One of two national munition factories created after the Revolutionary War, the Springfield Armory National Historic Site (1 Armory Sq., 413/734-8551, www.nps.gov/spar , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, free) churned out muskets, rifles, pistols, and even machine guns for almost 200 years. Unless you are a gun nut, the rows of rifles on display here are apt to look quite monotonous; there are, however, some unusual exhibits—such as one that shows what happens to guns when they are struck by lightning or gnawed by porcupines.
Before there was Harley, Ducati, or anything else, there was Indian, the original motorcycle, which dominated the industry from 1901 until the company’s implosion half a century later. The Indian Motorcycle Museum (21 Edwards St., 413/263-6800, www.springfieldmuseums.org , 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $12.50 adults, $9 seniors and students, $6.50 children 3–17, free children 2 and under) contains dozens of exhibits in leather and chrome, including the first motorcycle made of wood and a 1940 Indian Junior Scout owned by famous trick-rider Louise Sherbyn.
Landlocked Springfield  might seem an unusual place to pay homage to the greatest oceangoing disaster in history. However, the Titanic Museum (208 Main St., Indian Orchard, 413/543-4770, www.titanichistoricalsociety.org , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Fri.; 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat., $4 adults, $2.50 children under 12, free children under 6), however, boasts the world’s largest collection of memorabilia from the HMS Titanic, bringing alive the fateful night of April 14, 1912, better than a Leonardo DiCaprio movie ever could.