Our Day Trip Guide to Springfield
Visit the Dr. Seuss museum during the day, and spend your nights as a high roller at the MGM Springfield.
We all need a break from city life sometimes, if even just for a few hours. Our day trip guides highlight all of the gems within a short drive from Boston. Here, we explore Springfield, Massachusetts.
Distance from Boston: 90 miles
Driving Time: 1.5 hours
The city of Springfield often gets a bad rap. But the Springfield of yesteryear has evolved; now, Massachusetts’ third-largest city has become a fascinating, up-and-coming destination filled with food, art, and culture. Since opening last year, the MGM Springfield has found a way to successfully integrate itself into the existing structure of Springfield without eliminating its vast history. And since it’s located right in the middle of the city, you can easily hop from historic landmark to new hotspots on foot. Don’t skip a walk-through of the old 19th century State Armory, tucked right on the MGM’s plaza. The Romanesque Revival structure is a true slice of history, serving as the first building specifically for companies of Springfield’s militias when it was constructed in 1895.
Just steps from the Armory is the iconic Red Rose Pizzeria, a must-visit for out-of-towners and locals alike. Order a small pizza and a house salad (which comes in a giant bowl for two) and you can score an amazing lunch on the cheap. Wake yourself up from the pizza coma with a short walk downtown en route to the Springfield Museums. On the way, stop and check out Pynchon Plaza, a now-defunct urban plaza that opened in the ’70s, where a creepy-cool abandoned elevator shaft sits.
Just an easy 10 minute stroll through downtown Springfield brings you to the Springfield Museums, where you gain access to all five establishments by paying one entrance fee. If you’re on a budget, you can save a few bucks by checking out the Dr. Seuss National Museum Sculpture Garden, an amazing free outdoor collection of bronze sculptures made by Seuss’s beloved step-daughter, Lark Grey Dimond-Cates. You’ll relive your childhood thanks to the gigantic bronze sculptures of some of Seuss’s iconic characters, like the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and Yertle the Turtle. The price of entry into the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum is well worth it, however: Kids will love the lifelike exhibits dedicated to his most famous books, while adults will revel in the second floor, featuring Dr. Seuss’s office and living room, recreated for the museum with his actual belongings donated by his family.
Just next door is the stunning Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, which has an extensive European art collection, with famed pieces like “Grainstack” by Monet and “Rehearsal Before the Ballet” by Degas.
Complementing classics like the Red Rose, the MGM has welcomed several new restaurants into the area. Slice into the Chandler Steakhouse, a sophisticated hotspot for those who like fine wines and delectable cuts of meat. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler looking to play Craps or Roulette, or you just want to grab a seat and hit the penny slots all night, the MGM’s gaming offers plenty of options. (Another bonus: If you can’t stand smokey casinos, the MGM is a smoke-free casino floor.) If you’re looking to spend the night, the MGM’s hotel is a fascinating combination of old and new Springfield. You’ll notice unique details like vintage-inspired mail chutes at the doorway of each hotel room, and an eclectic library of books, many of which draw from the city’s diverse history.