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Hartford, Connecticut

Local Details

Learn more about Hartford, Connecticut using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Hartford, Connecticut so great!

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City Guide

Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut in the United States of America.

Get in

  • Bradley International Airport is located in nearby Windsor Locks. It also serves Hartford's twin city Springfield, MA.
  • Union Station is served by Greyhound and other major bus companies and offers trips to New York City and Boston every hour (even after midnight). Amtrak also serves this station linking to New Haven, and Springfield, MA.

Get around

Because of its small size, Hartford does not have the tourist-friendly mass-transportation of nearby New York and Boston. Thus, car is the best way to navigate Hartford and its surrounding towns.

  • CT Transit, 100 Liebert Rd, 860-247-0200. Public bus service throughout the Greater Hartford Area. Most bus-stops receive service every 15-30 Minutes. Most destinations are accessible by bus, but one must be careful to get off at the correct stops. The general fare is $1.25 with one free transfer. All day passes are also available for $2.75. If you miss your stop by more than a few blocks, stay on the bus and it will eventually return to Downtown Hartford. An additional $1.25 may be asked if you do not have a free transfer/all day pass, but it will still save you much time.
  • The Downtown area has a free shuttle, called the Star Shuttle. It runs M-F 7AM to 11PM and Sa 3PM to 11PM. Three buses run during peak weekday hours, with two buses in normally in service. Services run approximately every 10 minutes. The route connects the CT Convention Center, the Riverfront, the Arts and Entertainment District, various restaurants, and downtown hotels.

See

  • Connecticut State Capital Building Located off the highway, featuring it's distinctive Gold-colored dome.
  • Old State House The original CT capitol building is found in the midst of downtown Hartford.
  • Mark Twain House, 351 Farmington Av., Phone: 860-247-0998. Located in the historic west end of Hartford, this is where popular author Mark Twain lived for much of his life and wrote several of his books (e.g. Tom Sawyer). $17/$13.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 77 Forest Street, Phone: 860-522-9258. Historic house of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Elizabeth Park Beautiful and large park in Hartford's west end equipped with gardens, gazebos, restaurants, trails, etc. The rose garden is not to be missed.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St., Phone: 860-278-2670. One of America's finest art museums.
  • Colt Factory America's favourite gunshop, shaped like an arabian palace. It can be viewed just south of the skyline from East Hartford. It is in Hartford's south end.
  • Bushnell Park, Trinity St. 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.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Bushnell Park. The first memorial arch 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 stuggle.
  • The Children's Museum, 950 Trout Brook Dr., West Hartford, Phone: 860-231-2824. The former science center of connecticut in West Hartford has hands on exhibits, planetarium and mini zoo designed for grades k-6.
  • The Noah Webster House, 227 South Main Street, West Hartford, 860-521-5362. Birthplace of Noah Webster who wrote the first American Dictonary.
  • Nathan Hale Homestead, 229 South Street, Coventry, Phone: 860-742-6917.

Do

  • Hartford Civic 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 Hartford Wolfpack, and the UCONN NCAA Basketball team, the Huskies. Various bands and recording artists perform here, mostly popular and more established acts.
  • New England Dodge Music Centre Located on Savit Way, just outside downtown Hartford. This is a large amplitheatre. It opens in the summer to early fall.
  • Webster Theatre, 31 Webster Street. Small-scale club shows.
  • Rentschler Field A stadium in East Hartford which homes UCONN football games. The stadium has also been used as a concert hall. Since its opening in 2003, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have both played here. The Police are scheduled to perform on July 31, 2007.
  • Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd., Phone: 860-251-8111. At 540,000 square feet, the largest convention center in southern new england overlooks the Connecticut River and the central business district. Attached to the center is a new 409 room 22 story Marriott Hotel.
  • Bushnell Center for Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Av., Phone: 860-987-5900. In downtown Hartford, home to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The theatre principally showcases classical music and travelling Broadway shows. Popular comics also tour here.
  • Wadsworth Athenium-local art museum featuring many famous works, including an exhibit of Salvador Dali
  • Hartford Stage Tony winning theatre that constantly puts on shows/ takes in shows from on-the-road broadway plays.
  • Theatre Works Slightly less popular theatre in the same area. It is a very quiet and non-crowded place though.
  • Crown Theatre at Art Cinema art films are played here- brainard rd

Buy

  • The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester, CT is a large consumer area principally holding Chain stores. It boasts several strip malls, department stores, an outdoor outlet mall and a newly renovated and expanded large mall of the same name.
  • West Hartford Center A vibrant entertainment, restaurant, and shopping center just west of Hartford's city limits. The area boasts a large array of independent stores and restaurants. An outdoor mall is scheduled to open in a few years.
  • Westfarms Mall A large mall just west of Hartford on the borders of West Hartford, New Britain and Farmington.
  • Bishop's Corner Large area with several chain stores and chain restaurants. It is in western West Hartford.
  • Silver Lane Bargain street in East Hartford with discount shops ranging from a gigantic Petco to a Salvation army shop. This is also where Rentschler Field is located.
  • Downtown Manchester A shopping district with independent 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, and a bike shop.
  • Berlin Turnpike A mix of chain stores/restaurants, independent cheap restaurants/stores, and motels. The motels in the area were well known for previous involvement with the Hartford prostitution scene. The Berlin Turnpike is in Wethersfield, Newington, and Berlin. Because Newington is a few miles away from Hartford, the wealth of motels still seems mysterious, but they serve as affordable lodging for contractors who are in the area for an extended stay.

Eat

  • Food 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 neighboring West Hartford Center. Hartford 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.
  • MaxDowntown, 185 Asylum Street (City Place). Part of one of the city's finest restaurants and is consistantly ranked as one of the city's best restaurants.
  • El Salvador traditional Salvadorian food in the center of East Hartford's multicultural Burnside Avenue.
  • Grant's A trendy but surprisingly inexpensive restaurant in West Hartford Center.
  • Black Eyed Sally's A medium sized restaurant serving traditional southeastern food. The restaurant also plays live music from local blues' artists.
  • Gold Roc Diner Cheap 24-hour diner on Hartford West Hartford line (Exit 44 off I-84).
  • Great Taste Best Chinese food in the area, on Main Street in New Britian.
  • Luna Pizza Chain located in Avon, Plainville, West Hartford, Cromwell, and Glastonbury. Best NY pizza hands down.
  • Vaughan's, Pratt Street across from the Civic Center. An Irish-owned and themed restaurant, with many traditional Irish meals on the menu. Excellent happy hour specials.
  • Roma's A local Italian treasure serving excellent pizza and pasta.
  • 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, 255 W. Main St., Avon (Rt 44), Phone: (860)409-9100. Voted one of the best Hamburger places in Connecticut. Zagat rated "mind blowing fries" "at rock bottom prices". In Big Y plaza in Avon.
  • Coyote Flaco Tasty Mexican restuarant located nar Trinity College.
  • Mo's Midtown Consistently ranked as best breakfast and brunch spot in the area, by the Hartford Advocate.

Drink

  • Bar with No Name A medium sized bar attracting young people.
  • Mayor Mike's An upscale bar in Downtown run by former Hartford Mayor- Mayor Mike.
  • The Brickyard, 113 Allyn St, Phone: (860) 249-2112. A popular college bar with three floors of rock, dance, and live band. Downtown behind Hartford Civic Center.
  • Arch Street Tavern Historic restaurant/bar featuring a rustic atmosphere, pub food and live music. Located on Adriaen's Landing right next to the Connecticut Convention Center.
  • Pig’s Eye Pub famous for never having a cover, and live bands on the roof top patio.
  • The Spigot Laid-back bar with wide selection of draft and bottled beers.

Sleep

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.

  • Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd, Phone: +1 860 249-8000, Toll-free: +1 866 373-9806, Fax: +1 860 249-8181. Attached to the CT Convention center and overlooks the CT river and Central Business district.
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, 50 Morgan St., Phone: +1 860 549-2400.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 440 Asylum Street, Phone: +1 860 246-9900.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 185 Brainard Road, Phone: +1 860 525-1000.
  • Motel 6 Hartford Downtown, 100 Weston Street, Phone: +1 860 724-0222, Fax: +1 860 724-0433.
  • Residence Inn Hartford Downtown, 942 Main Street, Phone: +1 860 524-5550, Fax: +1 860 524-0624.
  • The Goodwin Hotel, One Haynes Street, Phone: +1 860 246-7500. Smaller upscale hotel in the midst of Downtown Hartford.
  • West Hartford Inn, 900 Farmington Av., Phone: +1 860 236-3221, Small place in vibrant West Hartford.
  • Hosteling International Youth Hostel, 131 Tremont St, + 1 860 523-7255, fax +1 860 233-1767. Beds start at $15 per night, single rooms star at $48 per night.

Learn

  • Trinity College Hartford's small ivy- consistently ranked as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country (and most expensive).
  • University of Hartford Private university with one of the best music schools in the country.
  • St Joseph's College Women's college in West Hartford
  • Rensselaer Graduate School of Engineering
  • UCONN Although its main campus is 30 miles away in Storrs, UConn's Law School is in the West End and the Business School is located downtown. A regional school is also located in nearby West Hartford.
  • Capital Community College Located downtown at 950 Main Street in the former G. Fox department store building.
  • Manchester Community College Largest Community college in Connecticut.
  • Central Connecticut State University Part of the Connecticut State University system, is located in New Britain, ten minutes southwest of Hartford. It excels in educational excellence and Division I sports.
  • Goodwin College East Hartford
  • The Connecticut State Library Located in the State Supreme Court building, along with the Connecticut State Museum.
  • Tunxis Community College Located in Farmington, CT

Stay safe

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 contain some of the worst neighborhoods in the city. Still, Hartford has one of the highest concentrations of West Indians in the country, and most of these people live here. Various businesses and entertainment centers reflect this demographic, and make the north end a place to visit, albeit carefully. The south end is generally fine, especially if you stick to main st, park st, franklin ave, maple ave, and wethersfield ave. Side streets vary, especially in the Park/Broad st areas (Frog Hollow), but these areas are conspicuous. The west end and downtown are both fine regardless of where you go.

Get Out

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 A private owned park in neighboring East Hartford/Manchester boasts a picturesque landscape with excellent views of the Hartford skyline. It holds many biking/hiking trails, picnic areas, tennis courts, and an aviary.

There are also several other cities in the area:

  • New York City, NY.
  • Boston, MA.
  • Springfield, MA.
  • New Haven, CT.
  • Middletown, CT.
  • Providence, RI.

Rural Areas:

  • Berkshire Hills. MA.

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Goods & Services in Hartford, Connecticut.

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