- For other places with the same name, see Hartford (disambiguation).
Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut in the United States of America. The Greater Hartford region is enmeshed with Springfield (Massachusetts), which lies only 24 miles to the north. The area is called the Knowledge Corridor due to its 29 colleges and universities and 120,000 college students.
A recommended route for getting to Hartford from a rather distant city is to fly into Boston Logan International Airport, and then taking one of the below-mentioned buses into the city. This also happens to be the cheaper route.
- 1 Bradley International Airport (BDL IATA) is located 15 miles north of Hartford in nearby Windsor Locks. It can be reached by car along I-91. CT Transit's Bus 30 operates service between the airport and downtown.
Amtrak serves Hartford with it's Northeast Regional, New Haven–Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter services. There are 4-5 daily services on the Shuttle between New Haven and Springfield and one daily departure of Northeast Regional and the Vermonter. 2 Hartford Union Station is located at 1 Union Pl, a few blocks east of downtown.
- Greyhound operates from Hartford Union Station. Buses are available to Springfield, New Haven, New York City, and Boston.
- Megabus operates double decker buses to/from New York City, New Haven, Burlington, Amherst, and Boston.
- Peter Pan Bus operates express buses from Hartford Union Station to/from 50+ cities in North East United States.
- Go Buses operate from the Morgan Street Garage Bus Station to/from Manhattan, Cambridge, Newton, and New Haven.
Hartford does not have tourist-friendly public transportation and a car is the best way to navigate Hartford and its surrounding towns.
By public transport
- CT Transit operates public bus service throughout the Greater Hartford Area. Most bus-stops receive service every 15-30 minutes. The regular fare is $1.50, with one free transfer. All day passes are also available for $3.00. Passes can be bought online or at the CT Transit Customer Service and Sales Outlet located at State and Market Streets next to the Old State House (M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM,
- Dash Shuttle is a free circulator bus that operates in the downtown area every 15 minutes Monday-Friday 7AM to 7PM and weekends during major events. The route connects the CT Convention Center, the Riverfront, the Arts and Entertainment District, various restaurants, and downtown hotels.
- 1 Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, ☎ . Downtown. America's first public art museum, founded in 1842. The Wadsworth has 45,000+ works of art as part of its permanent collection.
- 2 Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd, ☎ . Downtown. With 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for children, teens and adults.
- 3 Old State House, 800 Main Street, ☎ . Downtown. The original Connecticut Capitol building is a National Historic Landmark that dates back to 1796 making it one of the oldest state houses in the country.
- 4 Connecticut State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, ☎ . Downtown. Located downtown atop Bushnell Park the capitol is a National Historic Landmark that opened back in 1878. This stunning building is made of marble and is topped off by a gold dome. Open for tours year round.
- 5 Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, ☎ . Located in the city's historic Asylum Hill neighborhood, this is where popular author Mark Twain lived from 1874-1891. During this time Twain wrote many famous books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Built in the high Victorian Gothic style, this home has been fabulously restored and offers an enlightening insight into the family life of one of America's favorite authors. The accompanying Visitors Center offers an additional educational perspective relative to the issues of Twain's day.
- 6 Harriet Beecher Stowe House & Library, 77 Forest Street, ☎ . This is the historic home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who is best known for being the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Stowe's moved in this house in 1873, one year before Mark Twain moved in next door.
- 7 Butler McCook House & Garden, 396 Main Street, ☎ . Downtown. The oldest home in the city that dates back to 1782. Also home of the city's oldest collection of art, antiques and household items. The site also includes a wonderful restored garden.
- 8 Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, ☎ . One Elizabeth Street at Asylum Avenue. Located in the West End the Connecticut Historical Society is one of the oldest historical societies in the country and has one of the greatest library and museum collections in New England.
- The Governor's Residence, 990 Prospect Avenue, ☎ . Located in the city's West End neighborhood the governor's mansion was built back in 1909 and has been the home of governor's and their families since 1943. The 15,000 square foot residence is on 4 acres and has 9 fireplaces, nine bathrooms, a pool and is a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours can be arranged.
- 9 Bushnell Park, Bounded by Jewell Street, Trinity Street, Elm Street and Capitol Avenue downtown. The first publicly funded park in America. Located in the center of the city and bordering the state capitol building. The park was designed by the architect of Central Park in New York City.
- 10 Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Bushnell Park. The first permanent triumphal arch and the first permanent war memorial in America, it pays tribute to the Connecticut soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War. It also pays tribute to slaves and their struggle. The iconic arch was dedicated on September 17, 1886.
- Museum of Connecticut History, 231 Capital Avenue (Connecticut State Library, downtown), ☎ . Has everything to learn about the state of Connecticut. Learn about the development of Connecticut from its days as one of the 13 colonies to its days as an economic powerhouse in the insurance industry. Free Admission!.
- 11 Colt Factory (Colt Armory), 140 Huyshope Avenue. Hartford. America's favorite gun shop, shaped like an Arabian palace. It can be viewed just south of the skyline from East Hartford. It is in Hartford's south end.
- Park River Kayaking (entrance at Pope Park). Park River was diverted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the city to prevent flooding. Bring a Kayak and canoe and paddle down the river underneath Hartford's Downtown. The 3-mile river spills out into the Connecticut River across from the State Boat Launch. Make sure to bring flashlights!
- Nathan Hale Homestead, 229 South Street, ☎ . Coventry.
Swim in the picturesque Lake Pocotopaug.
- Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street (Downtown). Tony winning theatre that constantly puts on shows / takes in shows from on-the-road Broadway plays. Usually produces six major productions annually and one to two summer productions each year.
- 1 Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Avenue, ☎ . Hartford (Downtown). The state's premier performing arts theater. Home of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Connecticut Opera. Principally showcases classical music and traveling Broadway shows. Popular comics also tour here.
- Theatre Works, 233 Pearl Street (Downtown). The place to go for off-Broadway shows in the Capital City. Small 200 seat theater so your guaranteed a great viewing spot. Located in a great 1927 Art deco building in the heart of downtown.
- Hartford Civic Center / XL Center The largest arena in Connecticut. This is the former home of the Hartford Whalers National Hockey League team and numerous other professional sports teams and the current home of American Hockey League Connecticut Whale, and one of two homes for both the men's and women's basketball programs of the University of Connecticut, nicknamed Huskies. Various bands and recording artists perform here, mostly popular and more established acts.
- 2 Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard (Downtown), ☎ . At 540,000 square feet, the largest convention center in southern New England overlooks the Connecticut River and downtown. Hosts tons of national and local conventions, events, meetings, dinners, etc. each year. Attached to the center is the new 409 room 22 story Marriott Hartford Hotel Downtown.
- 3 Xfinity Theatre (formerly New England Dodge Music Center), 66 Savity Way. Hartford (North Meadows - just north of Downtown). This is a huge amphitheater that has 6,100 seats in a covered pavilion and a lawn that can hold up to 18,000 people. The Center brings in big name concerts each year including the Dave Mattews Band, Britney Spears, O.A.R., Weezer, John Mayer, Pearl Jam and Aerosmith The Center is closed in the winter months but is open the rest of the year.
- Webster Theatre, 31 Webster Street, ☎ . Box Office. Voted the best rock club and best place to see live music for the past five years by the Hartford Advocate. The art deco theater has been fully renovated features everything from a movie screen to five different bars.
- Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Rentschler Field), 615 Silver Lane. East Hartford. An awesome stadium completed in 2003 that is the home of University of Connecticut Football. The stadium is also used as a concert hall and has hosted big names like Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and The Police. Overall the stadium sits on 75 acres and has 40,000 seats.
- Cinestudio, 300 Summit Street (at Trinity College). An independent theater on the campus of Trinity College that shows classic, art house and second run films. The theater is open to the public and has been showing films since its founding in 1970.
- Bowtie Palace 17 & Odyssey Theater, 330 New Park Avenue. A 17 screen movie theater near the West Hartford town line that has stadium seating and digital sound as part of all the theaters. There is also an Odyssey Giant Screen theater here.
- Cinema City 4, 235 Brainard Road. Showing top domestic and foreign independent films in the city's south meadows neighborhood.
- Art Cinema, 255 Franklin Avenue. Built in 1919 in the south end this is the city's last operating movie house. The theater used to be known as the Rialto and changed names in the 1950's when it started showing art films.
- The Connecticut Renaissance Faire. Hebron Lions Fairground, 347 Gilead St., Hebron. Medieval-themed fair held yearly at the Lions Fairground in Hebron, running four weekends from Late September to the third week in October plus Columbus Day. Performances by magicians, singers, belly dancers, swordfighters, and jousters run continuously throughout the day. Wear your own historical costume or buy one there. There are plenty of children's activities, a food alley, and things to buy. Each weekend has a different theme, and weddings are performed there also. Admission is $16 for adults per day as of 2008; children under 5 are free. No alcohol is permitted.
- Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street (I-84, Sisson Ave. exit), ☎ . One of the country’s early multi-disciplinary “alternative spaces,” Real Art Ways has evolved to become a leading center for contemporary art and ideas. Programming covers a broad range of cultural activities including visual arts exhibitions, concerts, literary readings, education and family programs, public art, community projects, and daily cinema screenings.
- Stackpole Moore & Tryon, 242 Trumbull Street. Downtown. Upscale clothing store that has served the capital city since 1909. Carries men's and women’s clothing plus men's shoes. Sells top name brands including Burberry, Hickey Freeman, Agave, Scott Barber and Hugo Boss.
- Tuesdays, 257 Asylum Street. Downtown. Downtown clothier selling fine men’s and women’s clothing and shoes designed for the best dressers.
- [dead link]Fiona Stone Boutique, 218 Pearl Street. At Goodwin Square in downtown. High end boutique that brings national and international designers to Hartford from Miami, Los Angeles, Paris and London. Catering to both men and women.
- [dead link]Parfums Du Jour, 231 Asylum Street. Downtown. Boutique specializing in designer fragrances, bath & body products, chocolates, collectibles and unique home and personal accessories.
- Lux Bond & Green, 242 Trumbull Street. Top notch jewler with locations in West Hartford, Boston and Greenwich has a shop inside the downtown Stackpole Moore & Tryon.
- Spiritus Wines, 220 Asylum Avenue. Downtown Hartford. Selling one of the best selections of wine in the area this shop has relocated from Main Street to some new digs on Asylum Avenue at the new Hartford 21 development.
- [dead link]West Hartford Center. West Hartford. A New England Village that has vibrant entertainment, restaurant, and shopping just west of the Hartford city line. The "Center" as its known locally boasts more than 140 shops and restaurants - most of which are locally owned and operated including Max's Oyster Bar, Bookworm, The Wild Raspberry, Becker's Jewelry, Allen Collins and Cuzzi's Men's Store.
- Blue Back Square. West Hartford. An addition to West Hartford Center this new development recently opened and is a 550,000 square foot mixed use development that features shops, restaurants, a movie theater, offices and condos. Very pedestrian orientated development that has tiny streets and storefronts facing the streets. Shops and restaurants include Crate & Barrel, REI, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, Criterion Cinemas, National Jean Company, The Cheesecake Factory and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
- Westfarms Mall. West Hartford / Farmington. A large and upscale regional mall with 1,000,000+ square feet of shopping and dining space. The mall opened back in 1974 and today features 160 shops and restaurants including Nordstrom, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, JC Penny, Aldo, Apple, Banana Republic, Coach, Express, Gap, Martin + Osa, Talbots and Pottery Barn.
- Cabela's, 475 East Hartford Boulevard North. East Hartford. Specialty retailer focusing on hunting, camping, fishing and other outdoor activities. This is the only Cabela's in all of southern New England. Cabela's stores serve almost as tourist attractions and the East Hartford location is no different. There is a museum displaying wildlife of the Connecticut River Valley, an indoor archery range, an aquarium, a gun library, a restaurant and a huge indoor mountain filled with taxidermy animals.
- [dead link]Stew Leonards. 3475 Berlin Turnpike, Newington. Landmark grocery store with 4 locations in New York and Connecticut including one in Greater Hartford. Stew Leonards is known as the worlds largest grocery store. A visit here is unlike a visit to a typical grocery store. There are singing mechanical cows and bananas and samples of everything from soup to sweet potato chips.
- [dead link]Downtown Manchester. Manchester. A shopping district full of locally owned and operated shops. It is similar to West Hartford Center, but is less expensive, more earthy, and has a more blue collar appeal. Notably, there are 2 hemp shops, a tattoo parlor, a bike shop and some antiques and collectibles shops.
- [dead link]The Shops at Somerset Square. Glastonbury. A cute upscale lifestyle center located just south of Hartford that houses a mix of local and national shops and restaurants including Max Fish Restaurant, Knoyzz, Kzen, Lux Bond & Green, Chico's, Talbots and Max Amore Restaurant.
- The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk. South Windsor. A traditional lifestyle center located east of Hartford, over the Connecticut River that opened not to long ago. Evergreen Walk is home to over 60 shops and restaurants including LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, 57 Sheffield, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Highland Park Market, Johnny Rockets, Joseph A Bank and Omaha Steaks
- The Shoppes at Buckland Hills. Manchester. Another large regional shopping mall that is located east of Hartford, over the Connecticut River. The mall opened in 1990 and is part of one of the largest retail areas in the northeast. The mall itself is home to big name shops and restaurants including Macy's, JC Pennys, Barnes & Noble, Sears, Brookstone, Coach, Dick's Sporting Goods, Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant, H&M and the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
With its large Italian population, phenomenal Italian cuisine and pizza seems to be at every street corner, especially in the South End. The Park Street area has many Puerto Rican restaurants. Most expensive restaurants can be found in Downtown Hartford and in the west and south ends. Over the last few year many new restaurants have opened their doors downtown and many will continue to do so over the next few years so be ready. Hartford also has one of the largest concentrations of West Indians in the country, concentrated in the North End. For exceptional West Indian cuisine go to Albany Avenue, where you will see many Jamaican bakeries and other West Indian restaurants.
- 1 Bear's Smokehouse Barbecue, 25 Front St (Downtown), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. This location, opened in 2014, brings southern-style BBQ to the neighborhood. $$.
- 2 Black-Eyed Sally's Southern Kitchen & Bar, 350 Asylum Avenue (Downtown), ☎ . Serves BBQ and Cajun restaurant southeastern food and has expanded since it opened in 199. The restaurant also plays live music from many well-known and local blues artists.
- 3 Coyote Flaco, 635 New Britain Avenue (Frog Hollow), ☎ . Tasty Mexican restaurant located near Trinity College that has served the community since 1998.
- 4 First & Last Tavern, 939 Maple Avenue (South End), ☎ . Great New York-style pizza and Italian food, visited by many famous people. It has a cozy bar, reasonable prices, and is a favorite local spot.
- 5 Gold Roc Diner, 61 Kane St, ☎ . Cheap 24-hour diner on Hartford-West Hartford line (Exit 44 off I-84).
- 6 Golden Krust Caribben Bakery & Grill, 1170 Albany Avenue, ☎ . And 657 Blue Hills Avenue. This is a regional chain.
- 7 Max Downtown, 185 Asylum Street (Downtown), ☎ . Part of one of the city's finest restaurants and is consistently ranked as one of the city's best restaurants.
- 8 Mo's Midtown, 25 Whitney Street (West End), ☎ . Consistently ranked as best breakfast and brunch spot in the area, by the Hartford Advocate. Very laid back atmosphere with big portions and dishes you can't find anyplace else.
- 9 Vaughan's Public House, 59 Pratt Street (Downtown), ☎ . Near the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center on trendy Pratt Street. This place is an Irish-owned and themed restaurant, with many traditional Irish meals on the menu. Excellent happy hour specials and is also a popular place to go to before or after a UCONN game or to watch a soccer game.
- First and Last Bakery Cafe, 920 Maple Avenue, ☎ .
- Modern Pastry, 422 Franklin Avenue, ☎ .
- Mozzicato De Pasquale Bakery & Pastry Shop, 329 Franklin Avenue, ☎ .
- Roma Bakery & Pastry Shop, 416 New Britain Avenue, ☎ .
- Scotts' Jamaican Bakery, 801 Windsor Street, ☎ .
- South End Bakery, 227 Franklin Avenue, ☎ .
- Pour House, 103 Allyn Street. One of the top rated bar/clubs in the city, this laid-back place offers 18 beers on tap and room to play video games and pool on the first floor -- then head upstairs to the dance floor.
- The Palace, 113 Allyn Street. Hip and chic downtown club that has two huge dance floors and a martini lounge. The first floor is where the VIP section is, and there’s a huge elevated bar area. The second floor is more casual, with a sports bar feel.
- Agave Grill, 100 Allyn Street. Upscale tequila bar, quieter and more mature. Features an excellent selection of tequila and also serves up great Mexican cuisine.
- Pig’s Eye Pub, 356 Asylum Street. Famous for never having a cover, and live bands on the roof top patio. Overall a rowdy little place with lots of fun.
- [dead link]Coach's Sports Bar & Grille, 187 Allyn Street. 24 plasma TV's make this the perfect place to catch the game. Watch out for pre and post Civic Center events, since there just two blocks away. Also has live music, great DJ's and a full menu of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads.
- NV Nightclub, 177 Allyn Street. Popular downtown dance club with a trendy vibe that is a hit with college students and young professionals.
- Arch Street Tavern, 85 Arch Street (across from the Connecticut Convention Center & Marriott Hartford Downtown Hotel). Historic restaurant/bar featuring a rustic atmosphere, pub food and live music.
- Mayor Mike's, 283 Asylum Street. An upscale bar in Downtown run by former Hartford Mayor Mike Peters.
- The Spigot, 468 Prospect Avenue. Laid-back bar with wide selection of draft and bottled beers.
- The Federal, 84 Union Place. Hartford's oldest bar is a pretty laid-back place with the occasional DJ or live music. Happy hour five days a week here as well.
- Black Eyed Sallys Nice bar with a southern blues theme featuring great beer live music and southern food.
There are an abundance of large chain hotels in the Hartford area as well as many upscale ones downtown and in the suburbs. Over 60,000 rooms are located in Greater Hartford.
- 1 Radisson Hotel Hartford, 50 Morgan Street, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Located downtown and just a short walk to the Connecticut Convention Center and the XL Center with spectacular views of the Connecticut River. Hotel features a full breakfast buffet and daily drink specials, an outdoor pool, fitness center, business center, and 40" TV's.
- 2 Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Attached to the Connecticut Convention Center and overlooks the Connecticut River and downtown. This new hotel features 409 rooms on 22 floors plus an indoor pool, fitness center, full service spa called Glo, as well as a restaurant and a bar.
- 3 Hilton Hartford, 315 Trumbull Street, ☎ , fax: . Located downtown attached to the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. Hotel features 393 rooms, an indoor pool, fitness center, a restaurant and an upscale bar.
- 4 Residence Inn Hartford Downtown, 942 Main Street, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Located in the heart of downtown in the Richardson Building which dates back to the late 1800s, two buildings away from the Old State House and the Hartford Stage and one block from the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. Features 120 rooms on 8 floors plus a restaurant, 2 cafes and a fitness center.
- 5 Homewood Suites of Hartford, 338 Asylum Street, ☎ , fax: . This hotel is in the historic Bond Hotel which opened back in 1921. Located downtown directly across from Bushnell Park and one block away from the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. There are 116 rooms and a fitness center.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Convention Center Area, 185 Brainard Road, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Located in the city's south meadows neighborhood the hotel is just 5 minutes from downtown. There are 129 rooms, a fitness center, complimentary parking, an outdoor pool and is right next door to the popular USS Chowder Pot IV Restaurant.
- Days Inn Hartford, 201 Brainard Road, ☎ , fax: . Located in the south meadows just 5 minutes from downtown. This hotel features 68 rooms, a fitness center and complimentary parking.
- Motel 6 Hartford Downtown, 100 Weston Street, ☎ , fax: . Located in the city's north meadows neighborhood just 4 minutes north of downtown. Features 115 rooms and complimentary parking.
- Super 8 Motel Hartford/Windsor, 57 West Service Road, ☎ , fax: . Located just north of downtown in the north meadows just 4 minutes from downtown. There are 104 rooms and complimentary parking.
- Mark Twain Hostel, 131 Tremont St, ☎ , fax: . Located in the historic and trendy West End around the corner from the Mark Twain House, Harriett Beecher Stowe House and just 6 minutes from downtown. Beds start at $15 per night, single rooms start at $48 per night.
Hartford is consistently ranked as one of the Top 25 dangerous cities in the United States. Crime is generally contained in the Northeast area of the city. Some people also report being victims of crimes after going to the Webster in the Frog Hollow area of the city. This can easily be avoided by not straying from the main road, especially at night. Most crime is gang related and the average citizen should not worry. Basically, if you are in the North end, stick to Albany Avenue (around the middle, as there is not much activity/high crime near downtown), or use a car. This area is usually fine in the day as well, but the side streets are some of the worst in the city. The south end is generally fine, especially if you stick to Main Street, Park Street, Franklin Avenue, Maple Avenue, and Wethersfield Avenue. Side streets vary, especially in the Park/Broad st areas (Frog Hollow), but these areas are conspicuous. The west end,downtown and Blue Hills are fine regardless of where you go.
Radio stations serving the Hartford area include:
- News/Talk: WNPR 90.5 FM (NPR), WTIC 1080 AM (conservative)
Television stations serving Hartford include:
- WFSB Channel 3: CBS.
- WTNH Channel 8: ABC.
- WEDH Channel 24: PBS.
- WVIT Channel 30: NBC.
Hartford is a small city and one can access small farm towns in minutes. There are no national parks/forests in the area, but the general wilderness is easy to access.
- Wickham Park - 1329 West Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT. A privately owned 250 acre park in spanning East Hartford and Manchester, boasting a picturesque landscape with excellent views of the Hartford skyline. It holds many biking and hiking trails, picnic areas, tennis courts, and an aviary.
- Litchfield Hills, accessible for example by taking US Route 44 West
- Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts
- Berkshire Hills. Massachusetts
|Routes through Hartford|
|Springfield ← Windsor ←||N S||→ Berlin → New Haven|
|Springfield ← Windsor Locks ←||N S||→ Meriden → New Haven|
|Waterbury ← West Hartford ←||W E||→ East Hartford → Worcester|
|Springfield ← Windsor ←||N S||→ Wethersfield → New Haven|
|Worcester via ← East Hartford ←||N S||→ Wethersfield → New Haven|
|Bristol ← West Hartford ←||W E||→ East Hartford → Providence|
|Poughkeepsie ← West Hartford ←||W E||→ East Hartford → Providence|