Springfield is perhaps best known as the birthplace of basketball and home of the Basketball Hall of Fame. (The story goes that local physical education teacher James Naismith invented the sport to fill the gaps between football and baseball seasons.) But this historic town on the shores of the Connecticut River is famous for a few other reasons and definitely worth a quick jaunt or weekend away. Springfield was the birthplace and home of beloved children's author and illustrator, Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss. In fact, the Zoo in Forest Park, a sure hit with the kids, is said to be the inspiration for many of his wild and wacky tales. Wander through the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, at the Quadrangle, for a look at the Cat in the Hat and Yertle the Turtle cast in bronze. The city served as a major arsenal during the Revolutionary War, a role that is commemorated at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, which displays an enormous collection of small pistols. History buffs will also enjoy the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, a tribute to the ordinary people of the region who, during various periods in time, did extraordinary things.