Looking for an under the radar weekend getaway from Boston? Join me in exploring the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts! While Western Massachusetts is most known for the Berkshires, the lesser known Pioneer Valley region along the Connecticut River is a great alternative. With less crowds and just as many things to do, all located within a two hour drive from Boston, it’s a true hidden gem of the Bay State.
This itinerary will take you to three unique destinations in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts that you can easily hit in just one day (or take your time and spread it over a weekend – your call!). Your first stop is Freight House Antiques in Erving, where you can hunt for hidden treasures among an eclectic assortment of goods before pulling up a chair at the lunch counter for a bite to eat. Then, you’ll head over to Montague Bookmill in Montague to browse over 10,000 books in a picturesque setting. End your outing at the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, a magical, year-round destination considered the “Scenter of the Universe.”
Freight House Antiques in Erving, MA
Your journey through the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts begins at Freight House Antiques. This roadside treasure trove in the small town of Erving serves up an extensive antique collection and delicious, home-cooked lunch under the same roof. Their promise: “come curious and hungry, you’ll leave entertained and with a full belly.”
Take your time wandering the aisles brimming with nostalgia. Linger over a collection of industrial tools or dainty china. Pause to watch the owner fiddling over the repair of a vintage violin at his workbench. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, cozy up to a cup of homemade chili with cornbread. Just make sure to leave room for dessert!
Montague Book Mill in Montague, MA
Next, head to the Montague Book Mill in Montague just 15 minutes away from Erving. This historic mill turned bookstore offers abundant New England charm and “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.”
Sunlight peers through the dusty windowpanes and illuminates a world of wonder. Shelves are laden with titles ranging “from Austen and anarchy, to Zola and zoology.” A cozy corner beckons you to curl up and watch the Saw Mill River drift by, carrying away your cares with it. With a nearby cafe, restaurant, music store, and arts gallery, you could easily spend the whole day here, but you still have one last stop on the agenda.
Exploring the Montague Bookmill
Learn more about this dream destination with the motto “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.”
Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, MA
End your day at the Yankee Candle Village, another 15 minutes down the road in South Deerfield, MA. This self-proclaimed “Scenter of the Universe” is filled with year-round delights and fun for the whole family.
Shop for gifts in the festive Bavarian Village, learn how candles were made throughout history in the Candle Making Museum, and make your own custom scent at the Wax Factory. And of course you can’t leave without taking home your new favorite scent from the sprawling Candle Emporium.
Visiting the Yankee Candle Village
Discover even more fun for the whole family at this popular destination aptly named the “Scenter of the Universe.”
Do you have suggestions for more things to do during in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts? Share in the comments below!