Deerfield Massachusetts is located in the northwest area of the state, in the Connecticut River Valley. The city’s history extends back to the earliest days of European settlers in the US, as it was first settled in 1673 and burned down in the 1704 raid by French and Indian forces. Today, the city is a thriving community and a popular tourist destination, and the historic Deerfield area offers an excellent chance to learn about the area’s past at one of the most popular historic towns in Massachusetts.
The Hall Tavern Visitor Center, built in 1760, is the starting point for information, tickets, and a short film about historic Deerfield. Within this area, there are examples of architecture, furniture, ceramics, silver, and antiques from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Visitors can also learn about the area from the informative plaques, gardens, museums, and burial ground within the one-mile area. The Channing Blake Meadow Walk, Old Burying Ground, Barnard Tavern, and Cooks’ Garden are some of the popular destinations.
Historic Deerfield also has eleven homes built before 1734, and each is fully decorated in the style of the period, such as Colonial Revival and Federal. Guided tours provide information about the history and inhabitants of each home, and two houses, the Stebbins House and the Sheldon House, are open for self-guided tours as well.
Visitors who are interested in learning more about the history of Massachusetts can visit the Memorial Hall Museum, which was established in 1880 and is one of the oldest museums in the country. The museum has an outstanding collection of Indian artifacts and paintings, along with examples of furniture and textiles. The museum is open May 1 through November 1, seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. Historic towns in Massachusetts typically boast excellent museums, and this one is no exception.
Within the city of Deerfield Massachusetts, there are several other interesting attractions to entertain visitors. The Bavarian Christmas Village and Nutcracker Castle are filled with holiday and home decorations, extensive selection of candles, and fresh fudge and other treats from the candy shop. Children are sure to enjoy a visit to the candle-making museum and the chance to try their hand at dipping candles. The village, castle, and shop are open daily, all year-round, so you don’t need to be visiting around the holidays to enjoy this attraction.
Visiting families, especially those interested in natural history, should consider a stroll through the 8,000-square-foot facility that houses the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens. It’s an unforgettable experience to be surrounded by more than 4,000 species of domestic and exotic butterflies, and travelers of all ages are sure to love it. Also in Deerfield, the Rock, Fossil, and Dinosaur Shop present a dinosaur exhibit, rock and fossil samples, and the opportunity to pan for your own gemstones, which make an especially unusual souvenir.
There are also many attractions close to Deerfield Massachusetts that make it an excellent vacation destination. Because of the city’s location near Pioneer Valley Massachusetts, visitors have access to the Mount Sugarloaf Reservation. At the reservation, guests can enjoy picnics, hikes, and views of the Connecticut River and Pioneer Valley from atop the summit. The Pioneer Valley area also has numerous art galleries and museums, including the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Eric Carle Museum.
Travelers seeking historic towns in Massachusetts often add Plimoth Plantation and Salem to their vacation itineraries, and while it’s well worth visiting these, Historic Deerfield is not to be missed, particularly if you’re interested in colonial history. Deerfield is not far from the airport in Springfield, and the numerous hotels in Springfield ensure that travelers on all budgets can find the perfect place to stay.