Guide to Springfield, Massachusetts: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The best of Springfield, Massachusetts: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shopping.
According to toppharmacyschools, Springfield is called the “city of the first” because of the many innovations that have seen the light of day here. The “new items” that appeared in Springfield are the first American English dictionary (Webster, 1806), the first gasoline-powered car (Duryea, 1893), the first American motorcycle (Indian, 1901), the first modern fire engine and the fire department (1905 and 1907), America’s first commercial radio station. Finally, it is Springfield that is considered the birthplace of basketball as a sport. Springfield, which sounds a little strange, is also called the “city of houses” for its beautiful Victorian architecture. And in 2010, this city in Massachusetts ranked fourth in the top ten “greenest” in the United States.
The main cultural attraction of Springfield is the so-called Quadangle on State Street. This is a group of museums, including world-class ones.
How to get to Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield is located in the heart of New England, between major tourist destinations: New York, Boston, Vermont and Canada. Bradley International Airport is located 20 km south of the city. There are 2 regional Amtrak rail terminals in the city, and the last one connects Springfield with Virginia via Connecticut and with Washington via a branch line to Northern Vermont. In addition, the city can be reached from Chicago, Albany, New York, Boston (from the latter – including frequent buses).
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A bit of history
The city was founded in 1636 and named after the founder’s hometown in England. In 1675, the Indians burned it to the ground, but the city revived, and in 1777 George Washington and Henry Knox founded the US Arsenal here, which functioned until the Vietnam War. The Arsenal attracted skilled workers to the city, and Springfield grew and developed in every way over the course of several centuries, becoming a national example of a self-made city. In particular, Springfield in Illinois was renamed in honor of the Massachusetts Springfield in the hope of becoming just as advanced and advanced.
Something happened only in the 1980s and 1990s, when Springfield suddenly, in contrast to its impeccable centuries-old reputation, became known as a city of corruption and crime.
Entertainment and attractions in Springfield
Springfield Arsenal National Park is located at the site that George Washington himself chose for the first American arsenal. The first American musket was made here, and the famous Springfield rifle was created here for centuries. Now half of the territory is given to the national park and museum with one of the largest collections of weapons in the world. Behind is an attractive technical college campus that occupies several old armory buildings. Entrance to the national park is free.
3 things to do in Massachusetts Springfield:
- Admire the “painted ladies” – Victorian houses, of which there are about 600 in the Forest Park area and about 900 more in the McKnight area.
- Drive to Holyoke, 15 km upstream, to see hundreds of dinosaur footprints on the sandstone cliffs. Dinosaurs were not very big, but they ran on two legs.
- From Holyoke, drive to Amherst (about 40 km from Springfield), where the Emily Dickinson House Museum is located.
The main cultural attraction of Springfield is the so-called Quadangle on State Street. This is a group of museums, including world-class ones. Among them are the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden and the Springfield City Library. The Art Museum houses a large collection of European Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including masterpieces by Monet, Degas and Gauguin, as well as a large collection of American artists, including Whistler and Harding, both natives of the city. The Science Museum still operates the country’s first planetarium (built in 1937) and has a large dinosaur exhibition with replicas of exotic ecosystems.
And the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum is world famous for having the largest collection of Chinese cloisonné outside of China. Also here you can see a selection of ancient Asian weapons. The Connecticut Valley History Museum is dedicated to the natural history of the river ecosystem that hosts two great cities, Springfield and Hartford. Finally, the latest addition to the Quardangle company is the Springfield History Museum, where you can learn more about Springfield as a city of innovation and invention.
Another famous tourist attraction in the city is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by the Connecticut River on West Columbus Avenue. This remarkable steel structure is the sanctuary of the second most popular sport in the world.
Springfield was the birthplace of Dr. Seuss, the famous and best-selling children’s book author and cartoonist, creator of The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax. Seuss’s characters can be seen not only in the sculpture garden, but also on Bright Nights, in installations.
The Indian Motorcycle Museum on Handy Street is not to be missed if you have the slightest interest in two-wheelers. For many years, Indian has been a leader in the United States, and the museum’s extensive collection is proof of that.
The Josiah Day House is the oldest salt-cellar stone house in the United States. It can be found in West Springfield, on Park Street. The house was built in 1754 and was passed down from generation to generation until the death of the last owner in 1902. After that, the house was bought by a historical society, and today it is given tours on special days and holidays. All interior decoration of the house is original.
The “salt shaker house” is a long two-story house with a triangular sloping roof, one of the slopes of which is made much longer than the second to cover the veranda. This is a classic example of American colonial architecture, typical of New England, where they first began to be built.
The Club quarter unites more than 60 nightclubs, bars, including for minorities, and restaurants. The Club surrounds Stearns Square and Worthington Street, which is near the river. Worthington, west of Chestnut Street, is also a Club, but most of the entertainment here is X-rated.
Connecticut Riverwalk is a beautiful park near the Basketball Hall of Fame, by the river. And Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country: its territory is about 735 acres. The park was created with donations from a local tycoon whose family mausoleum is located inside, and designed by Frederick Olmsted, famous for creating Central Park in New York. Forest Park has a zoo, the first public swimming pool in the United States, landscaped gardens, walking and biking trails, garden sculptures, and camping opportunities.
Events in Springfield, Massachusetts
The city’s Vintage Grand Prix takes place in July and is hosted by the Vintage Sports Car Club of America. In 2011, the Grand Prix changed its venue (previously it was Pittsburgh). And in July, the city meets the Hoop City Jazz Festival, also young, but quite interesting.
The exposition of the Eastern States – Big “E” – takes place in late September – early October. This is an agricultural fair that brings together the achievements of the six states of New England. It is held in West Springfield, 1.5 km from the Memorial Bridge. Carnivals, concerts, food, and the Avenue of the States parade await the guests of the fair.
And in the winter, Forest Park hosts a big Bright Nights festival, a light show known throughout the country. This is a creative and innovative event with various themed installations. Cars drive more than 3 km in the middle of a luminous installation that becomes more interactive every year. “Bright Nights” last from November to January.
Near the city’s founding date, May 14, Springfield hosts the world’s largest pancake breakfast. On this day, Springfield is trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of pancakes served at the same time. In 2011, for example, 60,000 pancakes were served on Main Street at once.