The Gilded Age

Mark Twain said of Hartford, “You don’t know what real beauty is until you have been here.” Our Capital City is rich in ornate Victoriana. Nook Farm, I-84 Exit 46 includes the Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Katherine Day Houses. Downtown’s Bushnell Park (1854), was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and includes Memorial Arch (1886) by George Keller (who is buried in it) and a 1914 Carousel that you can ride. The golden-domed State Capitol (1878) was designed by Richard M. Upjohn. Stay overnight at the historic Goodwin Hotel and stroll down Main Street to America’s first municipal museum, Wadsworth Atheneum. See the Goodwin Parlor and enjoy a tasty repast at the museum restaurant. A treat for the eyes is Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. This beautiful Victorian park built in 1897 was the first municipal rose garden in America and was visited often by Twain and his family.

DRIVING TIP: All in Hartford.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Address : Farmington Ave. at Forest St. Hartford, CT 06105

1871 Victorian cottage, home of the author of the anti-slavery classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Grounds include gardens, 1884 Queen Anne-style Katharine Seymour Day house, Visitor Center. Guided tours of the Stowe House includes a visit to the Day House and admission to changing exhibitions. Children’s costume tours and seasonal garden tours. Museum shop, research library.

State Capitol & Legislative Office Building

Address : 210 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106

Gold-domed Victorian Gothic building opened in 1878. State executive offices and legislative chambers. Historic displays. On weekdays begin the one-hour tour at the neighboring Legislative Office Bldg. Visitor Information Center in both buildings.

The Goodwin Hotel

Address : at Goodwin Square, One Haynes St. (opposite Civic Center), Hartford, CT 06103

124 units (11 suites, some bi-level), rest, lounge, valet garage parking, TV, health facilities.

Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens

Address : Prospect Ave. Hartford, CT 06106

First municipal rose garden in the country; greenhouses, nature walks, perennials and rock gardens. Peak bloom: late June. Pond House offers restaurant, lounge and auditorium. Another entrance located on Walbridge Rd. in West Hartford.

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