Sadly, our New England road trip has come to an end and it’s back to reality. We had a great time checking out what each of the cities had to offer and are already hoping to go back to explore more of Maine soon. Since we packed a lot into this adventure, I’m putting together a four part recap to cover each day we spent exploring. Here’s Part 1 in Hartford, CT!
Day 1 – Hartford, CT
- Driving to Hartford
Road trip day finally arrived!! We packed into my parents van and set off on the three and a half hour drive toward Hartford, CT. Of course, there was an obligatory bathroom break at the halfway point, but it happened to be at BJs, so we got some snacks for the road! Mmm… trail mix. Continuing on our way, we arrived in Hartford just in time for lunch. Parking was a bit difficult to find downtown since there isn’t much on-street parking. Eventually, we ended up in a parking lot a few blocks from the center of town.
- Food truck lunch
We picked the perfect day to visit as there was some sort of community festival going on which featured a whole line of food trucks just waiting for us to dive in. They had at least seven trucks selling a variety of food, such as BBQ, paninis, burgers, tacos, and ice cream. Jay and I chose the BBQ truck and ordered a pulled pork sandwich and a pork/brisket combo sandwich. The sandwiches came with a side of chips or pickles for $8 and were juicy and flavorful.
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum
We also happened to visit on the grand reopening of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art! Admission was free for the day, which saved us each $10. The museum recently opened a new European art exhibit which included paintings by Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh. They also had a Picasso and a Salvador Dali on display. I’ve never seen either of their works in person before, so that was a highlight for me. The museum had a wide variety of art and was more impressive than I expected. They also had a full orchestra playing in their main gallery and the beautiful music drifted throughout the museum. All in all, a very pleasant way to spend an hour.
- Mark Twain House
After the museum, we headed a few minutes outside downtown Hartford to the Mark Twain house. This beautiful mansion was the home where Twain and his family spent the majority of his children’s lives and where he wrote some of his most famous works. Admission to the hour-long tour was $19.
We saw all three floors of the house and were delighted with stories of how the Twain family spent their time in the various rooms. Especially intriguing was the third floor where Twain had his writing desk and billiards table, a room meant for creating during the day and entertaining his male friends in the evening (no girls allowed, psh). There was even an adjoining bedroom where guests could “sleep off” a night that got out of hand : ). It was an enjoyable and informative tour.
- Dinner and our hotel
After the Mark Twain mansion, we drove to our hotel located 10 minutes outside of Hartford in the small town of Windsor. The Residence Inn suites were spacious and even included a fireplace (though we weren’t sure where to find firewood or matches… womp womp). We ended up eating dinner at a local fire house turned tavern (Union Street Tavern) before turning in for the night. Stick around for Part 2 in Portland!