Paradise City Northampton, Fall 2023 • Destination Northampton
Deep in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, surrounded by the gently rolling foothills of the Green Mountains and the Berkshires, lies Northampton, the hometown of the Paradise City Arts Festival. Come autumn, the trees and hillsides turn red and gold, local farmstands are piled high with fruits and vegetables, and the bustling “#1 Small Arts Town in America” becomes the holiday weekend home to hundreds of the country’s most celebrated artists and makers.
New England’s most uncommon destination is definitely Northampton. It surprises you with its sophistication, diversity and eclectic flavor, its small-town ambiance and big-city features. Take a stroll along its “walking Main Street” and side streets, with one-of-a-kind boutiques, galleries, restaurants, antique stores, cocktail bars, and performance spaces. Each of Northampton’s small independent businesses brings a unique vision to this city of 30,000, from high-style clothing to sophisticated crafts, from a choice of six different sushi restaurants to the friendly neighborhood tattoo parlor.
Get a taste of the Valley in restaurants all around Hampshire County – a place where “fresh” means what you’re eating might have been grown nearby on some of the best agricultural land in the world. The area is also rich in wineries, microbrews, organic farms, some of the best coffee you’ve ever tasted and much, much more.
Stay an extra day and see an outstanding exhibition at one of the Five College art museums. Take a hot-air balloon ride over the patterned fields and rolling hills. White-water raft on the Deerfield River or hike to the top of Mount Sugarloaf for the spectacular view of the Connecticut River that has inspired artists for nearly two hundred years. Ride miles of bike paths through farmlands, woodlands and along the river. Hike the Holyoke Range, picnic and play in Northampton’s beautiful city parks.
Did you know you can now take the Amtrak Vermonter from NYC to Northampton? The station is walking distance from the Festival and from Northampton’s center. You can even bring a bike. https://www.amtrak.com/home. Get a weekend pass to Paradise City and stay through Monday!
Creative Residents of the Pioneer Valley
From Emily Dickinson to Tracy Kidder, Dr. Seuss to Leonard Baskin, Jenny Lind to Taj Mahal, the Pioneer Valley has been a magnet and inspiration for visual, performing and literary artists throughout history. It’s the home of contact improvisation dance, an international enclave of realist painters and a renowned center for printmaking, bookbinding, fine woodworking and furniture design. Some say that the Valley’s residential concentration of artists comprises a larger per capita percentage here than in any other population center in the country.
Come for the Art at Paradise City and Stay for the Holiday Weekend!
We can’t wait to welcome you to the cultural heart of New England. For more information about the Pioneer Valley, its regional arts scene, things to do, history and lodging and dining suggestions, visit: northampton.live or explorewesternmass.com or visithampshirecounty.com