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Andrew “AJ” Shoham, at his family's store, Jerry's Artarama

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Our Town

A Guide on What to Explore in West Hartford

Whether you're new in town or just looking to rediscover some local gems, this little city has something for everyone. Here’s a guide to some of the best dining and cultural spots, parks, and outdoor activities that make West Hartford a great place to live and explore.

Food & Drink: Savor the Local Flavors

West Hartford has a wealth of culinary delights with restaurants, bistros, and eateries sure to satisfy every palate or occasion. Starting with breakfast, the Hartford Baking Company on Farmington Avenue will draw you in with the mouth-watering fragrance of baking bread. Don’t miss their renowned avocado toast; be sure to buy a loaf or two to take home. For Sunday brunch, try the elegant Pond House Café in Elizabeth Park, which focuses on fresh and local ingredients from the vegetable and herb gardens within the park.

When it’s time for lunch, there are so many really good options. For a hearty lunch or casual dinner, don’t miss either Max Burger or Plan B Burger; both are a must-try for burger lovers. Wabi Sabi on South Main Street offers Asian Fusion at its best. Other exceptional options include Bar Taco (great margaritas!) and Treva (fresh modern takes on Italian standards) with international flair and patio seating. Another excellent spot for outdoor dining and great food is Gastropark on New Park Avenue, an indoor/outdoor venue with an ever-changing selection of local food trucks and cocktails, craft beers, and wine. Meet friends at Small State Provisions, a bakery with amazing bread. In West Hartford Center check out The Elbow Room—the rooftop bar is a local favorite, offering a laid-back atmosphere and a great town view. Grab a cup of joe at Perkatory Coffee on New Park Avenue and then a mouth-watering dessert at Nothing Bundt Cakes on New Britain Avenue by the West Farms Mall. 

The very best casual fine dining can be found at Artisan, tucked away in the luxury boutique Delamar West Hartford Hotel. Meals center around local ingredients, and in nice weather, be sure to ask for a seat on the patio near the chef’s own garden. Flemings is an award-winning quintessential steak house, and Max’s Oyster Bar offers modern renditions of classic American seafood and an extensive raw bar with bi-coastal oysters and shellfish. Barcelona Wine Bar and Union Kitchen are perfect for a relaxed evening with delicious entrees.

A Shopper’s Paradise

Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center are perfect for strolling among many chic boutiques, trendsetting shops, and upscale home-essential chains like Crate & Barrel and West Elm. More great shopping can be found in Bishops Corner and nearby upscale Westfarms Mall. The Home Design District is a treasure trove of everything today’s busy homeowner needs to build, renovate, decorate, or furnish their homes. While you're there in the Design District, check out Jerry's Artarama. An icon in West Hartford this art supply store has a vast inventory for fine artists and crafters alike. 

Cultural Places & Happenings: Dive into the Arts and History

Stop by The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, located in the birthplace of the famous dictionary author. The society offers informative tours, a well-stocked museum shop, and fun programs for kids. The Mark Twain House & Museum is a beautiful American High Gothic home where Samuel Clemens and his family lived while he penned some of his best-known books. The guided tours bring history to life and offer glimpses into the family’s colorful life. The Children's Museum is a hit with kids and adults alike. Interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and live animal shows make it a day well spent.


 

The West Hartford Art League is a must for art lovers. It’s a small but vibrant community with rotating exhibits showcasing local artists. Art lovers should also consider visiting The Art Museum at the University of Saint Joseph. There is always something new to see, and it’s a beautiful place to spend a quiet afternoon. If movies are your thing, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, located between the Noah Webster Statue and the Blue Back Square Gazebo on the second floor above the Barnes and Noble, delivers a top-notch experience. Catch the latest blockbuster or indie film in style with reclining seats, full-service dining, and cocktails. Be sure to see a show at Playhouse on Park in the unique Park Road District. It’s a small theater with immense talent. From dramas to comedies, the performances are top-notch—it’s like having a Broadway experience without leaving town. 

Adventure Awaits in the Great Outdoors

West Hartford’s parks and outdoor recreation areas offer everything from a sunny stroll and picnic to a vigorous hike. Elizabeth Park is a slice of paradise throughout spring into early fall with its stunning tulip, rose, dahlia, and perennial gardens. Want a bit more nature? Westmoor Park on Flagg Road encompasses 162 acres with a demonstration farm home to various barnyard animals and three miles of nature trails that take you through wildflower meadows and woodlands. They also house West Hartford Community Gardens and provide summer camp programs for kids. For more outdoor fun, visit Fernridge Park on Fern Street, which has tennis courts, a pool, and a playground, making it a great spot for a family day out. 

Are you looking for a more active hike? Talcott Mountain State Park offers a slightly challenging climb up to Heublein Tower. The views from the top are worth every step—on a clear day, you can see all the way to New York! West Hartford also has six large reservoirs perfect for a casual hike or bike ride. The trails offer peaceful water views and a chance to spot local wildlife.

Golfers, don't miss Rockledge Golf Club. It’s a beautiful, well-maintained public course with lush greens, a friendly atmosphere and a private-course feel. 

Seasonal Events: Celebrate the Community

West Hartford hosts numerous events throughout the year that bring the community together.  The Celebrate! West Hartford Festival in June is a two-day community event on the grounds of Town Hall on South Main Street. The event features live music, food vendors, and an award-winning arts and crafts fair. In the fall, don’t miss the Pumpkin Festival at Westmoor Park. It’s a fantastic way to get into the autumn spirit with pumpkin carving, hayrides, and more. The Holiday Stroll in Blue Back Square is magical, filled with twinkling lights, holiday decorations, festive music, and plenty of holiday cheer. And each year the Chabad House of Greater Hartford Hosts its popular Fire & Ice festival, celebrating Hannukah. 


 

  • West Hartford's Holiday Stroll
  • West Hartford's Holiday Stroll
  • Chabad House of Greater Hartford's Fire & Ice celebration.
  • Chabad House of Greater Hartford's Fire & Ice celebration.
  • West Hartford Reservoir
  • Celebrate! West Hartford
  • Celebrate! West Hartford
  • West Hartford Center is home to numerous restaurants that have street-side dining.
  • West Hartford Center is a vibrant and popular shopping district 
  • Blue Back Square, one of the town's main shopping areas, hosts a variety of community events as well.
  • The view from atop Talcott Mountain State Park
  • A re-enactor demonstrates the 18th Century art of weaving at the Noah Webster House.
  • Roses grow in abandon on arbors in Elizabeth Park
  • The sourdough bread at Small State Provisions is a popular product at the bakery.
  • Andrew “AJ” Shoham, at his family's store, Jerry's Artarama
  • Sarah Smith, the manager of Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Traci Halky
  • Perkatory Coffee Roasters on New Park Avenue