Road Trips to Western Mass During COVID-19
Western Massachusetts is alive with things to do, and COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop us from having a good time. Whether you’re coming from within the state or from another state on the exempt list, there are certain restrictions you have to abide by to keep everyone safe while still enjoying everything Western Mass has to offer.
What You Need to Know Before Coming from Another State
Current restrictions require those coming from another state to complete a Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days. If a visitor has submitted a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours or less prior to entering our beautiful state, he or she does not have to quarantine. There are also a handful of lower-risk states that do not need to fill out a form or quarantine. Many of these states surround Massachusetts, making residents the perfect candidates to take a road trip to Western Mass. As of September 10th, these lower-risk states currently include:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
This list is updated frequently so check here for updates.
Some Stops That Make a Great Road Trip Destination
When you plan a road trip through Western Mass, you’ll quickly find there are a lot of stops to make. You could make it a weeklong adventure or take some shorter day trips as you find time in your schedule. While hours of operation, accommodations, and other specifics might change from time to time because of COVID-19 restrictions, there are still a lot of places open for business and ready to entertain you and your family.
- The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum – This museum is packed with interactive displays that will keep your children’s imaginations active. With two floors of fun, you could easily spend a day trip playing here. The Seuss Museum is currently open, though they suggest purchasing tickets in advance to ensure entrance upon arrival. Grab a bite to eat at the Blake House Café right on site, and feel safe knowing all CDC recommendations are being followed with outside service only.
- The Longmeadow Shops – Spend a day shopping at The Longmeadow Shops. With options for dining located among the shops, you don’t have to leave until you’re ready to call it a night. Different shops currently have different procedures and shopping guidelines, so be sure you know before you head in. For example, Fleet Feet prioritizes appointments over walk-ins in order to comply with reduced occupancy rules. Gap, Chico’s, J.Jill, J. Crew, In Chic Shoenique, Caren & Company, and Ann Taylor are open for in-store shopping. If you need something to fill your belly while shopping, Starbucks is open for in-person, mobile, or walk-up orders as are Posto Italian and Max Burger.
- Outdoor Recreation – In Phase 3 of our state’s reopening plan, outdoor recreational areas are currently open. Forest Park & Zoo and Lupa Zoo are both fun attractions, especially if you’ve got some little kids who have been cooped up during quarantine. Buy your tickets in advance to make sure you will be able to enter when you arrive and check out both zoo’s websites to ensure you follow all COVID-19 restrictions.
- Western Mass also has a wide array of bike, hiking, and walking trails to get your family out and moving.
Also currently open, sometimes with restrictions, you’ll find MGM Springfield Casino, certain indoor recreation areas, golf clubs, historical sites, hotels, other museums and retail shops, boating areas, and more.
Why a Road Trip Through Western Mass is Worth Your Time
In this world of uncertainty, one thing is certain: there are COVID-19 restrictions everywhere you turn. This is why a road trip makes so much sense. If you’re not ready for an overnight visit, take a day trip and return home when you’ve had enough fun. If you plan to stay the night, know that Western Mass hotels are following stringent safety protocols detailed here.
Road tripping also gives you the convenience of stopping where you want, when you want. For example, if you’re headed to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield and happen upon the Central Cultural District, you can stop by to check out some of the amazing artwork displayed. When you get hungry, you can drive through the area you’re visiting to look for some great eats, such as Palazzo Café or the South End Market.
Whether your Road Trip is a one-day or overnight stay, grab some snacks, get the family in the car, and be on your way. There are so many stops in Western Mass that there’s no reason you can’t fill one day or three days with shopping, food, celebrations, entertainment, and pure fun.
Plan Your Trip and Get Going
At the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are committed to helping your trip run smoothly. Whether you’ve got just one day carved out or an entire week, we’ll help you put your itinerary together. Be sure to check on all COVID-19 restrictions before you head out to your destination, and have a great time on your road trip.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Dene’ Miles
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