From colonial beginnings to grassy commons, antique shops and wooded trails, Sturbridge MA is not just a town –it is a living history book.
The town offers a unique blend of history, charm, and modern amenities. It has remained an integral part of America’s history; a popular tourist destination for tourists and residents alike.
Sturbridge also boasts of interesting tourist activities to keep you occupied on your visit.
You can unwind with delicious dishes or you can visit public parks where you can either engage in many outdoor activities or take part in the town’s vibrant art scene.
If you want to learn more about this town, this article provides an interesting list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Relive History At The Old Sturbridge Village
Located at 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566, the village is an outdoor museum that will expose you to life in Massachusetts in the 1830s.
There are over 40 historical buildings in the village, including trade shops, a farm, bank, district school, meetinghouses, and homes.
This fascinating piece of historical real estate sits on 200 acres of land, and in addition to the built spaces also boasts of fascinating scenery.
A walk through the village feels like time traveling, visiting it is a must when you are looking for things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Historians wearing period costumes are available for you to chat with on your trip to the village; they will also guide you as you tour this living history museum.
Experience Warmth At The Publick House History Inn
Location: 277 Main St. Sturbridge, MA 01566.
Check-in Time: 15:00
Check-out Time: 11:00
This 18th Century inn has a beautiful history and allows you to relive the beauty on your visit.
Founded in 1771 by Ebenezer Crafts, the inn was opened as a gathering place in Sturbridge both for citizens and visitors.
Despite its history as a tavern, this spot is now a hotel and has over the years catered to a wide range of visitors.
You will discover something interesting in this hotel no matter what season of the year you visit.
The hotel fulfills the needs of guests with different tastes. You can go sightseeing, shop for antiques, play golf or go skiing, get engrossed in old books, or have a good time with someone special to you.
There are facilities to host your events too. Be it weddings, anniversaries, bridal showers or any other type of event, the Publick House HIstory Inn provides you with the facilities to give your guest a treat to history while celebrating your precious event.
The two restaurants in the inn offer a constellation of tasty meals from the past. The vintage cuisine offers a sweet reminder of the lifestyle of the town’s past settlers.
🚘 Parking (free0
📶 Wi-Fi (free)
❄ Air conditioning
Food and Drinks
✔ No spa
Collect Pottery At The Sturbridge Pottery
Location: 99 New Boston Rd. Sturbridge, MA 01566
Open: April – December | 9am to 5pm
The Sturbridge Pottery is a story of art, perfection, and 1800 degree Celcius. Owned by Gary and Ann, potteries from this place are collected across the United state and Europe.
Each pottery is a delicate piece of art, dried and bisque fired to eighteen hundred degrees for 12 hours. They are then glazed and take 30 hours to reach the white-hot temperature of 2400, before they are then cooled slowly for 36 hours.
Every piece of pottery is like a special gift from the divine owing to the precision and years of experience that goes into making each pot.
You definitely should add the Sturbridge Pottery to your list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Sturbridge pots are souvenirs worth having. So be sure to get some for yourself whenever you visit. You can visit from April to December if you want to see firsthand the delicate art of pottery making.
Uncover The World Of Glass Glowing At The Glasshouse Gallery
Location: 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd. Sturbridge, MA 01566
Museum Hours: Varies
You can learn about glass glowing on your visit to Sturbridge MA. The Glasshouse Gallery is the ideal place to visit for this.
The gallery explores the history of glass in 19th Century New England, including the manufacturing and use of glass during this period. Learn about the development of style over time, methods of production, scholarship and decoration.
There is a lot to feed your eyes on here. On display are objects like tableware, spectacles, archaeological materials, mirrors, flasks, as well as implements and glassmaking tools.
Even the building housing the gallery is a historical artifact; built in 1941, the building is a replica of the original American Optical Company shop in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The same shop where George Washington Well started manufacturing eyeglasses in the late 1800s.
The Sturbridge Glasshouse Gallery is a must see and should be in your list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Take Your Time And Unwind At Wells State Park
Location: 159 Walker Pond Rd. Sturbridge, MA 01566
Open Hours: Monday – Sunday | 7:30am – 6:30pm
The Well State Park is a 1400 acre public recreation park that offers 12 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
This is just scratching the surface because you will never run out of things to do in this park. When you are not skiing or horsebacking you can enjoy the view of the woodlands, made up of an oak-hickory forest with groves and eastern pine.
You can also whip out your phone and take pictures as you enjoy the scenic view of the Walker Pond and the surrounding wooded valley.
The Well Park also has amenities for aquatic fun. You can choose to go fishing or fishing in the Walker Pond. The pond is bursting with varieties of fish and you are sure to be delighted.
Mountain biking | Hunting | Biking | Camping | Canoeing and kayaking | Cross-country skiing | Fishing | Hiking | Horseback riding | Snowmobiling | Boating (non-motorized) | Boating (motorized) | Educational programs.
Boat ramp | Pavilion | Restrooms – closed | Nature Center closed | Grills | No Dump Station At This Facility.
No alcohol | No littering | No off-road vehicles | Dogs must remain on-leash.
Experience Life At The St. Annie’s Shrine
Location: 16 Church St. Fiskdale, Sturbridge, MA 01518
Schedule of Events: Varies
This shrine was born out of a promise, literally!
Here is a short version of it: In 1879 a Southbridge pastor, Elzear Brochu, whose health was failing, pledged to St. Anne that he would erect a shrine in her honor if he regained his health.
He did recover, and he kept his promise. He bought land and erected what is today known as St Anne Church in 1883.
Elzear’s miraculous healing will not be the last, and several other healings have taken place in the shrine.
Ever since the place was built over a 100 years ago, the place has remained a hotspot for people seeking peace and solace from God.
The St. Anne Shrine now houses a museum, containing a collection of Russian icons, many of which came from Russian Assumptionists to whom the shrine was entrusted in their care in 1971.
When making a list of things to do in Sturbridge MA, visiting the St. Anne Shrine should come tops if you desire spiritual experiences.
You can pray in the chapel, follow stations of the cross, and pray for help before the many statues of saints.
- Hall of Saints
- Russian Icon Exhibit
- Generations Statue
- Angel of Hope
- Gift Shop
Enjoy Outdoor Fun At The Westville Recreation Area
234 Riverview Avenue Fiskdale, MA 01510
Opening Hours: Daily | 8am – 8pm
This recreation facility lies along the Quinebaug River, and offers a year-round spot for outdoor activities.
Available facilities include a three-acre athletic field —a perfect spot for softball and soccer lovers. The entire field is generally open, and there is no limit to the amount of fun you can have.
If you don’t engage in these athletic activities in the field, you can choose to have a picnic. The park offers several picnic shelters so you and your group can have a good time.
The picnic shelters have several tables, electrical outlets, grills, and a scintillating view of the lake and dam.
What’s more, you can also go hiking, or you can go boat sailing —cruising through the low-current river, where you can also fish.
Loosen Up At The Annual Sturbridge Summer Concert Series
The Annual Summer Concerts are held during summer months. The settings are typically picturesque and the atmosphere vibrant, allowing attendees to have a good time during the concerts.
These concerts cover many music genres, pop, rock, classical, or country music, you are sure to bounce to the sound of what you love at these concerts.
Planning your visit during the period of the festival is the only way to not miss out on the fun.
The calendar of events are different for each year and you can check them out on their website so you can plan your travel accordingly and make the most of your trip.
Take A Trip Back In Time At The Common Historic District
Location: 308 Main St. Sturbridge, MA 01566
You can visit the Common House District if you did not have enough feel of history after visiting the Old Sturbridge Village.
Located in the city center, this district is important because it is focused around the town common. Established in 1738, the district sits on 138 acres of land and houses several historic buildings —in various architectural styles.
Some popular buildings in the district includes
The 1838 Greek Revival Town Hall
The 1896 Joshua Hyde Library
The 1922 Federated Church
The Publick House is located in the district, and it is the oldest building in Sturbridge.
You are sure to have a feel of history on your visit to the district, so be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Go For An Adventure At Escape The Pike
Location: 179 Main St. MA 01566
Opening Hours: Daily | 11am – 9pm
This fun place is community-owned and is run by army veterans.
Escape The Pike exists to challenge you through a variety of puzzles, problems, and clues for you to solve and uncover.
You also get to connect with people, including family, friends, and even strangers.
Escape the Pike also provides escape room activities for the curious and cunning. So you can play games, meet people, and have quality fun at Escape the Pike.
Discover The Sturbridge Host Hotel And Conference Center
Location: 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566.
This is a 35,000-square-foot event venue located along the beaches of Cedar Lake. Equiped with modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, there is a lot you can do in this event center.
It does not matter if your event calls for outdoor or indoor celebation, the Sturbridge Host and Hotel Conference Center caters to both.
There is the Oxhead Tavern where you can enjoy classic Massashusett steaks and seafood. The nearby Sturbridge Bar and Lounge is also there to serve you great beverages.
You can workout in the gym if you are a physical fitness enthusiast, but that is not all.
The indoor pool is there for you to relax, and you can also visit the beach where there are boats youo can take and go fishing with or take part in water sports.
Doing business in a comfortable and fun environment is what this event center allows you to do.
Get Acquainted With Painting At The Brush It Off Paint And Sip Bar
Location: 559 Main St. Fiskdale, MA 01518.
Are you a fan of the arts? Maybe you want to make your own creation rather than just admire those from the greats. If this is you, then visiting the Brush It Off Paint and Sip Bar should be in your list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
This spot, located inside the Sturbridge Marketplace, is a great spot for indulging your artistic impulses.
You get to learn painting like a boss here —you can choose to sip wine or have a good time with family and friends while you are at it.
There is more; since this spot in inside a mall, you can bring snacks, order food from the Stone and Sparrow store below the studio, and you can also make new friends.
Learning happens best in a fun environment, and Brush It Off And Sip Bar provide an atmosphere for the magic of learning to take place.
Get A Taste Of Craft Beer At The Altruist Brewing Company
Location: 559 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01518.
Good products spread by word of mouth; the Altrust Brewing Company offer such product.
Started by Bob and Nancy from their garage, the two concocct hand-crafted beer and they do it with passion and regard for the customer.
Apart from the process, they also select the best ingredients or their brew, creating strong and flavorful beer that anybody can enjoy.
At first they attracted neighbors, and later grew through word-of-mouth and thier ingenious “tasting parties,” which allowed them meet new people.
Visit the Altrust Brewing Company and indulge your love for beer. Enjoy their stouts, pilsneers, IPAs, ales, plus more when you visit.
Enjoy Tasty Meats At B.T.’s Smokehouse
Location: 392 Main St., Sturbridge, MA 01566
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm | Tuesday tp Sunday
This is roadside barbecue restaurant is considered as the best in all of new England.
Located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, B.T’s Smokehouse honor the local barbecue restaurants and offer all your favorites: pork ribs, mac n’cheese, beef brisket, and many others.
The Smokehouse pride in providing healthy meat. This care for health is evident in their preparation process. The meats are typically slow-smoked with fresh cherry and hickery wood for 24 hours at least, after being dry-rubbed.
If you care about health and quality meal, you can visit the B.T’s Smokehouse and eat to your fill either indoor or outdoor —the Smokehouse offer both settings.
Embrace Nature At The Opacum Woods
Location: 7-1 Old Brook Cir, Sturbridge, MA 01566
The tranquil and reinvigorating feel of nature is an experience everybody deserves to have at a point in their lives.
You can have such an experience when you visit the Opacum Woods.
This 266-acre conservation area is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora. You can get entailed by the wood, which contains a trail that is about four-mile long, with specific Red, Green, and Blue markers.
You can traverse swamps, woodland pponds, and vernal pools when you are not watching the beautiful flowers or walking the trail.
The Opacum Woods is also home to some rare animals and other unique wildlife in diverse habitats. You can go see them whenever you visit.
Go Fishing At The Walker Pond
Walker Pond is the place to go if you want to fish in Sturbridge.
Filled with varieties of warm-water fish, the pond is filled with bluegills and has white and yellow perches so you can try trypan fishing if you want to.
Go get your fishing tools ready for an inforgettable fishing experience, cash chain pickerel and good-sized largemouths to your heart’s fill.
There is special winter fun at the Walker Pond; the pond is a major ice fishing spot during winter so you can go ice fishing.
Feed Your Curiosity At Sadie Green’s Curiosity Shop
Location: 283 Main St., Sturbridge, MA, 01566
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm | Monday to Sunday
Trinkets, brackets, earrings, and more. Sardie Green’s Curiosity Shop boast of fine jewelries; modern styles, and also Victorian, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau styles.
This shop of sparkling ornaments started as one lady’s desire to earn from her passion; this was in the 1970, and that little desire birthed success for Sadie Green.
The store offers high-class jewelries, but more than that also offers gift items and accessories of various sorts.
You can shop for art glass, lamps, children’s toys, unique clothings, handbags, and so much more.
You don’t want to visit Sturbridge without taking a souvenir from Sadie Green’s Curiosity Shop.
Go Experience The Hyland Orchard And Events
Location: 199 Arnold Rd, Sturbridge, MA 01518
What would you say about an orchard that has existed for three generations and counting?
The Hyland Orchard is one such orchard, and has been maintained by the Damon family for all of its existence.
Locals and visitors gather at the orchard throughout the autumn for activities including apple picking, hayrides and live entertainment, which begins in late September.
Hyland hosts corporate events, wedding celebrations, and private Pavilion rentals on its expansive 150-acre farm during the summer months.
The Pavilion is a large, recently renovated space with movable barn walls and unusual beam work that makes it perfect for every weather, from chilly Autumn nights to rainy April mornings.
The Pavilion features a large stage space for bands, a bar extending thirty feet, tables and chairs for hire, full lighting, and a fire pit.
Give Your Body A Treat At Simple Indulgence Day Spa
Location: 283 Main St., Sturbridge, MA 01566
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm | Monday to Sunday
Simple Indulgence Day Spa is the place to go if you are in Sturbridge and you need to give your body a treat. Add it to your list of things to do in Sturbridge MA.
Skin care, nails and makeup, massages, as well as private spa parties are some of the services offered by the spa. All in a comfortable and calming atmosphere full of professional and friendly staff.
Simple Indulgence Day Spa aims to keep you feeling rejuvenated. They do this by making sure you feel welcomed and comfortable from when you step into their doors to when you depart.
Have Fun Scaling Heights At Tantiusques Trail
Tantiusques, pronounced “tan-te-us-quays”, is a Nipmuc word that means “to a black deposit between two hills.”
In the past, the Nipmuc tribe traveled to Tantiusques to collect graphite for use in paint manufacturing.
One of the first mines in New England was established in this location when lead was extracted from the place by the European settlers.
The mine started to flourish and brought prosperity to a number of business owners, including those who started pencil firms.
Now a defunct graphite mine, the Tantiusques Trail is now a popular hiking destination in Sturbridge, MA.
Hiking begins with peaceful trees that eventually lead to the abandoned mine.
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