The Other Side of Massachusetts is an often-overlooked location when Boston residents are planning getaways. We often look to Portland or Newport or the Cape, and all of those are amazing, but when you want something new and different, I would heartily recommend checking out Amherst, especially during times when UMASS and Amherst College are not in session.
Full disclosure: I work with the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council on their PR, and I am a Western Massachusetts loving UMASS grad, but my love of the area really comes from all that it has to offer, including history, quaint inns, incredible restaurants, farms, breweries, wineries (Black Birch is a must-visit), outdoor activities, walkable little towns, and a vibe that I just can’t describe. The shopping is great; you can find many locally made products along with great book stores, music shops, wine shops, and boutiques.
I visited Amherst and Northampton this past week to give a presentation on PR for the region to tourism partners, and I stayed at The Lord Jeffery Inn. During my years as a student at UMASS, I had always wanted to stay at the inn, so I was excited to finally have an occasion to do so and to receive a rate that worked with my budget.
Located in the center of downtown Amherst, right on the Common, The Lord Jeff has welcomed guests as an inn since 1926. I arrived just before sunset, and I received a warm welcome at check in.
My room was cozy and comfortable, decorated with a nod to the inn’s historic nature but with all of the contemporary touches you could want, including a gas fireplace, Wi-Fi, and an amazing shower.
I want to return to the inn just so I have more time to hang out and enjoy the room!
Since I only had one night, I quickly headed back out to take a look around at the rooms that make up the common areas.
Little seating areas are perfect for reading or getting work done, or enjoying a cocktail by the massive fireplace. The inn has a number of fireplaces, giving plenty of opportunities to warm up and relax. The entire place feels very laid back and welcoming, ideal for a getaway for a couple of days.
I ate my way around Amherst that night, trying some of the new-to-me places for cocktails and apps, and I will share all of that in a separate post, because, much like Portland, Amherst is a town you can visit just to spend the day eating and drinking.
My last stop of the night was 30 Boltwood where I sampled some of the cocktails on the menu along with a cheese board. The restaurant sources many of its ingredients locally, as many restaurants in the area do, and they are particularly interested in locally-driven cocktails. 30 Boltwood is the perfect place to end the night or even to stay at if you just want to take in the ambiance of the inn.
The event I presented at was a hospitality industry exchange where local hospitality partners can learn about each other, the Hampshire RTC, and working together to promote one another and the region. They have SO much to offer, so it was fun to be a part of this.
I left with a ton of new knowledge and ideas whirling around in my head, surrounded by beautiful scenery on my way out, and excitement to book my next visit. Outside of work, I hope to bring my husband back for a few days of brewery visits, farm visits, rafting, and hiking this summer. I can’t emphasize enough what a great getaway Hampshire County makes. And at only two hours from Boston, it’s an easy and pleasant day trip. Give it a try, and you will want to return!