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Traipse Through History With Stowe, Twain

Follow up Day Trip to Authors' Neighboring Estates in Hartford With Visit to an Award-Winning Eatery

So ...  you have a day to yourself to do just about anything … where will you go?

I recommend a day trip to the Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Mark Twain houses, right next door to each other. It's a chance to learn about two remarkable authors.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was the "the little woman” President Abraham Lincoln referred to as the one ”who wrote the book that started this great war!" This was, of course, a reference to her book, "Uncle Tom’s Cabin," written in 1852, which helped shift Northern attitudes toward slavery. In her house, you will see how she lived and have access to the family papers.

Twain needs no introduction to Connecticut folks. He lived in Hartford from 1871-91, and wrote many of his most famous books while in this house. The house itself is amazing! Twain said that it “had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with.”

There are plenty of places to have lunch or dinner nearby.  I recommend:

• Mo’s Midtown, 25 Whitney St., (860) 236-7741. Price range: $2.95-$7.95. Try the latkes!

Salute at 100 Trumbull St., (860) 899-1350. Price range: $16-$36 from the former partner of Hot Tomato’s. Try the potato ravioli!

Black-eyed Sally’s at 350 Asylum St., (860) 278-7427. A always reliable favorite in downtown Hartford.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House: 77 Forest St., Hartford; Wednesday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12-4:30 p.m., (860) 522-9258. Tours range from $4-$11.

Mark Twain House: 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford; Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5:30 p.m., (860) 247-0998. $10-$16, depending on age; $6 for the museum only. There is plenty of parking, and the Mark Twain House just completed a spectacular new museum to go with the house!

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