Hartford is an almost 400-year-old city that has survived the ups and downs of America’s history. Explore the rich heritage of this destination that features some of the oldest institutions in the nation and the former residence of America’s beloved author, Mark Twain.

Start the day with a calming walk through America’s oldest public park, Bushnell Park. Located in the city center, this thoroughfare is decorated with graceful pathways, monuments to American soldiers and a huge archway crowned by two turrets. Relax under trees to escape typically hot and humid summers. In winter the park is often covered under a blanket of snow.

Walk to the nearby Wadsworth Atheneum to delight in more than 50,000 works of pilgrim-era and European art in one of the nation’s oldest art museum. Tour the exclusive rooms and stages of the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts or the award-winning Hartford Stage, then come back later to see a show. Both theaters host musicals, plays and orchestras several nights a week.

Many of the city’s restaurants and hotels can be found along the busy Asylum Street. Stop for lunch then walk to the nearby Mark Twain House and Museum. Here you’ll experience the living quarters of the famous author and see exhibits themed around his life. Take in more history at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Library or the Butler McCook House and Garden. Both restored mansions, they feature civil war-era art and antiques and large manicured gardens perfect for a quiet stroll.

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut. At the Museum of Connecticut History see excellent exhibitions on the colonial formation of the state. Take children to the Connecticut Science Center, where there are hands-on displays and a 3-D digital theater showing educational movies.

In the evenings take the family to the XL Center, which has performances throughout the year. In winter you’ll find a public ice-skating rink and shows on ice.

Stay downtown next to the Connecticut River. Rent a bicycle and ride along the banks of the picturesque river and grab a drink at one of many bars, restaurants and clubs.

Known for

Family-friendly, Entertainment and Live Music

Top Hotels in Hartford

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Manchester Inn and Suites
Manchester Inn and Suites
2.5 out of 5
20 Taylor Street, Manchester, CT
CA $79
per night
Oct 21 - Oct 22

Situated in Manchester, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Connecticut Golf Land and Games and within 3 miles (5 km) of Shoppes at Buckland Hills and Promenade ...

4.1/5Very Good! (987 reviews)

"Great staff, comfortable and clean rooms. Coffee was delicious."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 18, 2019

Manchester Inn and Suites
Motel 6 Hartford - Wethersfield
Motel 6 Hartford - Wethersfield
2 out of 5
1341 Silas Deane Hwy, Wethersfield, CT
CA $60
per night
Nov 12 - Nov 13

Situated in Wethersfield, this motel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Mill Woods Park, Wethersfield Public Library and Wethersfield Cove Park. Trinity College and ...

3.6/5Good! (292 reviews)

"Clesn room and grounds quiet great staff plenty of cable stations"…"

Reviewed on Oct. 14, 2019

Motel 6 Hartford - Wethersfield
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
3.5 out of 5
100 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT
CA $109
per night
Oct 24 - Oct 25

Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Connecticut Science Center, XL Center and Connecticut Convention Center. Bushnell Park ...

3.8/5Good! (1,031 reviews)

"The hotel was nice, room was nice, everything was nice."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 17, 2019

Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area

Popular things to do in Hartford

Mark Twain House
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Mark Twain House

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Walk in Mark Twain’s footsteps at the author’s beloved Hartford home. The museum next door will complete your Twain education.

Bushnell Park
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Bushnell Park

4/5(3 reviews)

Relax near the pond or take a ride on the antique carousel at one of America’s oldest publicly funded parks, located in the heart of Hartford.

Elizabeth Park
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Elizabeth Park

5/5(1 review)

Breathe in the scents of thousands of blooms in one of America’s oldest public rose gardens, located in the heart of this charming park in Hartford.

Top activities in Hartford

One Game of Zombie Scavengers of Hartford, CT
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One Game of Zombie Scavengers of Hartford, CT

CA $3

Can you survive the zombie apocalypse… Zombie Scavengers leads you into the city to collect supplies to survive during this interactive scavenger game. With the whole world in chaos and zombies outnumbering the living 10 to 1, small colonies of the living are doing all they can to survive.

Vacation Photographer in Hartford
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Vacation Photographer in Hartford

CA $41

Book a private professional photographer for a family trip, destination wedding, secret proposal or just a great day. Prices start at 8.

Operation City Quest of Hartford, CT
Image for Operation City Quest of Hartford, CT

Operation City Quest of Hartford, CT

CA $13

Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off
Image for New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off

New York City Day Trip from Hartford including Hop-On Hop-Off

CA $342

Leave Hartford behind for the Big Apple during a full-day trip to New York City that includes Amtrak transportation. Get your fill of some of the country's best sightseeing, shopping, and dining, with a convenient hop-on, hop-off bus tour included.

Dining at Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods with Priority Seating
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Dining at Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods with Priority Seating

CA $45

Dine like a rock star among pop, soul, and rock 'n' roll memorabilia like costumes and instruments from your favorite musicians at the Hard Rock Cafe. Skip the lines with priority seating and enjoy a classic meal and a dessert.

Zipline off the Rooftop of Foxwoods Resort Casino
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Zipline off the Rooftop of Foxwoods Resort Casino

CA $91

Journey with us to the rooftop of Fox Tower, at Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 feet in the air. With 360 degrees of awe-inspiring view, and all the way to the Long Island sound! Feel the cool, crisp, air under you as you soar over the treetops at an average of 45mph.

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