10 great and fun things to do in Hartford Connecticut
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT, 06105
Come and explore the beautiful home of America’s favorite author which was featured in 1000 Places To See Before You Die. Take guided tours through Mark Twain’s historical home, visit his personal library, the children’s rooms, the servants’ wing and his famous Billiard Room where he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Enjoy informative exhibitions and documentaries held in the Museum Center, visit the museum store to discover one of a kind treasures, or grab a relaxed lunch in our Nook Farm Nook cafe. House tours run daily beginning at 9:30 A.M. with the last tour leaving at 4:30 P.M., while the Museum Center is open for self-guided visitation during regular hours.
67 Main Street, Steamboat Dock
Essex, CT, 06426
Discover New England's Great River!
Swim through the history & heritage of the Connecticut River – or sail on it! – when you visit the Connecticut River Museum, on park-like grounds overlooking scenic and historic Essex Harbor. There’s plenty to see, from models of yachts, nautical paintings and history exhibits, to the tools used in early fishing, hunting & shipbuilding, to our breathtaking three-floor vertical river mural that goes up a staircase.. And there’s the model of the Turtle, the Revolutionary War submarine. But there’s also so much to do: rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard and paddle the river’s coves right outside the museum’s doorsteps, go on a winter wildlife eagle cruise to see bald eagles, or cruise aboard the Onrust, a replica of a 1614 Dutch sailing ship.
77 Forest Street
Hartford, CT, 06105
Don’t Miss the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford’s Nook Farm
Nineteenth century Hartford was an intellectual mecca for writers, publishers and social thought leaders. Harriet Beecher Stowe came to the city as the most famous American woman in the world. Her landmark novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped to escalate an international groundswell of opposition to slavery in the United States. Stowe’s Hartford home was her residence for 23 years. The Stowe Center uses the story of Stowe’s life to inspire social justice and positive change, with a 21st century tour experience using the historic collections to “paint a picture” of the significance of Stowe’s impact and to engage visitors in connecting history to today’s headlines. Open year round, check website for tours, programs and events. Park once and visit both Stowe and the Twain House with a combination ticket.
950 Trout Brook Drive
West Hartford, CT, 06119
The learning place for fun and adventure
This creative community where learning and fun connect, geared toward children 2 to 12, offers hands-on, minds-open, child-centered interactive labs, workshops, multi-sensory exhibits and demonstrations. There’s a science-curriculum-based Preschool program and Connecticut’s largest public, digital, and full dome planetarium, and vacation science camps. Roaring Brook Nature Center in nearby Canton is an outdoor classroom, with hiking trails, bluebird boxes and wildlife habitats on 165 acres of the State Wildlife Refuge. The Wildlife Sanctuary takes in unwanted and confiscated Illegal pets, and injured animals. Then there’s the mammals, turtles, tortoises, birds, lizards, amphibians, arthropods, snakes and fish! Be sure to visit our exhibit Dinosaurs in your Backyard: A Portal to Past Worlds.
Ten Thousand Villages Brings the World to You
Visit the Ten Thousand Villages
store at 967C Farmington Avenue in West Hartford
to browse and purchase folk art, ceramics, textiles, baskets, jewelry, wall hangings, pillows, rugs, mirrors, vases, incense, candleholders, and furniture handmade by artists in the developing world. Enjoy international music, the aroma of gourmet coffee, and rich chocolate. Your fair trade purchase helps improve the lives of thousands of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. 860-233-5470.
A Day Along CT's Winter Wine Trail Is a Sweet Winter Exploration
Do you drink wine only in the summer? Then why should you taste wine only in the summer? This is the perfect adult activity for a romantic weekend getaway when you are looking for things to do. Come see what the local vineyards have to offer in the winter, and they will heat up the afternoon for you. Connecticut's Winter Wine Trail
welcomes you to three vineyards: Bishop’s Orchards Winery in Guilford, and Gouveia Vineyards and Paradise Hills Winery, both in Wallingford. Have your passport stamped at each winery, and you are eligible to win prizes at a total value of $2,500.
Bushnell Park on Trinity Street in Hartford
is a wonderful public sanctuary that merits a full-day visit. The park is home to a carousel
that dates from 1914. Created by Russian immigrant craftsmen, the carousel is notable for the horses’ flamboyant faces and real horsehair tails. Besides the 48 horses, there are two lovers chariots, 800 twinkling lights, 24-sided pavilion houses, and a Wurlitzer organ. Open Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rides are $1.
Wooden Furniture Is Kloter's Specialty
Fine furniture from beautiful wood is artwork that lives around us throughout daily lives. Kloter Farms
at 216 West Road in Ellington
is a family-owned enterprise that started in 1980 as a horse and carriage hobby. The range of products is wide: from gazebos to furniture to children’s playhouses. Many items – from jewelry boxes to quilt racks to lazy Susans -- make great gifts, so stop here for some great. Open daily except Sundays. 860-871-1048.
Hop-Scotch Your Way Among CT’s Farmers Markets
Summer and fall in particular are the times for harvesting, cooking, and eating fresh produce grown right where you live. Connecticut has devised a Farmers Market Trail
– including a very helpful trail map
– that guides you to farmers markets, with all the details about days, times, locations, and products. These are places with live music, entertainments for kids, hand-made goods and gifts. The Trail map tells you where to find farm-to-table eateries, walking trails, art galleries, and historic sites. The map shows ATMs near markets.
Covered Bridge Is the Hidden Jewel in This Serene Forest
Comstock Covered Bridge in East Hampton, one of Connecticut’s last remaining covered bridges, crosses the Salmon River and is limited to pedestrian traffic. The bridge is located within the Salmon River State Forest
, which covers over 6,000 acres in Hebron, Colchester, East Hampton
, and Marlborough
. The forest includes the Airline Trail, which follows an old railroad bed and features the 137-foot-high Lyman Viaduct, providing a wonderful view of the Dickenson Creek valley; a handicap accessible fly-fishing area; and a letterbox hike. 295-9523