Hartford is the capital of Connecticut and one of the largest cities in the state. The city of Hartford is home to many historical attractions and a wide range of activities that people of all ages can enjoy. When relocating to Hartford, visiting the following destinations allows you to get a better idea of all that the city has to offer while making you feel more at home.
Connecticut Science Center
The Connecticut Science Center is a massive, nine-story science museum in the center of Hartford that provides visitors with over 165 fascinating hands-on exhibits. Some exhibits are temporary, cycling in and out of the museum to allow for traveling exhibits to make their way through the center. Others are on permanent display, highlighting different facets of science. If you're visiting with children, head to the KidSpace on the first floor. This area provides children with the ability to play and experiment with everything from blocks and balls to water and LEGOs. If you wish to learn more about the limitless expanses of space, head to the Exploring Space exhibit on the fifth level. You'll be able to journey across the entire galaxy by entering the space pod and charting to the unknown reaches of space. (Photo Credit: Connecticut Science Center)
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a historic house museum that details the life of the famed author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Given the book's role in the history of America, this museum offers a lot to anyone who wishes to learn more about Harrier Beecher Stowe and how her anti-slavery book helped to set about changes in a nation. This museum holds the largest number of collections dedicated to Harriet Beecher Stowe and her extended family. Throughout the museum, you'll find over 6,000 artifacts from the time period as well as over 200,000 pamphlets, books, images and manuscripts. Not only do these artifacts focus on African American history and racial history throughout the U.S., but they also center on women's history, particularly suffrage. Several different tours of the museum are available throughout the week.
City Steam Brewery
The City Steam Brewery is a brewpub that offers its own beers. Whether you're visiting with friends or you want to catch the game on a big-screen TV, you're sure to enjoy your time at this destination. While the pub offers its own beers on tap, it also provides a selection of popular beers to choose from. Though the place acts primarily as a pub, lunch and dinner are available when you wish to eat in. The baby back ribs and pulled pork sandwiches are particular favorites on the menu.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is an expansive art museum in Hartford that's known primarily for its many collections of European Baroque art and American Impressionist paintings. It also houses a wide selection of French paintings and sculptures. This museum was originally founded all the way back in 1842 and has since amassed a substantial amount of works of art. No matter what type of art you're interested in, you're sure to find something that catches your attention. One of the premier exhibits hosted by this museum is the John Trumbull collection of Visualizing American Independence. This is displayed through three paintings of key points in the early history of America. If you're searching for European art, "Bathers" by Eugene Delacroix and "The Resurrection" by Anthony Van Dyck are two of the more notable paintings throughout the entire art museum. For something a little more contemporary, you won't want to miss "Early Colored Jackie" by Andy Warhol and "Wall Drawing" by Sol LeWitt.
The Mark Twain House & Museum
The Mark Twain House & Museum is a historic landmark in Hartford that commemorates a home where author Mark Twain lived from the years of 1874 to 1891. This museum was opened in 2003 and offers 45,000 square feet where visitors can learn all they want to know about Mark Twain, his writings and his life story. This state-of-the-art facility even houses a theater. In this theater, guests will be able to view a relatively short yet inspirational documentary about Mark Twain, created by Ken Burns. Make sure that you don't miss the Aetna Collection, a permanent exhibit that focuses on Twain's life and work, providing guests with thousands of objects, writings and manuscripts to view. Additional temporary exhibits are filtered through this destination throughout the year, so check the calendar to identify when your next visit should be.
If you're searching for some of the best barbecue in all of Connecticut, Bear's Smokehouse is definitely the place to go. Whether you're visiting for lunch or dinner, there's a lot to choose from. While the menu consists primarily of barbecue dishes, there is a wide range of additional American dishes. To start out your meal, consider the smoked wings or crispy ribs as an appetizer. For lunch, some of the best dishes include the beef brisket and kielbasa sandwiches, both of which can be bear-sized for a few extra dollars. For dinner, consider the slow-smoked chicken or pulled pork entrees. A selection of meats can also be purchased by the pound, from pulled chicken and pulled pork to burnt ends and Texas sausage. Once your meal is finished, pick up a delicious bourbon pecan pie or peach cobbler.
Max Downtown is an upscale eatery in Hartford that focuses on seafood and prime cuts. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list that you can peruse at any time. If you plan to eat at this destination, it's recommended that you make a reservation at least a week in advance. Menus are available for both lunch and dinner. Additional menus for happy hour and dessert can also be requested when necessary. There's a lot to choose from with each menu, including a selection of plates of the day. For instance, the plate of the day for Thursday is a crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich. If you're dining at this restaurant for lunch, try the Maryland jumbo lump crab cake or Tuscan chicken salad as an appetizer. The house-roasted turkey club and herb-roasted colossal shrimp are particular favorites among locals. For dinner, try the roasted block island swordfish or barrel-cut filet mignon. Consider the chocolate chip ice cream cake for dessert.
The Firebox Restaurant is a casual eatery in Hartford that focuses on providing visitors with a menu based entirely on locally sourced food. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner, and it includes an extensive wine list. Vegetarians should consider the farm greens or kale salad dishes for lunch or dinner. For lunch, go with the Autumn Cuban and tavern burger. For dinner, cast iron duck and black pearl salmon are two of the unique dishes on the menu. If you wish to order dessert, the poached apple and salted chocolate pudding shouldn't be overlooked.
Connecticut Historical Society
Anyone who enjoys learning more about history will love spending time at the Connecticut Historical Society. This historic museum also functions as a library and educational center. There are numerous exhibits and collections strewn throughout the museum that should pique the interest of history buffs. While many of the exhibits and collections that make their way through the museum are temporary, there are a few that stand as permanent collections, providing guests with a closer look at the history of Hartford and Connecticut as a whole. One of the highlights of this museum is the Making Connecticut exhibit. This spacious exhibit features well over 500 objects, documents and images that span from the 1500s all the way to modern Connecticut. You'll discover how Hartford was once one of the richest cities in America and learn more about the people that made Connecticut what it is today. (Photo Credit: Connecticut Historical Society)
Vivo Seasonal Trattoria
Vivo Seasonal Trattoria is a seasonal eatery that specializes in Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid-back, providing you with the perfect destination for a fun night out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered at this destination as is dessert. For breakfast, the all-American buffet is your best bet. If you're looking for authentic Italian dishes, try the porcini mushroom ravioli or house-made ricotta gnocchi for lunch or dinner. The tiramisu and chocolate Frangelico mousse are your best options for dessert