Places to Visit

Historic Sites

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center | view site

Twain’s neighbor and a fellow literary giant, Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Her home is open for tours directly across the lawn from The Mark Twain House.

The Old State House | view site

A National Historic Landmark located in downtown Hartford, The Old State House was the site of the signing of the first written constitution in American history and the famed Amistad trials.

Connecticut Landmarks | view site

History lovers and fans of architecture will not want to miss a visit to any one of Connecticut Landmarks’ dozen historic structures. While in Hartford, be sure to visit the lovely restored Butler-McCook House located right on Main Street.

Hartford Public Library | view site

Hartford’s flagship library located in the heart of the city houses an impressive collection of historic documents and art gallery spaces.

Connecticut State Capitol | view site

No visit to Hartford would be complete without a visit to the breathtaking state capitol building. Regular tours are offered highlighting the history and art of this national treasure.

Museum of Connecticut State History | view site

Packed with artifacts, paintings and an impressive collection of Colt firearms memorabilia, this hidden gem located in the State Library is well worth a visit.

Connecticut Historical Society | view site

Take in the depth and breadth of the Nutmeg State’s rich history when you visit the impressive collection of the Connecticut Historical Society nestled among the Victorian homes of Hartford’s West End.

Visual Arts

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art | view site

America’s oldest public art museum contains one of the finest collections of visual art in the country, ranging from classic masterworks by Picasso and Caravaggio, to modern art by Dali and Warhol, to cutting-edge contemporary art in the Matrix Gallery.

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture | view site

One of the finest collections of African American art and artifacts, the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s collection is housed and on view in a variety of exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Real Art Ways | view site

Hartford’s home for genre-bursting art, film and performance, Real Art Ways (also known as “RAW”) is on the cutting-edge of what’s hot in the art world.

The Gallery of American Art @ City Arts on Pearl | view site

This street-level gallery on Pearl features highlights from the expansive collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Parks & Outdoor Sites

Bushnell Park | view site

Take a stroll in the greenest part of downtown Hartford, complete with ponds, fountains, outdoor performances, a seasonal operating carousel, and the monumental Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch. Named after Mark Twain’s friend, preacher, philosopher and civic leader Horace Bushnell.

Riverfront Recapture | view site

Once central to the commerce of the city, the Connecticut River was disconnected from the metropolis by the intrusion of highways. Thanks to the efforts of Riverfront Recapture, a new series of paths, walkways, performance venues, boathouses and river cruises make the banks of this grand river a destination once again.

Cedar Hill Cemetery | view site

Rather than a morbid endeavor, a visit to the immaculately groomed Cedar Hill Cemetery is a step back in time, with glorious funerary monuments and a virtual who's who of Hartford history, from J.P. Morgan to many of Mark Twain's friends to the modest fieldstone grave of Hartford's favorite daughter, Katharine Hepburn.

Performing Arts

Hartford Stage | view site

Hartford’s only Tony Award-winning theatre stages fresh takes on classic works, world premiere plays by today’s hottest writers, entertaining summer fare and a traditional holiday take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

TheaterWorks | view site

Hartford’s most intimate professional theatre company produces today’s hottest hit plays in a sleek, underground setting. Small Off-Broadway-style productions of dramas, comedies and mini-musicals run year-round.

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts | view site

Hartford’s answer to Broadway, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts welcomes touring musicals and plays direct from The Great White Way, along with concerts, lectures and more in its two magnificent auditoriums.

The Artists Collective | view site

Founded by jazz legend Jackie McLean and his wife Dolly McLean in the historic North End of Hartford, the Artists Collective offers performances and classes in a wide array of genres that reflect the richness of Hartford’s African American community.

HartBeat Ensemble | view site

Hartford’s only professional ensemble theatre company draws its inspiration from the stories of the city’s residents and the issues that affect them. Offering an array of staged productions, free performances in Hartford’s parks, and educational theater classes, the HartBeat Ensemble provides a though-provoking and entertaining look at our community.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra | view site

One of New England’s largest symphony orchestras, the HSO is one of Hartford’s oldest performing ensembles. Offering masterworks and pops programming at The Bushnell, the HSO also performs at other venues across the state.

The XL Center | view site

Hartford’s downtown coliseum plays host to large rock concerts, sporting events, trade shows and family entertainment.

The Comcast Music Theatre | view site

Located in the North Meadows section of Hartford, the Comcast Music Theatre is an outside amphitheatre housing a large-scale rock and country concerts during the summertime.

Black-Eyed Sally’s BBQ & Blues | view site

Live blues performed by top national acts served up sizzlin’ alongside terrific barbeque food.

Hartford Jazz Society | view site

Offering a wide array of live performances throughout the city including a popular outdoor summer series in Bushnell Park.

Charter Oak Cultural Center | view site

One of Hartford’s oldest synagogues has been transformed into a multi-purpose performance and visual arts venue with a full calendar of dance, music, activist programming, and more!

The Webster Theatre | view site

Hartford’s alternative rock club welcomes big name performers, indie bands and underground rockers of all stripes.

Family Fun

Connecticut Children’s Museum | view site

Just a short drive down Farmington Avenue into West Hartford is a fun-filled morning for families at the Connecticut Children’s Museum with lots of hands-on activities, a planetarium and more!

Hartford Children’s Theatre (HCT) | view site

For two decades, the Hartford Children’s Theatre has been Connecticut’s premier home for theatre for youth and families. Offering productions of heartwarming favorites and classes, HCT is located directly across the street from The Mark Twain House & Museum.

Connecticut Science Center | view site

Hartford’s newest attraction is over 10 stories of interactive exhibitions, a 3-D theatre, displays and educational fun for the whole family. Located in downtown Hartford with expansive views of the Connecticut River.

For a comprehensive list of points of interest plus recommended sites for dining and accommodations, visit:

The City of Hartford’s tourism website filled with lots of great ideas.

The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s website with a full schedule of arts events and exhibitions.

The official City of Hartford government website.

The State of Connecticut’s official tourism website.

Official tourism website for the Farmington Valley, including Hartford destinations.

Connecticut River Valley Tourism.


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