Autumn in Amherst With Literary Gems

Posted February 22, 2010 by Nicki Krawczyk

Amherst As autumn arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts, so do the crisp crunching of leaves underfoot and the droves of students returning to the area's Five Colleges. Pay homage to these scholastic-inspiring events with a literary getaway. Stroll through the secretive sanctum of a famous poet, treat your inner child to an array of biblio-delights, and stamp "The End" on your day in authoress-named accommodations.

Emily Dickinson Museum: The reclusive poet rarely welcomed visitors to her home, but now here's your chance to get inside. Tours of Dickinson's residence and that of her brother and sister-in-law are conducted by knowledgeable Emily-phile guides several times each day, Wednesday to Sunday from March through December. See just her home ($8 for adults) or both houses ($10 for adults), but leave with a deeper appreciation for this solitary woman of letters.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
: It's little-acknowledged among adults, but kids know that gift shops are sometimes just as good as the museums. Case in point: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Certainly, tour the spacious museum ($9 for adults, $6 for kids) to see the illustration exhibits, but then make a beeline for the gift shop. There, you'll find hundreds of exceptional picture books, lithographs, and even bath toys. Purchasing? Never fear, you can always pretend that copy of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar?" ($22) is for someone else.

Emily's Amherst Bed & Breakfast
: At day's end, you'll want to settle in at a comfy homestead with a few great nooks for reading. Emily's B&B, nestled in a spot perfect for watching the leaves turn to gold, offers just such a respite. Cozy up with a book in either the main house or the carriage house ($85 to $125 per night) where each room is named after a famous female writer. What better place to delve into Dickinson's poetry than in the Emily Suite?

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(Photo: iStockPhoto/alphavisions)

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