17 Best Things To Do In Hartford, Connecticut

things to do in hartford ct

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, but that’s not the reason it is so popular! Hartford is actually where Mark Twain’s home and museum are, which is what makes so many people want to visit this beautiful city. While lush greenery and blue skies surround the sky-high buildings in the day, you’ll see a total contrast at night, with beautifully lit up buildings and the hustle and bustle of the traffic hour. Hartford is also known as the insurance capital of the world, because of the number of insurance companies that have set up their headquarters here. Are you heading to this amazing city for a vacation? Here’s a list of things to do in Hartford!

1. Awaken the history buff in you at the Mark Twain House & Museum

Sunset at the Mark Twain House.

Posted by The Mark Twain House & Museum on Monday, 23 April 2018

Mark Twain House & Museum is basically the restored house of the world-renowned author Mark Twain. This is the very house where he wrote some of his best works like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. You have to take the guided tour to actually enter the house, which is definitely worth it. While the museum is historical and interesting, the real star is Mark Twain’s house. Wouldn’t you want to see where the author of your favourite children’s books created all his work?

Mark Twain House & Museum

Address: 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

Website: Mark Twain House & Museum

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: 20 USD

2. Embrace science at the Connecticut Science Center

Opened in 2009, Connecticut Science Center is a nine-storey museum in the heart of Hartford! This museum believes in interactive learning, so there are over 160 interactive exhibits and activities for everyone to enjoy. With a 3D digital theatre that makes learning even more fun, this museum should be on your list of things to do in Hartford – especially if you’re visiting with your kids! The exhibits and events keep changing frequently; you can check the schedule on the website.

Connecticut Science Center

Address: 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: Connecticut Science Center

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 23.95 USD

3. Enjoy a free guided tour of the Connecticut State Capitol

Connecticut State Capitol, as the name suggests, is where the house senate and house of representatives have their sessions. This building is an architectural beauty – this Victorian gothic building with a gold dome! With some historical displays, free guided tours and beautiful interiors, this building is worth visiting. In fact, you can even walk in and around the Senate and House of Representatives chambers – something that most other capitol buildings don’t allow. You shouldn’t miss out on this!

Connecticut State Capitol

Address: 210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106

Website: Connecticut State Capitol

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: Free

4. Catch spectacular performances at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center

The Bushnell Performing Arts Center is a performing arts centre in the city of Hartford. This non-profit organization is known for bringing together the community using art and education. Various events and performances take place here on a daily basis – from musicals to parody’s, from live hip-hop concerts to comedy nights! You can check the schedule for the same and even book tickets on the website.

The Bushnell Performing Arts Center

Address: 166 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, USA

Website: The Bushnell Performing Arts Center

5. Unwind after a tiring day at Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park is a public park that is one of the most popular parks in the city. Spread over 102 acres (41.2 hectares), this park is enormous! This park has everything - you’ll see various gardens, an endless wildflower trail, one beautiful one as well as various sports grounds and sports facilities. You can head to this park for a walk, to play fetch with your dog or just spend a lazy afternoon with your kids. This park also has several rose gardens with over 800 types of roses!

Elizabeth Park

Address: 1561 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA

Website: Elizabeth Park

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 8pm; Sun: 9:30am - 2:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

6. Dig deep into military and industrial tales at the Museum of Connecticut History

Posted by Museum of Connecticut History on Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Are you a history buff? Then the Museum of Connecticut History should be on your list of things to do in Hartford! At this museum, you’ll learn everything there is to know about Connecticut – the history of the government, the history of the military and the history of industries. You’ll learn all about the growth and development of the state, see various artefacts and pictures and so much more.

Museum of Connecticut History

Address: 231 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, USA

Website: Museum of Connecticut History

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 9am - 2pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

7. Reignite your love for art at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, as the name suggests, is an art museum which is pretty famous around the world. This museum depicts art from various eras and genres, like European Baroque art, Classical bronzes, French and American Impressionist as well as ancient Egyptian art. This museum is actually one of the oldest public art museums in the US which have been operating continuously since 1844! If you have even the slightest interest in art, you have to go here!

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Address: 600 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm; Wed - Fri: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: 15 USD

8. Enjoy cultural shows at TheaterWorks

TheaterWorks is a theatre company that was founded in 1985! This contemporary theatre organises professional performances and shows which are relevant to the times and the audience. Think of this as an off-broadway style theatre which puts on some incredible shows. The plays are excellent, the direction is impeccable and the performers are professionals. To know about the upcoming performances or book tickets for the same, visit their website.


Address: 233 Pearl St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: TheaterWorks

9. Plan a fun day with kids at the Bushnell Park Carousel

About Jewish Immigrant Carvers The Historic Bushnell Park Carousel presents an exciting new program to be held on...

Posted by The Bushnell Park Carousel on Sunday, 14 April 2019

Bushnell Park Carousel was actually crated by Reverend Horace Bushnell, hence the name. This park has a wooden carousel which was created in 1914 – so yeah, this carousel is over a century old! If you’re visiting Hartford with your kids, then you should definitely take them here. Nonetheless, kids or no kids, this historic park is definitely worth a visit. Plus, you can get some nice photographs in front of this vintage carousel or just enjoy a merry ride. This park is actually one of the oldest state parks in the USA that was been publically funded.

Reverend Horace Bushnell

Address: 1 Jewell St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: Reverend Horace Bushnell

Opening hours: Wed - Sun:11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: Free entry

10. Marvel at the Gothic architecture of Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Posted by Harriet Beecher Stowe Center on Thursday, 15 November 2018

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is another historically important place in Hartford. This was originally the home of abolitionist and world-famous author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Now, his former home has been turned into a museum where you can enjoy a guided tour of the place. You will get to learn a little about her life, her work and then enjoy an interactive session with you guide where you can discuss the important issues of the 19th century. And of course, you can admire the gothic architecture.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Address: 77 Forest St, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

Website: Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

Price: 16 USD

11. Visit Cathedral of Saint Joseph for its astounding interiors

Congratulations to the graduates of Northwest Catholic High School and their families! Last night they celebrated their graduation at the Cathedral.

Posted by Cathedral of Saint Joseph on Thursday, 7 June 2018

Cathedral of Saint Joseph is a beautiful church. You should go here to admire the beautiful interiors, the stained glass windows which were crafted in Paris and have a look at one of the largest ceramic murals in the world. This church welcomes you to attend mass, irrespective of your religion or community. Visit the website to get a glimpse of what the interiors of this exquisite church look like!

Cathedral of Saint Joseph

Address: 140 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

Website: Cathedral of Saint Joseph

12. Pay homage at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Citizen Mira - us... used under CC BY 2.0

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch was created in honour of the 4000 Hartford soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. At a height of 80 feet (24 meters), this arch stands tall to remind the citizens of Hartford about their glorious history and their might fighters. A sight to behold, this arch should be on your list of things to do in Hartford. Don’t forget to pay your respects when you visit!

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

Address: 15 Trinity St, Hartford, CT 06106, USA

Website: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

13. Satiate your hunger pangs at ON20

ON20 restaurant is a fine-dining restaurant which is located on the 20th floor! With a view of the city of Hartford as well as the river, this restaurant has one of the best views in the city! This place is known for its delicious food which looks absolutely picture perfect. There is a separate lunch menu and dinner menu, so it is suggested that you book a table in advance. To do so, you can either call the restaurant or book a table online. You can even head there for a cocktail during happy hours and enjoy a seat at their beautiful bar.


Address: 400 Columbus Blvd, One State Street Building, Hartford, CT 06103, United States

Website: ON20

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 11:30am - 1:30pm; Wed: 11:30am - 1:30pm, 4pm - 7pm; Thu - Fri: 11:30am - 1:30pm, 4pm - 9pm; Sat: 5pm - 9pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 61 USD onwards

14. Make the most of the night at Pigs Eye Pub

‪ITS THURSDAY! $2 Coors Light Bottles and $3 CT Drafts All Night!!! #hartford #hartcity #bars #bartending #beer #craftbeer #cocktails #ctlocalbeer ‬

Posted by Pigs Eye Pub on Thursday, 4 October 2018

Pigs Eye Pub is a hot and happening local bar in Hartford. If you want to enjoy a fun night with the locals, then this place should be on your list of things to do in Hartford! This pub serves some delicious craft beer and has a great selection of alcohol and cocktails. With a few pool tables for you to enjoy a game or two, a patio for you to relax and drink a beer and with happy hours for you to make the most of your visit, this pub is nothing short of fun! Dance, drink a beer, play some pool and make some local friends!

Pigs Eye Pub

Address: 356 Asylum St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: Pigs Eye Pub

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4pm - 1am; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 2am

Price: 11 - 30 USD

15. Laugh your heart out at Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club

Posted by City Steam Brewery on Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club is located in the basement of City Steam Brewery. This is one of the best comedy clubs in the whole city. If you want to enjoy a night of live comedy accompanied by a few beers, then you should go here. Think of it like this – great beer, great comics and great laughs. You’ll get to watch some of the funniest comedians in the country perform live! Does a night get any better than this? Visit the website to buy tickets online.

Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club

Address: 942 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Website: Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club

16. Tap your musical energies at Hartford Symphony

Hartford Symphony is one of the best musical orchestras in all of Connecticut! Entering into their 75th season in 2019, this orchestra has clearly been around for a while. If you have an ear for music or you just want to listen to some great music during your visit to Hartford, head to this place. You can check out their website to see the list of upcoming events, and you can book tickets online for the same.

Hartford Symphony

Address: 166 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, USA

Website: Hartford Symphony

17. Tour the historic Governor's Residence

The Governor’s Residence, as the name suggests, is the official residence and home of the Governor of Connecticut. This building has been the official residence of the Governor of Connecticut since 1945. You can enjoy a tour of this place – the tour starts with a visit inside the Governer’s home followed by a tour of the beautiful sculpture garden. Fun fact, the sculptors in the garden have actually been created by 14 different sculptors!

Governor's Residence

Address: 990 Prospect Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA

Website: Governor’s Residence

What's on your list?

Source: Pixbay

It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting Hartford for the weekend or a whole week. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful and diverse city. So get ready to enjoy a fun-filled vacation with this long list of things to do in Hartford!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

A freelance content writer by profession, Anaanya is an avid traveller whose main goal in life is to visit as many new places as possible. Anaanya enjoys travelling, not just because of her love...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Hartford
Good things are meant to be shared!