{short description of image} 1st Traveler's Choice

Destination:
The Five College Area / Pioneer Valley
of Western Massachusetts

Springfield ... Sunderland ... Westhampton
Photo of Emily Dickinson Homestead in the Five College Area / Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts

Photo: Emily Dickinson Homestead

Introduction

Lodging

Location

Norwottuck Rail Trail

Museums, Galleries, and the Arts

Attractions

Recreation

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Smith College

Amherst College and Hampshire College

Mount Holyoke College
Springfield

Springfield has the distinction of being a city of "Firsts". From the first Duryea automobile, to the first home of Dr. Seuss and the birthplace of Basketball. Situated on the banks of the Connecticut River, Springfield offers many exciting attractions from river cruises, the zoo, Basketball Hall of Fame to the Hurambee Festival and the Kwanza Festival and soon home of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial. Don't miss roaming through the Springfield Science Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum or listening at the Springfield Symphony Hall.

Sunderland

Sunderland started out in 1673 as an informal plantation set up along the banks of Connecticut River, which provided fertile soil and ideal crop conditions, but the native Indians soon drove away the settlers.

Settlers eased their way back into the area in 1714 and named their new home Swampfield. The namesake swamps, located in the northern part of town, were once used to identify various housing lots at the time, were later drained after they proved to be too much trouble. Residents then changed the name to Sunderland while petitioning for incorporation in 1718. The town is named in honor of Charles Spencer, the Earl of Sunderland and a former prime minister of England.

Today, this bedroom community for the University of Massachusetts may be best known for all its many farm stands, which provide locals and visitors alike a plentiful supply of fresh vegetables, strawberries, and perennial flowers.

Westhampton

If you travel through Westhampton, you'll want to stop at what used to be the Old Norton Tavern, but don't expect to order a beer. For you see, Westhampton has been dry for nearly 140 years.

In 1863, the townspeople voted to outlaw liquor agencies. In subsequent years, Westhampton's teetotallers let up a tad, but still placed stringent restriction on the few establishments where they did allow liquor to be served. Then, in 1889, voters elected, 73-2, to ban the manufacture and sale of all intoxicating beverages.

The issue resurfaced again in 1994, when residents voted 412-246 to maintain the town's dry status. In the absence of a local watering hole, the former Old Norton Tavern has become a family-friendly place for residents to socialize. Here, families and friends convene at what is now known as Outlook Farm to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps a cool, refreshing soft drink. The Farm also stocks plenty of meats and fresh fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods, sandwiches, and soups.

Towns
Amherst
Ashfield
Belchertown
Bernardston
Chesterfield
Conway
Cummington
Deerfield
Easthampton
Goshen
Granby
Greenfield
Hadley
Hatfield
Huntington
Leverett
New Salem
Northampton
Pelham
Plainfield
Shutesbury
South Hadley
Southampton
Springfield
Sunderland
Westhampton
Whately
Williamsburg
Worthington
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Introduction ..... Lodging .... Norwottuck Rail Trail ..... Museums, Galleries, and the Arts ..... Attractions ..... Recreation ..... University of Massachusetts at Amherst ..... Smith College ..... Amherst College and Hampshire College ..... Mount Holyoke College


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