I’ve lived in Hartford for most of my life, and am sharing some pointers to help you get the most out of what this city has to offer. For brevity, I am focusing on the city itself, but there are tons of compelling offerings in the surrounding suburban communities as well.
I get around the city primarily on foot or by bus, while some of my friends prefer to bike or drive. It’s really what works best for you. If you are trying out the bus, the system is reasonably efficient and most of the bus drivers are very helpful. You can find all the information on fares, routes, and schedules on CTTransit. Google maps transit search also seems to do a very good job of finding routes and connections. Recently, Uber announced that they were lowering fares in the Greater Hartford area.
There are tons and tons of activities, events, and meetings going on in Hartford all the time. Real Hartford does a listing of events monthly which will give you a taste of the variety of free or low-cost activities.
Hartford is famous for its parks. Whether you want to meander through the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden; go hiking, mountain biking, or running on the trails in Keney Park; play golf at Keney or Goodwin Park courses, Hartford parks are real gems.
The food here is pretty good and has incredible variety. I get take out Jamaican food from Mr. Snapper or Scott’s Bakery on Albany Avenue at least once a week. Or get a relleno de papa or alcapurria (Puerto Rican fritters) at Aqui Me Quedo on Park Street. Gelato and an espresso at Modern Pastry on Franklin Avenue. Pad Thai at King & I on Park Street. I could go on and on. My favorite Hartford food blog is Gapar Sancoche.
Parkville, just south of the West End, has become the hub of creativity for basically the whole region. People who are interested in IP, or who are just geeked out about making stuff, might want to check out MakeHartford. Excellent art, music, movies, and a superb monthly cocktail hour can be found at Real Art Ways. A newer offering is the Dirt Salon which serves as studio and event space.
Coming up in October is Night Fall which bills itself as “a magical free outdoor community performance celebrating seasonal change through art, music, dance, and Anne Cubberly’s legendary giant puppets.” It is truly worth seeing. The event will be held at Keney Park on October 10th.
Coming up this weekend is Envisionfest, another free offering of cultural attractions held on Saturday, September 19th. Tons of activities, open spaces, food trucks, and tours.
To make this post library-related, I wanted to highlight the superb Hartford Public Library. HPL has an outstanding collection, art exhibits, music and civic programming. Anyone with a valid library card from a Connecticut public library may check out materials from their collection.
This is really just skimming the surface, but hopefully will help offer some places to start exploring.