Hartford CT: The Best Cities In Connecticut

One of the country's oldest cities established in 1635, Hartford grew into a prosperous trading and manufacturing center, and today is one of the state's largest metropolitan centers. The capital of Connecticut, Hartford bustles with employment, recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities.

Conveniently located in the center of Connecticut, Hartford is at the crossroads of Interstates 91 and 84, with rail and bus service. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks is only 20 minutes away.

In the early years of its history the abundance of valuable merchandise stored in Hartford requiring protection against damage and theft led to many insurance enterprises developing. Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", many of the largest insurance companies in the world have their headquarters in the city. Tens of thousands of people from around Connecticut are employed in the industry and is the economic foundation of the city. The Traveler's tower is one of the signature buildings of the insurance industry defining the city's skyline.

Mark Twain and Daniel Wadsworth are among Hartford's most notable residents. You can enjoy a tour of the Mark Twain House & Museum - a National Historic Landmark. This 2,000-square-foot gallery is filled with rare manuscripts, artifacts, photos, and fine arts not seen anywhere else in the world.

Daniel Wadsworth established the Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest art museum in the United States. It's home to an impressive collection of historic furnishings as well as European and American art. The Butler-McCook House is the city's oldest house, containing an extensive collection of art, antiques and household items with a restored Victorian Garden. The collection of original furnishings range from Connecticut-crafted Colonial furniture to Victorian-era paintings and toys.

The Old State House is the oldest state house in the country. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1796 who is regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession. The Victorian Gothic styled State Capital features many statues and engravings on its exterior. It is topped with a gold leafed dome. Legislative Office building houses state executive offices, legislative chamber, and historic displays.

Connecticut State Library & Supreme Court is also located in the hill district near the State Capital atop Bushnell Park. The building contains the Museum of Connecticut History. The Colt Revolver was manufactured in Hartford throughout the late nineteenth century and there are a number of galleries devoted to Samuel Colt memorabilia.

Another popular attraction is the Civic Center which features sporting and cultural events, shops, restaurants, and luxury apartments in a 36-story tower. Restored to its original 19th century condition, Union Station includes the refurbished brownstone depot, restaurants, shops and lively entertainment.

The Downtown Library was originally founded in 1774 and is a large library containing approximately 500,000 items including books, reference materials, audio books, and children's books. A cafe is located inside the library that serves gourmet teas, coffees, and pastries with a special atmosphere.

Adriaen's Landing, located on the Connecticut riverfront is home to the 540,000-square-foot Connecticut Convention Center, the Connecticut Science Center with over 150 hands on exhibits, and a hotel.

The University of Hartford features several cultural institutions such as the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, the Joseloff Gallery, and the Renee Samuels Center. In addition there are also a half-dozen private and public colleges and universities in the city including Trinity College, Capital Community College and the University of Connecticut School of Business downtown.

Hartford's public school system is extensive and includes several interdistrict magnet schools and a large parochial system that provides private instruction. Hartford Public is the second-oldest secondary school in the country.

Since 1942 the Connecticut Opera Company has been presenting fully staged, high quality operatic productions at the Bushnell Theater. The Charter Oak Cultural Center is an important performance space where exhibitions, performances, in-school programs, lectures and workshops provides the opportunity to learn and understand a diversity of cultures.

The Hartford Golf Club is a complete private country club offering twenty seven beautifully designed holes of golf, as well as nine tennis courts, three swimming pools, four squash courts and four bowling alleys. The club also has many banquet facilities and a grand ballroom.

For those who are adventurous at heart, CT Ballooning, LLC provides unforgettable hot air balloon rides over central Connecticut.

With the abundance of cultural activities in the state capital, and with the average commute for workers twenty two minutes from the surrounding communities of the greater Metropolitan area makes Hartford one of the best cites in Connecticut for your home and family.

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