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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Park/Playground

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    Farm/Ranch

    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

    Museum/Gallery

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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

    House/Mansion/Villa

    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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