Escape to Franklin County: A Perfect Blend of Nature and Culture


 Top Image © Paul Franz

Nestled in the hills and valleys of Western Massachusetts lies an undiscovered getaway.

Franklin County is a place of unmatched natural beauty and rich history, offering a casual and unpretentious atmosphere that welcomes visitors from all walks of life. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views, lively music, charming local shops, or exciting outdoor adventures, Franklin County has something for everyone.

Outdoor Adventure in the Heart of Nature

Franklin County is home to the largest number of state forests in Massachusetts, as well as countless lakes and rivers. This makes it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, biking, paddling, and leaf peeping. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or an exhilarating ride through Class III rapids, Franklin County has you covered. Soak in the summer sun during a white water rafting adventure at Crabapple Whitewater, a family-friendly hub for thrilling experiences. If you prefer a laid-back adventure, take in the soothing and rustic charm of Barton Cove—canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals are available here, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure!

Take a walk along the Bridge of Flowers, a scenic old railroad bridge turned pedestrian walkway covered in flowers. From April to October, watch as the flowers bloom: from Bulb Season to Dahlia Season and every bloom in between. You can also try your hand at golfing at award-winning courses like Northfield Golf Club, Thomas Memorial, or the CrumpinFox Club—an 18-hole course.

There’s so much to learn from the outdoors! Franklin County is home to the Great Falls Discovery Center, featuring exhibits of the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River. For a truly magical experience, visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, a live butterfly conservatory with over 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies, complete with educational programs imparting knowledge and fun facts about all of their stunning butterflies.

From extreme biking and ziplining, and white water rafting at Berkshire East to hiking trails at Northfield Mountain, or the breathtaking views at Mount Sugarloaf, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had.

© Paul Franz

Arts and Culture For Everyone

The former mill towns of Franklin County have transformed into thriving cultural hubs, boasting a vibrant artistic community and eclectic mix of artists and artisans. Whether you’re into world-class festivals, innovative theater companies, self-guided artisan tours, or state-of-the-art performance venues, there’s something for everyone. Franklin County takes pride in their festival run: planning your visit around the Green River Music Festival, a summer signature with world-class music, food, and fun, is highly recommended.

Performing arts are a year-round attraction here—the internationally renowned Double Edge Theatre is a must-visit for theater lovers, and the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center has exciting events for every genre. Don’t miss out on the vibrant river town’s Pioneer Valley Symphony, one of the country’s oldest community orchestras, or the historic Deerfield, an 18th-century colonial village with museums and demonstrations.

Or join in on art walks in each of the three cultural districts of Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls, and Greenfield. These free self-guided tours feature open studios, art openings, performances, hands-on activities and more. You can even take home a piece of the tour with you by shopping artists’ collections.
Hope and Olive Restaurant in Greenfield © Paul Franz

Eat Like a Local

Franklin County is the birthplace of the modern craft cider movement. It is home to CiderDays, the longest-running cider festival in the country—but it’s not just cider that’s abundant in Franklin County. There are many local breweries, cideries, and wineries with tasting rooms and tours of farms where ingredients are grown, like the Berkshire Brewing Company, Brewery at Four Star Farm, and Cameron’s Winery, to name a few.

You can meet the producers and sample delicious farm-to-table cuisine in local restaurants that are sure to serve up mouthwatering eats. For a uniquely farm-to-table experience, take the family out for a pick-your-own adventure at one of Franklin County’s many orchards and farms. Apex Orchards and Clarkdale Orchards are two local favorites where you can take home delicious local fruit—the perfect complement to at-home recipes. Make sure to stop into Richardson’s Candy Kitchen for the perfect after-dinner sweet treat.

Whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing glass of cider, a cold craft beer, or a fine bottle of wine, Franklin County has something to quench your thirst.

Stay for the Weekend

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, look no further than Franklin County. With a wide range of accommodation options, from country inns and historic bed and breakfasts to modern hotels and vacation rentals, you’ll find the perfect place to call home for the weekend. With authentic charm and cozy comfort, the Deerfield Inn is the home away from home you’ve been looking for. History lovers will enjoy learning about the region’s storied past, and the peaceful surroundings make for a perfect end to a fun-filled day. Prefer to enjoy the best of the great outdoors? Franklin County is the place to set up camp—literally! Foolhardy Hill, Barton Cove, and Northfield Mountain Recreation Area are just a few of the incredible camping accommodations available in the region. So pack your bags, grab your friends and family, and head to Franklin County for a truly unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, or simply a place to unwind, Franklin County has something for everyone.

Visit today and discover the many hidden treasures of this beautiful and unique region.

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An undiscovered place of matchless beauty hidden among the hills and valleys of Western Massachusetts, Franklin County is casual, unpretentious, and welcoming to all. #MoreToFranklinCounty


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