Featured in 1000 Places to See Before You Die is a home of one of America's favorite authors—the gorgeous historical Mark Twain House. Take a guided tour through Twain's library, the children's rooms, and even the famous Billiard Room, where Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. At the museum, you can enjoy the Nook Farm cafe or pick up special souvenirs at the store.
Expanding over 196,000 square feet, the collection of artwork featured at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is one of the largest in Connecticut. Aside from having an incredible collection, the museum was founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, making it also one of the oldest museums in the US. Here, you can see American and French Impressionist works, contemporary art, modernist pieces, landscapes, and more. The museum also has American decorative pieces, like furniture.
Welcome to America's oldest public rose garden that is free to the public. The Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens has over one hundred acres of gardens, green space, and facilities (including a cafe beside a pond) for people of all ages to enjoy. For those who love flora, there are over 15,000 plants and 800 varieties of roses. Your camera is necessary for this adventure. Also, in the winter, the park is open for ice skating, making it a perfect stop year round.
Not only is the High Victorian Gothic style of the Connecticut State Capitol building an awe-inspiring sight, so too is the interior! Especially the red and white Connecticut and Italian marble floors and stained glass windows. Built in 1879, the Capitol contains the State Senate Chamber, Hall of the State House of Representatives, and offices for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of the State. Book a tour today to learn more about this attraction!
With a number of galleries and exhibitions that delight the senses with auditory, tactile, and visual displays, it is no wonder that the Connecticut Science Center is a favorite for children and adults of all ages. The nine-story museum and theater opened in 2009 and features over 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. Whatever you're interested in – space, sight and sound, ecology, 3D movies – this amazing science center is bound to become an instant win.
Green space is just the beginning at Bushnell Memorial Park – the oldest publicly funded park in the entire nation! More than 50 acres of land are covered with trees and shrubbery, winding walking paths, a pond, a performance pavilion, the beloved Bushnell carousel, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, and Corning Fountain. All the while, the Hartford skyline can be seen towering above the canopy. It's a picturesque location full of surprises, so bring your picnic basket and soak it all in.
Have you read Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe? The book, published in 1852, put her at the top of the list as one of America's most famous women. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a place where people can become inspired through tours and other events, as well as look at some of the author's personal items. Everything in the center is designed to paint a story about Stowe's history, efforts for social justice, and engage visitors from start to finish.
You are definitely going to want to join in on an organized tour to see the Old State House. Ever since the building's completion in 1796, the Old State House has served the public. As you are guided around the building, you will be able to see the Victorian Representative's chamber, Colonial Revival courtroom, the Joseph Steward Museum of Curiosities, and sometimes even a farmer's market.
Few places in America have original graveyards, making the Ancient Burying Ground not only the oldest historical site in Hartford, but also a rarity throughout the US. There are gravestones dating back to the 1600s, and it is believed that 6,000 men, women, and children lay at rest here. Be sure to check out the website for information on tours and events, including the Walking Tour of Colonial Stonecutter Art.
Not only does Hartford have astounding history, you and yours can be amazed by the theatrical displays and storytelling performed by TheaterWorks, a professional group, throughout the year. The company does over 200 shows each season and shouldn't be underestimated. Aside from the intimate theater, the City Arts on Pearl building also has galleries to peruse during intermission. Get inspired here.