Escape pick of the week

A 1742 saltbox house in Amherst, MA, with lots of historic details, for $447,500

This four-bedroom, two-bath house is right on South Amherst Common, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jones Realtors via Zillow

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The town of Amherst, Massachusetts, was founded in 1703, and is one of Western Mass's loveliest destinations. Amherst, along with its neighbors, Northampton and South Hadley, is a college town, boasting a number of campuses included the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, Amherst College, and Hampshire College (Smith and Mount Holyoke are in Northampton and South Hadley, respectively). This glut of schools means Amherst feels lively and young, if still firmly an elegant, historic New England town.

Amherst's cultural highlights include the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which houses a large collection of works by the celebrated children's book author; the Emily Dickinson Museum, comprising the celebrated poet's birthplace and house, Homestead, and her brother's house next door; and the Mead Art Museum, located on Amherst College's campus. Amherst is also home to a portion of Mount Holyoke Range State Park, a 3,000-acre state park full of hiking trails, wetlands, woods, and thickets; and the 114 mile-long Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which includes a hike up Mount Monadnock.

There are plenty of collegiate-friendly fast-casual eateries in Amherst, including a very popular Antonio's Pizza outpost and Judie's Restaurant, which has been serving up massive sandwiches and popovers since the 1970s. Johnny's Tavern focuses on casual farm-to-table dishes, and for slightly elevated fare, Osteria Vespa offers northern Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. 

Amherst's housing stock is varied, and there are quite a few historic houses here, including this 18th century saltbox house at 1055 South East St., now on the market for $447,500. The four-bedroom, two-bath house is located right on the South Amherst Common and was built in 1742, and has been updated for modern living. It's still got plenty of New England charm, as you can see from its cozy entryway. 

There's a cheerful-looking sitting room with a fireplace mantel and vintage stove.

It's not clear from the listing what room this is, but the built-in bookshelf is a nice touch.

The living room has lovely 12-by-12 windows and maple floors.

There's an exposed brick wall and vintage stove in the dining area.

These bay windows make for a great breakfast spot.

The kitchen has vinyl floors and lots of pantry space.

There's also a little space for eat-in dining and a door leading out to the yard.

There's more built-in shelving in the study, as well as patio access.

The patio's got space for al fresco dining.

Here's one of the baths, complete with a shower stall.

And a bedroom with big windows and sunny wallpapering.

There's more built-in shelving here, as well.

This bedroom looks like it gets quite a bit of light.

Here's another bedroom with stencil detail on the walls and a decorative heating grate.

And a bath with a standalone tub and glass-door shower.

The exposed wooden beams in this space are a nice historic detail.

There's a small porch with sunset views on the westerly side.

And a romantic-looking yard.

Here's the house from the side.

Other highlights include a one-car garage and easy Commons access. The house is a three-hour drive from Manhattan.