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Springfield (Massachusetts)

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'''Springfield''' is the largest city on the [[Connecticut River]], in the [[Pioneer Valley]] of [[Massachusetts]], [[United States|USA]]. It sits only 24 miles north of [[Hartford, Connecticut]]. Springfield and Hartford are the principle 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.  
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'''Springfield''' is the largest city on the [[Connecticut River]], in the [[Pioneer Valley]] of [[Massachusetts]], [[United States|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 principle 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.  
  
Springfield is the economic and cultural center of [[Western Massachusetts]]. Nicknamed ''The City of Homes'' because of its Victorian architecture and ''The City of Firsts'' because of the many innovations produced there during the Industrial Revolution, Springfield is known worldwide as the birthplace of the sport of basketball. The Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield beside the Connecticut River.  
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Springfield is the economic and cultural center of Western Massachusetts. Nicknamed ''The City of Homes'' because of its Victorian architecture and ''The City of Firsts'' because of the many innovations produced there during the Industrial Revolution, Springfield is known worldwide as the birthplace of the sport of basketball. The Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield beside the Connecticut River.  
  
From the early 1800s until the 1960s, Springfield was one of the United States' most prosperous cities. The Springfield Armory, the site of which George Washington selected personally, made the city a center of invention and industrial innovation, e.g. interchangeable parts were invented there; as were America's first gasoline-powered automobile, motorcycle, and fire engine, etc. In 1968, in a controversial decision, the Pentagon closed the Springfield Armory. (Today, it is a museum and Western Massachusetts' only National Park.) The Armory's closing, in tandem with the growth of the interstate highway system, and "White Flight" from American cities to the suburbs, left Springfield reeling for nearly 40 years as it de-industrialized. Only within the past five years has Springfield significantly revitalized.
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From the early 1800s until the 1960s, Springfield was one of the United States' most prosperous cities. The Springfield Armory, the site of which George Washington selected personally, made the city a center of invention and industrial innovation, e.g. interchangeable parts were invented there; as were America's first gasoline-powered automobile, motorcycle, and fire engine, etc. In 1968, in a controversial decision, the Pentagon closed the Springfield Armory. Today, it is a museum and Western Massachusetts' only National Park. The Armory's closing, in tandem with the growth of the interstate highway system, and "White Flight" from American cities to the suburbs, left Springfield reeling for nearly 40 years as it de-industrialized. Only within the past five years has Springfield revitalized significantly.
  
Since 2006, nearly all of Springfield's neighborhoods have seen major revitalizations. The city, which during the early 2000s ranked as high as 18th in the annual United States' per city crime rankings, dropped to 51st in 2009. Springfield's Metro Center has seen major renovations, and is a considerably nicer travel destination for them. Most of Springfield's major sites are within walking distance of each other in the Metro Center neighborhood; however, much of the city's Victorian residential architecture is focused in its other neighborhoods. Springfield's South End is the center of its Italian community. Its North End is the center of the Puerto Rican community.  
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Since 2006, nearly all of Springfield's neighborhoods have seen major revitalizations. The city, which during the early 2000s ranked as high as 18th in the annual United States' per city crime rankings, dropped to 51st in 2009. Springfield's Metro Center has seen major renovations, and is a considerably nicer travel destination for them. Springfield is a highly walkable tourist destination - most of its major sites are in the Metro Center neighborhood; however, much of the city's Victorian residential architecture is focused in its other neighborhoods. Springfield's South End is the center of its Italian community. The North End is the center of the Puerto Rican community. McKnight is the center of the African American community.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Springfield is a major railroad and bus nexus, serving trains and buses from all directions. In 2011, the city's grand 1926 station, Union Station, is scheduled to be renovated and become and intermodal transportation hub, (i.e. the bus station and local transportation service, the PVTA, will move into Union Station.) Within the next several years, Springfield is scheduled to see an exponential increase in train traffic. The city will become the hub 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.
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Springfield is a major railroad and bus nexus, with trains and buses arriving from all directions. In 2011, the city's grand 1926 Union Station,is scheduled to 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 hub 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 the 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, 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.
 
The renovated Union Station will become the headquarters for Peter Pan Bus Lines, 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.
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====From the North====
 
====From the North====
One of two current stops in Massachusetts for the ''Vermonter'' is in Springfield, (the other is in nearby Amherst). In 2013, the Vermonter is scheduled to be re-routed to Northampton, and become a regional intercity commuter rail, with Springfield as its hub. Fares are reasonably priced and it is by far the most relaxing way to enter Springfield from the north.
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One of two current stops in Massachusetts for Amtrak's ''Vermonter'' is in Springfield, (the other is in the college town of Amherst, a mere 18 miles north of Springfield.) In 2013, the ''Vermonter'' is scheduled to be re-routed to the old, more direct ''Montrealer'' route -- down the Connecticut River, through Northampton, to Springfield. At that time, Springfield is scheduled to become the hub for a Western Massachusetts intercity commuter rail, connecting the city with Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, and Brattleboro.
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Current fares are reasonably priced and it is by far the most relaxing way to enter Springfield from the north.
  
 
====From the East====
 
====From the East====
Unfortunately, Amtrak canceled the ''Bay State'' (AKA ''Overland Route'') in 2004, limiting rail travel from Boston to one train per day, the ''Lake Shore Limited''.  
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Unfortunately, in 2004, Amtrak canceled the ''Bay State''route  (AKA the ''Overland Route'',) limiting rail travel from Boston and points east to one train per day, the ''Lake Shore Limited''. Currently, plans are afoot to revitalize the Overland Route for both passenger and freight service; however, unlike Springfield's two other rail projects, this one has not been green-lighted.
Amtrak generally charges $15 for the hour and forty-five minute one way trip, Peter Pan Bus charges around $20-$25 for a dirty, hot (in winter the heat is turned up too high and in summer airconditioning is nonexsistant on older busses), crowded trip and can often run into traffic on the Mass Pike (Interstate 90), however service from Boston is frequent.
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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 dirty, hot (in winter the heat is turned up too high and in summer, much needed air-conditioning is nonexsistant on Peter Pan's older busses), crowded trip and can often run into traffic on the Mass Pike (Interstate 90). That said, service from Boston is frequent.
  
 
====From the West====
 
====From the West====
The Lake Shore Limited begins in [[Chicago]], [[Illinois]] and terminates in [[Boston]], stopping in [[Albany (New York)|Albany]], [[New York (state)|New York]] and picturesque [[Pittsfield, Massachusetts]] and has one stop per day in Springfield. Bus service is limited and schedules may change, check before you go.
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The Lake Shore Limited begins in [[Chicago]], [[Illinois]] and terminates in [[Boston]], stopping in [[Albany (New York)|Albany]], [[New York (state)|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===
 
===By plane===
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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) [http://www.pvta.com/public/] offers service throughout Pioneer Valley. Its main terminal is in Springfield. The city is eminently walkable, despite its hills, although many use the PVTA or taxis to get around the city.
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Many use the PVTA or taxis to get to Springfield's attractions across the Connecticut River, like [[Six Flags New England]] and New England's State Fair, [[The Big E]].
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Luckily for sight-seers, Springfield is an eminently walkable city. Most of its historic sites and points of interest concentrated in the Metro Center neighborhood (aka downtown, where the skyscrapers are.) Thanks to Springfield's recent self-improvement efforts, all tourist sites are well marked.
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If you'd like to explore far-flung Springfield tourist sites - like Forest Park - the clean, green, and reliable Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) [http://www.pvta.com/public/] offers service to every Springfield neighborhood, and throughout the entire Pioneer Valley, up to the college towns of Northampton and Amherst, 15-20 miles north. The PVTA's main terminus is in Springfield.
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It's easy to catch a bus headed anywhere - study the schedules, wait for the bright blue and orange buses, pay $1.35 and you're off!
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NOTE: Several years ago, walking through Springfield was considerably more hazardous than today. In the 1990s and early 2000s, crime was high in Springfield - the city ranked as high as 18th in the annual per city crime rankings; however, during the past few years, the city's fortunes have improved and crime has dropped off significantly. Currently, Springfield ranks 51st in those same rankings, and crime has fallen 50%.
  
In the 1990s and early 2000s, crime was high in Springfield - it ranked as high as 18th in the annual per city crime rankings; however, as Springfield has revitalized, crime has dropped off significantly. Currently, Springfield ranks 51st in those same rankings. Although Springfield is safe compared with cities like Hartford and New Haven, exercise caution when walking alone at night. The Entertainment District along Worthington Street is generally safe most times of day and night, as are many of Springfield's neighborhoods, e.g. Sixteen Acres and Forest Park Heights.  
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Although Springfield is safe compared with neighboring cities like Hartford and New Haven, as in most urban environments, it's best to exercise caution when walking alone at night. The Entertainment District along Worthington Street is safe most times of day and night, as are many of Springfield's neighborhoods, e.g. Sixteen Acres and Forest Park Heights; however, certain parts of town can be sketchy after dark (e.g. Liberty Heights and Six Corners.) Luckily, Springfield's sketchier areas are generally well off the beaten path for tourists.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
[[Image:The Lorax.jpg|thumb|250px|The Lorax]]
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[[Image:The Lorax.jpg|thumb|200px|The Lorax]]
  
 
*'''The Basketball Hall of Fame''', West Columbus Av., Phone: ''+1'' 877-446-6752, [http://www.hoophall.com/]. 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 Basketball Hall of Fame''', West Columbus Av., Phone: ''+1'' 877-446-6752, [http://www.hoophall.com/]. 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.
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*'''The Springfield Armory''' is the site that George Washington hand-selected for Revolutionary America's first arms depot, and where the famous Springfield Rifle was made for several centuries. Located on the (reasonably) scenic campus of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) on State Street, just up the hill from the Quadrangle.
 
*'''The Springfield Armory''' is the site that George Washington hand-selected for Revolutionary America's first arms depot, and where the famous Springfield Rifle was made for several centuries. Located on the (reasonably) scenic campus of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) on State Street, just up the hill from the Quadrangle.
  
*'''The Quadrangle''', 220 State St., is a grouping of five excellent museums and the city's palatial library. The fine arts museum features a fine and varied collection, particularly renowned for Impressionist works. The classical arts museum features a collection of Japanese antiques. The science museum boasts a gigantic life-sized model of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
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*'''The Quadrangle''', 220 State St., is a grouping of five excellent museums and the city's palatial public library. The fine arts museum features a fine and varied collection, particularly renowned for Impressionist works. The classical arts museum features a collection of Japanese antiques. The science museum boasts a gigantic life-sized model of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
 
** <see name="Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden" alt="" address="45 Edwards St" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">Springfield is the hometown of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This park within the Quadrangle features life size sculptures of Dr. Seuss and some of the characters from his imagination.</see>
 
** <see name="Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden" alt="" address="45 Edwards St" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">Springfield is the hometown of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This park within the Quadrangle features life size sculptures of Dr. Seuss and some of the characters from his imagination.</see>
  
 
*'''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 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.
  
*<see name="Forest Park" alt="" address="Sumner Ave" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The 2nd largest urban park in the United States at 735 acres, it was established through the donations of its past citizens. The 735 acre park offers many amenities including picturesque gardens, hiking and walking trails, athletic fields, sculptures, a swimming pool, and camp facilities. During the winter it serves as the venue for Bright Nights, a nationally known holiday light display.</see>
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*<see name="Forest Park" alt="" address="Sumner Ave" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The 2nd largest urban park in the United States at 735 acres, it was established through the donations of its past citizens. The 735 acre park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead offers amenities including picturesque gardens, hiking and walking trails, athletic fields, whimsical sculptures, (one can see where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration,) a swimming pool, and camp facilities. During the winter it serves as the venue for Bright Nights, a nationally known holiday light display.</see>
  
*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 (the first American gasoline-powered automobile was invented in Springfield.)
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*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!!
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
''' Six Flags New England''', 1623 Main St., Phone: ''+1'' 877-474-9352, [http://www.sixflags.com/parks/newengland/index.asp] The largest theme park in New England, located in across Springfield's South End bridge in [[Agawam]], Massachusetts.
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*''' Six Flags New England''', 1623 Main St., Phone: ''+1'' 877-474-9352, [http://www.sixflags.com/parks/newengland/index.asp] The largest theme park in New England, located in across Springfield's South End bridge in [[Agawam]], Massachusetts. It opens in April as it starts to get warm and closes in November as it starts to get cold.
  
'''The Eastern States Exposition - "The Big E"''', 1305 Memorial Av., West Springfield, Phone: ''+1''  413-737-2446, [http://www.thebige.com]. The New England States' collective State Fair. It is the largest fair in New England, and the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States. Located across Springfield's Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, it runs from September 15 to October 1.
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*'''MassMutual Center''', on Main Street in Springfield across from Court Square. The MassMutual center provides the home ice/court advantage for Springfield's AHL hockey franchise, the '''Springfield Falcons''', and its NBA D-League affiliate, the '''Springfield Armor'''.  Numerous conventions and rock concerts are also held here regularly.
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*'''The Eastern States Exposition - "The Big E"''', 1305 Memorial Av., West Springfield, Phone: ''+1''  413-737-2446, [http://www.thebige.com]. The New England States' collective State Fair. It is the largest fair in New England, and the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States. Located across Springfield's Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, it runs from September 15 to October 1, give or take.
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*'''The Entertainment District''' - Hip nightclubs, a cluster of LGBT-oriented bars and clubs, and see-and-be-seen restaurants line lower Worthington Street near the Connecticut River. Upper Worthington, west of Chestnut Street, remains an "entertainment district;" however, much of the entertainment is rated X.
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*'''Springfield Symphony Orchestra''' - Housed in Springfield's ornate Symphony Hall on Court Square, a building renowned for its "perfect" acoustics. Conductor Kevin Rhodes is creative and a performer. Springfield's current orchestra keeps up the city's long tradition of outstanding symphony and innovative orchestras.
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*'''CityStage''' - Located off of Main Street, CityStage is Springfield's most famous theatre. It produces plays, musicals, childrens' productions, guest speakers and also provides a venue for touring Broadway companies.
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*'''The Connecticut River Walk''' - near the Basketball Hall of Fame, one can access this pleasant park and marvel at the Connecticut River Valley's scenic beauty. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find an entrance to this park due to the presence of I-91. Bring a partner at night.
  
 
==Learn==
 
==Learn==
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*'''Tufts University School of Medicine''' [http://www.tufts.edu] Baystate Health serves as the western teaching campus of Tufts University's School of Medicine.  
 
*'''Tufts University School of Medicine''' [http://www.tufts.edu] Baystate Health serves as the western teaching campus of Tufts University's School of Medicine.  
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*'''University of Massachusetts Urban Design Center''' [http://umassdesigncenter.blogspot.com/] UMass opened an urban design center in Springfield in 2010
  
 
*'''Western New England College''' [http://www.wnec.edu] A university featuring a law school and pharmacy school
 
*'''Western New England College''' [http://www.wnec.edu] A university featuring a law school and pharmacy school
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
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*'''Main Street''' features hundreds of shops and of restaurants.
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*'''State Street''' features many ethnic shops and restaurants.
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*'''Eastfield Mall''' on Boston Road has a large movie theater and all that one would normally expect of an American mall.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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* '''The Munich Haus''', 13 Center Street (downtown [[Chicopee]]), Phone: ''+1 413'' 594-8788, [http://www.munichhaus.com/].  Excellent German food and a good selection of German beer.
 
* '''The Munich Haus''', 13 Center Street (downtown [[Chicopee]]), Phone: ''+1 413'' 594-8788, [http://www.munichhaus.com/].  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.
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*'''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.
 
*'''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''', In the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving exceptional American fare.
 
*'''Max's Tavern''', In the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving exceptional American fare.
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*'''The White Hut''', nationally famous thanks to numerous Food Network specials, this place offers up truly delicious, cheap hamburgers in the most Spartan setting imaginable. Across the Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, it's well worth the trip .
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*'''350 Grille''', located next to Springfield institution, ''The Mardi Gras'', 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.
  
 
*'''Lido's''', on Worthington Street, a Springfield tradition, serving Italian food.
 
*'''Lido's''', on Worthington Street, a Springfield tradition, serving Italian food.
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*'''Pazzo's''', also in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving fine Italian cuisine.
 
*'''Pazzo's''', also in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving fine Italian cuisine.
  
*'''Red Rose''', Main Street. A Springfield classic, Great Pizza and Pasta, former secretary of state Albright claimed had the best meat balls in the world
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*'''Red Rose''', Main Street. A Springfield classic, Great Pizza and Pasta, former Secretary of State Albright claimed that Red Rose had "the best meatballs in the world." high-praise from a well-traveled woman.
  
 
* '''Sitar''', in Metro Center, Springfield's best Indian food.
 
* '''Sitar''', in Metro Center, Springfield's best Indian food.
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*<eat name="Pho Saigon" alt="" address="398 Dickinson St" directions="" phone="(413) 781-4488" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">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.</eat>
 
*<eat name="Pho Saigon" alt="" address="398 Dickinson St" directions="" phone="(413) 781-4488" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">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.</eat>
  
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==Drink==
  
==Drink==
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*'''The Mardi Gras''', New England's most well-known strip club (and most high-end strip club, if one can say such a thing,) the Mardi Gras on Worthington Street has been a Springfield destination for decades, popular with every sort of demographic.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==

Revision as of 01:12, 17 April 2011

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 principle 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.

Springfield is the economic and cultural center of Western Massachusetts. Nicknamed The City of Homes because of its Victorian architecture and The City of Firsts because of the many innovations produced there during the Industrial Revolution, Springfield is known worldwide as the birthplace of the sport of basketball. The Basketball Hall of Fame is located in Springfield beside the Connecticut River.

From the early 1800s until the 1960s, Springfield was one of the United States' most prosperous cities. The Springfield Armory, the site of which George Washington selected personally, made the city a center of invention and industrial innovation, e.g. interchangeable parts were invented there; as were America's first gasoline-powered automobile, motorcycle, and fire engine, etc. In 1968, in a controversial decision, the Pentagon closed the Springfield Armory. Today, it is a museum and Western Massachusetts' only National Park. The Armory's closing, in tandem with the growth of the interstate highway system, and "White Flight" from American cities to the suburbs, left Springfield reeling for nearly 40 years as it de-industrialized. Only within the past five years has Springfield revitalized significantly.

Since 2006, nearly all of Springfield's neighborhoods have seen major revitalizations. The city, which during the early 2000s ranked as high as 18th in the annual United States' per city crime rankings, dropped to 51st in 2009. Springfield's Metro Center has seen major renovations, and is a considerably nicer travel destination for them. Springfield is a highly walkable tourist destination - most of its major sites are in the Metro Center neighborhood; however, much of the city's Victorian residential architecture is focused in its other neighborhoods. Springfield's South End is the center of its Italian community. The North End is the center of the Puerto Rican community. McKnight is the center of the African American community.

Get in

Springfield is a major railroad and bus nexus, with trains and buses arriving from all directions. In 2011, the city's grand 1926 Union Station,is scheduled to 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 hub 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 the 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, 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 Vermont.

From the North

One of two current stops in Massachusetts for Amtrak's Vermonter is in Springfield, (the other is in the college town of Amherst, a mere 18 miles north of Springfield.) In 2013, the Vermonter is scheduled to be re-routed to the old, more direct Montrealer route -- down the Connecticut River, through Northampton, to Springfield. At that time, Springfield is scheduled to become the hub for a Western Massachusetts intercity commuter rail, connecting the city with Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, and Brattleboro.

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 Stateroute (AKA the Overland Route,) limiting rail travel from Boston and points east to one train per day, the Lake Shore Limited. Currently, plans are afoot to revitalize the Overland Route for both passenger and freight service; however, unlike Springfield's two other rail projects, this one has not 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 dirty, hot (in winter the heat is turned up too high and in summer, much needed air-conditioning is nonexsistant on Peter Pan's older busses), crowded trip and can often run into traffic on the Mass Pike (Interstate 90). That said, service from Boston 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, [4], 12 miles away from Springfield in Windsor Locks, Connecticut; it is equidistant from Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts.

By car

Springfield is accessible via Interstates 90, 91, and 291.

Get around

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

Luckily for sight-seers, Springfield is an eminently walkable city. Most of its historic sites and points of interest concentrated in the Metro Center neighborhood (aka downtown, where the skyscrapers are.) Thanks to Springfield's recent self-improvement efforts, all tourist sites are well marked.

If you'd like to explore far-flung Springfield tourist sites - like Forest Park - the clean, green, and reliable Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) [5] offers service to every Springfield neighborhood, and throughout the entire Pioneer Valley, up to the college towns of Northampton and Amherst, 15-20 miles north. The PVTA's main terminus is in Springfield.

It's easy to catch a bus headed anywhere - study the schedules, wait for the bright blue and orange buses, pay $1.35 and you're off!

NOTE: Several years ago, walking through Springfield was considerably more hazardous than today. In the 1990s and early 2000s, crime was high in Springfield - the city ranked as high as 18th in the annual per city crime rankings; however, during the past few years, the city's fortunes have improved and crime has dropped off significantly. Currently, Springfield ranks 51st in those same rankings, and crime has fallen 50%.

Although Springfield is safe compared with neighboring cities like Hartford and New Haven, as in most urban environments, it's best to exercise caution when walking alone at night. The Entertainment District along Worthington Street is safe most times of day and night, as are many of Springfield's neighborhoods, e.g. Sixteen Acres and Forest Park Heights; however, certain parts of town can be sketchy after dark (e.g. Liberty Heights and Six Corners.) Luckily, Springfield's sketchier areas are generally well off the beaten path for tourists.

See

The Lorax
  • The Basketball Hall of Fame, West Columbus Av., Phone: +1 877-446-6752, [6]. 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 is the site that George Washington hand-selected for Revolutionary America's first arms depot, and where the famous Springfield Rifle was made for several centuries. Located on the (reasonably) scenic campus of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) on State Street, just up the hill from the Quadrangle.
  • The Quadrangle, 220 State St., is a grouping of five excellent museums and the city's palatial public library. The fine arts museum features a fine and varied collection, particularly renowned for Impressionist works. The classical arts museum features a collection of Japanese antiques. The science museum boasts a gigantic life-sized model of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden, 45 Edwards St. Springfield is the hometown of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This park within the Quadrangle features life size sculptures of Dr. Seuss and some of the characters from his imagination. Free.
  • 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.
  • Forest Park, Sumner Ave. The 2nd largest urban park in the United States at 735 acres, it was established through the donations of its past citizens. The 735 acre park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead offers amenities including picturesque gardens, hiking and walking trails, athletic fields, whimsical sculptures, (one can see where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration,) a swimming pool, and camp facilities. During the winter it serves as the venue for Bright Nights, a nationally known holiday light display.
  • 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!!

Do

  • Six Flags New England, 1623 Main St., Phone: +1 877-474-9352, [7] The largest theme park in New England, located in across Springfield's South End bridge in Agawam, Massachusetts. It opens in April as it starts to get warm and closes in November as it starts to get cold.
  • MassMutual Center, on Main Street in Springfield across from Court Square. The MassMutual center provides the home ice/court advantage for Springfield's AHL hockey franchise, the Springfield Falcons, and its NBA D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor. Numerous conventions and rock concerts are also held here regularly.
  • The Eastern States Exposition - "The Big E", 1305 Memorial Av., West Springfield, Phone: +1 413-737-2446, [8]. The New England States' collective State Fair. It is the largest fair in New England, and the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States. Located across Springfield's Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, it runs from September 15 to October 1, give or take.
  • The Entertainment District - Hip nightclubs, a cluster of LGBT-oriented bars and clubs, and see-and-be-seen restaurants line lower Worthington Street near the Connecticut River. Upper Worthington, west of Chestnut Street, remains an "entertainment district;" however, much of the entertainment is rated X.
  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra - Housed in Springfield's ornate Symphony Hall on Court Square, a building renowned for its "perfect" acoustics. Conductor Kevin Rhodes is creative and a performer. Springfield's current orchestra keeps up the city's long tradition of outstanding symphony and innovative orchestras.
  • CityStage - Located off of Main Street, CityStage is Springfield's most famous theatre. It produces plays, musicals, childrens' productions, guest speakers and also provides a venue for touring Broadway companies.
  • The Connecticut River Walk - near the Basketball Hall of Fame, one can access this pleasant park and marvel at the Connecticut River Valley's scenic beauty. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find an entrance to this park due to the presence of I-91. Bring a partner at night.

Learn

  • American International College, [9]. A university located in Springfield's Mason Square neighborhood.
  • Springfield College [10]Founded in 1885, this is where basketball was first developed and played in 1891.
  • Springfield Technical Community College [11] Located at the Springfield Armory, STCC is Springfield's largest community college.
  • Tufts University School of Medicine [12] Baystate Health serves as the western teaching campus of Tufts University's School of Medicine.
  • University of Massachusetts Urban Design Center [13] UMass opened an urban design center in Springfield in 2010
  • Western New England College [14] A university featuring a law school and 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

  • Adolpho's, in Springfield's Entertainment District on Worthington Street, serving excellent Italian food.
  • The Munich Haus, 13 Center Street (downtown Chicopee), Phone: +1 413 594-8788, [15]. 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, In the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving exceptional American fare.
  • The White Hut, nationally famous thanks to numerous Food Network specials, this place offers up truly delicious, cheap hamburgers in the most Spartan setting imaginable. Across the Memorial Bridge in West Springfield, it's well worth the trip .
  • 350 Grille, located next to Springfield institution, The Mardi Gras, 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.
  • Lido's, on Worthington Street, a Springfield tradition, serving Italian food.
  • Pazzo's, also in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Serving fine Italian cuisine.
  • Red Rose, Main Street. A Springfield classic, Great Pizza and Pasta, former Secretary of State Albright claimed that Red Rose had "the best meatballs in the world." high-praise from a well-traveled woman.
  • Sitar, in Metro Center, Springfield's best Indian food.
  • 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.

Drink

  • The Mardi Gras, New England's most well-known strip club (and most high-end strip club, if one can say such a thing,) the Mardi Gras on Worthington Street has been a Springfield destination for decades, popular with every sort of demographic.

Sleep

  • Holiday Inn, 711 Dwight St, +1 413 781-0900, [1].
  • Springfield Marriott, 2 Boland Way, +1 413 781-7111 (fax: +1 413 731-8932), [2].
  • Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place, 1-413-781-1010, [3]. 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.

Get out

Routes through Springfield
Greenfield ← Junction I-90.png
Chicopee
 N noframe S  LongmeadowHartford



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