Are you looking for a change of scenery this summer? Well, there’s a whole world of fun to discover here in Massachusetts, and just a short drive west of Boston, you’ll find a captivating sense of adventure, an array of family fun, and quite a few memorable thrills.
We’re talking about regions like the Mohawk Trail, Franklin County, Springfield County, and Central Mass; regions where you, your family, your friends, and your special someone can all find an extraordinary summer experience.
Throughout the next few weeks, on MassFinds, we’ll highlight each of these specific regions with a few tips on where to go, what to see, and how to have fun.
First up, on our list to head west, the Mohawk Trail!
Notable for its brilliant fall foliage, the Mohawk Trail is home to America’s first scenic automobile route, State Route 2 from Orange to Williamstown, and also serves as a four-season vacationland with a wonderful world of adventures.
With over 100 notable attractions ranging between country inns, local shops, restaurants, and camping areas, how does one narrow down their list of must-sees?
Well, to help simplify, start here:
Where to stay?
Hawk Mountain Lodge, 7 Main Street, Charlemont, MA 01339: This offers year-round New England vacation experience, featuring comfortable accommodations located in the northern Berkshires, just 2.5 hours from Boston, and just east of Zoar Outdoor. Overlooking the Deerfield River Valley and Berkshire East Ski Resort, the lodge features five comfortable rooms with private or shared baths, in close proximity to excellent local dining, and the perfect lodging option to cap off a weekend of rafting, kayaking, biking or enjoying the great outdoors. For reservations, click here or call 800-532-7483.
Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342: Discover the beauty of Pioneer Valley and beyond at this historic inn, located in the heart of Deerfield; perfect location for exploring the nearby towns of Greenfield, Northampton, Amherst, or the gorgeous Berkshires. After experiencing damage from Tropical Storm Irene, the Inn is extremely excited to be accepting guests through this summer and into the fall. Stay up-to-date with their specials & packages, renovation news, and for availability click here or call 413-774-5587.
Maple House Bed & Breakfast, 51 Middletown Hill Road, Rowe, MA 01367: Summer at the Maple House Bed & Breakfast means lush green foliage, clean clear water to play in, and quiet starry nights. You can laze on a hammock, sit and relax on an Adirondack chair, hike the nearby trails, canoe, kayak, or swim in the pristine Pelham Lake. Stay up-to-date with their summer calendar, and for rates & reservations, click here or call 413-339-0107.
Rather sleep outdoors?
Country Aire Campground, Route 2, Mohawk Trail, Charlemont, MA: Country Aire features campsites of all capabilities, from open, pull-through RV sites with hookups to wooded tent sites, as well as great hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, tubing and rafting on the Deerfield River. Check out their seasonal events, and for their current rates, click here. For more information, please call 413-625-2996.
Barton Cove Campground, Route 2, Mohawk Trail, Gill, MA: Situated on a beautiful peninsula that juts into the Connecticut River, Barton Cove features a great 1-mile nature trail along a rock ridge that overlooks the river and passes an abandoned dinosaur footprint quarry. Kayaks and canoes are available for rental, and bird watchers will be in awe, as bald eagles regularly nest on an island in the cove. For reservations, please call 413-863-9300.
Shady Pines Campground, 547 Loop Road, Savoy, MA 01256: Enjoy the comforts of Shady Pines as countless campers have done over the decades. Owners Bill & Edna retired in 2003, after 30 plus years in the camping industry, and many of their awards & accolades are posted in the office for visitors to see. Steven and his wife, Diane, along with their children, Nicholas, Mitchell, Allison and Rebecca are the next generation working to bring the campers the best campground in Berkshire County today. They are striving to improve all aspects of the campground now and into the future. To check rates and make a reservation, click here or call 413-743-2694.
Have some outdoor fun:
Berkshire East Canopy Tours, 66 Thunder Mountain Road, Charlemont, MA 01339: Berkshire East Canopy Tour provides a great adventure, offering three separate zip line adventures including the Base Tour, Mountain Top Tour, and the “crème de la crème of zip line adventures,” the Valley Jump Tour where guests will experience one of the most thrilling zip lines in the world. To book your trip, click here or call 413-339-6617.
Zoar Outdoor, 7 Main Street, Charlemont, MA 01339: Since 1989, Zoar Outdoor has offered the best in New England white water rafting trips, kayaking clinics, zip line canopy tours, canoeing instruction, rock climbing classes and kayak rentals for adventurers of all abilities, from beginners to experts. Based out of their convenient location in the Berkshires, Zoar Outdoor river trips, zip line canopy tours and instructional clinics are only 2 hours from Boston. Check out there online specials here or call 800-532-7483.
A bite to eat!
Bella Notte Ristorante, 199 Huckle Hill Road, Bernardston, MA 01337: Experience authentic fine Italian cuisine at Bella Notte Ristorante, one of the true hidden gems of Western Massachusetts. Family-owned and family-proud, they feature delicious Italian cuisine at their beautiful scenic restaurant located just three minutes from I-91. For reservations, call 413-648-9107.
Ristorante DiPaolo, 166 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376: Serving fine Italian cuisine from many regions, the restaurant opened its doors in March of 2006, and is a short drive from Northampton, and Amherst. Inside, you will find an elegant décor and a warm ambience that features a full bar, a well-rounded wine list, and outside dining in season. Chef Hilton Dottin blends his 25 years of traditional Italian cooking with the Caribbean flair of his native Dominican Republic. For reservations, call 413-863-4441.
Where to shop?
Old Deerfield Country Store, 480 Greenfield Road, Deerfield, MA 01342: Features a unique shopping experience, you can stop in to pick up everyday items or take home that special memento to remember your travels.
Mo’s Fudge Factor, 9 State Street, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370: Specializes in the freshest and creamiest gourmet fudge available, made in small batches, guaranteeing top quality.
Mohawk Trading Post, 874 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne, MA 01370: A Native American Specialty Store with gifts and souvenirs of the Mohawk Trail Region, featuring moccasins, t-shirts, books, music, and bead craft supplies.
Northfield Coffee and Books, 105 Main Street, Northfield, MA 01360: Featuring a used book section, and freshly brewed, locally roasted coffee, with free WiFi, and a very relaxed atmosphere.
For more out west this summer, click here. Happy travels!