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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.
One of the area's best restaurants, Black-eyed Sally's BBQ & Blues has barbecue, catfish, grits, fried chicken and plenty of other Southern favorites, all accompanied by live music. Open for lunch and dinner, this is one of the most popular eateries in the downtown area and a great place to "Pig-Out" (a dinner special that includes ribs, pulled pork and Andouille sausage). Be sure to get here early because it gets busy on weekends and game days!
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza is located in the heart of downtown Hartford and it is a popular recreational destination among locals and visitors alike. You can explore this park on foot, admire public art installations, take a boat tour on the Connecticut River, go fishing, and more. The stage at the edge of the bank comes with a picturesque backdrop and throughout the year (weather permitting), it hosts concerts and live performances.
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.
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.
Pamper yourself with some relaxing spa therapies as you visit the Victorian Day Spa. Touted as one of the best spas in the city, Victorian Day Spa is known for offering a wide range of spa therapies and beauty treatments to indulge in. Soothe those aching muscles with the relaxing full-body massages or nourish that aging skin by pampering it with rich body wraps, this spa has several options to choose from. You can even plan a spa party at Victorian Day Spa, which is just ideal for a bridal showers or relaxing birthday retreat with your friends.
Take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a relaxing therapy at Art of Touch - Therapeutic Massage and Skin Care. This day spa is known for offering some of the best spa services in the city. Pamper yourself with the nourishing skin treatments like the Gommage Marine treatment or soothe those aching muscles with a full body massage, you are sure to feel rejuvenated and refreshed after a treatment here. The friendly staff is well-trained and assures that you are in a good care. Besides the spa therapies, Art of Touch - Therapeutic Massage and Skin Care offers beauty treatments and energy therapies as well.