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
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)
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!
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)
6. Dig deep into military and industrial tales at the Museum of Connecticut History
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)
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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!
Address: 990 Prospect Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA
Website: Governor’s Residence
What's on your list?
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!
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