Springfield has certainly seen better days, but this recession-hit town has some worthy sights, plus one of the best Cajun eateries this side of New Orleans.
Downtown Springfield contains a few reminders of the 19th-century wealth that once caused the city to blossom. This is a handful of quality museums, a grand symphony hall and stately Romanesque Revival buildings at Court Sq. While most of the business types who work here flee promptly at 5pm, Springfield's downtown unexpectedly supports a lively night scene. Up the hill you'll find an intriguing armory dating back to the American Revolution.
As all local grade-schoolers know, basketball originated in Springfield, and that explains how the Hall of Fame got to be here. Springfield is also the birthplace of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr Seuss.
Take I-91 exit 6 northbound or exit 7 southbound, follow it to State St (east) then Main St (north), and you'll be at Court Sq in the heart of Springfield.