Hartford is a beautiful and capital city of Connecticut. This beautiful capital city was founded in 1635, making it one of the oldest cities in the United States. There are multiple destinations, landmarks, and attractions in this beautiful city that you can visit to make your trip memorable. You can start by visiting the farmers’ markets to meet and interact with the locals, buy local souvenirs, and even taste the local dishes. Additionally, you may visit the Mark Twain House and museum if you want to get an insight into the lifestyle in the city in the late 1800s and the personalities of Samuel Clemens, famously known as Mark Twain.
Further, if you are into arts, you should never miss visiting the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, where you will find some fine pieces of art. You may also get a chance to watch live proceedings of the General assembly by visiting the Connecticut State Capitol during your trip to this city. Moreover, are you a history buff? There are multiple destinations such as The Connecticut Historical Society and Museum of Connecticut history that you may visit during your trip to get more details and learn more about the history of this beautiful city. Are you an outdoor enthusiast who is nature-oriented? There are also amazing parks such as Elizabeth Park Rose Garden and Bushnell Park that you can visit to relax and converse with nature and stay away from the noisy and busy city environment during your visit. Besides, you should never fail to go cruising on the Connecticut river if you want to have spectacular views of the city, its landmarks and surroundings from the water.
This beautiful city of Hartford, Connecticut, covers an estimated 46.5 square kilometers with an elevation of 18 meters. The number of people residing in this beautiful city is estimated to be 123,088 as of 2019. There are several places in this city that visiting will make your trip memorable. Here are the ten best things to do in Hartford, Connecticut.
# 10 – The Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is one of the best places to visit if you are an outdoor enthusiast. During your visit to the Connecticut River, you can take a cruise that departs from the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza to explore this beautiful city and its surrounding from the water. Additionally, there are various fish species found in this river that you may get a chance to see during your visit. The multiple species include native brook trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon and large brown trout. There are also historical landmarks and pretty scenery that you will see while cruising on the Connecticut River.
# 9 – Farmers markets
A visit to the various farmers’ markets in Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the best ways that you can meet and interact with the natives better. Additionally, there are unique souvenirs sold by the various farmers in this beautiful city that you can buy during your visit. Some of the farmers’ markets in this beautiful city include Old State House Farmers Market, West End Farmers’ Market, Hartford Regional Farmers Market and Billing Forge Farmers’ Market.
There are multiple restaurants in the farmers’ markets that you can visit when hungry to taste the local dishes. The items you will find in various farmers markets in this beautiful city include vegetables, baked goods, meat, cheese, eggs, fruits, and many more. There are activities in some farmers markets such as live music too. The farmers’ markets are open during various days of the week and month.
# 8 – Wadsworth Atheneum
If you are into art and would like to view some fine art pieces during your trip to Hartford, Connecticut, then your destination should be 600 Main Street, where Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is located. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is one of the best places in the city that you can visit with kids. This museum of art was founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, making it one of the oldest public museums in the United States.
Additionally, the museum building was constructed in an impressive Gothic style, and there are more than 50,000 words in it that you will get a chance to see during your visit. Some of the major highlights at this museum include European collections such as the Italian Baroque painting, French Impressionists paintings, works by Caravaggio, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Rene Magritte, plus many more.
Moreover, an extensive collection of American Impressionists can also be found in this museum of art. You will also find more than 200 objects, including ancient glass, bronzes and the ceramic collection as part of the European Decorative art collection displayed in the cabinets. The museum is open daily except on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Official site: https://thewadsworth.org/
# 7 – Connecticut Science Center
If you are visiting Hartford, Connecticut, with kids and you are wondering which destination to visit to have some fun, then you should head to the Connecticut Science Center. Connecticut Science Center is located along the Connecticut River at 250 Columbus Boulevard. There are more than 170 interactive exhibits and activities for everyone that you can take on during your visit. Additionally, you can visit the Exploring Space gallery and see a moon rock, moon craters and many more.
Other galleries include audio, tactile and visual exhibits, plus many more. There are multiple indoor and outdoor activities that you can take on during your visit to this destination. You will also get more details on package topics such as cosmos, gravity, sight and sound, problem-solving and many more during your visit. The admission fee is $23.95, and you can visit this science center daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Official site: https://ctsciencecenter.org
# 6 – Connecticut State Capitol
There are multiple things for everyone in Hartford, Connecticut. If you want more details in relation to politics, achievements, and the region’s history, the Connecticut State Capitol is the best place to visit. This state capital is breathtaking architecture that was designed in the Eastlake Movement style and constructed in 1879. Currently, this state capitol is house to Connecticut State Senate, the House of Representatives, the Connecticut General Assembly, the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of the State. Additionally, there are multiple beautiful features in this High Victorian Gothic State Capitol that you will see during your visit. Inside this state capitol, there are stunning inlaid white and red Connecticut and Italian marble floors.
Additionally, this building also features stained glass windows that will fascinate you. There are also collections of historical artifacts related to the Civil war on the main floor of this state capitol that you see during your visit. Further, you may also get a chance to catch live proceedings of the General Assembly from the public galleries during your visit. There are no charges for visiting this stunning state capitol. You can visit the Connecticut state capitol from Monday to Friday between 8.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. The Connecticut State Capitol is located at 210 Capitol Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut.
Official site: http://www.cga.ct.gov/capitoltours/
# 5 – Bushnell Park
You can visit multiple destinations during your trip to Hartford, Connecticut if you are an outdoor enthusiast. Bushnell Park is one of the destinations in this beautiful city to visit with kids and friends. Bushnell Park was established in 1868, making it one of the oldest public parks in the United States. Additionally, this beautiful park covers an estimated area of 45 acres.
Some of the fantastic attractions within this beautiful park that you may visit include the Civil War Memorial, the Pump House Gallery, the Israel Putnam statue, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch and many more. Further, there are paths, a group of trees, a pond, a performance pavilion, a carousel and the Corning Fountain within this park.
Official site: www.bushnellpark.org/
# 4 – Connecticut Historical Society
This destination is a museum, library and research center. The Connecticut Historical Society is one of the best destinations in Hartford, Connecticut, to visit if you want to get detailed information about its history, people and culture. This is also among the best destinations in the city that you can visit with kids. Additionally, the historical society is located in an impressive 1928 Colonial Revival building that was initially a luxury home, and it was founded in 1825. During your visit to the Connecticut Historical Society, you will find more than 4 million diverse items ranging from textiles, furniture, clothing, manuscripts to diaries, prints, photos, tavern signs, children’s books and multiple tools.
Moreover, the permanent items you will find at this destination represent Connecticut’s comprehensive overview history for over 400 years. There are also more than 500 historic images, objects and documents ranging from the times of the original inhabitants, the Quinnetukut, to contemporary times exhibited on display that you will be able to see during your visit. The Connecticut Historical Society is located at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, Connecticut.
# 3 – Museum of Connecticut History
Museum of Connecticut history is also one of the best places to visit if you are a history buff. Besides, this museum is also one of the best places in the city that you can visit as a family. During your visit to this destination, you will find a range of permanent and temporary exhibits that showcase Connecticut’s government, military, and industrial history. Additionally, there are artifacts depicting the growth and development of this beautiful state that you will be able to see. Some of the collections housed in this museum include Connecticut’s original manuscripts of the Declaration of Independence and the United States constitution, firearms, portraits, political memorabilia like signs, campaign buttons, women’s suffrage banners and many more.
Further, you will also find a collection of American coins from the 17th century to date. Museum of Connecticut History is located at 231 Capitol Avenue, and it is free to enter. Last, you can visit this museum daily except on Sunday.
Official site: http://museumofcthistory.org/
# 2 – The Mark Twain House & Museum
The Mark Twain House & Museum is one of the fantastic destinations in Hartford, Connecticut, that you should never miss visiting during your trip to the region. During your visit to this destination, you will have an insight into the lifestyle in the late 1800s. Additionally, you will have details about the lifestyle and personalities of one of the fascinating authors in the United States, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), his wife Olivia “Livy”, and their family who lived there between 1874 and 1891.
At this house and museum is where Mark Twain was living when he wrote some of his notable works such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince, and The Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court at the renowned Billiard Room where you will get a chance to tour. Further, you will get to tour the Twain’s library, the children’s room and other places around the house during your visit. You will also get the chance to admire the breathtaking Victorian Gothic Style in which this house & museum was built.
In addition, there are permanent and rotating exhibits that you will see during your visit to this destination. The Mark Twain House & Museum is located at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut. You can visit this destination daily between 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.
Official site: http://www.marktwainhouse.org/
# 1 – Elizabeth Park Rose Garden
Elizabeth Park Rose Garden is a great destination to visit if you are an outdoor enthusiast who is nature-oriented. Additionally, this destination is a great place to visit if you want to stay away from the busy and noisy city to converse with nature. This is also among the best places in Harford that you can visit with kids. This beautiful park and rose garden cover around 102 acres making it one of the most extensive rose gardens in the country. There are more than 15,000 rose bushes that represent around 800 varieties in this park. Some of the rose varieties you will see during your visit include hybrid tea, climbers, hybrid perpetual, floribunda, shrub and pillar.
When the flowers bloom, they provide beautiful scenery in the park for photography. There are also greenhouses, lawns, pathways, ponds and tennis courts in this park. Further, there are fantastic picnic spots for picnicking, even as a family in this park. Activities like ice skating are open in this park and rose garden if you visit during winter. There are no charges for entering this park. The garden is located at 1561 Asylum Ave, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Finally, you can visit this destination daily except on Mondays.
Official site: http://elizabethparkct.org/rose-garden.html