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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Sturbridge Day Trip

The Publick House in Sturbridge MA

The Publick House in Sturbridge MA

On Tuesday, my parents and I celebrated my birthday with a day trip to Sturbridge MA.  It couldn’t have been a better day.

Sturbridge is just an hour from Cambridge and its proximity makes Sturbridge an excellent weekend or day trip destination.  Head out the Mass Pike to Exit 9 and you’re there.

Our day was spent antiquing with lunch at one of our all-time favorite restaurants, the Publick House.

Sturbridge is an antique collector’s dream.  Continue down Route 20 and you’ll come to Brimfield, home three times each year to the famous antique flea market.  But year round you’ll find plenty of places to shop for antiques in the stores that line Route 20. 

You’ll also find a number of home furnishing stores and a variety of gift shops and boutiques.  It’s shopping heaven – primarily of the independent New England variety.  Even the chains, like  Country Curtains and Yankee Candle are New England born.

Our day started at the antiques group shop, The Fairgrounds Antique Center.  It’s one of the first places you come to when you get off the Mass Pike and take the Route 20 exit towards Sturbridge / Brimfield.  Years ago I sold antiques in a booth at The Fairgrounds and it’s still one of my favorite shops.  Fortunately, it’s next to a McDonald’s so my dad was able to have a cup of coffee and read the paper while my mother and I shopped.

We planned to visit the Old Sturbridge Village Gift Shop and Bookstore next.  Old Sturbridge Village is probably the biggest draw in Sturbridge and you can easily spend the entire day there.  The bookstore and gift shop is absolutely worth a stop even if you don’t go through the museum grounds. Sadly, it turned out that at this time of the year, OSV is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Old Sturbridge Village is a magical place.  It’s a recreation of a New England village in the early 1800s with a working farm, a school house, church, mills, and much more – more than 50 period buildings in all – set on over 200 acres.  Interpreters in costume work throughout the village.  My favorite times there have always been when visitor attendance is low – the better to feel transported to a time two hundred years ago.  I’m hoping to head back the next weekday we get unseasonably warm temperatures.

With all that shopping and browsing we had worked up an appetite and headed to the Publick House for lunch.  The Publick House, built in 1771, is an inn and restaurant. The restaurant and tavern serve classic, delicious New England-style food.  Over the years, we’ve visited many times, often for holiday meals at Christmas or Easter.  On Tuesday, we had lunch in the tavern for the first time.  The Publick House’s dining rooms are lovely, but with its golden painted paneled walls, wood burning fireplace, and shelves filled with antique crocks, the pub has more atmosphere than most restaurants you’ll find nowadays.

Thus fortified, we were ready for phase II of our antiquing expedition.  Sturbridge Antique Shops is on the other side of the Pike, heading down Route 20 towards Charlton.  It will be on your left and if you hit Wal-Mart (ugh! – when did that happen?) you’ve gone too far.  This group shop is huge – much larger than it looks from the street.  It has two full floors of booths and cases and we found plenty of treasures.  Happily, there was a sale at the shop – the winter sale runs through February 29th – and most of our finds were bought at a discount of 10 – 30%.

Sturbridge is an excellent day trip destination and worthy of a weekend or more.  There are plenty of motels (and rooms at the inn at the Publick House) if you want to stay overnight.  You could easily fill several days with shopping and Old Sturbridge Village.

If you want to add miles of antique flea market browsing to the mix, the next Brimfield Flea Markets are scheduled for May 6 – 12, July 8 -14, and September 2 – 8, 2012.  See you there!

Categories: Living Here
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  1. Denise Hamlin

    You reeled me in with the photo on this one Liz. The Publick House looks like a place I’d like to visit. And I don’t need to tell you I know a think or two about pubs.:)

    Sounds like you had a great birthday. It’s wonderful you could spend it with your parents.

    FYI, an interesting side note. That’s something else we have in common, it was mine last weekend too.

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