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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Riverside Park is one of Hartford's oldest public parks and its location on the waterfront invites all for a relaxing stroll or bike ride next to the water. The series of four, 148-acre parks on both sides of the River are popular picnicking and excursion spots for Hartford's residents and the many people who work Downtown during the week. Visitors can use the boathouse for rowing along the Connecticut River, get permits to go fishing or during the summer months, and even attend one of the numerous events at the riverfront venue, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza.
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.
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.