Welcome to Sturbridge, MA, a picturesque town rich in history and natural beauty. Located in central Massachusetts, Sturbridge offers a wide array of activities and attractions that cater to all interests.
From exploring historical landmarks to enjoying outdoor adventures and indulging in delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this charming New England town.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 30 fun things to do in Sturbridge that will make your visit unforgettable. Let’s dive in!
Historical and Cultural Attractions
Visit Old Sturbridge Village
Step back in time and experience life in the 19th century at Old Sturbridge Village. This living history museum showcases over 40 authentic buildings, including homes, a working farm, and a blacksmith shop. Interact with costumed interpreters who demonstrate traditional crafts and trades. Explore the village’s scenic grounds, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, and immerse yourself in the history and charm of the past.
Explore the Sturbridge Town Common
Take a stroll through the Sturbridge Town Common, a historic gathering place surrounded by charming colonial-style buildings. Admire the picturesque setting and relax on one of the benches. During the summer months, the common comes alive with concerts, festivals, and farmers markets, offering a delightful blend of community spirit and small-town charm.
Tour the Sturbridge Historical Society and Museum
Learn about Sturbridge’s rich history at the Sturbridge Historical Society and Museum. Explore exhibits that showcase the town’s development from its colonial origins to the present day. Discover artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the stories of Sturbridge’s past. Gain a deeper appreciation for the town’s heritage and the people who shaped its history.
Discover the past at the Publick House Historic Inn
Experience the ambiance of colonial New England at the Publick House Historic Inn. Established in 1771, this inn has hosted numerous historical figures and witnessed significant events. Enjoy a delicious meal in one of the dining rooms adorned with antique furnishings. Take a moment to appreciate the inn’s historical charm and imagine the stories that unfolded within its walls.
Enjoy hiking and nature walks at Wells State Park
Escape into nature at Wells State Park, where scenic trails wind through lush forests and alongside picturesque ponds. Hike the trails that offer varying levels of difficulty, or take a leisurely nature walk to observe the local flora and fauna. Enjoy a picnic by Walker Pond or go swimming in its refreshing waters during the summer months. Wells State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Go fishing or boating on Cedar Pond
Cast your line and enjoy a peaceful day of fishing on Cedar Pond. This serene body of water is known for its abundant fish population, including bass, trout, and panfish. Rent a boat or kayak and explore the pond’s tranquil surroundings. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, Cedar Pond offers a serene escape for a day of fishing or boating.
Explore Westville Recreation Area
Immerse yourself in nature at the Westville Recreation Area. This expansive park features trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Take in the scenic beauty as you wander through wooded areas and open fields. Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing meal surrounded by nature. Westville Recreation Area is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking tranquility and natural beauty.
Take a scenic drive along the Quinebaug Valley National Heritage Corridor
Embark on a scenic drive along the Quinebaug Valley National Heritage Corridor, a designated area of historical and cultural significance. Enjoy breathtaking views of rolling hills, picturesque farmland, and charming New England towns. Discover hidden gems along the way, including historic sites, local shops, and farm stands offering fresh produce and artisanal goods. The Quinebaug Valley National Heritage Corridor promises a memorable journey through the heart of New England.
Visit Tree House Brewing Company
For beer enthusiasts and families alike, a visit to Tree House Brewing Company is a must. This renowned brewery offers a unique selection of craft beers that have gained international acclaim. Enjoy a tasting flight or grab a growler to take home. The brewery’s scenic location allows visitors to relax and unwind amidst beautiful surroundings while savoring some of the finest brews in the region.
Spend a day at the Ecotarium
Make unforgettable memories at the Ecotarium, an interactive science and nature museum that delights visitors of all ages. Explore indoor and outdoor exhibits that showcase the wonders of the natural world. Engage in hands-on activities, observe wildlife, and learn about the environment through immersive displays. The Ecotarium offers a perfect blend of education and entertainment for the whole family.
Have fun at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center
Indulge in family fun at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center. The hotel features an array of amenities, including an indoor pool, mini-golf course, and game room. Spend quality time with your loved ones, challenge each other to friendly competitions, and create lasting memories in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride with Cornerstone Ranch
Experience the charm of a horse-drawn carriage ride through the scenic landscapes of Sturbridge. Cornerstone Ranch offers carriage rides for couples, families, and groups, providing a unique and romantic way to explore the area. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the tranquility as you take in the sights and sounds of nature.
Food and Drink
Indulge in New England cuisine at the Publick House Historic Inn
Treat your taste buds to authentic New England cuisine at the Publick House Historic Inn. Sample classic dishes such as clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fresh seafood. Delight in the flavors of traditional Yankee fare, including hearty roasts and comforting desserts. The inn’s cozy atmosphere and historic ambiance make for a memorable dining experience.
Try craft beer at Rapscallion Brewery
Quench your thirst with a visit to Rapscallion Brewery, a local favorite known for its handcrafted beers. Enjoy a flight of their signature brews, ranging from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. Chat with the knowledgeable staff and learn about the brewing process while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere. Don’t forget to grab a growler or some cans to take home and savor the flavors of Sturbridge.
Savor farm-to-table dishes at Cedar Street Grille
Indulge in farm-to-table dining at Cedar Street Grille, a popular restaurant known for its seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Delight in the innovative and flavorful dishes prepared with care and creativity. From juicy steaks to fresh seafood and vibrant vegetarian options, there’s something to please every palate. Pair your meal with a selection from their thoughtfully curated wine list for a complete dining experience.
Enjoy homemade ice cream at Westview Farms Creamery
Cool off with a sweet treat from Westview Farms Creamery. This family-owned creamery offers a delightful variety of homemade ice cream flavors, made with locally sourced ingredients. From classic favorites like chocolate and vanilla to unique creations like lavender honey and maple walnut, there’s a flavor to satisfy every craving. Indulge in a scoop or two and experience the creamy goodness that Sturbridge has to offer.
Shopping and Entertainment
Browse unique shops at Sturbridge Antique Shops
Discover hidden treasures and unique finds at the Sturbridge Antique Shops. Explore a collection of shops and galleries that offer a wide range of antiques, collectibles, and vintage items. From furniture and home decor to jewelry and artwork, there’s something for every collector and enthusiast. Take a leisurely stroll through the shops and find a piece of history to take home.
Attend a live performance at the Stageloft Repertory Theater
Experience the magic of live theater at the Stageloft Repertory Theater. Enjoy a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows. The intimate setting allows for an up-close and personal theatrical experience, creating lasting memories for theater enthusiasts of all ages.
Explore the Sturbridge Pottery Shop
Discover the artistry and craftsmanship of Sturbridge Pottery at the Sturbridge Pottery Shop. Admire the beautiful handcrafted pottery, from functional tableware to decorative pieces. Browse through the unique designs and find the perfect piece to add to your collection or as a special gift. Take a piece of Sturbridge’s artistic heritage home with you.
Have a fun-filled day at Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight
Experience the enchantment of the holiday season at Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight. This annual event transforms the village into a winter wonderland with festive decorations, holiday music, and activities for the whole family. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, meet Santa Claus, and witness historical reenactments that bring Christmas traditions of the past to life. This magical event is a highlight of the holiday season in Sturbridge.
Parks and Recreation
Relax and picnic at Burgess Park
Unwind and enjoy the outdoors at Burgess Park, a scenic green space in Sturbridge. Settle down on the lush grass for a picnic with family and friends, or take a leisurely walk along the trails that wind through the park. Let the kids have fun at the playground, or simply sit back and appreciate the serene surroundings of nature.
Play golf at Hemlock Ridge Golf Course
Tee off and enjoy a round of golf at Hemlock Ridge Golf Course. This picturesque 18-hole course offers beautiful views of rolling hills and pristine greens. Challenge yourself on the fairways and perfect your swing while immersing yourself in the tranquil beauty of the natural surroundings.
Go birdwatching at Leadmine Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Grab your binoculars and venture to the Leadmine Mountain Wildlife Management Area for a rewarding birdwatching experience. This diverse habitat attracts a wide variety of bird species, making it a haven for bird enthusiasts. Take a leisurely hike along the trails and keep an eye out for woodpeckers, warblers, and other feathered inhabitants.
Enjoy a bike ride on the Sturbridge Bike Path
Explore the scenic landscapes of Sturbridge on the Sturbridge Bike Path. This well-maintained path winds through picturesque meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, offering a peaceful and enjoyable cycling experience. Rent a bike or bring your own and pedal your way through the beauty of Sturbridge’s natural surroundings.
Nearby Day Trips
Visit the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, MA
Embark on a day trip to the Worcester Art Museum, located just a short drive from Sturbridge. Immerse yourself in a world of art as you explore the museum’s diverse collection, which spans thousands of years and includes works from around the globe. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists and discover hidden gems in the ever-changing exhibitions.
Explore the Old Sturbridge Village Visitor Center
Enhance your experience of Old Sturbridge Village by visiting the Old Sturbridge Village Visitor Center. Learn about the history and significance of the village through interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations, and educational displays. Gain a deeper understanding of the 19th-century rural New England life that Old Sturbridge Village beautifully recreates.
Discover the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, MA
Embark on an adventure to the Quabbin Reservoir, one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. This vast reservoir is surrounded by pristine wilderness and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests. Enjoy hiking, fishing, or simply taking in the tranquility of this beautiful natural area.
Take a trip to Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, MA
Antique enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the Brimfield Antique Show, the largest outdoor antiques show in New England. Held several times a year, this renowned event draws thousands of vendors and visitors from around the world. Explore the vast array of antiques, collectibles, and vintage treasures, and immerse yourself in the thrill of the hunt.
Sports and Recreation
Watch a game or sporting event at Tantasqua Regional High School
Catch the excitement of high school sports by attending a game or sporting event at Tantasqua Regional High School. Cheer on the home team and experience the lively atmosphere as athletes showcase their skills and school spirit fills the air. Support the local community and enjoy an afternoon or evening of thrilling sports action.
Go swimming at Streeter Beach on Lake Quacumquasit
Cool off on a hot summer day by taking a dip in the refreshing waters of Streeter Beach on Lake Quacumquasit. Relax on the sandy beach, soak up the sun, and enjoy swimming in the clear lake. The beach also offers picnic areas and facilities for a fun-filled day by the water.
Play tennis or basketball at Tantasqua Regional Junior High School
Engage in friendly competition and get active by playing tennis or basketball at Tantasqua Regional Junior High School. The well-maintained courts and courtside facilities provide an ideal setting for sports enthusiasts of all levels. Gather a group of friends or family members and enjoy some quality time playing your favorite sports.
Join a fitness class or workout at Sturbridge Fitness
Maintain your fitness routine or try something new at Sturbridge Fitness. This state-of-the-art fitness center offers a range of classes, including yoga, Zumba, and strength training. Stay motivated and work up a sweat under the guidance of experienced instructors. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, Sturbridge Fitness provides a welcoming environment for achieving your wellness goals.
What is Sturbridge known for?
Sturbridge is known for its rich historical heritage and charming New England atmosphere. The town is famous for being home to Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum that offers an immersive experience of 19th-century rural life.
Sturbridge is also known for its picturesque landscapes, including rolling hills, scenic lakes, and vibrant autumn foliage. Visitors come to Sturbridge to explore its historical sites, enjoy outdoor activities, and immerse themselves in the quaint charm of a quintessential New England town.
Does Sturbridge MA have a downtown?
Yes, Sturbridge has a downtown area known as Sturbridge Town Common. Located in the heart of the town, the Sturbridge Town Common is a vibrant gathering place surrounded by historic buildings, boutique shops, and local eateries.
The downtown area exudes a charming New England ambiance, with tree-lined streets, well-preserved architecture, and a sense of community. Visitors can explore the shops, dine at cozy restaurants, and experience the town’s small-town charm in the Sturbridge downtown area.
Can you walk around Old Sturbridge Village?
Yes, visitors can walk around Old Sturbridge Village. The living history museum is designed to be explored on foot, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and experiences of 19th-century rural New England.
The village spans over 200 acres, featuring more than 40 authentic buildings and structures. Visitors can stroll through the village’s streets, interact with costumed interpreters, and explore the exhibits at their own pace. Walking around Old Sturbridge Village offers a unique and engaging experience that transports visitors back in time.
How long does it take to go through Old Sturbridge Village?
The duration of a visit to Old Sturbridge Village can vary depending on individual interests and the extent of exploration. On average, visitors spend approximately three to four hours exploring the village and its various exhibits.
However, those with a deep interest in history, craft demonstrations, and participating in interactive activities may choose to spend a full day at the village. With its vast grounds and immersive experiences, Old Sturbridge Village offers ample opportunities to learn, engage, and enjoy the charm of 19th-century rural New England.
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Sturbridge, MA, offers an abundance of activities and attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. From immersing yourself in history and exploring the outdoors to indulging in delectable cuisine and enjoying family-friendly entertainment, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming New England town. Plan your visit to Sturbridge and create unforgettable memories as you discover all that this vibrant destination has to offer.