Bushnell Park


The Capitol overlooks the 37-acre Bushnell Park, the first public park in the USA built with taxpayers' money. It was designed by Jacob Weidenmann and opened in 1861. Weidenmann's unique vision – an informal, natural style – broke from the traditional New England central green, and included 157 varieties of trees and shrubs from around North America, Europe and East Asia. In July, the park hosts the nation's longest-running free jazz concert series (http://hartfordjazzsociety.com) and the annual jazz festival.

Over time, additions were made to the park, including the Gothic Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, which frames the Trinity St entrance and is accessible only by tour (noon Thursdays, May to October). The Bushnell Park Carousel delights children with a vintage 1914 merry-go-round designed by Stein and Goldstein.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Connecticut attractions

1. Bushnell Park Carousel

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