The Best Places to Visit Off-Campus


Danielle Hart, Staff Writer

Having a car on campus can be a real luxury when it comes to finding things to do off campus.  For the rest of us finding things off campus can be difficult, or expensive depending on the form of public transportation you use. Thankfully, the University of Hartford provides its own form of free public transportation! There is a shuttle bus that helps students get off campus easily.  I personally do not have a car on campus, but with the help of the University of Hartford’s shuttle bus, I am able to travel to the very best of local places. No matter your method of transportation, you need to check out these off-campus hot spots to make the most out of your time here.

My personal favorite place to go on the weekends, or even after my morning classes is Blue Back Square in West Hartford. The beauty of Blue Back Square, is that there are so many places to stop, shop, and eat at, that the possibilities are basically endless. Inside the square you can find the Cinépolis Luxury Cinema, which just got renovated this past summer.  Here you can discover your new favorite movie, while reclining in brand new luxury chairs, and even order food service while you are at it. Blue Back also has so many food options for you to explore. One amazing place to go is Max’s Oyster Bar. The whole vibe of the restaurant is classy yet so modern. In my opinion, it has to be the best restaurant in all of West Hartford based on its menu, service, and price point. In between your movie times and restaurant reservations make sure to visit all of the cute, local shops that are set up to really make a whole day out of it; and for the 21 year olds out there, make a night out it as well at the numerous bars and clubs around.

Maybe you are saying to yourself, “Blue Back sounds great, but I really do not want to be spending money because I have so much else to pay for.”, and that’s fine too!  If you are not the shopping type, Elizabeth Park is a great place to head on over to. Located just two miles off campus, it is open from sunrise to sunset and is handicap accessible. The park is incredibly beautiful and includes many amenities that attract all kinds of interests.  A full rose garden towards the back of the park is the absolute best place to picnic. If you did not bring your own food, the Pond House Café is a great place to grab a bite to eat for lunch while enjoying the stunning scenery. In terms of recreation, Elizabeth Park has four regulation-size tennis courts, a little league baseball field, softball fields, a basketball court, a playground area, and paths for walking, jogging or running in the park. So, if you’re in the mood to get your outdoor fix, locally, you have to visit Elizabeth Park.

For sports fanatics, concert fans and more, Dunkin Donuts Park and the XL Center located in downtown Hartford always have something going on. The Hartford Yard Goats baseball team was founded in 2016, and are a minor-league affiliate with the Colorado Rockies. When the spring season rolls around, it is always a good idea to take yourself and a group of friends out for a baseball game. Whether they’re playing under the lights or under the sun, their games are always a homerun. The Hartford Wolf Pack hockey team is another great Hartford team to cheer on. As an affiliate with the New York Rangers, the hockey team plays all its home games at the XL Center, which supports a crowd 16,000+ people. The XL Center also hosts concerts all year round, for any of the music lovers out there, so if you’re looking to see your favorite artists, keep an eye out for those events as well!