NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is Connecticut's capital, a fairly small (pop. 125,000) and manageable city with an admirable range of attractive architectural styles, several fine museums and historic sites, and a businesslike spirit.

 

Hartford's Old State House may be your first stop, as this colonial and early American capitol also houses the tourist information office (map).

Nearby are Hartford's other things to see, including the Connecticut State Capitol, Bushnell Park (designed by Olmsted), Center Church, and the Richardson building.

Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum is among New England's finest art museums.

A short ride from the city center, at Nook Farm, are the grand Victorian mansion of writer Mark Twain, and the more modest cottage of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Hartford was founded by Rev. Thomas Hooker, who left Newtown (Cambridge MA) on foot with a band of followers in 1636 after a dispute with another clergyman over the strict rules that governed the colony of Massachusetts Bay.

In 1639 Hooker and others drafted the Fundamental Orders as the legal constitution of their settlement, and it is upon this early document that Connecticut bases its claims as the first place in the world to have a written constitution that established a government. Every Connecticut auto license plate remembers Hooker when it proclaims Connecticut "The Constitution State."

Hartford is and has been a city with a good amount of wealth, much of it generated by the tens of thousands of workers who sit in the thousands of offices of Hartford's great insurance companies and banks.

Insurance companies seem to have a penchant for expressing their wealth and prestige through skyscrapers like the Prudential Tower in Chicago, and the John Hancock Tower in Boston, among others. Hartford has four dozen insurance companies, and therefore lots of skyscrapers, tallest of which is the Travelers Tower.

Nearby Attractions
The region around Hartford has numerous other sights to see. In West Hartford is the birthplace of America's first great lexicographer, Noah Webster. And the colonial town of Old Wethersfield, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Hartford, has a treasure trove of old houses.


Tourist Information

What to See & Do in Hartford

West Hartford

Old Wethersfield

Hartford Transportation

Connecticut River Towns

Connecticut Highlights

Connecticut Homepage

 

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Old & New Buildings in Hartford CT

The old and new, traditional and modern in Hartford CT.