Sturbridge is a charming New England town located in southern Central Massachusetts approximately 60 miles (96 km) west of Boston.


A small house in Old Sturbridge Village

Sturbridge is probably most famous for the Old Sturbridge Village living history museum. Sturbridge offers an exciting shopping, dining, and recreation destination. Located in southern central Massachusetts, Sturbridge is easily accessible via major routes from all directions and is a major stopping point for people traveling between Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, and further on to New York City.

Sturbridge has maintained a unique blend of modern convenience and historical charm. There are many lakes and outdoor activities in Sturbridge and the surrounding area. This is a small town with great small town charm. The buildings and people are unique and enchanting.

Get in

Sturbridge and surrounding areas are easily accessible. There are two major highways that meet in Sturbridge. Interstate Route 90, also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike, is a toll road running east to west through Massachusetts. Sturbridge is Exit 9 off of the Mass Pike. Connecting Sturbridge to Hartford, CT and beyond is Route 84. Although designated as running east to west, it actually runs more or less a northeast to southwest route.

In addition to the major routes, several secondary highways offer additional routes into town. Running from Boston in the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west, Route 20 bisects Sturbridge. Route 131 connects Sturbridge to Southbridge and on further south to Route 395 in Connecticut. Route 49 connects Sturbridge to Spencer and Route 9, another busy east-west route across the state.

By Car

Or would you rather get in by horse? View of the covered bridge in Old Sturbridge Village

Many people find Sturbridge a convenient stopping point on their way either further North or South. There are many restaurants and accommodations within a very short distance of all the main roads.

By plane

The nearest large airport is in Worcester, but it has limited service. Bradley Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, CT serves the Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts area.

Approximately 5 mi. (8 km) from Sturbridge is the Southbridge Municipal Airport. It is a small regional airport.

Get around

Most people will find using a car the easiest way to get around town. There are a lot of small back roads that lead to hidden treasures and historic buildings. A lot of the best shopping in town is on Main St (Rt 20), and is very walkable. The sidewalks are easy to travel on and there are benches to rest on looking at the trees and flowers and stores. There is a well maintained bicycle and hiking path accessible from the Westville Recreation area on the border of Sturbridge and Southbridge that has a connecting bridge at the dam area. An easy walk about a 2 mile loop. A different way to travel around town is also by kayaking and boating. There are numerous rivers and ponds that will allow you to travel from one section to another by water. This is very scenic and shows off the wildlife and environment of the countryside. Driving also allows you to see the damage from the tornado that hit (June 2011). You are able to see the direct path that it took.


One of the machines in the carding mill at Old Sturbridge Village

Fall is an excellent time to visit Sturbridge. The New England autumn foliage is nothing short of legendary.

The Publick House restaurant on Main St. (Rt 131), across from the Sturbridge Town Commons, hosts an annual Scarecrow contest in October. The festival also has besides the scarecrow's great food from local vendors and restaurants, as well as burgers and deserts from the Sturbridge Lions Club. There are tents all along the common with arts and crafts and unique things to buy. There is a local band that plays, as well as face painting, henna tattoos, and more. Great experience for antique lovers and families with small children. There is also a section for wine tasting for the adults. Scenery shows off the beauty of New England with the small town charm of a local fair. Around Christmas time, there is the annual Tree Lighting, which has the local high school chorus singing on the gazebo, Santa talking to little kids, and also the local firemen and police officers handing out hot chocolate and cookies. Warm atmosphere with friendly people.



Hiking, Bicycling, and Outdoor Activities

Sturbridge Federated Church

Sturbridge is full of outdoor activity options: fishing, hiking, cycling, boating, and camping. Check with Bill and crew at Wild Bird Crossing for their schedule of outdoor birdwatching hikes and activities.

Sturbridge has many lakes which offer great fishing. East Brimfield Lake and Long Pond, accessible via boat ramps off of Route 20, and also via the East Brimfield Dam, are great fishing spots. Cedar Lake is another fishing option. There are some good fishing spots along the Quinebaug River, (see the online map ). The Quinebaug has small and large mouth bass, trout, northern pike, and panfish.

Canoeing and kayaking are popular outdoor activities as well. Experienced river rafters will enjoy paddling the Quinebaug, starting at the East Brimfield Dam and ending up at the Westville Dam recreation area. Of particular interest, this riverway runs directly through Old Sturbridge Village. There are small sections that require portage. Also, this is the route used by the annual Sturbridge Lions All American River Race (typically in late April).

Fall is an awesome time to visit area apple orchards for apple picking and hayrides.

Music and Nightlife


Sturbridge has dozens of interesting shops. There are many antique stores, factory outlets, and gift and craft stores in town. Below is a partial list.


Many, many dining options, ranging from the every day to the extraordinary. There are quite a few excellent restaurants in and around Sturbridge.








Bed and Breakfast


Go next

Surrounding Towns

Other Nearby Attractions

Routes through Sturbridge

Springfield Palmer  W  E  rest area → Auburn Worcester via
Hartford Union  W  E  Merges into
Springfield Brimfield  W  E  Charlton Worcester

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.