Hartford, CT Located between two East Coast hubs, Boston and New York City, Hartford has recently become a desirable destination for travelers. As one of the first American cities, Hartford has a rich history exemplified through its architecture and vibrant restaurants. While it may not be the first destination that pops into a traveler’s mind, Hartford has plenty to offer. Plan your trip today! 5 Must-See Attractions: Mark Twain House & Museum- The home of one of the most influential writers in American history, Mark Twain’s old house helps tell the story of his life, and frames his position in history. Bushnell Center for Performing Arts- While it may not have the flair of Broadway, the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts sports ornate architecture, excellent shows, and classically fine theater ambience. XL Center- The XL Center, located directly in the heart of Hartford, provides an excellent venue for popular musical acts, general entertainment, speakers, and of course the UConn men’s and women’s basketball team. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center- A short distance from the Mark Twain House lays the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, dedicated to the author and abolitionist active during the mid-1800’s. Cedar Hill Cemetery- An exceptionally well-kept cemetery that serves as the final resting place for many of the earliest Americans alive at Hartford’s inception. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Southington Apple Harvest- More of a seasonal attraction, as there aren’t too many apples in the winter-time, Southington Apple Harvest is the perfect spot to take the kids for a festival and some world famous apple fritters. Hot Air Balloon Festival- Gaze in awe as a parade of hot air balloons soar high into the sky while you relax and picnic far below. Dinosaur State Park & Museum- Dinosaurs remain a fan favorite with kids, and for good reason, as the idea of giant reptiles sprawling out and roaming the Earth still mystifies both young and old minds. Flamig Farm- A day spent at Flamig Farm visiting the petting zoo and enjoying a hay ride helps get the kids out of the house and into nature. Connecticut Science Center- With a plethora of exhibits ranging from bicycles to dinosaurs, Connecticut Science Center captures the imagination of children through interesting exhibits and excellent activities. 5 Free Attractions: Bushnell Park- Located near the State Capitol building among other original Hartford buildings, Bushnell Park has art pieces, great views, and a peaceful atmosphere, allowing visitors to relax amidst the city. State Capitol Building- The State Capitol building’s gold-dome rises above the nearby Hartford skyline, serving as a landmark of the city. The tours of the building are educational and interesting! Trinity College- A walk around this beautiful campus will certainly brighten anyone’s day! Blue Back Square- A nice little shopping square found in West Hartford. It’s a great place to take a stroll and maybe grab a bite to eat. Cathedral of St. Joseph- An enormous monolith adorned with flower trim that stands tall among the surrounding Hartford architecture. While the outside is impressive, the inside holds the true beauty with incredibly colorful and ornate stained glass windows. 5 Great Restaurants: Firebox Restaurant- A contemporary, urban themed restaurant featuring finely prepared local cuisine from surrounding Connecticut towns and farms. They feature a unique dessert list as well! ON20- A fine-dining French fusion restaurant overlooking the city and the surrounding area. The staff is consistently lauded for its excellence, and the food is equally fantastic. Bear’s Smokehouse- Bear’s is the place to go for brisket, mac & cheese, and cornbread. The barbecue is unmatched around Hartford. Agave Grill- A crossover between Mexican food and a pub, Agave Grill sports a full Mexican menu and a number of interesting drinks. Tastease- Doughnuts. Really what more needs to be said? Tastease serves the best cake doughnuts in all of Hartford, and always leaves you wanting more. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: The Club Downtown- One of the top clubs in Hartford, The Club Downtown keeps people moving and grooving with great music and drinks. Little River Restoratives- The menu may not be enormous, but the drink variety and fantastic bar tenders at Little River Restoratives make it worth the trip. Angry Bull Saloon- This country-style bar has plenty of tables for hangouts and pool. The menu is fairly large for a bar, and sports all the bar staples, but the burgers seem to be fan favorites. The Spigot- A dive bar that serves only drinks and takes only cash, but has one of the best atmospheres in the city with laidback patrons and bar games. The Russell- An eclectic menu with delightful dishes, including the jerk chicken sandwich, The Russell is home to a great mix of music and interesting cocktails as well! 5 Romantic Getaways: The Mill on the River- An event center and restaurant, Podunk Mill’s beautiful locale, well-manicured environment, and quaint interior are the perfect place for an evening date. Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant- Located not far from Hartford in between Storrs and Manchester, Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant is a cozy atmosphere for couples to grab a meal and a romantic stay. Cavey’s Restaurant- A beautiful, fine-dining atmosphere with ornate flora hanging from the ceiling, awaits you and yours at Cavey’s Restaurant. Riverside Park- A short distance North of Hartford, Riverside Park is the perfect place for a day date featuring outdoor activities like hiking and enjoying the water. First & Last Bakery Café- First & Last exhibits a cool, contemporary bakery heaven, complete with woven baskets hanging from the ceiling, and some of the best breakfast and dessert options for your date! Climate: The weather in Hartford is temperate, exhibiting the full range of seasons. The winter months are fairly cold, with averages hovering around the high 20’s Fahrenheit, while the summer months exhibit averages in the 70’s. The spring and fall are both mild, with temperatures fluctuating between the summer and winter averages. Hartford experiences a steady amount of rainfall each month, with little fluctuation between seasons. Transportation: Hartford sits between two major cities, Boston and New York City; thus, a number of North East corridor transportation lines carry people to and from the city. Amtrak services the city by rail, as well as the Hartford Line, which brings commuters into the city. The city operates bus lines CTtransit and CTfastrak that bus people to and from work and other areas. Two major highways, Interstate 91 and 84, both run through the city. Safety Precautions: Hartford, while not an enormous city, retains the same safety issues that arise with any major city. It is important to have a little background on the area before blindly exploring the city. Some areas are more friendly and accessible to travelers than others, and other areas are a little more risky for tourists. It is important to keep your belongings secured at all times, perhaps in a PacSafe slash-proof bag, and organize your itinerary accordingly. Souvenirs: A keepsake from your trip via the Mark Twain House or the Harriet Beecher Stowe center helps hold the memories in place. Trip Highlights: The State Capitol Building and Bushnell Park are two of the most serene places in Hartford, and are sure to leave an imprint in your Hartford memory logs. The local cuisine remains a trip highlight for travelers as well. Paperwork: No additional paperwork is required for U.S. residents to visit Hartford, although it is always a good idea to carry personal identification and trip itineraries anywhere you travel. Air Travel Information: Bradley International Airport (BDL) services Hartford and the surrounding area for most ingoing and outgoing flights. Bradley offers transportation to and from the airport via limousine, bus, rental car, and taxi. The airport is located just north of Hartford, making it easily accessible to travelers moving in and out of the city.