Northampton MA, nestled in the Pioneer Valley, combines two things that don’t often go well together — a small-town feel and all the amenities of a big city. The home of Smith College is just 15 miles away from Springfield. Here, you’ll find no shortage of charming places to explore like galleries and museums as well as green spaces where you can enjoy time outside.

Smith College

Northampton, Massachusetts
Northampton, Massachusetts

The Pioneer Valley is home to five prestigious universities known as the Five Colleges. the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and Mount Holyoke are located in nearby communities. Smith College, a women’s college, is the sole member of the Five Colleges located in Northampton MA. Besides providing an education to undergraduates, Smith College has a campus open to visitors. The Smith College Museum is one of the finest museums in Massachusetts, offering four floors’ worth of exhibits, a cozy cafe, and a year-round schedule of arts-themed events. The campus is a lovely place for a stroll, with Paradise Pond a landmark. Smith also hosts performing arts events, lectures, and other happenings of interest.

Rail Trail

The Mass Central Rail Trail winds for 124 miles between Boston and Northampton MA. The trains haven’t run this course for years, and thanks to the conservation efforts over the years, the path has been transformed as a perfect place to go for a walk, a ride, or a run. The popular bike path is a work in process, but the majority of the trails are open for you to enjoy, espeically the closer you get to Northampton.

Hotels & Lodging

Hotels & Lodging
Hotels & Lodging

Whether you’ve spend the day on campus, in downtown Northampton MA, or along the trail, you’ll need a place to relax for the night. You could stay in the Springfield hotels, but you don’t have to leave the city limits to find a place to stay. The Northampton Inn stands proud in downtown, offering old-school luxury and modern amenities. You’ll also find some big-name branded hotels along Interstate 91.

Top image: 6SN7 (flickr)

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