Hartford and the Connecticut River Valley

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Hartford and the Connecticut River Valley - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Connecticut River Museum


    In an 1878 steamboat warehouse, this museum tells the story of the Connecticut River through maritime artifacts, interactive displays, and ship...Read More

  • 2. Connecticut Science Center


    This strikingly modern building, designed by world-renowned architect César Pelli, houses 40,000 square feet of exhibit space under a wavelike...Read More

  • 3. Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

    Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    This ride offers some of the best views of the Connecticut River valley from 1920s-era coaches pulled by a vintage steam locomotive and an old...Read More

  • 4. Gillette Castle State Park


    The outrageous 24-room oak-and-fieldstone hilltop castle, modeled after medieval castles of the Rhineland and built between 1914 and 1919 by...Read More

  • 5. Goodspeed Opera House

    Arts/Performance Venue

    This magnificent 1876 Victorian-gingerbread "wedding cake" theater on the Connecticut River—so called for its turrets, mansard roof, and grand...Read More

  • 6. Mark Twain House and Museum

    Historic Home

    Built in 1874, this building was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (better known as Mark Twain) until 1891. In the time he and his family...Read More

  • 7. New Britain Museum of American Art


    An important stop for art lovers, this 100-year-old museum's collection of more than 10,000 works from 1740 to the present focuses solely on...Read More

  • 8. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art


    Following a five-year, $33 million renovation project (completed in 2015), the nation's oldest public art museum now has a fresh face. The first...Read More

  • 9. Bushnell Park

    City Park

    Fanning out from the State Capitol building, this city park, created in 1850, was the first public space in the country with natural landscaping...Read More

  • 10. Butler-McCook Homestead

    Historic Home

    Built in 1782, this was home to four generations of Butlers and McCooks until it became a museum in 1971. Today, it houses Hartford's oldest...Read More

  • 11. Devil's Hopyard State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Sixty-foot cascades flow down Chapman Falls at this 860-acre park, an idyllic spot for bird-watching, picnicking, fishing, camping, and hiking. ...Read More

  • 12. Dinosaur State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    See some 500 tracks left by the dinosaurs that once roamed the area around this park north of Middletown. The tracks are preserved under a giant...Read More

  • 13. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

    Historic Home

    Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96) spent her final years at this 1871 Victorian Gothic cottage, now a popular stop on the...Read More

  • 14. Hill-Stead Museum


    Converted from a private home into a museum by its talented owner, Theodate Pope, a turn-of-the-20th-century architect, the house has a superb...Read More

  • 15. Lake Compounce

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    Opened in 1846, the country's oldest amusement park is known to locals simply as "the Lake." Today's attractions include a lakefront beach;...Read More

  • 16. Lyman Orchards


    Looking for a quintessential New England outing? These orchards just south of Middletown are not to be missed. Get lost in the sunflower maze...Read More

  • 17. New England Air Museum


    The more than 70 aircraft at this museum include gliders and helicopters, a World War II–era P-47 Thunderbolt, and a B-29 Superfortress, along...Read More

  • 18. Noah Webster House

    Historic Home

    This 18th-century farmhouse is the birthplace of the famed author (1758–1843) of the American Dictionary. Inside you'll find Webster memorabilia...Read More

  • 19. Old State House

    Government Building

    This Federal-style house with an elaborate cupola and roof balustrade was designed in the early 1700s by Charles Bulfinch, architect of the...Read More

  • 20. Phelps Tavern Museum

    Historic Home

    Built in 1771 for Captain Elijah Phelps and his family, this museum's period-furnished rooms highlight the years 1786 to 1849, when it was used...Read More

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