There are countless hidden gems dotted around the countryside that are just waiting to be explored! Our adventures take us north to discover the best kept secrets of Western Massachusetts, an area with serene, undisturbed beauty that is the perfect picturesque escape. Step back in time into old world charm in historic Deerfield where centuries old, restored houses line up along Old Main Street. Tour as many of the twelve preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 as your heart desires, explore the museums filled with unique and significant historic collections, wander the Channing Blake Footpath leading to the Deerfield River and visit the Old Burying Ground where beautiful gravestones tell stories from the past. You will find books you don’t need in a place you can’t find, explore mysterious caves hidden in the forest, visit healing gardens where art and nature merge, stroll through a land where butterflies fly free and find more hidden treasures around every corner. So why not hop on our Van Adventure into Massachusetts’ secrets and leave all your worries behind in New Jersey!
Day One: Glendale Falls
The hidden gems await, so let’s get going! One of Massachusetts’ longest and highest falls, Glendale Falls, is our first secret stop, formed by the wild and rocky Glendale Brook as it plunges dramatically into the Westfield River.
A short trail through the former historic 18th century Glendale Farm leads to the bottom of the falls for splendid views and a chance to explore the grist mill ruins still lurking in the woods.
Three Sisters Sanctuary:
After picking up our included picnic lunch, it’s time to step foot into the mystical and enchanting gardens of the Three Sisters Sanctuary. This intriguing and constantly evolving artistic creation dreamed up from the soul of environmental artist Richard Richardson is a place of healing as it exists in harmony with nature.
The garden came into being after Richadson’s encounter with two tragic deaths. As he states, he did not begin this garden, it began him. Take your time to wander and feel the secrets emerge.
Now we make our way to the charming and historic Deerfield Inn, our comfy home for the next two nights.
Relax, the night is yours as you please with an included dinner at your leisure right here at the inn’s famous restaurant Champney’s.
Day Two: Historic Deerfield
Take the morning to discover the secrets of Historic Deerfield, an authentic 18th century New England Village. Tour any of the twelve 18th and 19th century houses filled with antique furnishings along with the Flynt Center of Early New England Life featuring a significant collection of household artifacts that tell the story of past generations lives that unlock the door to the past to help us better understand today.
Now onto get some books you don’t need in a place you can’t find! Browse the collections that range from Austen and anarchy to Zola and zoology at the Montague Bookmill housed in an 1842 gristmill set along the banks of the Sawmill River. If you can’t find the book you’re looking for here, they’ll find you a better one that you didn’t know you wanted.
It’s here where we’ll enjoy an included lunch at the Lady Killigrew Café if you can tear yourself away from your search.
Next is our cave adventure! Within the Mount Toby State Forest lies the Robert Frost Trail lined with amazing rock formations and giant boulders that will lead us to the spectacular Sunderland Caves.
Squeeze your way inside for some further exploration or enjoy from the outside.
Yankee Candle Village:
If you’re not up for cave hunting, no worries. Nearby is Yankee Candle Village, the flagship store just brimming with unique treasures.
But along the way, we just can’t miss a visit with the 400-year-old Buttonball tree!
Black Birch Vineyards:
Our day’s adventures will come to a relaxing end with a wine tasting at Black Birch Vineyard, so sit back and say Cheers!
Enjoy an included dinner tonight at the Deefield Inn whenever you please.
Day Three: Memorial Hall Museum
This morning take more time to visit Historic Deerfield, grabbing any tours you may have missed yesterday and extend your exploration to the Memorial Hall Museum’s collections of art, history and culture that reveal stories of the region’s small communities and those who have called them home.
Magic Wings Butterflies:
We can’t leave the area without a visit to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, a lovely indoor garden filled with hundreds of freely flying butterflies.
It’s here where we’ll enjoy a picnic style lunch and wander along the winding pathways as various varieties of butterflies sip from flowers, bask in the sunshine and flitter beautifully around your head.
There’s one more scenic stop along the way back home, Chesterfield Gorge. This dramatic rock canyon carved by centuries of rushing water from the Westfield River is an amazement to see.
Wander the half mile trail along the cliff tops and take in the wonderful views of the gorge, rushing river, and surrounding serene forest.
Soon we’ll be back in New Jersey to home sweet home.
Pricing & Departures:
This will be a Special, Intimate Small Group tour with a max of 10.
Departs South Plainfield High School at the end of Lane Ave at 7:00 AM and returns at approximately 8:30 PM
Departs Madison’s Kings Road Parking Lot, 62 Kings Rd. at 7:45 AM and returns at approximately 7:45 PM
Departs Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool South lot (across Linwood Ave) at 8:30 AM and returns at approximately 7:00 PM
Price per person is $1,695 Twin & $1,995 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $150 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel and mail to the included address. Final payment is due May 15, 2024. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before May 15, 2024. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after May 15, 2024. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended (approximately 10% of the total cost of the tour) but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one carry-on are permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
Upon submitting final payment you are agreeing to our new policy.
Wet Blanket Policy:
– a person who makes it difficult for other people to enjoy themselves by complaining, acting negatively, creating drama, etc.
– one that quenches or dampens enthusiasm or pleasure
- Our philosophy of travel involves getting out of the ordinary to experience other cultures and places with an open minded attitude and flexibility. Since as in daily life, anything can and will happen, let’s embrace these situations with acceptance and understanding because they will either lead to an unexpected, amazing experience or positive learning experience.
- If anyone brings along excess baggage such as incessant complaining, under the breath rude comments, outward negativity or other such behaviors that infect the entire group or individuals, we have the exclusive right to remove them from the tour at their own cost with no refunds. (yes, this means you)
- If any major concerns arise during a tour, please just come talk to us and we’ll work it out!
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312