Sometimes you get to combine work and things and places you love, and over the past year, that’s happened to me more than once. I got to work in Sonoma on a project last summer, and for the past year I have been working with the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council in Western Massachusetts. As a UMass alum, I find that Amherst and Northampton hold some of my favorite memories, and the area is still one of my favorites to visit. There is SO much good food, beer, and wine, and gorgeous open outdoor space. And that’s just the beginning.
A few weeks ago I headed West for a meeting, and since it was on a Friday, I decided to stay the night in Northampton.
The beautiful and historic Hotel Northampton, a business I also work with, was my home for the night. It’s the perfect place to stay, and I’m not just saying that because I am lucky enough to work with them.
Built in 1927, the hotel maintains historic charm and character while also being impeccably clean and well-kept, a true place of elegance and luxury, where you feel like sinking into a chair and never leaving.
Wiggins Tavern, with its dark wood, plaid furniture, and historic artifacts is a place that can’t be missed. They have a great food and drink selection, and being that it’s a tavern that was actually brought from another location, it is just very interesting.
Free breakfast at the Coolidge Park Cafe is filling and delicious, served in a bright and sunny space, the perfect way to start the day.
It was tempting to just hang out at the hotel, but there’s so much going on in Northampton and its surroundings, we had to get out and about. We enjoyed part of the Northampton Arts Council Summer Concert Series, which took place right next to the hotel, and we browsed the sidewalk sales which were happening that weekend.
We had heard great things about New City Brewery and their ginger beer mimosa flight, and it certainly lived up to the hype! How beautiful is this?! It was SO delicious and refreshing and a unique tasting option.
In the same complex, we stumbled into the Community Food Engine, a really cool hydroponic restaurant and indoor park. It wasn’t open yet, but from the peek we got, we were definitely intrigued!
For me, no trip to the Northampton area is complete without visiting Black Birch Vineyards. I love their wine and their stunning vineyard views. I kicked my shoes off, got a cold glass of Chardonnay, and soaked up the beautiful country life.
While there are many places to eat in Northampton, I will admit I had two meals at Bueno y Sano, and old college favorite. I will forever love their tacos and am obsessed with their hot sauce. The next time I visit, I want to explore more of the restaurants, including Bistro le Gras, which everyone raves about. I need a week to eat there!
Before we headed out of town, we stretched our legs with a walk on the trail at the Mill River, which is very close to downtown Northampton. You can really have the best of all worlds, fine dining and shopping, downtown life, and outdoor adventures all within a few miles in Western Massachusetts.
For past posts on visiting Western Massachusetts:
If you’re interested in a Western Massachusetts itinerary, don’t miss the Visit Hampshire County blog.