The Springfield Armory, located in the heart of the city, is the location of one of the country's first armory and is also where the U.S. military arms were manufactured during most of the 18th Century. This significant national site is featured on the National Register of Historic Places and preserves the largest collection of historic American firearms in the world.
The Springfield Science Museum and Seymour Planetarium is dedicated to the natural sciences and artifacts found throughout New England. Children can explore and learn about the habitats of the Amazon rainforest, African savanna, a coral reef or the New England coastal areas. If a trip through time is more their thing, the Dinosaur Hall has replicas of Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as some dinosaurs native to the Connecticut River Valley. Tickets to the Seymour Planetarium (the nation's oldest) can be purchased separately, so sit back and check out over 7000 stars from our solar system.
This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.
Since the American Revolution, Connecticut has had three Capitols; built in 1878, this angelic-white structure is the state's third and last one. Designed by renowned American architect Richard M. Upjohn, the gold-domed building was erected in the Victorian Eastlake Movement-style and constructed using marble sourced from three different East Coast states. The iconic structure's stunning main facade is embellished with a series of carefully-crafted statues that bear likenesses to some of the most influential politicians and historic citizens to have come out of Connecticut. The capitol building is currently home to the state senate and the house of representatives, while also maintaining the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
One of the nation's oldest state houses, Hartford's Old State House dates back to 1796. A Federal-style building designed by famed architect Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House has been restored on numerous occasions and has been on the list of National Historic Landmarks since 1966. The state house bears an assemblage of architectural influences, where a Federal Styled-facade gives way to a Victorian chamber and a courtroom awash in Colonial Revival style. Home to the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities, this regal, brick-hued edifice overlooks a pristine lawn, and lords over the sleek cityscape of Hartford. Even though it has not served the Connecticut government since the construction of the new State Capitol building, the Old State House is a stirring canopy lending insights into the history of the state.
Old Sturbridge Village has been a staple for schoolchildren and families in New England since 1946. This 200-acre (81-hectare) living history museum features beautiful grounds with buildings transported to Sturbridge, Massachusetts from all around the Northeast. Your tour of the property begins at the Visitor Center where you can see special exhibits and videos about life in early 19th-century New England. Step inside any of the buildings and you will find historians dressed in period costumes explaining the origins of the structures and their role in the community. There are over 40 buildings on the property, including a schoolhouse, gristmill, smithery, bake shop, law office, printers and typical 1830s-style homes. There is an on-site restaurant, the Oliver Wight Tavern, where you can enjoy lunch or brunch on the weekends. In springtime, children will love to see the newborn lambs and cows!
This cluster of museums, plus a library and a national memorial, on the corner of Chestnut Street and State Street comprises the Quadrangle. The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is the oldest of the group, and consists of collection of ancient art and artifacts from Greek and Roman civilizations. The Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts is where you can find the collection of work by European and American artists collected over time. Among the most notable collection in the permanent exhibit of the museum includes paintings of John Singleton Copley and Currier & Ives' lithograph works. The Springfield Science Museum is a fine center where you can learn about the physical and natural science and its exhibits display such things as life size models and remains of dinosaurs and animals from Savannah. Various antique automobiles and weapons that were part of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, are displayed inside the Museum of Springfield History that opened to the public in 2009. The Quadrangle also houses the Springfield City Library, which was built in 1913, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. Hours and prices vary for each museum and attraction.
The East Longmeadow region in Massachusetts is flanked by the elegant and opulent Elijah Burt House. The house was constructed and established in 1720. It provides a glimpse, back in the history. It allows a look into the small role that Massachusetts played in granting freedom to the slaves. The house has its aesthetics intact and is a finely structured building. It occupies great monumental significance and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lupa Zoo is a fun picnic spot that caters to the entire family and has something for everyone. Apart from wild animals, it also has a farm with domestic animals like goats. For hours of operation and other details, check website.
The first of the Seven Sisters and a member of the "Five Colleges" consortium, Mount Holyoke is a women's liberal arts college, and "the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women in the world." Mount Holyoke has produced numerous Fulbright scholars and has a number of special programs which allow students to obtain multiple degrees from partnered universities across the country.