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.

Known for

Family-Friendly, Entertainment and Live Music

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Where to stay in Hartford

Downtown Hartford
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Trover photo by Matt O'Neill

Downtown Hartford

Theaters, Historical Buildings, Culture

Downtown Hartford is a welcoming neighborhood. Part of the neighborhood's charm is its architecture. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the theater scene and live music.

Asylum Hill
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Trover photo by Deb Soromenho

Asylum Hill

Churches, Cathedrals, Museums

Asylum Hill is a welcoming neighborhood. The neighborhood has many charming qualities, its architecture among the more noteworthy.

Collinsville
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Trover photo by Fawn Murray

Collinsville

Collinsville is a neighborhood that welcomes all visitors.

Center
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Trover photo by Mickey Maust

Center

Center is a welcoming neighborhood.

Canton Valley
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Trover photo by Vijay Narasimhan

Canton Valley

Canton Valley is a welcoming neighborhood.

Top Hotels in Hartford

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
3.5 out of 5
100 East River Drive, East Hartford
$91/night
Aug 4 - Aug 5
3.8/5Good! (914 reviews)

"The pillows were so soft and the bed was so comfortable. Best sleep I ever had in a while."…"

Reviewed on Jul 7, 2019

Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
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Manchester Inn and Suites
2.5 out of 5
20 Taylor Street, Manchester
$54/night
Jul 22 - Jul 23
4.1/5Very Good! (893 reviews)

"Breakfast is good. Bed confortable, bedsheets and tower clean."…"

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2019

Manchester Inn and Suites
Image for Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Manchester Hartford
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Manchester Hartford
2.5 out of 5
191 Spencer Street, Manchester
$81/night
Aug 1 - Aug 2
3.8/5Good! (604 reviews)

"Sabina at the front desk was wrlelcoming and super helpful. At the end of our visit, she was like family. Will be staying here if i return to the area."…"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Manchester Hartford

Popular things to do in Hartford

Mark Twain House
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Mark Twain House

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

Bushnell Park
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Bushnell Park

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
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Elizabeth Park

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 activities in Hartford

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

$259

Leave Hartford behind for the Big Apple during a full-day trip to New York City that includes Amtrak transportation. Get your fill of some of the country's best sightseeing, shopping, and dining, with a convenient hop-on, hop-off bus tour included.

Operation City Quest of Hartford, CT
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Operation City Quest of Hartford, CT

$10

Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

Vacation Photographer in Hartford
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Vacation Photographer in Hartford

$31

Book a private professional photographer for a family trip, destination wedding, secret proposal or just a great day. Prices start at 8.

One Game of Zombie Scavengers of Hartford, CT
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One Game of Zombie Scavengers of Hartford, CT

$3

Can you survive the zombie apocalypse… Zombie Scavengers leads you into the city to collect supplies to survive during this interactive scavenger game. With the whole world in chaos and zombies outnumbering the living 10 to 1, small colonies of the living are doing all they can to survive.

Day Trip from New Haven to Philadelphia by Train with Lunch
Image for Day Trip from New Haven to Philadelphia by Train with Lunch

Day Trip from New Haven to Philadelphia by Train with Lunch

$339

Take a morning train to Philadelphia and explore all the exciting art, culture, and history the city has to offer. Your experience includes a convenient hop-on, hop-off bus pass, allowing you to make the most of your time in the city, as well as lunch at the famous Hard Rock Cafe.

Zipline off the Rooftop of Foxwoods Resort Casino
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Zipline off the Rooftop of Foxwoods Resort Casino

$69

Journey with us to the rooftop of Fox Tower, at Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 feet in the air. With 360 degrees of awe-inspiring view, and all the way to the Long Island sound! Feel the cool, crisp, air under you as you soar over the treetops at an average of 45mph.

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