things to do hartford

Best Local College Hangout Spots

You can’t find the best espressos, craft beers, and waterfalls, by studying in the library.

We did a little (field) research for you to find the best college hangout spots in the Hartford area. So grab your friends, and preferably an appetite, and make your way over to these local Hartford area hang out spots.

Cafes/Light Eats

Hartford Ct Coffee Shops

Story and Soil

387 Capitol Ave, Hartford

Story and Soil is a newly opened, coffee shop located in Frog Hollow, great for plugging in your headphones, ordering a fancy latte and soaking up the trendy, Pinterest-y vibes. There are also picnic tables outside that are perfect for the Fall weather. PLUS, right next door to Story and Soil is Goldburger’s and Little River Restoratives.

spectra wired

Spectra Wired

Where: 5 Constitution Plaza, Hartford

Spectra Wired is like a giant, modern warehouse-y living room that smells like perfectly roasted coffee. They have live acoustical music throughout the week, long tables and roomy booths for groups.

Whether you’re just looking to grab a beer, a cappuccino or to get some group studying done – this is your spot. You could truly spend all day in here (especially since they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner).

Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre

263 Main St, Wethersfield

Just off 91 (a short 10-minute drive from Hartford), you’ll find yourself in the quaintest adorable town of Old Wethersfield. At Heirloom Market they take the “farm to table” concept one step further, into “seed to plate.” In the cafe, they offer breakfast and lunch with locally roasted coffee and espresso drinks, as well as freshly baked bread, pastries, handcrafted sandwiches, paninis, soups, and salads. They also have a small market that features local, organic, GMO-free groceries and a garden center.

Insider tip: Their breakfast sandwich on a freshly baked biscuit with maple Sriracha is to die for (and the perfect hangover cure).

hartford baking co west hartford

Hartford Baking Co.

965 Farmington Ave. West Hartford & 625 New Park Ave. West Hartford

What goes together better than carbs and caffeine? Hartford Baking Co.’s fairly newly opened location is located right in the middle of West Hartford Center. The upstairs seating of Hartford Baking Co. is prime for grabbing breakfast carbs, lunch carbs, or coffee with a friend, and maybe even to do a little studying. Also, if you’re looking for something sweet after, the beloved Milkcraft is right next door.



Vaughans Hartford Ct

Vaughan’s Public House

59 Pratt St. Hartford (walking distance from UCONN)

Vaughan’s is downtown Hartford’s beloved pub. Located right on the beautiful Pratt Street, it makes for a great happy hour or late night spot. You can count on a chill (but slightly wild) atmosphere and some hardcore sports fans here almost any night of the week. Vaughan’s is best served with greasy grubs and after work (or class) car bombs.

Plan B – West Hartford

138 Park Rd, West Hartford

Plan B has some of the best burgers in the area (sorry, there’s no dispute here). But, these juicy bad boys aren’t the only amazing thing on their menu, their Firecracker Cauliflower is spicy perfection on a plate. With a nice sized bar and a bunch of high tables in the bar section, this is a great area to come with a group of friends to grab a burger and a beer. They’re also known for their huge selection of bourbon (if you need something a little stronger after a hard day of classes).

New Park Brewery

Where: 485 New Park Ave, West Hartford

This fairly new West Hartford brewery has an awesome atmosphere with long picnic tables inside and a large outdoor seating area. The best thing about this place is every Thursday-Sunday they have a food truck outside so you can stay and hang out all day without having to leave to get food. Two of our favorite food trucks, Mercado and Chief Brody’s, often make appearances here.

Hanging Hills Brewery Hartford

Hanging Hills Brewery

150 Ledyard St, Hartford

Hanging Hills Brewery is located right in Hartford, a bit outside the downtown area. The brewery always has 8 beers on-tap, cans to choose from and growlers for $15 to take back with you. Also, keep an eye out for events on their Facebook page, like ‘Games and Beer’ nights and live music.

Another Insider Tip: Go for their Metacomet IPA if you’re looking to get a nice buzz.

city steam hartford ct

City Steam Brewery

942 Main St, Hartford (walking distance from UCONN)

Have a group of people who are all craving a nice, big craft beer? Head over to City Steam on Main Street. There’s always something going on here, trivia, comedy nights, pool tables – just check out their schedule here. If you’re a fan of IPA’s, you can never go wrong with their signature beer – Naughty Nurse.

Also, hands down best giant pretzels in the area.

The Blind Pig Pizza Hartford

The Blind Pig

89 Arch St, Hartford (walking distance from UCONN)

Nothing goes better together than pizza and beer (besides carbs and caffeine). The Blind Pig has an open space, two-story atmosphere, with a long list of creative cocktails, and of course, specialty pizzas – including several BBQ pies, with BBQ from Bear’s Smokehouse (which is conveniently located down the street and around the corner).


Wadsworth Falls State Park

Wadsworth Falls State Park

721 Wadsworth St, Middletown

Wadsworth Falls State Park is about a 25-minute drive from Hartford and offers a picnic area, hiking trails and beautiful views of the waterfall. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to swim in the Big Falls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get down into your swimsuit and get your feet wet.

Enders Falls

117-173 Barkhamsted Rd, West Granby

Swimming IS allowed here so pack your bathing suit and a picnic and spend the day laying out, swimming and enjoying the gorgeous natural scenery. If you walk down the falls, you’ll find multiple little waterfalls along the way.

Enders Falls is a quick 35-minute drive from Hartford.

Elizabeth Park Hartford CT

Elizabeth Park

1561 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT

Located in the West End of Hartford, Elizabeth Park is an over a hundred acres, filled with flowers, ponds, a cafe, community gardens – it’s one of our favorite spots to spend the morning or evenings. Each time you visit Elizabeth Park you discover a new little location. Comment below if you can find where this carved love tree is located. 😉

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