With a population of close to 125,000 people, Hartford is the state of Connecticut's fourth biggest city and is nicknamed as the Insurance Capital of the World because of the city's reliance on the insurance industry. More than anything else, the city's history, climate and location makes it a prime tourist destination. So why not charter a bus rental in Hartford, Connecticut and explore the city today?
Hartford has a mix of great attractions, delicious restaurants, lovely parks and a variety of things to do. You can spend weeks in the city and still find something to do or places to visit. So call BusRental.com at 1-866-569-2012 and see what buses we have for you. You can get a 24-passenger bus rental in Hartford, Connecticut for small groups, or a 49-passenger or even a 56-passenger bus for bigger groups.
You will want to try out the Launch Trampoline Park (Hartford, CT 06114), where the kids can have fun bouncing all day long in the kids area. The whole family can have fun at the trampoline basketball court and the dodgeball court. If you are all adults in the group, you might want to go there during exclusive times when only the adults are allowed to jump.
Explore the city's thriving arts and cultural attractions.
Visual arts. The Gallery at Constitution Plaza is the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism's gallery that aims to promote art, tourism, historic preservation, cultural enrichment and film. Be sure to check the Gallery's changing exhibits.
Then there is the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the country's oldest public art museum and the biggest in the state. It is world renowned for its collections of French Impressionist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, American Impressionist paintings, modern art, and modernist masterpieces . The museum also has a wide array of early American decorative arts and furniture pieces. While you are here, be sure to see the following famous paintings:
While you are in the Wadsworth Atheneum, drop by the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, where you could learn more about art and culture of people with African American heritage.
If you want to relax with a cup of coffee, and see cutting edge modern art, then you should go to Real Art Ways. or you can head out to the University of Hartford and visit the Joseloff Gallery (West Hartford, CT 06117), where you have the opportunity to catch the big names in the world of art. Most of the time, you will see the works of the University's best students so expect fresh, innovative and sometimes even quirky displays and pieces here.
Performing arts. In Hartford, there is an outstanding performance on an equally outstanding stage every single night of the week. You can catch the Connecticut Ballet on stage. This is the state's professional ballet company that made the city its home. Watch them perform classic ballet pieces at the Bushnell, or watch them for free at the Riverfront.
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is where famous traveling shows perform in Hartford. As such, it is the venue of such notable productions as Jersey Boys, Avenue Q, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, and Phantom of the Opera, among others. The venue also has other types of performances including opera, children's productions, and comedy shows. Check out the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the second biggest orchestra in the New England area. The highly-respected regional orchestra gives their audiences excellent live music.
there is the Hartford Stage that has six major productions as well as up to two productions in the summer annually. Some of the biggest names have performed here, including Angela Bassett, Jesse L. Martin, Andrew McCarthy, Ellen Burstyn, Bradley Whitford, Calista Flockhart, Amanda Plummer, and Ed O'Neill, among others.
You can also go to Cinestudio, located at Trinity College (Hartford, CT 06106), where you can watch foreign films, cult classics, indie movies and obscure movies, while having an extraordinary experience where the curtain is raised before the movie starts.
Other worthwhile arts and culture attractions in the city include:
Hartford used to have major department stores such as Sage Allen and Korvettes. But these are now closed. Not to worry, though, as there are smaller retailers that are coming out to meet your every shopping needs. For example, you can satisfy your inner fashionista by going to Stackpole Moore & Tryon Co., Fiona Stone Boutique, Below US, Marshals, and Fashion Bug.
Top it all off with the best jewelry pieces from Christians Jewelry or Armstrong Rockwell Fine Jewelry. You should also check out the gift shops at the following museums for more unique finds: Wadsworth Atheneum, Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Mark Twain House, Old State House and the State Capital.
For vintage hunts, go to the Hurst-McKee Gallery or Bacon Antiques.
Then the restaurants! There is so much to taste and experience in the city's many restaurants. Max Downtown is a great new American restaurant that amazes diners with their steaks, chops and a wine list to die for. You should try out Costa del Sol Restaurant for its Spanish fare, including the best paella in the state, comfortable and cozy ambience, and most importantly the helpful, friendly and attentive service you get from the staff.
For the best French food in the city, head on to ON20, where the chef has been praised for being meticulous and inventive and food is served with excellent presentations. Plus, they have a wine list that is very impressive. Bonus points also goes to the lovely views of the Connecticut River. ON20 might be pricey by it is definitely worth it, especially if you are celebrating a special occasion. While Feng Asian Bistro has the best Japanese food all around. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is hip and modern, the variety is dizzying.
You could also eat at Salute. Conveniently located near Bushnell Park, it features handpainted murals, delicious Italian dishes and fresh ingredients. Meanwhile, Wood-N-Tap gives its fans a consistently top-notch dining experience with its traditional American food such as wings and sliders and Peppercorn's Grill also serves excellent Italian food, which has made it a local favorite over the years.
Morton's the Steakhouse always serves tender, juicy and impeccably prepared steaks, while Firebox Restaurant has excellent farm to table food that guarantees the freshest ingredients for its uber-delicious food.
Another Italian dining favorite, Carbone's Ristorante, is an old-fashioned place that has been open since the 1930s. They have a solid following for their Northern Italian food and outstanding service from the moment you walk into their doors through finishing your meal to driving away!
And if you are looking for a great nightcap, you might want to check out the city's best pub: The Half Door.
Other places you can check out include:
One of the best sports venues in the city is the XL Center, where more than 16,000 spectators can watch several sporting events such as WWE, UConn basketball games, the Globetrotters, and yes even monster truck shows. The XL Center is also home to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL and is a concert venue that has seen the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Cirque Du Soleil, Michael Buble, and Pearl Jam performing on stage.
You could head out to Chase Family Arena at Reich Family Pavilion, which can hold more than 4,000 spectators and is the home of the Hartford Hawks basketball teams. Or to the Dillon Stadium, which seats 9,600 people and is where sporting events and concerts are held. The Women's Football Alliance's New England Nightmare plays their home games here. Lastly, you can go to Jessee/Miller Field located at the Trinity College. This is where the college's football team plays.
If you want to play golf, you can choose between Goodwin Golf Course (Hartford, CT) or Keney Golf Course.
Be sure to check out the city's many historic sites and landmarks.
Start your trip through time with a visit to the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library. Here you will find more than 50,000 publications, books, postcards, memorabilia, and photos that tell you more about the city's history. There are also monthly events and exhibits that you can attend. You should also visit the Connecticut Historical Society Museum and Library, a non-profit museum and library that puts up exhibits, programs and collections that tell you about the history of the state. Here, you can find the Making Connecticut exhibit, the Inn and Tavern Signs, needlework, lithograph, and other artifacts.
Yet another history museum you could see here is the Museum of Connecticut History, where you could see the Colt Firearms exhibit. It is the kind of exhibit that is rarely open to the public without prior arrangements and it is free of charge, too. Aside from that, you can see the portraits of the state's 72 governors, the Mitchelson Coin Collection, the Freedom Trail Quilts, the Connecticut Collections, and the Liberties and Legends exhibit.
Then head off to Butler-McCook House and Garden, which is one of the city's most distinguished landmarks. Be sure to see the Witnesses on Main Street exhibit, where you can find the family's chronicles on the evolution of the area and Main St. This is included on the list of National Register of Historic Places.
The Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT 06105) was where Samuel Langhorne Clemens lived for 17 years. The Victorian Gothic house was where he wrote his best known works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, among others. After being declared a National Landmark, the house got a much-needed renovation and expansion and now houses a museum that displays much of the Clemens' furniture, artifacts, personal effects and other possessions. Meanwhile, the Old State House offers visitors tours as well as some interesting displays such as a two-headed calf and a two-headed pig.
Then there is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, which is located right next door from the Twain House. The Center has several documents, letters and other artifacts that is related to the family.
These sites are just some of the city's more than 130 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Among those listed are these historic districts:
There are also some places of worship in the roster, including Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue, Chevry Lomday Mishnayes Synagogue, Church of the Good Shepherd and Parish House, First Church of Christ and the Ancient Burying Ground, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Second Church of Christ, St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church, Temple Beth Israel, and Windsor Avenue Congregational Church.
Plus, significant homes such as the Arthur G. Pomeroy House, Boce W. Barlow, Jr., House, Calvin Day House, Dr. Frank T. Simpson House, Everett Austin House, Henry Barnard House, Hyde-St. John House, James B. Colt House, John and Isabella Hooker House, Lucius Barbour House, M. Swift and Sons Company, Marietta Canty House, Mather Homestead, Wilfred X. Johnson House, and William L. Linke House.
Add the historic commercial buildings, too, such as:
Further, there are those sites that are quite unique and not so commonplace. For instance, some of the sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places are cemeteries and funeral homes. These include:
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and chaos of city life, then there are some choice parks that you can go to and enjoy your afternoon playing, relaxing, just having a picnic or just lounging on the grass.
Bushnell Park (Hartford, CT 06103) has its own carousel. The restored 1910s wooden carousel has 48 horses that you can ride on, 12 of these are stationary. It also features two chariots that are functional from May to October.
Riverside Park (Hartford, CT 06120) is a Victorian-era park where you can go boating, fishing, rowing, play cricket, volleyball, and or just have fun at the playground or at any of its athletic fields. You would also love the sculptures here.
Colt Park has 107.58 acres of space, not including the Dillon Stadium. It is where you can swim at a couple of outdoor pools, as well as play at the playground. They have a track, a spray pool, two handball courts, swing sets, basketball courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, softball fields and football fields.
With close to 37 acres of space, the Goodwin Park has four tennis courts, a spray pool, a pond house, softball diamond, a playground, a swing set, fitness trails, a basketball court, a golf course.
Keney Park (Hartford, CT 06112) has close to 700 acres of space and is the biggest park in the city. Do check out the three historic gates here, including the main park entrance gate where you could see a plaque that commemorates the park's main sponsor, Henry Keney. On the other hand, the park is a great destination for outdoor fun as it has cricket fields, tennis courts, spray pools, basketball courts, outdoor pools, playgrounds, handball courts, a variety of trails, baseball diamonds and other sporting facilities.
Pope Park has a spray pool, playgrounds, picnic tables, basketball court, baseball field, soccer field, pools, a pond and softball field.
Charter Oak Landing features a boating dock and boat launch. You will want to spend an afternoon fishing in the Connecticut River or just have a relaxing walk on the park's paved trails. Have a picnic while watching the kids play at the playground.
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza has a stage near the edge of the river that serves as a backdrop for some of the best performances in the city. The grassy terraced grounds can seat around 2,500 people. There are excursion boats you can ride on here and you should catch the yearly dragon boat festival, as well.
Check out the Connecticut Science Center where you can see exhibits that are aimed at making science and technology fun and accessible. How about trying your caging skills by playing basketball with a robot? Or perhaps, feed food into Esther the Digester to see what happens to these fake food as Esther digests it. You will want to enjoy 3D movies in the theater on site as well.
Explore as many of these sites as possible when you charter a bus rental in Hartford, Connecticut from BusRental.com. We offer you the most convenient way to travel at very low prices. If you want to know just how affordable bus rentals are, get a free online quote from our site.