Planning a Trip
Springfield is located at the juncture of the east-west Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) and north-south I-91.
Bradley International (tel. 203/627-3000; airport code BDL), in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is the nearest major airport, about 20 miles to the south. Rent a car here from any of the major companies, or catch a bus, cab, or limo into Springfield. Major airlines serving Bradley include American (tel. 800/433-7300), Continental (tel. 800/525-3273), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212), Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525), United (tel. 800/864-8331), and US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322).
Three lines of Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL; www.amtrak.com) trains stop in Springfield: the Lake Shore Limited running between Boston and Chicago; the Regional between Boston and Washington, D.C.; and the Vermonter between St. Albans, Vermont (where there are connecting buses from Montreal), and D.C.
The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (tel. 800/723-1548; www.valleyvisitor.com) has downloadable maps of Springfield and other nearby cities at its website. There are visitor centers downtown, at 1441 Main St., Springfield, MA 01103 (tel. 413/787-1548), and near the Basketball Hall of Fame, at 1200 W. Columbus Ave. (tel. 413/750-2980). They offer brochures, maps, and discount tickets to local attractions.
During the last 2 weeks in September, "The Big E" -- the Eastern States Exposition (tel. 413/737-2443; www.thebige.com) is held on a fairground on the opposite side of the Connecticut River in West Springfield. It's a huge old-fashioned agricultural fair with a 4-H horse show, ox pulling, carnival food such as deep-fried cheesecake, games, a midway, and entertainment from the likes of Joan Jett and Josh Turner. Also on the grounds is Storrowton Village, an authentic re-creation of a 19th-century village. It's open from late June through Labor Day, Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 3pm.