Located in southwestern Massachusetts, and resting on the banks of the Connecticut River, is the city of Springfield. It is the largest city in Western New England and the third largest in Massachusetts. Just 24 miles north of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, the two cities make up an area known as the Pioneer Valley. Springfield is considered the urban, economic, and cultural center of Western New England, with a high concentration of corporate businesses, universities, and museums. Known as The City of Firsts for its many inventions and innovation, it is the birthplace of basketball, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and the first gasoline-powered automobile. With numerous parks, attractive architecture, and historical points of interest around every corner, apartments in Springfield are exciting and sought after.
Founded by English Puritan William Pynchon in 1636, Springfield was named after his hometown. Originally an agricultural settlement and trading post, today’s downtown area was once the center of important trade routes to Boston, New York, and Montreal. In 1777, George Washington established the National Armory here, and for 200 years it produced most of the country’s military firearms. Facing bankruptcy by the early 2000s, the city is now experiencing an impressive period of revitalization.
Springfield has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. The winters are cold with average temperatures below freezing, with multiple days falling well below zero. Approximately 40 inches of snow falls annually, which is less than nearby cities. The summers are warm and occasionally humid, with average temperatures in the 70s (F) and highs in the low 90s (F). Though rare, tornadoes do occur, with the second-largest in Massachusetts history hitting Springfield in 2011.
Getting Around Springfield
Interstate I-91 follows the North/South route along the Connecticut River, with multiple exits into downtown Springfield. There is an Amtrak station stop that commuters currently use to travel in and out of the city until the newly renovated Union Station is complete in 2017. This intermodal transportation facility will serve as a modern rail and bus hub for the Pioneer Valley area. The Hartford Line, a new high-speed intercity commuter rail system, will then connect Springfield, Hartford, and New Haven beginning in 2018. Bradley International Airport is 12 miles south in Connecticut, halfway between Springfield and Hartford.
Commuting in Springfield
Known as the Crossroads of New England, Springfield serves as the crossroads of road cargo between Boston, NYC, Montreal, and the Great Lakes. As such, the interstates are continuously busy with truck traffic along I-91 north-to-south through downtown, and I-90 east-to-west, just north of the city. While highway and rail construction has increased rush hour times, commutes are significantly lower than Boston and Worcester. Drivers spend an average of 20-minutes commuting in the greater Springfield area.
The Republican is Springfield’s daily newspaper, with smaller newspapers serving the surrounding communities. Home to two of the country’s oldest UHF channels, Springfield now receives its affiliate broadcast channels from Hartford and Chicopee. Also home to the country’s first commercially licensed radio station, many university and public stations broadcast from Springfield.
With its revitalization efforts in full swing, Springfield is rapidly reestablishing itself has the hottest spot in western New England to call home. Springfield apartments are surrounded by fascinating museums, beautiful parks, and exciting community activities. Located in New England’s Knowledge Corridor, the 32 nearby universities and colleges attracts hundreds of thousands of students and instructors to the area each year. Multiple corporations also have their headquarters in Springfield, including Fortune 100 company MassMutual. These factors all add to the cultural and economic growth of the area, making it a great place to live.
As the birthplace of basketball, Springfield is home to the Basketball Hall of Fame. This 80,000 square foot facility honors the world’s second most popular sport and its inventor, James Naismith. Also the birthplace of Dr. Seuss, his whimsical legacy is honored at the National Memorial Sculpture Garden downtown. The National Armory Park features a museum that highlights the many manufacturing advances that were developed there, including interchangeable parts, mass production, and the assembly line.
Things to do in Springfield
Two miles outside of Springfield is Six Flags New England, the area’s most popular amusement park. The park draws people from around the world to ride the country’s top two best steel roller coasters. Springfield’s Club Quarter is the Pioneer Valley’s center of nightlife, with more than 60 restaurants and bars. The music scene is also active with jazz and rock performances taking place at music venues most nights.
Hoop City Jazz Festival is Springfield’s most popular annual festival, often featuring local jazz legend, Taj Mahal. The Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend brings many of the sport’s biggest stars, allowing fans to meet their favorite players. The Big E is New England’s largest and most popular fair that attracts thousands of tourists every fall to enjoy carnival rides, music concerts, and agricultural competitions.
Springfield Vacation spots
Connecticut casinos Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort are 75-90 minutes south, but the billion dollar MGM Springfield Casino is scheduled to open in 2018, bringing gaming action closer to home. Boston is just two hours east and skiing at Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont is just two hours north.
Where to move in Springfield
Springfield consists of 17 distinct neighborhoods east of the Connecticut River. The Forest Park neighborhood is in one of the largest parks in the United States. The local zoo, attractive parks, and sports fields offer plenty of activities for families with children. Liberty Heights is a residential community that attracts medical professionals working at the three nationally ranked hospitals nearby. It is a diverse, eclectic community with several apartment complexes around the perimeter. Old Hill borders Lake Massasoit, where fishing is a favorite community activity. Springfield College, historic homes, local area landmarks, and several nearby parks make this residential area a great place to find Springfield apartments that are perfect for singles, young professionals, and families.