If you're looking for a cozy winter weekend in a sweet little New England village, consider making a visit to Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts, a picture-perfect village along the Connecticut River Valley. In what has to be one of the most ambitious and unique museum accomplishments in New England, an entire street of 18th and 19th Century homes (most of them still lived in) have been preserved exactly as they were.
Historic Deerfield was incorporated in 1952 to sustain the work of a couple from Greenwich, Connecticut, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flynt. The Flynt's son was a student at the Deerfield Academy in the center of Deerfield (the school was founded in 1797 and still a very prestigious school) and the couple decided to buy virtually every historic home on the main street and restore them to their original state. Today, 11 historic houses and the Flynt Center of Early New England Life display collections of more than 25,000 objects made or used in America between 1650 and 1850.
The house museums are closed during the winter months, but the town is no less charming to visit. There is the beautiful Deerfield Inn for a cozy meal or a weekend getaway where there is always a warm fire and the smell of wonderful meals cooking to welcome guests. Also nearby, just a short drive up the road, is the fantastic Yankee Candle Company main store and museum--a really fun place to shop for candles, Christmas ornaments or just enjoy the holiday wonderland-type atmosphere. You have to see this place to believe it--the only store that I've visited where it snows indoors! Also nearby is the college town of Northampton with enough stores and restaurants (and the great Blue Bonnet Diner!) to keep you busy and fed for a very long weekend.
By the way, if you're looking for an affordable motel in the area, the Econolodge in South Hadley is beautifully kept, very friendly and with rooms starting at around $70 one of the best kept secrets in the area.