Summer Adventures in the Pioneer Valley

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, festival lover, or museum-goer, the Pioneer Valley has many unique experiences for everyone to enjoy! Looking for something to do this summer while staying at the Inn on Boltwood? Here is a list of 5 fun, family-friendly activities in Western Massachusetts:


An excellent way to start your day is by making your way to at least one of the world-renowned museums in the area:

The Emily Dickinson Museum is a historic house museum that remembers the birthplace and home of the 19th-century American poet. The one hour guided tour is well worth it and is packed with facts, anecdotes, and poetry.
June – August (Summer Extended Hours): Wednesday – Monday: 10 am – 5 pm (Last tour leaves at 4:30 pm), Closed Tuesdays
Cost: Free – $15
Suggested Time to Spend: >2 hours

The Eric Carle Museum was the first full-scale museum devoted to picture book art. Carle’s famous 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the main exhibits along with other rotating galleries.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 4pm, Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
Cost: $6 – $9
Suggested Time to Spend: >1 hour

Puffer’s Pond

Looking to cool off from the summer heat? Puffer’s Pond is the largest open body of water in Amherst and a local favorite for swimming, fishing, birding, nature walking, and boating.
Hours of Use: 6:00 am until dusk


There are no shortage of places to hike in Western Massachusetts! One of the locals’ favorites is only a 15 minute car ride away – Mount Sugarloaf in South Deerfield. The summit offers some of the best views of the Connecticut River Valley and is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and picnics. A road for cars winds to the summit as well.
Hours of Use: 9:00 am until sunset
Trail Facts: South Sugarloaf Trail is a 1.4 mile moderate loop trail; 456 feet elevation gain
Estimated Duration: ~15 – 30 minute hike to the summit

Downtown Amherst Center

With an abundance of dining options, bakeries, desserts, pubs, and shopping locations, downtown Amherst Center is the place to be! Amherst Center is the quintessential New England town center with beautiful commons, parks, history, and culture. You would not want to miss out!

Amherst bicycle rental packageBicycle and Boat Rentals

Having a plethora of outdoor activities available, many guests opt to rent a bicycle up the road from Laughing Dog Bicycles to bike the Norwottuck Rail Trail or rent a kayak/canoe from Sportsman’s Marina in Hadley to row the Connecticut River.

We look forward to welcoming you to your summer home at the Inn on Boltwood. If you have any questions about travel recommendations during your stay, please reach out to our front desk for assistance; they will be happy to help!

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