Places to Visit
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Twain’s neighbor and a fellow literary giant, Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Her home, located directly across the lawn from the Mark Twain House, is open for tours.
The Old State House
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 of the famed Amistad trials.
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
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
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
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
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.
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
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
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
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.
Parks & Outdoor Sites
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Hartford’s downtown coliseum plays host to large rock concerts, sporting events, trade shows and family entertainment.
The Comcast Music Theatre
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
Live blues performed by top national acts served up sizzlin’ alongside terrific barbeque food.
Hartford Jazz Society
Offering a wide array of live performances throughout the city including a popular outdoor summer series in Bushnell Park.
Charter Oak Cultural Center
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
Hartford’s alternative rock club welcomes big name performers, indie bands and underground rockers of all stripes.
Connecticut Children’s Museum
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!
Connecticut Science Center
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.