At the age of almost 400, Hartford, the capital city of the US state of Connecticut, is deemed as one of the oldest cities in the United States; and so with age comes wisdom. And what better way to impart wisdom to the new and the young, other than the importance of insurance? Dubbed as the “Insurance Capital of the World”, Hartford is the birthplace of insurance, nesting majority of insurance company headquarters. It remains to be the region’s major industry.
Having been settled by Dutch traders in the 17th century, Hartford boasts an array of sights and museums, home to the oldest public art museum, the grand Wadsworth Atheneum, and the residence of highly acclaimed author Mark Twain House & Museum, as well as the oldest public park, the Bushnell Park.
The oldest public art museum that seemingly resembles a Gothic Revival building, the Wadsworth Atheneum is home to a grand art collection of about 50,000 pieces. Some of the displays are paintings by members of the Hudson River School, which features 19th-century Impressionist works, 18th-century New England furniture, and an outstanding array of surrealist works. Also in the Atheneum, the Amistad Foundation Gallery is home to a number of African American art and historical objects, while works by contemporary artists are featured in the Matrix Gallery.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, notably known by his pen name Mark Twain, used to live in the Victorian House arranged by strikingly orange and black bricks that was now known as the Mark Twain House & Museum. It was here that Twain wrote some of his famous works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Despite it not being one of the oldest attractions, the Connecticut Science Center is an interesting place to visit with its architectural space wonder and absorbing museum that people of all ages will take delight. Its innovative and interactive exhibits, which include the Bodies Revealed in its KidsZone, displaying 200 forensically flayed human bodies in action, is regarded as infotainment at its best. If you would visit the museum, it would be wise to visit after two o’clock in the afternoon after the school groups are done. Interestingly, it hosts a special barbecue evening during Riverfest, enabling tourists a front row spot on its terrace for the fireworks display.
How to get around within Hartford
From the Bradley International Airport, you can reach Hartford through hailing a DT Transit Bus 30, which operates between the airport and downtown. You can also reach downtown by car through highway I-91, which runs from New Haven along the Connecticut River that intersects in downtown Hartford. You might want to watch out for a proposed rapid transit line that will run between Hartford and New Britain which will be called the New Britain-Hartford Busway, as a way to reduce traffic congestion on I-84, but as of now, no developments has yet been reported.
Admittedly, Hartford does not cover a tourist-friendly public transportation and the best way to reach most of Hartford and its surrounding towns would be by car. Notable public transportations within the city include CT Transit, which operates throughout the Greater Hartford Area, and the Dash Shuttle, which operates in downtown area every 15 minutes.
How to get there
Hartford-Brainard Airport is a towered public airport located 5km southeast of downtown Hartford close to Wethersfield in Hartford County, Connecticut. However, no recent flights have been recorded for the said airport. An alternative way to reach Hartford in Connecticut would be to fly in the Bradley International Airport, located approximately 15 miles of Hartford. Bradley International Airport is being serviced by airlines such as AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JAL, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways, which flies to destinations such as Chicago, Washington, and Detroit. It is also being serviced by airlines such as Aeromexico, KLM, NetJets Aviation, Southern Air, and United Airlines, coming from destinations such as Atlanta, Westchester County, Cincinnati, and Charlotte.