Hartford is the capital of Connecticut and is located in the geographic center of the state. Ranked as the third-largest city in Connecticut, Hartford is very easy to visit by all forms of public transportation. Interstates 84 and 91 pass directly through Hartford. Route 2 runs through the downtown, and Route 15 skirts the southeast corner of the city near Hartford-Brainard Airport. Brainard offers charter and local flights. Bradley International Airport is located just 20 minutes north of the downtown and offers over 100 flights daily to 30 destinations. Amtrak connects Hartford with many cities, including Boston, New York City and Washington, DC. Bus service is also available from several different lines. Even a major bicycle route, the East Coast Greenway, runs through Hartford.
Fur traders from the New Netherland colony set up business in the area in 1623, but abandoned Fort Goede Hoop (“Good Hope”) by 1654. English settlers arrived in 1635. Originally called Newtown, the city was renamed Hartford in 1637 in honor of Hertford England, hometown to one of the settlers. The leader of these settlers, Pastor Thomas Hooker, delivered a sermon on self-government that had a profound influence on the nation. The sermon’s basic precept of government by the the people was incorporated in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. This document became the basis of the Connecticut Constitution, which in turn became the foundation of the US Constitution.
In the 19th century, Hartford was active in the abolishment movement. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, lived in Hartford in the Nook Farm neighborhood. Stowe’s next-door neighbor was another famous author, Mark Twain. The homes of both authors have been restored, and tours are offered today along with others in the historic area.
Incorporated over 400 hundred years ago, Hartford is one of the oldest cities in America, and it became the wealthiest city after the Civil War at the time Stowe and Twain were in residence. Today, the Hartford metropolitan area’s economy is still strong. The city is headquarters for so many insurance companies that it is known as the “Insurance Capital of the World”.
Hartford boasts the country’s oldest public park, Bushnell Park, the nation’s oldest continually published newspaper, The Hartford Courant, and the oldest US public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum. Hartford also features many contemporary venues, including the CT Expo Center, the XL Center (formerly called the Hartford Civic Center), and the Charter Oak Cultural Center.
Things to Do in Hartford
Hartford summers are typically hotter and muggier than in other New England cities. July is usually the warmest month, and temperatures typically range from 63 °F to 84 °F. January is the generally the coldest month with temperatures ranging from 16 °F to 35 °F. May is typically the rainiest month (just under 4 inches), while February is usually the driest with 2.65 inches of precipitation on average.
Current Hartford Weather
Chance of a Thunderstorm86°/63°
Chance of a Thunderstorm81°/59°
Chance of Rain72°/43°