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HartfordUnited States of America

Visit Mark Twain’s home city of Hartford, where restored Civil War-era mansions, museums and the country’s oldest park preserve the nation’s history.

Hartford is an almost 400-year-old city that has survived the ups and downs of America’s history. Explore the rich heritage of this destination that features some of the oldest institutions in the nation and the former residence of America’s beloved author, Mark Twain.

Start the day with a calming walk through America’s oldest public park, Bushnell Park. Located in the city center, this thoroughfare is decorated with graceful pathways, monuments to American soldiers and a huge archway crowned by two turrets. Relax under trees to escape typically hot and humid summers. In winter the park is often covered under a blanket of snow.

Walk to the nearby Wadsworth Atheneum to delight in more than 50,000 works of pilgrim-era and European art in one of the nation’s oldest art museum. Tour the exclusive rooms and stages of the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts or the award-winning Hartford Stage, then come back later to see a show. Both theaters host musicals, plays and orchestras several nights a week.

Many of the city’s restaurants and hotels can be found along the busy Asylum Street. Stop for lunch then walk to the nearby Mark Twain House and Museum. Here you’ll experience the living quarters of the famous author and see exhibits themed around his life. Take in more history at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Library or the Butler McCook House and Garden. Both restored mansions, they feature civil war-era art and antiques and large manicured gardens perfect for a quiet stroll.

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut. At the Museum of Connecticut History see excellent exhibitions on the colonial formation of the state. Take children to the Connecticut Science Center, where there are hands-on displays and a 3-D digital theater showing educational movies.

In the evenings take the family to the XL Center, which has performances throughout the year. In winter you’ll find a public ice-skating rink and shows on ice.

Stay downtown next to the Connecticut River. Rent a bicycle and ride along the banks of the picturesque river and grab a drink at one of many bars, restaurants and clubs.

Where to stay in Hartford

Connecticut Science Center featuring a garden

Downtown Hartford

4/5Very Good!(448 area reviews)

Unique features of Downtown Hartford include the theaters and live music. Make a stop by XL Center or Hartford Symphony Orchestra while you're exploring the area.

Downtown Hartford
Riverside Park which includes a garden

North Meadows

2.5/5(76 area reviews)

Unique features of North Meadows include the live music and theaters. Make a stop by Xfinity Theatre or Riverside Park while you're exploring the area.

North Meadows
Mark Twain House which includes signage

Asylum Hill

You'll enjoy the museums and churches in Asylum Hill. You might want to make time for a stop at Mark Twain House Museum or Mark Twain House.

Asylum Hill
Driving around Manchester and came upon this bridge and waterfall.

Center

When in Center, you can plan a visit to Manchester Parkade and Charter Oak Park, some noteworthy sights in the nearby area.

Center
Beautiful kayaking, hiking, biking. The Farmington Valley Greenway is always relaxing and pretty anytime of the year.

Collinsville

While there might not be top attractions in Collinsville, you can explore the larger area and discover places like Ski Sundown and Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area.

Collinsville
The Farmington river is perfect for kayaking and SUP, but before the paddlers get out, the still waters reflect the sky perfectly from this vantage on Bridge Street #Aquatrove

Canton Valley

Canton Valley might not have many top sights, but Ski Sundown and Flamig Farm are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

Canton Valley

Top Hotels in Hartford

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
3.5 out of 5
100 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT
The price is $87 per night

Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Connecticut Science Center, XL Center, and Connecticut Convention Center. Xfinity Theatre ...

3.8/5Good! (979 reviews)

"Very neat, clean, quiet. Great stay. I often evite stays at Holiday Inn"…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
HYATT house Hartford North/Windsor
HYATT house Hartford North/Windsor
3 out of 5
200 Corporate Dr, Windsor, CT
The price is $101 per night

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Windsor Arts Center and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (737 reviews)

"In spite of covid 19 precautions, I think breakfast is very poor"…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2020

HYATT house Hartford North/Windsor
Extended Stay America Hartford - Meriden
Extended Stay America Hartford - Meriden
2.5 out of 5
366 Bee St, Meriden, CT
The price is $63 per night

Situated in Meriden, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Saint Johns Field, Hunter Memorial Golf Course, and Giuffrida Park. Black Pond State Wildlife Area and ...

3.6/5Good! (394 reviews)

"In a crucial time, the room was immaculate. Very satisfied"…"

Reviewed on Jul 22, 2020

Extended Stay America Hartford - Meriden

Getting around Hartford

You can get a feel for Hartford’s atmosphere by renting a bike and cycling through the city center, which has a good system of paths and a public bike-share program. Otherwise, use the extensive network of bus routes covering the city; a free circulator bus runs around downtown. You can also walk around most of the center quite easily, taking in the historic architecture. Visit the Connecticut Department of Transportation website.Browse Hartford rental cars.

Best time to visit

Visit Hartford during the peak season, in the summer months, and you’ll find hot weather which often reaches the low 90s F (low 30s C), with high humidity and the occasional thunderstorm. Spring can bring more manageable weather, lower prices and smaller crowds. The same is true of fall, which also brings the beautiful changing colors of foliage. Winter is cheaper and quieter still, but often bitterly cold.

Popular places to visit in Hartford

Connecticut Science Center
Image for Connecticut Science Center

Connecticut Science Center

4.5/5(60 reviews)

Leave your textbooks at home and learn about science by playing, exploring and inventing your way through this interactive science center in Hartford.

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Image for Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

4.5/5(29 reviews)

While seeing a play or concert in Hartford’s historic venue, look up to admire one of the largest ceiling murals in the United States.

Mark Twain House
Image for Mark Twain House

Mark Twain House

4.5/5(143 reviews)

Walk in Mark Twain’s footsteps at the author’s beloved Hartford home. The museum next door will complete your Twain education.

Connecticut State Capital
Image for Connecticut State Capital

Connecticut State Capital

4.5/5(2 reviews)

After visiting Connecticut State Capital, make a plan to see the other sights and activities in Hartford. Experience the area's great live music or attend a sporting event.

Bushnell Park
Image for Bushnell Park

Bushnell Park

4.5/5(70 reviews)

Relax near the pond or take a ride on the antique carousel at one of America’s oldest publicly funded parks, located in the heart of Hartford.

Elizabeth Park
Image for Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park

4.5/5(82 reviews)

Breathe in the scents of thousands of blooms in one of America’s oldest public rose gardens, located in the heart of this charming park in Hartford.

Top things to do in Hartford

New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off
Image for New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off

New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off

$259
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Connecticut
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Connecticut

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Connecticut

$10
Per adult
Vacation Photographer in Hartford
Image for Vacation Photographer in Hartford

Vacation Photographer in Hartford

$250
Per adult
Survival Scavenger Hunt walking tours of Connecticut
Image for Survival Scavenger Hunt walking tours of Connecticut

Survival Scavenger Hunt walking tours of Connecticut

$20
Per adult
3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Connecticut
Image for 3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Connecticut

3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Connecticut

$10
Per adult
Hartford Bradley Airport (BDL) to Hartford City - Arrival Private Transfer
Image for Hartford Bradley Airport (BDL) to Hartford City - Arrival Private Transfer

Hartford Bradley Airport (BDL) to Hartford City - Arrival Private Transfer

$32
Per adult

Reviews of Hartford

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
124
5 - Excellent 28.637413394919168%
4 - Good
171
4 - Good 39.491916859122405%
3 - Okay
117
3 - Okay 27.02078521939954%
2 - Disappointing
15
2 - Disappointing 3.464203233256351%
1 - Terrible
6
1 - Terrible 1.3856812933025404%

4/5 - Good

Cindy

Jun 3, 2020

This is my hometown so, it was good to back home and see my family but overall i found this hotel and it was really convenient beacuse it was close by my familys house. We enjoy the stay.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Mar 10, 2020

Hartford is not your usual bustling city.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 3, 2020

The city has done a good job of updating the downtown including the train station signage and roads

4/5 - Good

Fay

Jan 22, 2020

First visit, pleasantly surprised by how nice the downtown is

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 18, 2020

Good restaurants downtown and easy to get around. A very walkable downtown.

4/5 - Good

NW

Jan 1, 2020

First Night in Hartford is a great time.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Hartford

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