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“This house reflects its owner”

The Mark Twain House & Museum
Ranked #1 of 63 things to do in Hartford
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Mark Twain House & Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Hartford, Connecticut, was the home of America's greatest author, Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) and his family from 1874 to 1891. It is also where Twain lived when he wrote his most important works, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and The Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. A stunning example of Picturesque Gothic architecture, the 25-room home features a dramatic grand hall, a lush glass conservatory, a grand library and the handsome billiard room where Twain wrote his famous books. The Webster Bank Museum Center at The Mark Twain House & Museum offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about Mark Twain, his family, the historic house, and the author's legacy. This state-of-the-art facility houses our ticket desk; the Aetna Gallery with a permanent exhibition on Twain's life and work; a rotating exhibition hall, The Hartford Financial Services Theatre, showing a Ken Burns mini-documentary on Twain; classroom space; the lecture hall-style Lincoln Financial Auditorium; The Mark Twain Store; entertaining spaces like the soaring Hal Holbrook and the sunny second floor cafe/patio area.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Melbourne, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“This house reflects its owner”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Even though we are not Twainiacs (a real term for Mark Twain afficianados), we loved our visit to the "Twainium". The house truly reflects the personality of Mark Twain, with its quirky features and decorating. (I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil the surprises.) For reasons of space, the house tour is limited to a set number of visitors at a time (15, I think), but there is a movie about Twain, an exhibit on his life and a changing exhibit to see while waiting. However, even if you don't have to wait, you should see them before leaving. The museum exhibits on Twain and the guided tour of the house truly brought him to life. As an added bonus, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House is nearby.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Monterrey, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Splendid house!”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

It was such a delightful experience being at the house of this famous author! We had an excellent tour guide: attentive, smiling, full of knowledge, answering all the questions we made. We loved his 3 daughter' s room: it was so cute and lovely! Surley Mr. Twain enjoyed very much his biiliar table and having such an amazing view from there and several other rooms. Strolling around the walkways among those huge trees was also very pleasant . This house does not have elevators, so it' s not for disabled people. I wish I would have had enouhg time to visit the Harriet Beecher House!

Visited July 2013
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Thank AnaH32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
991 reviews
445 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3,074 helpful votes
“HISTORY & FINE ARCHITECTURE”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

This National Historic Landmark is a “must see” when visiting the Hartford area.

There is abundant free parking in the Mark Twain House parking lot on Farmington Avenue. For people with a walking disability, the small lot on Forest Street next to the Harriet Beecher Stowe house eliminates the stairs leading to the Visitor Center. Inside on the second floor of the Visitor Center, there is an elevator down to the first floor.

Since admission is by ticketed tour only, one needs to go to the Visitor Center first to buy a ticket. There are two options: 1) just the house; or, 2) the house and the servants’ wing. The tours fill up fast, so be prepared to wait. Meanwhile, the Visitor Center has a biographical video, small museum, café, restrooms, and gift shop. Also, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, home, and gardens are next door, so one could take in part(s) of that attraction while waiting.

The Mark Twain House was built 1873-1874 starting with $20,000 of his wife Livy’s funds; but, cost overruns and extras more than doubled the final price. The house was built and decorated to impress. Livy had low furniture built for the parlor to make the ceilings seem even higher. High ceilings were a sign of wealth. One expensive feature added circa 1881 with his money was in the entryway. It was decorated with silver paint in an intricate geometric design on the dark wood by Louis Comfort Tiffany & Co. It was made to look like inlay. Another unique feature was the couple’s bed which they bought in Italy. They later discovered that it wasn’t the antique that it was sold as. In order to get his money’s worth, he slept facing the carvings of angels on the ornate headboard.

My visit was on the day of the Annual Ice Cream Social which I attended after the house tour. It was a nice event. In addition to the ice cream, various toppings and whipped cream were offered. Bandstand, a barbershop quartet, sang and entertained. West Hartford's Ballet Theatre Company performed a dance version of "A Love Chase," a short play by Susy Clemmons, Mark Twain's daughter.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“The tour is the best way to know about Mark Twain.”
Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

You can't see the house without a guide so plan time for it. We had to wait an hour and a half till we could tour so went next door to Harriet Beecher Stows house.

Visited July 2013
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Thank marygrace58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fascinating Experience!”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Whether you are an avid MArk Twain fan or just remember hearing something about him in school the visit to the Twain House is amazing! So much to learn and to see. It is a beutiful home! If you are in the Hartford area or looking for a great day trip a visit to the Twain House is in order. Then visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe House next door- two great authors in one neighborhood!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank HartfordMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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