Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Tue March 24 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Hartford, Conn. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 24, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Hartford, Conn. You Need

We Say:

The capital of Connecticut may also be known as the "Insurance Capital of the World" given the plethora of insurance companies headquartered there. But the truth is that Hartford is far interesting than its moniker would suggest.

Upon visiting, you'd be hard-pressed not to stumble across the same intrigue that American author Mark Twain wrote about two centuries ago.

The Connecticut River serves as a partition for the city, which is located in the heart of the state. Hartford is among the oldest cities in the U.S. and features a seemingly endless supply of history, highlighted by the nation's oldest public art museum, oldest public park and oldest continuously published newspaper.

Today, Hartford is also a hub for both healthcare and education.

They Say:

Greater Hartford is known for its wealth of architecturally rich buildings and cultural heritage attractions in a naturally scenic location. The city has been ranked in the top six percent of North American metropolitan areas for its abundance of art and culture. Hartford is also known for the warmth and friendliness of the people – small town comfort with a big city vibe.

The downtown area has more housing under construction, attracting more young people and empty nesters and there are more than 30 three- and four-star restaurants in Hartford alone, wide variety of international cuisines that represent the city’s many neighborhoods. Downtown Hartford is very walkable and also popular is the dash bus which offers free rides looping through downtown every few minutes, stopping at the major hotels and attractions. Hartford is within an hour’s drive to all parts of Connecticut, the beaches of the Long Island Sound, ski slopes and hiking in the Berkshire Mountains, two of the world’s largest casinos, and dozens of quaint village greens.

The new Front Street entertainment district features Spotlight Cinemas, a growing number of restaurants, and Infinity Hall Music Hall. The complex is right across the street from the Connecticut Convention Center and the dazzling Connecticut Science Center. – Central Region Tourism District



Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: Bradley International Airport 

Public Transit: CT Transit

Bikeshare: Nothing available as of yet.

Walkability: 68 at Walk Score

Parking Options / Expense: Park Me, Best Parking

Best Accommodations: ( Highest Guest Rated w/ at least 50 Reviews)

Boutique: The Simsbury Inn

High End: Marriott Hartford Downtown

Mid Range: Hampton Inn & Suites Hartford/East Hartford

Bargain: Fairfield Inn & Suites Hartford Manchester 

Foods to seek out:

Grinder: Craft your own delicious sandwich at Franklin Giant Sandwich Shop.

Hot Dog: Don't miss out on the pulled pork and cheddar-covered Deputy Dog at Woody's

New England Clam Chowder: Warm up with the popular appetizer at Max's Oyster Bar.

Known For:

History: Old State House, Ancient Burying Ground, Mark Twain House, Wadsworth Atheneum

Architecture: Connecticut’s Old State HouseHarriet Beecher Stowe Center 

Insurance: Aetna, Conning & Company, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, UnitedHealthcare

Healthcare: Hartford HospitalConnecticut Children's Medical Center, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center

Sports Teams:

NCAA: UConn Huskies

AHL: Hartford Wolf Pack

Double-A: New Britain Rock Cats (coming to Hartford in 2016)

Cool Attractions:


1. Visit the nation's oldest public art museum and view more than 50,000 unique pieces. You'll find everything from ancient to contemporary art at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

2. Explore where Mark Twain created some of his most famous work at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

3. Check out the Hall of Flags and take in some beautiful views with a tour of the Connecticut State Capitol.


1. Stroll through the century-plus-old rose garden at Elizabeth Park

2. Enjoy a top-flight performance from any seat in the house at the Hartford Stage or head over to the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts.

3. Take in a bird's eye view of the city from the Travelers Tower observation deck.


1. If the weather permits, Bushnell Park is a great place to spend the day. The beloved Carousel is currently being renovated but is scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2015. 

2. Take the kids to the Connecticut Science Center for a day of exhibits and 3D movies. 

3. Bounce off some excess energy at Launch Trampoline Park.


1. Drinks: Looking for a simple bar with a great beer selection? Try the Spigot Cafe

2. Dancing: Cut a rug at Room 960

3. Music Venue: Catch a show and enjoy four-star dining at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro 

Hartford is: 

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