The best places around town to study for finals Maddie Phelps ’19 and Chelsea Fox ’19

As the school year comes speeding to an end, students are undoubtedly counting down the days to enjoy the warmth and fun of summer. Along with the end of the year, though, comes the dreaded final exams that require hours of studying and a great deal of motivation. Luckily for students, Westport offers plenty of places around town that allow for a refreshing change of scenery and a more enjoyable study session.

The Westport Public Library

The most popular place for Staples students to study is the Westport Public Library, located downtown, next to the Saugatuck River. Besides for the endless supply of books, the library offers a quiet atmosphere, study and conference rooms to rent and a cafe for students to relax.

Rachel Reese, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the library said, “during finals we try to put out more tables for students to come together and study. We extend our hours and we have great librarians who can support you when studying.” The extended hours allow students to have a quiet study space for a longer amount of time than other public spaces.

The library offers an abundant amount of tables on the main level (left) and conference rooms that can be reserved for a more quiet, private study space (right).
Students can also sit near the main entrance, where there is seating available and a cafe that offers a good variety of food.

Additionally, the library offers conference rooms that students can rent for a private space for in depth work. Not only does the library offer study spaces inside, but outside too. The benches and picnic tables located next to the Saugatuck River provide a place for students to study while enjoying nature. According to NBC News, Irina Wen, a clinical psychologist and director of the Steven A. Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone Medical Center said, “[Nature] reduces cognitive fatigue and stress and can be helpful with depression and anxiety.” The library has the perfect combination of opportunities for collaboration and separation while studying.

Students have the option to sit on benches located just outside the library, which offers a peaceful environment and scenic view of the Saugatuck river.

Green & Tonic

If you're not up for the typical, quiet studying zone that the library offers, another great study space is located right across the street. Green & Tonic, a fairly new addition to downtown Westport, is a shop that offers healthy smoothies and juices, as well as a bright space and comfortable seating.

Olivia DePallo, an employee at Green & Tonic, recognized why a place like Green & Tonic would attract high schoolers during finals season. “I feel like the fact that people can sit by themselves over there and not take up a whole table is good,” DePallo said. “Its nice to be by the water to study.”

Additionally, the store is on the smaller side and generally offers a quiet environment, making it an optimal place to focus on studying. Green & Tonic’s healthy food choices also make the store a great place for stressed students to cool down with a smoothie or a refreshing salad.


Starbucks downtown, just one of two Starbucks located in Westport.

While Starbucks might be your go-to place for a nice cup of coffee or latte, it’s most definitely a prime location for finals studying. If you aren’t a fan of studying in silence and prefer a bit of background noise with an iced tea by your side, Starbucks is the place to go.

Westport has two Starbucks locations, one off the Post Road and the other just minutes walking from both Green & Tonic and the Westport Public Library. Both locations offer free wifi, which is a huge bonus for studying where a computer is necessary. While the atmosphere isn’t as bright and cheerful as Green & Tonic is, Westport’s Starbucks certainly offer a comfortable and casual place to study with an abundance of treats and coffees available as well.

While the atmosphere isn’t as bright and cheerful as Green & Tonic is, Westport’s Starbucks certainly offer a comfortable and casual place to study with an abundance of treats and coffees available as well.

Aux Delices

The newly-opened Aux Delices has attracted people from all over town within its first couples months of business.

A new addition to downtown Westport, Aux Delices has proven to be a hit, despite the fact that it replaced the beloved Sono Bakery. Not only is the location convenient, but the seating is perfect for an intense study session. When the weather is nice and you want to soak up the sun, there is plenty of outdoor seating available to customers.

In addition to the vast number of tables available, the healthy food allows students to snack while studying. Aux Delices is another perfect place for any student who needs a public space in order to study and wants to grab something to eat while they’re there.

Barnes & Noble

If the library feels too quiet and you don’t want to spend your time in a cafe setting, Barnes & Noble offers the best of both worlds. With an abundance of seating throughout the large store, finding a table or a nice corner to get comfortable won’t be a problem. Besides selling books, Barnes & Noble has an impressive Starbucks that serves all the food your average Starbucks would. Seating is offered within this Starbucks area as well, so students can eat before, after or during studying.

Seating at Starbucks within Barnes & Noble.

If that kind of study space isn’t appealing, there are various sections of the store that students can utilize for work time. Amanda Cohen ’19 considers Barnes & Noble to be a great place for studying. “There are less people, it's quieter and the hours are better” Cohen said.

Although it’s not located in the heart of Westport, Barnes & Noble is right off of the Post Road and an easy destination to find. The peacefulness of the Westport Public Library combines with the comfort and pleasure of being in a cafe with a Starbucks in the store’s core.

While finals are every student’s worst nightmare, it should be assuring to know that Westport offers a wide variety of places to get comfortable, grab a bite to eat and crack open those textbooks before summer vacation finally begins.

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