- Our City
Welcome to Northampton, the best of both worlds, a sophisticated rural lifestyle with all the cultural, artistic, academic, and business amenities of a big city. Northampton has retained much of its historic character in downtown Northampton, its residential neighborhoods, and the smaller commercial village centers of Florence and Leeds.
Northampton features one of the most vibrant downtown centers in New England offering a unique blend of independent retail shops, eclectic restaurants and cafes, art galleries, museums, clubs, and theaters earning its name as “#1 Best Small Arts Town in America” by author John Villani and one of the “Top 25 Arts Destinations” in the nation by AmericanStyle magazine.
It is no surprise that the Boston Globe said, “This small city offers more restaurants and shops, certainly more galleries, theaters and performance venues than most urban centers dozens of times its size. Add two rivers, mountain views, landscaped parks and meadow walks, and you begin to see why people call it paradise.”
Academy of Music Theatre
The Academy of Music Theatre is a historic building - the sixth oldest municipally owned theater in the nation and the only one that has shown films in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
The Manhan Rail Trail extends from downtown Northampton to Easthampton, and will soon reach all the way to New Haven, Connecticut. The Norwottuck Rail Trail takes you past farmland through Hadley and Amherst to end in Belchertown, and will eventually connect to Boston. And the Northampton Bikeway zips you up to Florence and Leeds.
The Childs Park is an urban oasis and is located between Elm Street and Prospect Street and is designated as a place of serenity and quiet reflection. This is a wonderful spot to retreat from the world, enjoy beautiful gardens and bask in the afternoon sun.
In downtown Northampton, outside of the Court House, you can see the bust of our most well-known former Mayor, Calvin Coolidge. You can also visit the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library Collection at Forbes Library just up the street. In downtown Florence, be sure to visit the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue and public garden, just down the block from the Lilly Library, and near to the location of the first home Sojourner Truth owned when she lived in Florence for nine years.
Look Memorial Park
Look Memorial Park is a great place for a walk in the woods, a favorite picnic spot, an all-ages recreation treasure. Look Park offers a miniature golf, steamer train, Christenson Zoo, playgrounds, pedal boats, water spray park, tennis courts, a walking path, the Look Park Grill and Sweet Shoppe. There are dozens of barbecue pits and several large shelters that can be reserved for your celebrations. The Pines Theatre hosts morning children's programs in the summer and live performances under the stars.
Historic Northampton hosts a museum of local history in historic homesteads on Bridge Street in downtown Northampton.On the other end of Main Street, plan to visit the Smith College Museum of Art. World class collections and rotating exhibits make this a must-see every time you come to town.
Dozens of boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops line Northampton's Main Street, as well as numerous restaurants with every type of menu you can imagine! Downtown businesses also present several annual events, including Restaurant Week, Arts Night Out, Summer Sidewalk Sales, and popular Bag Day in November.