Hartford, Connecticut is known as the "Insurance Capital of the World", and several of the largest American insurance companies have their headquarters located there. Hartford is a diverse city that features almost 20 different neighborhoods, and an assortment of cultural attractions. The west end, downtown, and Asylum Hill neighborhoods are three of the most popular sections of Hartford. Each of these neighborhoods maintains a distinct identity, and they all have to something to offer for residents and visitors alike. Presented here is some useful information regarding these vital neighborhoods in Connecticut's capital city.
Hartford's downtown section not only serves as the local region's major business, cultural, and transportation hub, but it also features a wealth of apartment and condo options. In recent years, many former commercial buildings downtown have been converted into upscale residential buildings. Several large hotels are situated in the downtown area, and great restaurants such as Max Downtown, Salute, Feng, and Black-Eyed Sally's consistently offer top-rate food and beverages. Although there are no large grocery stores in the downtown area, several small convenience store/delis are located there. The Connecticut Convention Center, the Hartford XL Center, and the Bushnell Memorial Theatre are downtown venues that regularly host a broad spectrum of events. An active night life is offered in Hartford's downtown neighborhood, with a number of bars, coffee shops, and eateries doing business there. Public transportation is plentiful in this vibrant section of the city, and easy access to major highways is provided.
The west end of Hartford features a comfortable mix of apartment buildings and mostly well-maintained private homes. The main thoroughfare in this neighborhood is Farmington Avenue, where an active commercial district is located. For many decades, the west end has been home to lots of artists, musicians, and other creative types of people. This neighborhood borders the affluent suburb of West Hartford, and is widely considered to be one of Hartford's best neighborhoods. A host of amenities, including restaurants, small food stores, laundromat, bank, churches, bars, a copy/shipping store, pharmacy, and a bowling alley, are situated in the west end. South Whitney Pizza, Mo's Midtown, Tisane, and China House are longtime neighborhood dining spots that are popular with people of all ages. Parts of the world-famous Elizabeth Park are located in Hartford's west end, and the University of Connecticut School of Law calls the neighborhood home.
Located in-between Hartford's downtown and west end sections, the Asylum Hill neighborhood is primarily comprised of rental properties. A small commercial district is featured here, with a dollar store, bank, doughnut shop, laundromat, restaurants, and other businesses in place. The headquarters of two large insurance companies are housed in the Asylum Hill section, as are several houses of worship. The restored homes of authors Mark Twain and Harriett Beecher Stowe, and their adjacent museums, are big tourist attractions in Hartford, Connecticut's Asylum Hill neighborhood.