Area Attractions


The Welles-Shipman-Ward House (972 Main St.)
This mansion house, as it was known in the 18th century, is traditionally believed to have been built by Col. Thomas Welles as a gift to his son, John, on the occasion of his marriage in 1753 to Jerusha Edwards of Hartford, a niece of Gov. William Pitkin III. John Welles owned the John Welles and Co. shipyard and merchant trading business located on the Connecticut River. George Welles, second son of John and Jerusha, inherited the property and sold the “house, barn, cowhouse, and other buildings” to Stephen Shipman, Jr. in 1789. The Shipman family owned and occupied the house for over 125 years. In 1929, Mrs. Berdena Hart Ward, wife of Dr. James Ward, purchased the property, decorating and furnishing the house in an English country style. The house is now owned and maintained by the Historical Society of Glastonbury. Please call for tours and events. 860-633-6890

Museum on the Green (Corner of Main and Hubbard St.)
The Historical Society of Glastonbury occupies the original Town Hall. Nearby, the town’s Historical District is a showcase of 18th and 19th century homes, and the original Town Green hosts the Art Guild’s annual art show and, in the summer, Concerts on the Green and the annual Antique Festival on the Green. Native American, agricultural and industrial exhibits chronicle the town’s early history. Documents and genealogical materials are also available for research. The historical society is open for tours. Please call for more information. 860-633-6890

Connecticut Audubon Center (1361 Main St.)
Located next door to the 48-acre Earle Park, the Holland Brook Center is maintained by the Audubon Society of Connecticut. The center features local live wildlife and plant exhibits, a gift shop, and year-round nature-related programs. A hands-on area for children completes this Glastonbury gem. Open Tuesday though Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m. 860-633-8402

Cotton Hollow Preserve (493 Hopewell Rd.)
Roaring Brook runs through the preserve, providing some of the best white water in the state. Indeed, three miles of Class IV water, with about a dozen significant rapids, is everything the white-water enthusiast could wish for. In addition, the park is a hiker’s delight with several paths that wind along the brook to the impressive ruins of an 18th and 19th century industrial center. Along the way, the carefully protected habitat of many New England plants and animals offers insight into the beauty of this diverse natural area.

The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry (289 Meadow Rd., Rte. 160)
This is the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry. Since 1655, it has served as a vital link between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. The first ferry, a small raft, was pushed across the Connecticut River with poles. Today’s craft, an open flatboat, is propelled by a diesel-powered towboat. Historically, the ferry was operated by local families but it is now owned by the State of Connecticut and operated by the Department of Transportation. The ferry operates from Monday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., from May 1 to October 3. $3 per vehicle, $2 per commuter, and $1 for walk-ons and bicyclists. 860-594-2007


Farmington Valley Arts Center (25 Arts Center Ln. )
This is an exceptional resource for arts education for all ages, offering regular classes and workshops by professional artists, a gallery shop and an annual Christmas sale. 860-678-1867

The Pickin’ Patch (219 Nod Rd.)
Family-operated since 1666! Acres of pick-your-own products. A brimming farm store. 860-677-9552

The Governor’s Horse Guard (280 Arch Rd.)
The First Company Governor’s Horse Guard operates from a 139-acre facility off Route 176. Troop drills held every Thursday night are open to the public. The group appears at a wide variety of parades and events and is a prominent part of the inaugural ceremonies every four years. The Horse Guard was founded in 1788 by Hartford veterans of the Revolutionary War and has been called into national service during various wars and conflicts over the years. Today, more than 60 men and women are Horse Guard members. 860-673-3525


Collinsville Historic District (Rte. 179 at Collinsville Center)
Spend an afternoon exploring this intact 19th-century mill village that has been sensitively adapted to our era, featuring The Old Collins Axe Factory (860-693-0615; antiquesonthefarmington.com), which is home to over 50 antiques shops and studios. Up the street a bit, LaSalle Market (lasallemarket.com) is known for its legendary sandwiches, hearty breakfasts, and informal dinners. The Canton Historical Museum (860-693-2793; cantonmuseum.org), with its interesting collection of local artifacts, and historic buildings like Collinsville Savings and Canton Town Hall line the streets. Bring your bike to enjoy the 6-mile stretch of the Farmington River Greenway that goes through the village.


Goodspeed Opera House (6 Main St.)
Built in 1876, the Goodspeed Opera House opened in October of 1877. The opera house originally staged comedy and high drama. During WWI it was used as a militia base. Later it became a general store and then a Connecticut Highway department storage depot before Goodspeed Musicals purchased it in 1959. After a total refurbishment, the theatre was dedicated in June of 1963. Today the opera house is renowned worldwide for its musical theatre during the April to December season. The beautiful old theatre building on the banks of the Connecticut River is not only treasured by locals but beloved by audiences far and wide. 860-873-8668


The Connecticut River Museum (67 Main St.)
The old Steamboat Dock in Essex Village was built in 1879 and is home to one of Connecticut’s most treasured resources: the Connecticut River Museum. Today, this National Register site attracts folks interested in the long, proud history of the Connecticut River, its role in early colonization and its impact on the state’s evolution to the modern day. The museum, open year-round, tells that story through ever-changing exhibits, activities and programs. If you visit between Mid-January and mid-March, take along your binoculars, warm mittens and earmuffs. Winter Eagle Watch cruises sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society leave the dock on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. Book passage by calling Connecticut Audubon EcoTravel toll-free at 800-996-8747. All cruises are $30 per person. The Connecticut River is a National Heritage River and listed by The Nature Conservancy as “One of the Last Great Places.” 860-767-8269


Hill-Stead Museum (35 Mountain Rd)
The Hill-Stead, an outstanding example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture, houses the Pope family’s collection of Impressionist paintings by Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, and Whistler, as well as antique furniture, rugs, and decorative arts. Hill-Stead sponsors regular educational and cultural events, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival each summer. 860-677-4787

Stanley-Whitman Museum
(37 High St)
A National Historic landmark built in 1720, the Stanley-Whitman House was restored to depict life in 18th century Farmington and features programming for families and children. Its Sampler Gift Shop sells educational materials, toys, and books related to 18th century life. 860-677-9222

Day-Lewis Museum (158 Main St., rear)
The Day-Lewis Museum offers a small but impressive collection of Native American artifacts. 860-678-1645

Lewis-Walpole Library (154 Main St.)
The Lewis Walpole Library is a non-circulating research library for 18th-century English studies that was bequeathed to Yale University by W.S. Lewis, who spent his life collecting the letters and works of Horace Walpole. It has the most extensive collection of English 18th Century satirical prints in the United States.


McLean Game Refuge (Salmon Brook St.)
Offering over 20 miles of well-marked trails with a wide variation of terrain, there’s a footpath here for everyone. Trails are easily accessible from two main entrances. The Route 10 entrance is located one mile south of Rtes. 202/10 and Rt. 20 in Granby Center. To reach the west entrance, take Rte. 20 West to Barndoor Hills Rd. A picnic area is available at this entrance. 860-505-8218


The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts (166 Capitol Ave.)
The Bushnell features Broadway shows, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, as well performances by international artists. 860-987-6000

Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.)
Built in 1876 as Connecticut’s first synagogue, this is now a venue dedicated to the exploration of world cultures through the visual and performing arts. 860-310-2580

Charter Oak Landing
Daily riverboat cruises. 860-713-3131

Connecticut Historical Society
(1 Elizabeth St.)
Museum galleries feature interactive exhibits and over three million manuscripts on Connecticut history.

Connecticut Science Center (250 Columbus Blvd.)
Perfect for kids, the Connecticut Science Center offers highly interactive educational science exhibits featuring a wide range of topics, from physics to health to geology. See a 3D movie, try inventing something at the hands-on Idea Generator, or leave the kids at home and enjoy a night of food and music at the Liquid Lounge. 860-SCIENCE (860-724-3623)

Elizabeth Park (Prospect and Asylum Aves.)
The country’s first municipally owned rose garden, with more than 15,000 bushes representing 900 varieties. Peak bloom is in late June, making it a popular spot for wedding photos. The greenhouses are open to public, there’s a skating pond in winter, and they have an excellent restaurant called The Pond House.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
(77 Forest St.)
Home to the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 30 other books, this carefully restored house features period art, memorabilia, and beautiful grounds. It is on the grounds of “Nook Farm,” along with the Mark Twain House. Guided tours are offered. 860-522-9258

Hartford Stage Company
(50 Church St.)
Featuring live professional theater in downtown Hartford, this Tony Award-winning venue produces original works, as well as adaptations of classics. 860-527-5151

Theaterworks (233 Pearl St.)
This is the place for cutting-edge theater productions in an intimate setting. 860-527-7838

The Wadsworth Atheneum (600 Main St.)
The nation’s oldest public museum, the Wadsworth’s grand, historic edifice is home to significant collections of American and international art, as well as major touring exhibitions. 860-278-2670

The XL Center (1 Civic Center Plaza)
This 16,000-seat sports and performance venue features the Connecticut Whale (AHL) hockey, UConn Basketball (men and women), skating shows, and big-time touring concerts. 860-249-6333

Xfinity Theatre ( 61 Savitt Way, off I-91.)
This outdoor music performance venue with a capacity of 30,000 attracts the biggest touring acts.

Mark Twain House
(351 Farmington Ave.)
Once home to Mark Twain — Hartford’s most famous citizen, this Victorian mansion is now home to an impressive collection of Twain memorabilia. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour followed by the Ken Burns’ film Mark Twain. 860-247-0998

Old State House (800 Main St.)
Designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1796, this is the oldest state house in the nation. Guided tours and changing exhibits keep history alive. 860-522-6766

Real Art Ways (56 Arbor St.)
A contemporary art space that features films, concerts, performances, readings, and exhibitions.In their own words, “a unique meeting place for people to come together around art, ideas, and conversation.”

Trinity College (Summit St.)
Well known for being one of the country’s finest liberal arts colleges, Trinity College is set on a 100- acre campus “with classic collegiate architecture,” where Carillon Concerts in summer, film classics at Cinestudio, and exhibits at the Austin Arts Center draw Hartford residents and visitors alike. 860-297-2000


Wesleyan University (High St.)
Founded in 1831, Wesleyan University is one of the country’s oldest Methodist institutions of higher education. Twenty-seven hundred undergrads and about 400 graduate students share the campus and contribute to Middletown’s contemporary college-town atmosphere. A walking tour of the campus reveals architectural treasures that include the Washington Street Greek Revival Russell House fronted by massive Corinthian columns. The Davison Art Center’s (circa 1843) pink Mediterranean façade rubs shoulders with Queen Anne, Tudor, and brownstone examples of the gracious evolution of the campus and the city. Henry Bacon, who also designed the Lincoln Memorial, designed the Olin Library, built in 1928 on Church Street. 860-685-2000

Main Street
Wesleyan University and its students set the tone and pace for a main street and downtown that have undergone a dramatic renaissance in recent years. It’s an easy walk from campus to bookstores, clothing and jewelry stores that cater to every fashion taste, gift and card shops, home decorating and framing shops, a hardware store, sporting goods emporium, hobby shop, newsstand, and all the services necessary to everyday life. Art exhibits, museums, lectures, and the annual Connecticut River Regatta round out an unending list of things to do

Lyman Orchards (3 Lyman Rd.)
Generations of Connecticut families and visitors have made Lyman Orchards a year-round destination for great food, family fun, and championship golf. Starting in May, enjoy delicious breakfast fare in a beautiful country setting! Open weekend mornings through early October.

Kidcity Children’s Museum (119 Washington St.)
Set in the 1835 Camp-Sterns House — which was moved 400 feet down Washington Street, renovated, enlarged and then filled with one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits, Kidcity Children’s Museum celebrates a child’s natural curiosity with a hands-on play space that welcomes children ages 1 through 8. 860-347-0495

Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate (421 Wadsworth St.)
This was the summer residence of Colonel Wadsworth, who was an authority on the emerging science of forestry and conservation. Designed by the New York architecture firm Hoppin and Koen, it rivaled the “cottages” of Newport, RI. In the late 1990s, Middletown citizens funded a rehabilitation of the mansion and immediate grounds, and today, it’s a favorite site for weddings, celebrations, and cultural activities. The public is invited to walk through the parkland at anytime. Tours of the mansion are offered on Wednesdays.


Flight Trampoline Park
(140 Production Ct.) Bring the whole family and try out the open flight field with over 50 connected trampolines, join a game of high-intensity dodge ball, shoot hoops on the basketball court, or practice new tricks in the foam pit. 860-505-8218

New Britain Museum of American Art (56 Lexington St.) For an outstanding collection of early through contemporary American works, this is the place to go. 860-229-0257


Dinosaur State Park (400 West St.)
Connecticut’s “Jurassic Park” is a National Landmark that opened in 1968 two years after 2,000 dinosaur tracks were uncovered during excavation for a new state building. In the Exhibit Center’s geodesic dome, 500 tracks dating back 200 million years are enclosed for viewing, while 1,500 are buried to preserve them forever. Well-labeled nature trails meander past the plant and animal life of a swamp forest. And in the Arboretum, plants representative of the Mesozoic Era (especially conifers) thrive. Open all year for walking tours. 860-529-8423

Rocky Hill Historical Society and Academy Hall Museum (785 Old Main St.)
Formed in 1962, the Rocky Hill Historical Society’s first mission was to save Academy Hall, built in 1803 as a navigation school to teach young sailors and future sea captains their craft — and today the town’s history is accessible to the public through the museum, library, and programs located there. The library contains book collections, manuscripts, stories, oral histories, photographs, maps and paper memorabilia and is open for research. Academy Hall Museum displays artifacts, farm implements, military items, maritime history, technology, and costumes. The exhibits change periodically. 860-594-2007

The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry (289 Meadow Rd., Rte. 160).
This is the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry. Since 1655, it has served as a vital link between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. The first ferry, a small raft, was pushed across the Connecticut River with poles. Today’s craft, an open flatboat, is propelled by a diesel-powered towboat. Historically, the ferry was operated by local families, but it is now owned by the State of Connecticut and operated by the Department of Transportation. The ferry operates May 1 through October 31, Monday through Sunday, from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $3 per vehicle, $2 per commuter, and $1 for walk-ons and bicyclists. 860-443-3856


Tariffville Gorge (Rte. 315 to 189 East to 187 North)
The most challenging whitewater on the Farmington River, the Gorge has hosted national canoe and kayak competitions, including Olympic trials. Cross the river on 187, take your first right on Spoonville — and a right onto Tunxis at the bottom of hill. Then go under the Rte. 187 bridge to take the foot trail to the beach.

Heublein Tower (Rte. 185 on Talcott Mountain)
This 165-foot-tall structure atop Talcott Mountain is the Valley’s most visible landmark. Now part of Talcott Mountain State Park, it was built as a summer retreat between 1911 and 1914 by Gilbert Heublein of Heublein, Inc., distillers. The tower has been renovated and is open to the public. It’s a nice 30-minute hike up with gorgeous Valley views. 860-242-1158

Tulmeadow Farm (255 Farms Village Rd.)
Tulmeadow has been an operating dairy farm since 1786 and today produces what may, in fact, be the world’s best ice cream! 860-658-1430

International Skating Center of Connecticut (1375 Hopmeadow St. Rte. 10, north of town center)
Oksana Baiul, Victor Petrenko, and Ekaterina Gordeeva all trained here. So do lots of up-and-coming skating stars. Skating lessons, community skating, and hockey are going on all the time. And visitors can dine rinkside at Sk8ters. 860-651-5400

Phelps Tavern Museum and Homestead
(800 Hopmeadow St.)
Enjoy imaginative tours, presentations, a special exhibit that uses period rooms and interactive galleries to re-create the tavern’s use as an inn from 1786 to 1849, and a museum store. 860-658-2500

Rosedale Farms & Vineyards (25 East Weatogue St.)
This family farm has been growing good things since 1920. Today, fresh produce, fruit, flowers and crop-share memberships keep that tradition going. Award-winning wines make Vineyard-hosted tastings special events. Chef-to-farm dinners are prepared by Max’s Oyster Bar in June, July, and August. It’s a perfect setting for a party or wedding. And don’t miss the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hayrides in the fall.


Noah Webster House (227 South Main St.)
This is the Colonial birthplace of the author of the first American dictionary. Tours are available. 860-521-5362

Sarah Whitman Hooker House(1237 New Britain Ave.)
The Sarah Whitman Hooker House has been authentically restored to depict three periods of early Connecticut architecture. 860-523-5887

The Children's Museum
(950 Trout Brook Dr.)
This is a fabulous hands-on science environment for children. The campus includes a planetarium and nursery school. 860-231-2824

The University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Ave.)
The University of Hartford is home to Division One basketball and soccer teams, the Museum of American Political Life, and diverse performances and lectures at the Lincoln Theater. 860-768-4100

West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square (Farmington Ave., Raymond Rd., South Main St. and LaSalle Rd.)
Enjoy top-notch restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty shops in this pedestrian-friendly town center.

Westfarms Mall (500 Westfarms Mall, Farmington)
Westfarms is the region’s premier shopping destination, featuring upscale retail, including Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, and 160 other fine shops, restaurants, and department stores. 860-561-3024

Park Road
Park Road is a vintage neighborhood, where long-time family-owned businesses line pedestrian-friendly, brick-paved sidewalks. Visit the Playhouse on Park or enjoy shopping the way it used to be before malls, chains, and outlets.


Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (211 Main St.)
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum consists of three restored 18th-century homes that showcase furniture and decorative arts from 1690 to 1840. The homes bring to life the world of Joseph Webb, merchant (1752); Silas Deane, Revolutionary diplomat (c. 1766); and Isaac Stevens, leather worker (1788). The Webb and Deane houses are National Historic Landmarks. In fact, it was the Webb House where, in 1781, General Washington met with Compte de Rochambeau to make final plans for the battle of Yorktown. These homes are part of a larger historic district known as Old Wethersfield — Connecticut’s first permanent English settlement, with over 200 houses that date from the 17th to 19th centuries and 50 that pre-date the Revolution. The museum is owned and operated by the Colonial Dames and is open from May 1 to October 31, Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and November 1 through April 30, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays from November through April and most national and religious holidays. Admission is charged. 860-529-0612

The Buttolph-Williams House and Broad Street Green (249 Broad St.)
A short distance away from the Main Street houses on Broad Street is the Buttolph-Williams House (c. 1715), which is considered the best-restored house of its period in the area. It evokes the influence of medieval English architecture and features authentic period furnishings. The Broad Street Green — two blocks wide and two miles long — is lined with handsome old homes, and it was here in 1781 that General Washington assembled his troops in preparation for the battle of Yorktown. The house is open May 1 through October 31, Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is an admission fee of $5 per adult, $4 per child/senior/student/active military member, or $15 per family. The building is owned by the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society and is managed by the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. 860-529-0612

Wethersfield Museum and Visitor Center at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (200 Main St)
“Legendary People, Ordinary Lives,” is the museum’s permanent exhibition that details the history of Wethersfield. It features over 100 artifacts, interactive components for visitors, and information on historic sites to visit in the area. The exhibition galleries showcase local artisans, artists, craft guilds, and temporary society-mounted exhibitions. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Gallery admission is $3 for adults and free to Wethersfield residents, society members, and children 16 and under. The Wethersfield Visitors’ Center, located in the front of the Keeney Memorial, is fully accessible from the rear parking lot and elevator. Visitor facilities are located here and information on museums, historic sites, local shops, restaurants, accommodations, and travel may be obtained here. It is open the same hours as the Wethersfield Museum. 860-529-7656

The Wethersfield Historical Society’s Old Academy Library (150 Main St.)
Over 200 researchers visit this library every year seeking their genealogical roots or researching Wethersfield history. In addition, volunteers respond to written inquiries. Located in the 1804 Old Academy building, its shelves contain some 1000 books, local and regional histories, rare books and manuscripts, account books, logs, journals, newspapers, maps, charts, and an extensive photographic history of town events, buildings, and people. The library is open year-round, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. 860-529-7656

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