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Top Things To Do in Hartford

By: Cityseeker
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Connecticut's capital city, Hartford, is a thriving hub. It is home to headquarters of several insurance companies and features a beautiful countryside as well as a bustling metropolitan area which is a testament to the city's progress.


The Mark Twain House & Museum

This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

One of the best museums in the entire country, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art houses some of the finest collections of European art. The museum walls are lined with Renaissance and Modern art, including work by Caravaggio, Lorrain, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, van Dyck, Monet, Van Gogh, and more. One of the most outstanding collections at the museum is that of the Hudson River School and late 19th Century oil and watercolors from local artists. Open since 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the United States.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Connecticut Science Center

The Connecticut Science Center is where everyone can immerse themselves in forensics, physics, astronomy and geology all while having fun at the same time. The stunning 3D theater, educational laboratories and over 150 interactive exhibits are sure to keep the kids as well as the adults amused. Parts of the venue can be hired for children's birthday parties, seminars and luncheons where catering is provided and the center also allows for overnight educational visits too.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Connecticut State Capitol

Since the American Revolution, Connecticut has had three Capitols; built in 1878, this angelic-white structure is the state's third and last one. Designed by renowned American architect Richard M. Upjohn, the gold-domed building was erected in the Victorian Eastlake Movement-style and constructed using marble sourced from three different East Coast states. The iconic structure's stunning main facade is embellished with a series of carefully-crafted statues that bear likenesses to some of the most influential politicians and historic citizens to have come out of Connecticut. The capitol building is currently home to the state senate and the house of representatives, while also maintaining the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Old State House

One of the nation's oldest state houses, Hartford's Old State House dates back to 1796. A Federal-style building designed by famed architect Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House has been restored on numerous occasions and has been on the list of National Historic Landmarks since 1966. The state house bears an assemblage of architectural influences, where a Federal Styled-facade gives way to a Victorian chamber and a courtroom awash in Colonial Revival style. Home to the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities, this regal, brick-hued edifice overlooks a pristine lawn, and lords over the sleek cityscape of Hartford. Even though it has not served the Connecticut government since the construction of the new State Capitol building, the Old State House is a stirring canopy lending insights into the history of the state.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is dedicated to the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it offers a profound insight into the life and times of this suffragette. This is the home in which Stowe lived from 1873 until her death in 1893. The house includes authentic, restored furniture pieces as well as souvenirs from her journeys around the world. A library, located on the grounds of the nearby Day House contains books, manuscripts, images and more. Visitors can also view eight Victorian gardens on the grounds of the estate as well as several special events held throughout the year.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Elizabeth Park Conservancy

Take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a few moments of relaxation at Elizabeth Park Conservancy. Operating since 1897, this beautiful park has been a place of interest for the locals as well as the tourists due to its charming gardens. The property spans an area of 102 acres (41 hectares) and is home to a heritage rose garden, horticultural garden, shade garden and four other gardens. Besides the lush greenery, it features four century-old Greenhouses verdant pathways, lawns and many more things to do on a sunny day. It also provides facilities for recreational activities like tennis courts, basket ball courts, picnic groves and many others. All in all you are sure to enjoy your time here.

West Hartford, CT, United States
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Bushnell Park

Take a walk by the lake, have a picnic, or ride on the vintage 1914 carousel that is housed in one of America's first municipal parks. Since the mid-1850s, Bushnell Park has offered citizens a comfortable place to unwind away from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown Hartford. On the registry of National Historic Landmarks since 1970, the famous Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch dedicated to those in the Civil War is one of the major highlights as well as the Horace Wells Monument and the Corning Fountain.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Cathedral of St. Joseph

Built as a replacement for the Gothic-style church that burned down in 1956, the majestically modern Cathedral of St. Joseph built in was built in 1962. The cathedral is beautifully adorned with stained glass, elegant bronze bells and ceramic-titled murals that surround the altar of this impressive edifice.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Center Church & Ancient Burial Ground

With a congregation founded in 1636, the Center Church is the fourth meeting house to reside on its current location with the present church built in 1807. The Center Church has always maintained itself as not just a religious icon of the city, but as a cultural one as well. Today, there are concerts and important city events, such as First Night, which are held on the grounds of the church. Also on the site of the church is Hartford's oldest cemetery, the Ancient Burial Ground, where its citizens were interred from 1640 to 1802. "Our Church is 375 years old; our thinking is not" is the motto of the 375 year-old house of worship and is one of the most progressive congregations in the state.

Hartford, CT, United States
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