Hartford Things to Do

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  • Things to Do
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Best Rated Things to Do in Hartford

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    Mark Twain House

    by kenmerk Written Jul 10, 2005

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    Mark Twain House, Hartford CT...

    Though some might find it hard to believe, the house where Samuel Clemens wrote his most famous works, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is in Hartford CT.... (Closer to the Connecticut River than the Mississippi as it would turn out...)

    They have restored the house and converted it into a museum. The exterior has a sort of Victorian Gingerbread sorta look to it.... (its $13 USD or so if one wants to tour around the interior...)

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    Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens

    by Boca24 Written Jul 26, 2005

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    The Park has a wide variety of plants, but it's most known for its wide variety of roses. Best time to see the roses are in Late June to early July.

    I am personal fan of this park, I like to spend nice sunny days in the park either just sitting on blanket, BBQing there, or feeding the ducks.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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    State Capitol Tour

    by german_eagle Written Oct 17, 2009

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    Legislative Office Building, lobby
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    A must in Hartford is the tour of the State Capitol. Free guided tours are offered Monday-Friday (Year-round) 9:15/10:15/11:15/12:15/1:15 (Also 2:15 in July and August), booklets for a self-guided tour (during office hours 8 am - 5 pm) are also available. On Saturdays (only April-Oct) guided tours are offered at the same times, but no self-guided tours are possible. Reservations in advance are recommended but not a must. The ticket counter is on the first floor, west entrance in the Legislative Office Building.

    The guide will pick you up at the ticket counter and walk with you through an underground passageway to the old State Capitol.

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    The State Capitol

    by german_eagle Written Oct 17, 2009

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    The State Capitol is a magnificent building, set in a nice park that I liked a lot - with beautiful views of downtown. The tour was VERY interesting. We learned about Connecticut's history, a bit about the architecture of the State Capitol, a lot about the political system and we saw the rooms where the legislative meets (Two chambers actually - and we discussed with the tour guide why TWO chambers are necessary.) We were amazed about how close to the people the senators/representatives are. We even walked into the Governor's office and signed the guestbook. Too bad she wasn't there at that moment.

    As for facts, the building was designed by Richard M. Upjohn and erected from 1872 to 1879. Only expensive material was used: marble and granite for the exterior facade is accented by the gold leaf dome. Inside you find white marble and red slate from Connecticut and colored marble from Italy as well as beautiful stained glass windows designed by Boston interior decorator William James McPherson.

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    Charter Oak

    by german_eagle Written Oct 18, 2009

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    The name "Charter Oak" stems from the local legend in which a cavity within the tree - an unusually large white oak tree growing from around the 12th or 13th century until 1856 - was used in late 1687 as a hiding place for the Constitution charter. The oak was then blown down in a violent storm about 150 years later and a relic of it is now displayed in the Hartford State Capitol Building. Also, parts of that tree were used for making a chair for the senate chamber in the State Capitol - see second pic.

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    Corning Fountain

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 22, 2007

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    Erected in 1899 and presented by John Corning (Corning Glass Works of New York) as a tribute to his father, a Hartford businessman who operated a grist mill on the site. The monument is made of marble and stone, 30 feet tall, with the figure of a stag (or "Hart" for Hartford) surrounded by Saukiog Indians, the city's first inhabitants. It is quite lovely .

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    The State Capitol Building

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 22, 2007

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    The magnificent state Capitol building canned be viewed form Bushnell Park. The park was created to provide a proper setting for this imposing building. The building, opened in 1878, and cost $3 million, which must have been an enormous amount back then.

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    Bushnell Park

    by german_eagle Written Oct 18, 2009

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    Bushnell Park
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    Bushnell Park, designed in the 1850, was the first park in the country purchased by taxpayers for public use. It spreads from the State Capitol hill down to the city's busy centre and is a welcome oasis for a break during sightseeing as well for locals for lunch picnic or so. The park is also home to a few sights like Corning fountain, monuments for local heros, the Carousel (mid Apr - Sept in operation), the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch (accessible only on tours, Thursday noon May - Oct).

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    Nathan Hale Monument

    by german_eagle Written Oct 18, 2009

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    Nathan Hale Monument in the State Capitol

    Nathan Hale was a lieutenant in the Continental Army. In his early twenties, Hale had worked as a teacher before the Revolution. In late September 1776 he volunteered to cross the British lines and travel to Long Island in order to gather intelligence. Unfortunately, his mission was soon discovered and he was captured by the British. Taken to General Howe's headquarters (commander of the British forces) in New York, the young spy was interrogated and executed on September 22.

    What particularly impressed me was what he said right before the execution: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

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    Once a Champion!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 28, 2003

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    Travellers Insurance Tower

    To me, one of the most impressive buildings in Hartford was the Travellers Insurance Company headquarters building, located in the downtown core. During my first evening stroll, I came across this impressive structure, shown here dwarfing the nearby Center Church steeple. The Travellers tower, at 527 feet high, was once the tallest building in all of New England. It is still used as an office building for Travellers, so tours must be booked in advance.

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    A Majestic Setting

    by Bwana_Brown Written Jun 28, 2003

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    State Capital Building & Bushnell Park

    Another highlight of Hartford was the majestic State Capitol building, completed in 1878 and located in Bushnell Park. I was running out of time on my Monday evening stroll, otherwise I would have further explored this impressive area. Bushnell Park really has a great variety of tree species arranged in a most relaxing manner. With the Capitol building rising up in the middle of these expansive grounds, it is quite an imposing sight!

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    Mark Twain's "boat" house

    by Ace43 Updated Sep 8, 2004

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    Mark Twain House with incredible porch (rear)

    The wrap-around porch on the Mark Twain House has often been described as making it look like a boat. The Victorian architecture & decor are extensive & complete & fascinating. This is where Twain lived when he wrote some of his best-known works (Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, I believe). A brand new museum building has just been completed next to the house.

    The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is right next door.

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    The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

    by Bilimari Written Aug 27, 2013

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    Mount Etna from Taormina, 1843
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    There are many old (for US at least) buildings and establishments in Connecticut. The Wadsworth Atheneum is one of them. It was founded in 1842, the oldest public art museum in the USA. It holds 50,000 art works from around the world, and hold special exhibitions through out the year.

    If you are visiting by a car, you'll park in one of nearby garages or on the street where the parking meter is placed.

    They offer free admission options including below: (See website for more options.)

    Second Saturdays For Families:
    - Arrive before 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month and enjoy free admission for the day.
    Bank of America Museums on Us:
    - Bank of America gives its credit and debit cardholders free admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum the first weekend every month.

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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    See a concert

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 17, 2007

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    Hartford has a good selection of music venues . We went specifically to see a Tom Petty at New England Dodge Music Center. It was a great concert . Its a great theater and there's always something going on . It is close to downtown so we walked there which was nice.

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    Stone Field Sculptures

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 22, 2007

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    There is an unusual area in the city with huge boulders. Stone Field Sculpture, which was created in 1977, consists of eight rows of boulders in a triangular shape, so that the first row contains one large boulder, and the eighth row eight smaller boulders. The stones are of local rock, and were chosen so that their composition reflects the makeup of rock in the area.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Arts and Culture
    • Women's Travel

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Hartford Things to Do

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Hartford offers variety of activities, arts and cultures. XLCenter hosts events from Ice Hokey games, music concerts, to circus. Visit the Old State House, take the Amistad tour, and get to know...

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