Looking for things to do in Holyoke MA? Without question, Holyoke is one of the most interesting towns in Western Mass. Founded in the 19th century as an industrial hub, Holyoke earned the nickname “Paper City” for its once-thriving paper mills. Today, the area is the perfect combination of historical heritage, artistic expression, good food, and amazing people. Take a look at a few things you may want to check out if you’re planning to spend some time in Holyoke.
The Best Things to Do in Holyoke MA
1. Go shopping at Holyoke Mall at Ingleside
The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside is one of the largest shopping and entertainment destinations in the state. Whether you’re looking purely for shopping or you want good food, the mall is the perfect stopping point. The indoor mall features dozens of retailers like Yankee Candle, Build-a-Bear, and Champs Sports.
2. Check out the craft beer scene in Holyoke
If you’re all about craft beer, Holyoke is the perfect place to be. Whether you’re downtown or in the surrounding areas, there is a good brewery nearby where you can get your hands on some of the best craft beers. A few local favorites include Leadfoot Brewery on North Chicopee Street, Holyoke Craft Beer on Race Street, and Drunken Rabbit Brewing on New Ludlow Road. From laughers and ales to IPAs, there is always something good on tap at these places.
3. Visit the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round
If you have ever wanted to see a fully operational vintage carousel, the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round deserves a spot on your itinerary. This vintage carousel is one of the oldest in the country that is actually still in operation, and both adults and kids are welcome to take a ride. The carousel is positioned just outside Holyoke Heritage State Park and is open for rides between 12 PM and 4 PM every weekend.
4. Hike to the summit of Mount Tom
Standing at 1,202 feet, Mount Tom is the closest mountain to Holyoke. A hike to the summit of Mount Tom is gorgeous, and the pinnacle point gives you breathtaking views of the Connecticut River Valley. The surrounding park boasts over 22 miles of trails to explore, as well as Bray Lake where you can enjoy fishing or waterside bird-watching. The reservation is widely regarded as one of the top spots for viewing the area’s birds and wildlife.
5. Go see real dinosaur footprints
Holyoke is actually known for its prehistoric significance, especially when it comes to dinosaurs. There is remaining proof that dinosaurs once roamed the area in the form of well-preserved footprints. You can head to the Pioneer Valley Dinosaur Footprints and see firsthand the impact the dinosaurs once had on the region. Admission to the area is free for everyone and is open for visits from sun up until sundown between April and the end of November.
6. Take a self-guided walking tour of the Holyoke Canals
The four and a half miles of canals that run in and around Holyoke were constructed over the course of about 35 years in the 1800s. These canals were considered a spectacular engineering accomplishment at the time, and, today, they are still impressive to explore. You can visit the Holyoke Canal Tour website and follow a series of videos and destination markers to take yourself on a self-guided tour of the canal system. Along the way, you can click on each checkpoint and learn a little about the history of that specific area. However, the canal walk has also been vamped up with gardens, landscaping, and public artwork displays to make the experience even more enjoyable.
7. Grab a creative cocktail at Francie’s Tavern
Francie’s Tavern is one of those lively local places that stands for everything the area is all about: good fun and good people. At the end of the day, stop by Francie’s for a creative cocktail and possibly live local musicians on weekends.
Add a Trip to Canna Provisions to Your Holyoke Exploration Plans
Canna Provisions in Holyoke is situated in the historic part of town between the first and second-level canal at 380 Dwight Street. Known as the place to go to better every journey, we’re proud to be one of the best dispensaries in Massachusetts. We have one of the most impressive selections of cannabis flower in the state, including the Smash Hits collection grown by us. Looking to grab your favorite cannabis picks on the run? Check out our menu where you can order ahead for quick pick-up.