Things to do in Hartford

The capital of Connecticut is one of New England’s brightest gems, and Vinnie Van GO has created a guide for you of the city’s best. There are so many things to do in Hartford — from amazing restaurants, to wonderful museums and historical sites.

Check out Vinnie Van GO's guide to the best places in Hartford!

Hartford City Events

The Hartford International Jazz Festival

Every Columbus Day Weekend, this amazing showcase of jazz and blues is a local Hartford tradition. Many downtown venues are involved, so check out the website for more information and the schedule. You won’t want to miss some of the best jazz artists and musicians from around the world!


When it comes to Hartford annual events, Riverfest is one of the best. Every Saturday following the 4th of July weekend, join thousands of people at the Mortenson Riverfront Plaza in East Hartford for live music, games, delicious food, and many more surprises! The night finishes with a fireworks display, so grab your picnic basket, blanket, family, and friends, and join the party.

First Night Hartford

Hartford is a wonderful place to ring in the New Year. Locals and visitors alike join together for events throughout the city, including musical concerts, dance performances, tours of the city, campfires in the park, movies, comedy shows, kids activities and so much more.

Hartford Stadiums

XL Center

The XL Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena and convention center in downtown Hartford. It consists of both the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Exhibition Center. It hosts several sporting and entertainment events throughout the year.

1 Civic Center Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103

Hartford Landmarks

Mark Twain House & Museum

This famous house is one of the most important in American history and literature. It was here that Mark Twain conceived the story of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn. Built in 1874, this mansion is now a museum hosting thousands of artifacts.

351 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT 06105

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Another important literature landmark is The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, a Victorian house and museum. The garden is the perfect place to spend a sunny day walking around.

77 Forest Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Bushnell Park

Bushnell Park is the oldest publicly funded park in the country. It originated in the 1850s, and to this day welcomes visitors from far and wide. It also hosts some of the city’s best events, and is a local favorite.

Hartford Neighborhoods
There are a number of guided walking tours that are sure to take you through the best that the city has to offer, and give fascinating background information along the way. The Connecticut State Capitol building also offers tours throughout the day. For something more creative, try out the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art for daily tours throughout the collection.
Hartford Restaurants

Max Downtown

This small chain is a local favorite, and is the quintessential Hartford experience. The elegant interior and the traditional American cuisine is perfect for a business dinner or date. The original location is considered the state’s top dining experience, so make this a priority while you’re in town.

185 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103


For dinner with the best views of the city, there’s no better restaurant than ON20. Located on the 20th floor of a tower in central Hartford, this spot gives you unparalleled views of the Connecticut River, and the food is no slouch either.

1 State Street
Hartford, CT 06105


This family-owned restaurant has been running since 1938, and is considered to be one of the best Italian restaurants in New England. The Venetian small plates are not to be missed!

588 Franklin Avenue
Hartford, CT 06114

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