Longmeadow has one of the highest incomes per capita in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and since White Flight in the 1960s, has been Hampden County's most affluent community. Although it features Bay Path College, a largely women's university, Longmeadow is not a college town. Tourists are drawn to it by its historic houses, clustered around its postcard-perfect New England Town Green, (replete with ancient white church.) First settled in 1646 by residents of nearby Springfield, it measures only about 3x3 miles; however, it's packed with prototypically New England charm.
There is no industry in Longmeadow, and highly restrictive zoning laws force businesses into several, specific areas, (and even regulate the types of signage that businesses can use.) Owing to high real-estate values, gorgeous properties, and a palpably competitive attitude, Longmeadow is regarded in New England as exclusive. Most residents commute to the Springfield to work.
From the north, Longmeadow is at exit 1 of Interstate 91. The exit is labeled "Route 5 South, Longmeadow". The exit ends at US route 5 southbound which is the main north-south road in town, (also known as Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow Street passes Bay Path College, the Longmeadow Green, and many of Longmeadow's historic houses.)
From the south, take exit 49 of Interstate 91 in Connecticut. The exit ends at US Route 5. Turn right for Route 5 North. Within about 200 yards, when you cross into Massachusetts, you are in Longmeadow. You'll be able to tell after you cross the border from Enfield into Longmeadow because the scenery changes dramatically from typical "Connecticut commercial" to Massachusetts upscale.
There is limited bus service to Longmeadow from Springfield. Longmeadow features the fewest PVTA (Pioneer Valley Transit Authority) stops of any city or town in the Pioneer Valley. Most Longmeadow residents use cars so there is little call for PVTA service.
Longmeadow has one major North/South road (US Route 5, Longmeadow Street, which features businesses that have become a part of Longmeadow's community fabric, like Hampden Bank and Rinaldi's Pizza. There are several East/West roads which bisect Route 5. From North to south, they are, Converse St, Bliss Road, Williams St, and Maple. There is virtually no public transportation, save the PVTA busses which runs infrequently between Springfield and Longmeadow.
- The cemetery at First Church Known as the Olde Burying Yard, dates back to the mid-late 1600s and contains a fascinating variety of old grave stones. Despite its age, the cemetery is in fine repair, owing to the active congregation at the First Church. (To any would-be vandals out there, don't even THINK of trying anything - aside from being reprehensible behavior, the cemetery is directly across the street from the Longmeadow Police station - and the Longmeadow Police have a reputation as being arrest-happy for even minor incidents.)
- Historical homes An interesting feature to note are all the houses along Longmeadow Street (Route 5) with red, blue, or green stars on them. These stars signify that the house is a historical site. The general understanding is that the different color stars represent different ages, starting at 100+ years. Empirical evidence would seem to show that green stars signify the oldest as there seem to be far fewer of them.
The largest concentration of historical homes is around the area of the town green (an area approximately halfway through Longmeadow, directly on Route 5 (Longmeadow Street). This part of town was the first settled, and contains some absoluetely breathtaking homes. What makes Longmeadow unique and a rare jewel of New England is that all of the homes on the green are residential. the town planners having the foresight to forbid commercial properties many years ago. This has kept the town green as the heart and soul of this fine residential community. One of the finest examples of this is a home known as the Young Estate. Apparently this home was built by the Young family who founded the WF Young Company. You might know of them by their product line, Absorbine Junior. The house is three stories tall and has servants quarters, a carriage house bigger than many other homes in town, a solarium, a series of vaults in the basement, and a large number of bedrooms. It is a privately owned home, but on occasion during "Longmeadow Days", guided tours of this historical home are offered.
- Longmeadow Days - an annual arts and crafts show held over a weekend every May with all sorts of local vendors and historical activities.
- Bird watching - Longmeadow has a considerable amount of Audubon Society Preservation Land which contain walking trails and numerous opportunities for bird watchers and nature lovers alike.
The largest pocket of business enterprise is Longmeadow Shoppes in the 600 to 800 block of Bliss Road, which contains quite a few high-end specialty retail establishments as well as a few restaurants.
- Li's Brother's Inn - Chinese food and Sushi delivered very quickly
- DeNardo's Pizza - actually located in East Longmeadow, they deliver excellent Italian style pizza to Longmeadow addresses
- Quickie's - ribs and chicken and other movie night type foods. Orders will often take 45 minutes to an hour for delivery, but they're worth it.
Eat in / take outEdit
You'll have to go there to eat in or take out yourself, but there are some decent restaurants in town
- Hu Ke Lau, 827 Williams Street, Phone: +1 413 567-1212, . Daily 11:30AM-2AM. Established sometime before the creation of dirt, the Longmeadow Hu Ke Lau is a Polynesian/Chinese restaurant. They don't provide the healthiest menu choices, and anyone with an aversion to MSG should look elsewhere, but this place features some of the best Chinese food on the East Coast. Famous for their PuPu Platters, the best beef teryaki this author has ever had, and numerous other dishes - one really can't go wrong! - the Hu Ke Lau is also open until 2AM. Their Scorpion Bowls are highly intoxicating.
- Starbucks Coffee, 708 Bliss Road, Phone: +1 413 565-5283. One of the worlds most recognizable brands is located in the heart of town at the Longmeadow Shops. For those who've been in a coma for decades, Starbucks is a purveyor of coffees and tea. This Starbucks has several attractive female baristas.
- Bertucci's Brick Oven Ristaurante, 674 Bliss Road (at Longmeadow Shoppes). The national chain.
- Friendly's Ice Cream, 732 Bliss Road, Phone: +1 413 567-8779. Anyone from the East Coast knows what a Friendly's Restaurant is, but for visitors from the Midwest and West Coast, Friendly's is a chain featuring delicious food based in Wilbraham. They are known for excellent ice cream, good family food, and mid-paced service. Located in the Longmeadow Shoppes in the low 700's range of Bliss Road. Now Closed
- "Semolina Bread Company" "413-567-2007" This restaurant is located at the Longmeadow Shops. They serve a number of over-priced sandwiches and wraps. Their selection is subpar and their ingredients are less than satisfactory. I wouldn't recommend it.
- "The Grapevine" is home to delicious Greek fare and great pizza.
- "Iron Chef" One of three asian restaurants, Iron chef is the best in town; Great sushi
See Hu Ke Lau in the Eat section
We New Englanders like to call them Package Stores, but most everyone else calls them Liquor Stores. Longmeadow has two.
- Longmeadow Package Store, 400 Longmeadow Street (Route 5), (413) 567-3201. This is a small liquor store, but they have a good variety of liquors beers and wines. They are also one of the only locations in town that sells lottery tickets.
- Four Seasons Wine and Liquors, 793 Williams Street, (413) 567-3662. Is well known for carrying an excellent variety of wines and sparkling wines. Their staff has extensive knowledge and can cater full range of customer needs. A Longmeadow institution for desperate housewives and stressed bankers and lawyers.
There are no hotels or bed & breakfast establishments in town. The closest choice is the Crowne Plaza in Enfield, Connecticut.