On the Road to Northampton
The Hotel Northampton sits in the center of all the action
Nestled in the Berkshire foothills, Northampton—endearingly called Noho, in reference to its booming artist community—is thick with culinary, cultural, and outdoor adventures. Here are a few highlights for a summer weekend visit.
From June 1 to 7, the 4th annual Northampton Restaurant Week (northamptonrestaurantweek.com) showcases specials and deals at more than a dozen town restaurants, including the stylish Zen. With creative takes on Japanese fare (try the sushi "tacos") and sleek urban decor, it’s the best of Noho’s many sushi joints. 41 Main St., 413-582-6888, zennorthampton. com.
Toasted Owl Tavern The latest addition to the town’s thriving pub scene, with grand windows overlooking Main Street, is ideal for post-show snacking and people-watching, and occasional live jazz. 21 Main St., 413-585-5088, toasted owltavern.com.
Sylvester’s Pancake enthusiasts know to get to the former home of Sylvester Graham before 9, or else endure arduous waits for gut-busters like caramel apple pancakes and huevos rancheros. 111 Pleasant St., 413-586-1418.
The Academy of Music Theater From the 19th century balcony of this historic theater, fans long ago watched stars like Mae West and Harry Houdini. These weekend getaway days, it’s the best place to catch an indie film, live-action play, or author reading. 274 Main St., 413-584-8435, academyofmusictheatre.com.
The Smith College Museum of Art Stop in for classics from Monet to Manet, Courbet to Cezanne; visiting exhibits by cutting edge artists like photographer Lauren Greenfield; and a truly impressive permanent collection of Bauhaus Modern and Sol LeWitt. Elm St. at Bedford Terrace, 413-585-2760, smith.edu.
R. Michelson Galleries If you’re looking for art to take home, this bi-level gallery shows works by local artists, as well as walls and walls of original children’s book drawings by well-known illustrators. 132 Main St., 413-586-3964, rmichelson.com.
Dynamite Records Rock out at the area’s longest-running indie record store, which boasts an outstanding assortment of new and vintage vinyl, new and used CDs, and $1 bins, known to reliably produce a treasure or two. 150 Main St., 413-584-1580, dynamiterecords.com.
Hotel Northampton The majestic 82-year-old hotel is well-kept, impeccably served, and conveniently located smack in the middle of town. 36 King St., 413-584-3100, hotelnorthampton.com.
Sugar Maple Inn Just beyond Northampton center, the cozy, two-room bed and breakfast overlooks one of the area’s many scenic hiking and biking trails—which will expand this year—and has loaner bikes on hand. 62 Chestnut St., 413-585-8559, sugar-maple-inn.com.