Houses of the Famous Last Updated 4/18

The Beverly Hills house tour has always been a staple of a visit to Southern California, and we’ve got a tour in Connecticut, too. Except that with ours, you can go inside the houses, take a look around, learn about the famous residents and maybe even something about culture, the arts, architecture and America, too. Here are several of the better-known houses that are open to you.
 

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The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

The 19-room Victorian gem known by all as the Mark Twain House offers a wonderful look into the life of what many consider to be America’s greatest writer. Twain lived here from 1874 to 1891 and was at his most productive, writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and other timeless classics. Tour the house and visit the adjacent museum as well.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford

Right next door to the Twain House is the house of writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose Uncle Tom’s Cabin took the nation by storm and was credited by no less than Abraham Lincoln as a factor in the fighting of the Civil War. You’ll learn much about a writer’s life here, and also in the Victorian grounds and gardens.

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Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk

This stunner is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Built between 1864 and 1868 by financier and railroad baron LeGrand Lockwood, the Gilded Age mansion combines jaw-dropping interiors and architectural flourishes with a suitably rocky domestic history through the economic ups and downs of the 1860s to 1960s century.

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Gillette Castle, East Haddam

William Gillette was a famous actor, best known for his portrayals on stage of Sherlock Holmes. Once he became successful he built a wildly eccentric castle for himself on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River - spectacular in spring. Gillette Castle State Park is today open for touring, picnicking or simply strolling the 184-acre park. The grounds are open year-round.

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Weir Farm National Historic Site, Ridgefield

This 60-acre estate was home to three generations of artists, including Julian Alden Weir, a leading figure in American Impressionism. You can visit his former home studio, barns, gardens and Weir Pond. Time your visit well and you can even try your hand at painting.

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The Noah Webster House, West Hartford

The colonial-era birthplace of founding father Noah Webster, who published his first dictionary in 1806 and whose name became synonymous with the American language, this historic West Hartford house is home to a museum, educational center, one-room schoolhouse theater and exhibition galleries.