or herbal. Open 1AM, 7-days.
La Boca Mexican Restaurant, 520 Main St, +1 860 347-4777.  Casual restaurant and bar serving Mexican foods and drinks in the Cantina. $8-12. The Restaurant is open Su-W 4PM-9PM, Th 4PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 4PM-10:30PM. The Cantina is open Su-Th 4PM-1AM, F-Sa 4PM-2AM. Double Happy Hour: Daily 4PM-6PM, 9PM-1AM.
Tuscany Grill Restaurant, 120 College St, +1 860 346-7096. . Open Monday-Thursday 11:30a.m.-10p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30a.m.-11p.m., and Sunday 4p.m.-10p.m. The lounge is open Sunday-Thursday until 1a.m. and Friday-Saturday until 2a.m. for drinks. Call for all reservations, any group and private parties of 10-100 guests. Tuscany offers fine dining and a chic atmosphere, serving Italian foods.
Typhoon Restaurant, 360 Main St, +1 860 344-9667. Thai and assorted Asian foods. BYOB. Open Monday through Saturday, 11a.m.-3p.m. lunch and 5p.m.-10p.m. dinner, closed Sundays. $9-$15.
First and Last Tavern, 220 Main Street, Middletown, CT (Meter parking on Main Street or a parking lot located behind restaurant.), ☎ +1 860 347-2220, . M,T: 11:30am-8:45pm; W,Th: 11:30am-9:45pm; F,Sa: 11:30am-10:45pm; Su: 10:30am-8:45pm. Italian cusine in a casual, unique setting. Pizza, pasta, salads and more. Known for their brick oven pizzas.edit
Inn at Middletown , 70 Main Street.  After a long absence, Middletown again has a major hotel to call its own, a 100-room inn converted from the historic National Guard Armory. Visitors no longer need to stay in Cromwell when they come in for Wesleyan Parent's Weekend.
Wesley Inn & Suites, 988 Washington St, ☎ +1 860 346-9251. edit
Best Western PLUS New England Inn & Suites, 2253 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin, CT 06037, ☎ 860-828-300, . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. A 15-minute drive from Middletown, Best Western PLUS New England Inn & Suites is newly-renovated and offers a complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. The hotel is easily accessible by the area's major highways, I-91 and I-84.$89-109. edit
Middletown is generally not a dangerous city, but the North end of the city can be a bit dangerous, especially at night. Also, Middletown is home to Connecticut Valley Hospital, which is the largest mental hospital in New England. Some of the patients are allowed to roam the city, but most of them are generally harmless and there have been few attacks by patients in recent years.
Although the Police Department is stationed on Main Street near and around popular restaurants, it is advised to walk with others at night and be aware of local gang members and area sexual offenders.
There are various towns surrounding Middletown, each providing a slightly different experience. Across the river is Portland. Which has many small delis and bakeries with a notable Italian influence. The next town over to the east is East Hampton. A formerly rural but increasingly suburban town offering Lake Pocatapaug as peaceful oasis during a hot summers day. Also bordering Middletown is Cromwell. More densely populated than Portland and East Hampton, Cromwell has more to offer in the way of restaurants, activities, and shopping etc... Explore the neighboring towns and you might find something that interests you!