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Revision as of 18:01, 15 August 2012

Springfield is the largest city on the Connecticut River, in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, USA. It sits only 24 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut, and only five miles north of the Connecticut state line. Springfield and Hartford are the principal cities in the Knowledge Corridor - the 2nd largest urban region in New England with 1.9 million people, 29 universities and colleges, and 120,000 university students.

Contents

Understand

For the first time in decades, 2011-2015 promises to be an exciting time to visit Springfield! With major construction projects serving as citywide catalysts, including a $1 billion new, intercity, high-speed rail line from New Haven, (expected to be operational in 2015;) a new, $75 million intercity commuter line to Vermont, (expected to be fully functional in 2012;) the construction of Baystate Health's new, $256 million "Hospital of the Future," (expected to be fully operational in 2012;) the $75 million renovation of Springfield's grand 1926 Union Station into an intermodal transportation center for trains and buses, (expected to be completed in 2013;) a new $56 million Federal Courthouse by starchitect Moshe Safdie, and a $101 million high-tech Data Center adaptively re-used from an old high school, Springfield is experiencing major economic reinvestments for the first time since the early 1970s.

With economic reinvestment, Springfield is experiencing a cultural renaissance. New festivals such as the "Hoop City Jazz Festival" (which, last year, featured Springfield blues legend Taj Mahal;) the "Springfield Vintage Grand Prix," which, in 2012, will become the Vintage Sports Car Club of America's official race; and Springfield's first-in-decades "Gay Pride Week," beginning June 8, 2011, which celebrates the city's recent influx of LGBT residents. Concurrently, renovations to Gilded Age theaters like The Paramount (formerly The Hippodrome,) The Bing Cultural Arts Center, and Springfield's increasingly eclectic Club Quarter have made the city more exciting than at any time in the past half-century.

Prognosticators had long-predicted Springfield's resurgence -- and now it appears that Springfielders are making it happen!

On June 1, 2011, a nearly unprecedented act of nature devastated large portions of the Springfield. That afternoon at approximately 4:45pm, the first of two tornadoes touched down within city limits. Within minutes, the tornadoes claimed four lives and caused "beyond tens of millions of dollars worth of damage," according to Massachusetts' U.S. Senator John Kerry. The U.S. National Weather Service rated Springfield's first of two tornadoes an E4 on the Fujita Scale (out of a possible E5.) Springfield's historic Main Street, with its reputedly attractive 19th century architecture, was left in shambles - particularly the commercial district of the historically Italian South End, the historic district surrounding Mulberry Street (of Dr. Seuss fame,) Springfield College, and Springfield's more suburban outer neighborhoods.

Will Springfield rebuild bigger and better than ever? WIth current new, investment in the city totaling in the $billions, the smart money is on "yes."

Located on New England's most fertile farmland in the Connecticut River Valley, at the mid-point of America's major Northeast trade routes between New York City, Boston, The Great Lakes, and Montreal, Canada, the City of Springfield (pop. 155,000) has been the technological and cultural center of the Connecticut River Valley since its founding in 1636. Having been burned to the ground during King Phillip's War in 1675, Springfield has rebuilt before.

Nicknamed The City of Homes because of its ubiquitous Victorian architecture and The City of Firsts because of the numerous innovations that took place there during its first 375 years - including America's first American-English dictionary (1806;) the first gasoline-powered car (1893;) the first motorcycle (1901, Indian Motorcycles;) modern fire engine and fire department (1905 & 1907;) commercial radio station (WBZ AM & FM, 1920, located in The Kimball Towers;) and UHF television station (1951, WWLP) - Springfield is best known worldwide as the birthplace of the sport of basketball (James Naismith, 1891, located at Springfield College.) The Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Springfield beside the Connecticut River, is a major, international tourist draw.

Springfield is a highly walkable city, even by urban, New England standards - most of its major sites are in the Metro Center neighborhood; however, much of the city's attractive Victorian residential architecture is focused in its street-car suburb neighborhoods, (e.g. Forest Park Heights.)

From the early 1800s until the 1960s, Springfield was one of the United States' most financially prosperous cities, as is reflected in its celebrated Victorian "homes." The Springfield Armory, the site of which George Washington and Henry Knox selected personally, made the city a center of invention, industrial innovation, and precision manufacturing from 1777 onward -- for example, America's first musket (1794;) the first use of interchangeable parts and the assembly line in manufacturing (1819;) and the discovery of vulcanized rubber by Charles Goodyear (1844) all took place in Springfield.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the Pentagon controversially closed the Springfield Armory. The United States' military's loss, however, is a Springfield visitor's gain - the Springfield Armory National Park features the largest collection of historic firearms in the world. [1]

The Armory's closing in tandem with the growth of the interstate highway system and resulting "White Flight" to the suburbs left Springfield reeling for approximately 35 years (1968-2003,) as it searched for a new identity. Springfield reached its nadir during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when it became financially insolvent. Luckily for Springfield, the city's financial woes focused regional and national attention on it, the problems needed to be fixed, and its development potential. Numerous organizations, most notably the National Urban Land Institute, studied Springfield and submitted plans for its revitalization.

Part of Springfield's resurgence has been due, in part, to its increasingly complementary relationship with Hartford, Connecticut. The bi-state Knowledge Corridor Metropolitan Area has benefitted both Hartford and Springfield, which once competed over the companies and workers. Increasingly, Hartford is taking on its role as the Connecticut River Valley's financial center, with its post-modern skyline and relatively wide thoroughfares; in complement, Springfield is taking on its role as the Knowledge Corridor's recreational center, with its walkable, increasingly residential Metro Center, lively Club Quarter, and Victorian architecture. In cooperating, both cities found their post-industrial identities.

Since approximately 2007, Springfield has reaped the rewards of the ULI's Plan for Springfield. Economic investment in aesthetics, particularly in the three riverfront neighborhoods, have helped to increase liveliness. As of 2010, Springfield fell to 51st in the annual U.S. "City Crime Rankings" after ranking 18th in just 2003. Increased liveliness and decreased crime will improve any city's quality of life -- and now it's changing Springfield's reputation.

Of course, hard work remains to make the city better than ever. Rebuilding after the devastating June 1, 2011, tonado outbreak is the city's most pressing need. Only then can Springfield start to look at other nagging problems, such as the economically and socially inhibiting placement of Interstate 91 -- a (couldn't be more) poorly-placed, elevated highway -- barring access to the Connecticut Riverfront and the Basketball Hall of Fame. Now fully aware of its short-comings thanks to the ULI plan, ambition and determined effort will be required to raise Springfield even further.

Neighborhoods

Springfield's Metro Center is the highly walkable, cultural and business heart of the Pioneer Valley - a region of approximately 40 miles by 20 miles that follows the path of the Connecticut River and contains New England's finest farmland. It stretches from the border of Vermont in the north to the border of Connecticut in the south. Springfield's Metro Center is located only 4 miles north of the Connecticut state border, and thus increasingly - in both governmental and popular perception - Hartford-Springfield is considered a single metropolitan area, (e.g. like Dallas-Fort Worth.) The two major Connecticut River cities' downtowns lie only 23.9 (35km) apart, with Bradley International Airport located halfway between them.

Metro Center features The Quadrangle, which includes three world-class museums - two art and one science museum - two regional history museums, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, and the palatial, neo-classical Springfield City Library. Metro Center is also home to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) at Symphony Hall; the highly-regarded CityStage theater; and 60 clubs, restaurants, and bars in its lively Club Quarter, surrounding Stearns Square and Worthington Street. Unfortunately, Metro Center is bisected by Interstate 91, which limits access to the scenic Connecticut River.

The Basketball Hall of Fame is located on the riverfront in the nearby South End, but amputated from Metro Center and the rest of the city by Interstate 91. (In 2010, the Urban Land Institute debuted a plan to unite the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Connecticut River with Metro Center and the South End; however, as of 2011, no action has been taken.) The South End is the focal point for Springfield's Italian community, featuring many Italian restaurants, pastry shops, and cultural institutions. Unfortunately, the South End was hard hit by Springfield's June 1, 2011 tornado.

The North End comprises three separate neighborhoods, and is the center of Springfield's prominent and increasingly well-heeled Latino community. Springfield's three nationally ranked hospitals are located in the North End, as are several prominent parks (e.g. Van Horn Park.)

The McKnight District - known to urban planners worldwide as the United States' first planned residential district (1871) - contains over 900. Victorian "Painted Lady" houses. For decades it was the center Springfield's African-American and Jamaican communities; however, increasingly, both McKnight and Metro Center have become centers of Springfield's increasingly prominent LGBT community. In 2011, The Advocate magazine rated Springfield #13 among the United States' new "gay cities."

Forest Park and Forest Park Heights contain numerous Victorian mansions, many of which surround Frederick Law Olmsted's 735-acre Forest Park -- one of the largest urban parks in the United States. This is where architectural aficionados should head to learn why Springfield is nicknamed "The City of Homes," as it features many parkways and elegant houses. Forest Park - the Olmsted park itself - contains a small but extensive zoo, a skating rink, 38 tennis courts, numerous sculptures, walking and hiking trails, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, tree groves, Victorian promenades and water gardens, a formal rose garden, paddle-boating and fishing on the 31-acre Porter Lake, bocce courts, lawn bowling fields, and The Barney Mansion restaurant and banquet hall, among other features.

Get in

Springfield is the most centrally located city in New England, between major tourist destinations like New York City, Boston, Vermont, the Berkshires, Upstate New York, and Canada. It features access from every direction, via every sort of transportation. Bradley International Airport is located 12 miles south of Springfield (equidistant to Springfield's twin city, Hartford, Connecticut.) Westover Metropolitan Airport is located 5 miles north of Springfield in the City of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

The City of Springfield itself is a major railroad and bus nexus, with trains and buses arriving from all directions. In 2011-2012, the city's grand 1926 Union Station will be renovated and become and "intermodal transportation hub," (this means that the bus station and local transportation service, the PVTA, will move into Union Station.) Within the next few years, Springfield is scheduled to see an exponential increase in train and visitor traffic. The city will become the main terminus for both an intercity commuter line heading north to Brattleboro, Vermont, and a high-speed rail line heading south through Hartford, Connecticut, to New Haven, Connecticut. By the time that these various construction projects are complete, Springfield should be ready to show-off its revitalized Metro Center.

The renovated Union Station will become the headquarters for Peter Pan Bus Lines, (taking the place of Peter Pan's currently dilapidated terminal,) the PVTA, and the regional hub for Greyhound Bus. In the meantime, Springfield's Bus Station serves as the headquarters for Peter Pan Bus Lines, one of the major bus servers on the East Coast.

Bus & Train

From the South

Springfield is one of two northern terminals for Amtrak's Regional Service, connecting Springfield through Connecticut down to Virginia. The Vermonter also travels through Springfield, beginning in Washington, D.C. and terminating in northern Vermont.

From the North

Springfield is one of two current Massachusetts stops for Amtrak's Vermonter - the other is in the college town of Amherst, only 18 miles north of Springfield. In 2012, the Vermonter is scheduled to be re-routed to the old, more direct Montrealer route -- down the Connecticut River, through the bohemian mecca of Northampton, to Springfield. Once the renovations are complete, Springfield is scheduled to become the main terminus for the Western Massachusetts' intercity commuter rail, which will conveniently connect the the cities of Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, South Deerfield, Greenfield, and Brattleboro, Vermont. Western Massachusetts' intercity rail service will be a boon to travelers looking to experience the Pioneer Valley's multiple facets - from urban Springfield to bohemian Northampton to the scenic beauty of historic Deerfield and Vermont.

Current fares are reasonably priced and it is by far the most relaxing way to enter Springfield from the north.

From the East

Unfortunately, in 2004, Amtrak canceled the Bay State route (AKA Massachusetts' Overland Route,) limiting rail service from Boston and points east to Springfield. Currently, once per day, the Lake Shore Limited stops in Springfield en route to Chicago. Plans are afoot to revitalize the Overland Route for both passenger and freight service; however, unlike Springfield's two other rail projects, this project has not yet been green-lighted.

In the meantime, Amtrak generally charges $15 for the hour and forty-five minute one way trip. Peter Pan Bus charges around $20-$25 for a less enjoyable, hot (in winter the heat is turned up too high and in summer, much needed air-conditioning is nonexsistant on Peter Pan's older buses), crowded trip that can often run into traffic on the Mass Pike (Interstate 90). That said, service from Springfield to Boston via Peter Pan and Greyhound Bus is frequent.

From the West

The Lake Shore Limited begins in Chicago, Illinois and terminates in Boston, stopping in Albany, New York and picturesque Pittsfield, Massachusetts before stopping in Springfield. Peter Pan and Greyhound provide bus service from Albany, and points further west.

By plane

  • Bradley International Airport, [2], 12 miles south of Springfield in Windsor Locks, Connecticut; this major airport serving the Knowledge Corridor region surrounding Springfield and Hartford, Connecticut is equidistant from both cities.
  • Westover Metropolitan Airport, [3], 4 miles north of Springfield in the City of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Westover is one of New England's largest military facilities; however, its runways are also used for commercial flights.

By car

Springfield is accessible via Interstate 90 aka "The Mass Pike," (east-west from Boston to Albany, NY;) Interstate 91, (north-south from the Canadian border to New Haven, CT;) and Interstate 291 (a connector from I-90 through Chicopee to Springfield.) Interstate 91 has wreaked havoc on Springfield's urban fabric since it was constructed during the early 1970s, slicing through three riverfront neighborhoods, and amputating the city from the Connecticut River and The Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute proposed a remedy to this problem; however, as yet, no actions have been taken.

Get around

Luckily for travelers, Springfield is one of the Northeast's most walkable cities. Most of its historic sites, points of interest, and entertainment venues are clustered in the Metro Center neighborhood (aka downtown, where the skyscrapers are.) Thanks to Springfield's recent economic and cultural resurgence, tourist sites are well marked, as are many architecturally significant buildings. The Basketball Hall of Fame and Forest Park - both of which are well worth visiting - are Springfield's only major tourist sites outside of Metro Center; however, the Basketball Hall of Fame is within walking distance (it's less than a mile south of Metro Center, along the Connecticut River.)

If you'd like to explore Springfield beyond Metro Center - perhaps experience Frederick Law Olmsted's Forest Park, his largest work next to NYC's Central Park - or further explore the artsy Pioneer Valley (maybe check out bohemian Northampton or Amherst, one of America's best-known university towns,) the clean, green, and reliable Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) [4] offers service to every Springfield neighborhood, and throughout the Pioneer Valley's cities and towns north to Amherst. For a mere $1.35 ($3.00 for an all day pass) on the PVTA, you can ride the 15 miles from Springfield to the counter-culture mecca of Northampton, or the 18 miles to student-centric Amherst, and vice versa. The PVTA is a cheap and an easy way to experience this compact and diverse region. Many of the routes that do not serve major points do not run after 7pm-8pm. Meanwhile service on weekends is limited, especially on Sundays, when intervals between buses can be up to 2 hours. You should be aware of the schedule of whatever bus route your using.

Many use the PVTA or taxis to get to Springfield's attractions directly across the Connecticut River, like Six Flags New England and New England's State Fair, The Big E, Stanley Park, Holyoke Mall.

NOTE: Several years ago, walking through Springfield was considerably more hazardous than today. In the 1990s and early 2000s, crime was high in Springfield - however, the city's crime rate has fallen dramatically, to 51st last year from a high of 18th in 2003. Crime has fallen 50% in less than 8 years. However one should be aware of where they are at all times, avoid walking around certain neighborhoods (Bay-McKnight, Mason Square, certain parts of the North and South End) late at night if possible.

See

The Lorax
  • The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, West Columbus Av., Phone: +1 877-446-6752, [5]. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Along the Connecticut River, in a stunning (and quirky) steel structure, it's a shrine to the world's 2nd most popular sport in its birthplace. Adults $17, Seniors $14, Ages 5-5 $12.
  • The Springfield Armory National Park 1 Armory Square. [6] The site that George Washington hand-selected for America's first armory, where the first American musket was made, and where the famous Springfield Rifle was made for several centuries. Half of the site is now a scenic United States National Park and museum, featuring one of the largest collections of firearms in the world. Behind the the National Park is the reasonably scenic campus of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC,) which occupies several former Armory buildings. Admission to the National Park is FREE.
  • The Quadrangle, 220 State St., is a remarkable cultural grouping that consists of 5 museums, several of which are considered "world-class;" the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden; and the palatial Springfield City Library. The Museum of Fine Arts features a vast collection of European Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Monet, Degas, and Gauguin; and also, a large collection of American painters, including Springfielders Whistler and Harding. The Museum of Science features the United States' first-ever planetarium (built in 1937,) a large dinosaur exhibit, and replicas of exotic ecosystems. The George Walter Vincent Smith Museum is known worldwide for having the largest collection of Chinese cloisonné outside of China. It also features sets of ancient, Asian armor. The Connecticut Valley History Museum tells the story of the fertile river valley that spawned the two great cities of Springfield and Hartford. The Quadrangle's newest addition is the Museum of Springfield History, which tells the story of "The City of Firsts": where the first American-English dictionary, first gasoline-powered automobile, first motorcycle, first modern fire engine, first commercial radio station, and first UHF television were invented, (among other innovations.) Visitors will leave astonished by how great the relatively small City of Springfield has contributed to modern culture.
  • The Indian Motorcycle Museum, 33 Hendee Street. Mar-Nov 10AM-4PM, Dec-Feb 1PM-4PM. Where America's first motorcycle manufacturer produced vehicles for many years, featuring a large collection of the company's motorcycles.
  • The Springfield Vintage Grand Prix, taking place from July 22-24, 2011. The Vintage Sports Car Club of America (www.vscca.org) will host its annual grand prix in Springfield for the first time this year. It moved from Pittsburgh and promises to bring a lot of excitement along with civic pride (Springfield produced the first American gasoline-powered automobile.) Root for your favorite sportscar!!
  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra, 1350 Main Street at Court Square, 413-733-2291, [7]. Housed in Springfield's beautiful, gilded-age Symphony Hall - one of only a handful of locations in the United States renowned for "perfect acoustics" - the highly regarded Springfield Symphony Orchestra is led by Maestro Kevin Rhodes. Rhodes is a true showman, known for his stage presence and innovative musical selections. $12-$60.
  • City Stage at Symphony Hall, 1350 Main Street on Court Square, (413) 788-7033, [8]. Springfield's most well-known theatre organization features plays, musicals, traveling Broadway shows, comedians, and lecturers. Programming varies widely. $5-$65.
  • MassMutual Center (formerly The Springfield Civic Center)), 1277 Main Street, [9]. The MassMutual Center is a newly renovated Arena and Convention Center. Springfield's NBA Development League team, the Springfield Armor play home basketball games here, as do Springfield's AHL hockey team, the Springfield Falcons. The arena's capacity is over 7,000. The Conference Center features various ballrooms, halls, lecture rooms, exhibit and pre-function rooms with 30' ceilings. price varies according to event.
  • Hoop City Jazz Festival (presented by Hampden Bank), Main Street at Court Square, [10]. July 8-July 10 : The third annual Hoop City Jazz Festival presented by community stewards Hampden Bank. Expected to draw over 25,000 people, this year's line-up features a tribute to New Orleans jazz. 2011 Hoop City Jazz performers include Samirah Evans & Her Handsome Devils, Gerald Albright, Marcus Anderson, and Grammy Award winner Pancho Sanchez. Includes a "Taste Springfield" restaurant menagerie. FREE

Do

  • Six Flags New England, 1623 Main St., Phone: +1 877-474-9352, [11] The largest theme park in New England, located across Springfield's South End bridge in Agawam, Massachusetts. It opens in April as the weather starts to get warm and closes in November as it starts to get cold. Features 10 roller-coasters, including the #1 roller-coaster in the world since 2004 -- The Bizarro.
  • The Eastern States Exposition - "The Big E", 1305 Memorial Av., West Springfield, Phone: +1 413-737-2446, [12]. The six New England States' collective State Fair. The Big E is the largest fair in New England, and the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States. Located 1.5 miles across Springfield's Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, The Big E runs from September 15 to October 1, (or thereabouts,) featuring carnival rides, concerts, food, and, of course -- The Avenue of the States, large replicas of each New England state's state house.
  • The Club Quarter - Over 60 nightclubs, bars, LGBT-oriented bars and clubs, and restaurants line the blocks surrounding Stearns Square and Worthington Street near the Connecticut River. Upper Worthington, west of Chestnut Street, remains a "Club Quarter;" however, much of that entertainment is rated X.
  • The Connecticut River Walk - near the Basketball Hall of Fame, one can access this pleasant park and marvel at the Connecticut River scenic beauty. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find an entrance to this park due to the inhibiting presence of Interstate 91 - a highway that virtually amputates Springfield from recreational opportunities on the Connecticut River. If you can find your way in, bring a partner at night.
  • Forest Park (featuring the Forest Park Zoo and Bright Nights), Sumner Avenue, [13]. One of the largest urban parks in the United States at 735 acres, Forest Park was established via the donations of Springfielders like skating blade magnate Everett Hosmer Barney (whose family mausoleum is in Forest Park.) Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead of NYC's Central Park fame, Forest Park offers amenities including a sizable zoo, America's first public swimming pool, picturesque gardens, hiking and walking trails, athletic fields, whimsical sculptures, (one can see where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration,) and camping facilities. During the winter it serves as the venue for Bright Nights, a nationally known holiday light display.
    • Bright Nights in Forest Park [14] A nationally known, innovative, creative lighting display in Springfield's Forest Park, featuring various themes during the holiday season (Christmas, Chanukah, Dr. Seuss' characters, etc.) Nearly 2 miles, cars and buses drive through the lighting display, which seems to become more intricate each year. Bright Nights usually impresses both children and adults. November-January. $8
    • The Zoo at Forest Park [15] The Zoo at Forest Park features a wide variety of exotic and indigenous creatures found throughout North America and the world. Lions, kangaroos, reptiles, and birds of all sorts populate this well-maintained zoo.
  • The Paramount Theater (formerly The Hippodrome), 1700 Main Street (Club Quarter), (413) 787-0600, [16]. Equipped with state of the art sound, lighting, and video production facilities, this is the most technologically advanced club north of New York City. It features live performers, club nights, and movies. As of 2011, it's in a transitional period as it re-emerges as The Paramount Theater after years as the Hippodrome. Its new identity, (actually its original identity from when it opened in 1926) is likely to feature an increased accent on arts, films, and culture, as opposed to its previous incarnation which functioned as the epicenter of New England's late 1990s-early 2000s rave scene.

Learn

  • American International College, [17]. A university located in Springfield's Mason Square neighborhood, notable for America's first "Model Congress" program.
  • Springfield College [18] Founded in 1885 as Y.M.C.A. International College, basketball was invented at this institution by Dr. James Naismith. In addition to basketball, America's first physical education course was taught here in 1912. A $50 million student center was constructed here in 2011.
  • Springfield Technical Community College [19] Located on 35 acres behind the Springfield Armory National Park, surrounded by the Armory's distinctive wrought-iron fence, STCC is Massachusetts' only "technical" community college. STCC continues Springfield's tradition of technical innovation.
  • Tufts University School of Medicine [20] Baystate Health serves as the western teaching campus of Tufts University's School of Medicine.
  • University of Massachusetts Urban Design Center [21] UMass opened an urban design center in Springfield in 2010, where it houses its urban design graduate program.
  • Western New England University [22] University in Springfield's suburban Sixteen Acres neighborhood, featuring a pretty campus, prominent law school, and as of 2011, a $40 million, new pharmacy school.

Buy

  • Main Street features hundreds of shops and of restaurants.
  • State Street features many ethnic shops and restaurants.
  • Eastfield Mall on Boston Road has a large movie theater and all that one would normally expect of an American mall.

Eat

  • Red Rose Pizzeria, 1060 Main Street. (South End) An Italian, South End classic! Truly excellent pizza, pasta, and meatballs. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright claims that Red Rose has "the best meatballs in the world." High-praise from a well-traveled woman, although she's probably right. Red Rose suffered severe damage during the June 1, 2011, E4 tornado that ripped through the South End of Springfield, destroying 35, mostly 19th century buildings within two blocks of this landmark restaurant. Despite damages, Red Rose remains open.
  • Adolfo's, 254 Worthington Street,[23] Excellent new (as of 2011) Italian restaurant on Stearns Square, in the heart of Springfield's entertainment district. Adolfo's, named for a well-known, former Springfield Mafia Don, is one of the city's best restaurants. There is not a bad dish on the menu. Classy and casual at once.
  • The Munich Haus, 13 Center Street (downtown Chicopee), Phone: +1 413 594-8788, [24]. Excellent German food and a good selection of German beer.
  • Family Kitchen, 19 St. James Av. (off State Street), Phone: +1 413 732-9417. Daily 6AM-7PM. Come for a full breakfast (includes grits). Ask for the chicken & waffles.
  • The Student Prince, 8 Fort Street (off Main Street). German food, locally famous. Make sure you get a good look at the truly massive collection of steins on the walls.
  • Max's Tavern, [25] 1000 West Columbus Boulevard, beside the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving exceptional American fare.
  • The White Hut, 280 Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, [26] Thanks to the Food Network, the United States now knows what Springfielders have for years -the White Hut is one of "The Top 10 Burger Restaurants" in America. Serving burgers and hot dogs in the most Spartan setting imaginable. Across the Memorial Bridge on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, it's well worth the trip .
  • 350 Grille, 350 Worthington Street, located next to Springfield institution, The Mardi Gras,[27] The 350 Grille is Springfield's see-and-be-seen lunch destination for local movers-and-shakers. The atmosphere is upscale but not pretentious, just like the food. It has a patio so diners can enjoy sunny days or moonlit nights.
  • Pazzo's, 1000 West Columbus Boulevard, inside the Basketball Hall of Fame. [28] Classy but casual Italian, located conveniently inside the Basketball Hall of Fame. Pazzo's is owned by the owners of the Italian South End's former Ristorante Carmela. Pazzo's features Pazzo's After Dark, nightly entertainment, Las Vegas style.
  • Pho Saigon, 398 Dickinson St, (413) 781-4488. Excellent Vietnamese soups and entrees. Though not as widely known as other city restaurants it has a prominent cult following; visit and you will understand why.
  • Frigo's, 90 Williams Street, [29]. In Springfield's South End, (it's "Little Italy,") diners have an excellent selection of Italian food from which to choose - and Frigo's stands out above most of them. Since 1950, Frigo's food has made from the freshest ingredients. It's lasagne is amazing. Frigo's chef offers popular Italian cooking classes.
  • Milano's, 988 Main Street, [30]. Be sure to stop in and visit Milano Imported Fine Foods in the South End of Springfield. From the finest in imported olive oils and Italian tomatoes to fresh deli meats and cheeses and homemade pasta, this is the area's best Italian Import Store.
  • Mom and Rico's, 899 Main Street. This is a nifty little Italian grocer with a small takeout buffet. They have lots of Italian food specialties along with some local favorites like sauce and meatballs and more. At the buffet you can get anything from Fettuccine Alfredo to Eggplant Parm. You can take it with you to heat later, or they'll heat it for you to eat right away.
  • La Fiorentina Pastry Shop, 883 Main Street, [31]. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to check out La Fiorentina Pastry Shop in Springfield. When you taste one of their freshly baked pastries, you'll understand perfectly why they've been around since 1947.Some consider this one of the best Pastry Shops on the East Coast.
  • Sitar Restaurant, 1688 Main Street. Springfield's most popular Indian restaurant, Sitar is the more elegant sister of Sitar Restaurant by Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Known for its Tandoori specialties, including lamb saag and Navratan Korma. Absolutely delicious!
  • Three Cafe, 684 Belmont Avenue (Past The X), 413-733-3332, [32]. 8am-3pm. For breakfast and Brunch only, 3 Cafe uses eggs from its own organically-raised, free-ranged chickens, and bakes its own bread continually. The food is as local as it gets, as fresh as it gets, and spectacularly good. One of the best breakfast and brunch restaurants on the East Coast. $5-$15.
  • Salsa's Gourmet Mexican, 403 Dickinson St., (413) 746-4456. Authentic, and tasty, Mexican and Central American food. Stop in for lunch and order authentic Mexican Coca-Cola with your meal. $2-12.


Drink

  • Theodore's (Blues, Booze, and BBQ), 201 Worthington Street (Club Quarter), 413-736-6000, [33]. Named "The Best Blues Club in the United States" by The Blues Foundation and Keeping the Blues Alive - -high praise, indeed -- 30 year-old Theodore's is a regional draw for music, food, and libations. Its baby back ribs are smoked for six hours -- not a second too long or short. $5-$20.
  • The Mardi Gras Club (New England's Largest Gentlemen's Club), 91 Taylor Street (Club Quarter), (413) 733-5057, [34]. 12pm-2am. With over 300 "Gras Girls" from around the world on monthly rotation and even its own magazine, The Mardi Gras Club is one of the East Coast's largest and most lavish "gentlemen's clubs." Outside of New York City and Montreal, there is no club its equal on the East Coast. Every Thursday night is "bull-riding night," although each night features specialties. Even people who do not appreciate strip-club atmospheres tend to marvel at the Mardi Gras - an aesthetically-pleasing facade featuring a non-stop party inside!
  • The Pub Lounge (The Friendly Bar), 382 Dwight Street (Club Quarter), [35]. An LGBT Bar in Springfield's Club Quarter, catering to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people - and anyone of any orientation, really - is, according to its slogan, "where old friends... meet new friends." Downstairs, adventurous patrons will fine "The Quarry," which features drag shows, all-male revues, and in the wee hours, everything one could possibly imagine happening.
  • Oz Nightclub (Springfield's Hottest Alternative Dance Club), 397 Dwight Street (Club Quarter), (413) 732-4562, [36]. 10pm-2am. An LGBT dance club in Springfield's Club Quarter catering to a crowd between 18 and 35. Often Oz will feature karaoke, drag shows, and generally, some of the Northeast's best DJs.
  • Pure, 234 Chestnut Street (Club Quarter, by Union Station), (413)205-1483. 12pm-2am. Neighborhood LGBT bar with free pool all day and night. Hosts a popular bunch on Sundays.
  • Club Xstatic (Massachusetts' Nude Male Dancers), 240 Chestnut Street (Club Quarter, by Union Station), (413) 736-2618, [37]. 1pm-2am. A club featuring nude male dancers, patronized by men and women alike, (but mostly men.)
  • Fat Cat Bar & Grill, 232 Worthington Street (Club Quarter), [38]. A college crowd generally gathers at Fat Cat Bar & Grill. Live rock every Tuesday night. Other nights feature DJs. Hot bartenders are the draw, as is a patio that is particularly pleasant during the summer and fall.
  • Samuel's (At The Basketball Hall of Fame), (Basketball Hall of Fame), (413) 731-7267, [39]. Est. 1989, a Sport's Bar featuring an extensive wine list and bar.
  • Alumni Club, 90 Worthington Street (Club Quarter). A popular bar with three separate levels, (each generally playing different music to suit one's mood,) a dance floor, stage, outdoor patio, and a smoker's area, the Alumni Club is very popular among a variety of different crowds.
  • Skyplex (Springfield's Best Place to Party), 10 Stearns Square (Club Quarter), (413) 827-9000, [40]. Three clubs - Skybar, PURE, and Vivid on three separate levels, offering a different atmosphere for everyone. Features a VIP Lounge.


Sleep

  • Holiday Inn, 711 Dwight St, +1 413 781-0900, [41].
  • Springfield Marriott, 2 Boland Way, +1 413 781-7111 (fax: +1 413 731-8932), [42].
  • Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place, 1-413-781-1010, [43]. Springfield’s largest hotel, Sheraton Springfield includes 325 guest rooms featuring the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ bedding, with Internet access, a spacious work area and in-room coffee.
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 600 East Columbus Ave.. Next to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Get out

Routes through Springfield
HartfordWindsor Locks  SW noframe NE  END
Greenfield ← Jct I-90.png
Chicopee
 N noframe S  LongmeadowHartford
PittsfieldWest Springfield  W noframe S  PalmerWorcester



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




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