Newest Review: ... some places of interest I had planned to stop off if time allowed. Arriving at the Sturbridge was a bit of a non-event and rather unde... more
Little Houses on the Prairie
Member Name: Teena2003
Advantages: easy reach open air museum
Disadvantages: no good in bad weather, need to have interest in history
I like to see a lot while on holiday in the USA and am known to drive well in excess of 3000 miles during a 2 week fly drive holiday. I have travelled across New England repeatedly and there are still places I have not seen but would like to visit before I get too old.
During one of my last fly drive holidays to New England I spent time driving around Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut - oh, and a week with friends in upstate New York which took me hundreds of miles off course.
Sturbridge is a small village about an hour (60 miles) by car from Boston. Follow the I90 and watch out for signs telling you when to pull off the interstate and follow Route 20 to Sturbridge in Worcester County, Massachusetts.
I was coming from upstate New York driving on the I90 and then left it to travel away from interstates across countryside when I decided to stop off on route to Rhode Island and visit Sturbridge. I didn't have a strict agenda what I wanted to do and see but before setting off from London I had jotted down some places of interest I had planned to stop off if time allowed.
Arriving at the Sturbridge was a bit of a non-event and rather underwhelming. I managed to drive in and out of Sturbridge without actually noticing I had arrived. There's not really that much in Sturbridge apart from a few hotels, shops and of course, Old Sturbridge Village. There may be more to it but I didn't have the time to find out.
I booked myself overnight into one of the chain hotels and decided to leave the exploring until the next morning when I had a chance to have a good night sleep and relax after spending most of the day driving.
Old Sturbridge Village
Parking at Sturbridge Village is no problem. There are plenty of parking spaces outside the museum entrance and you can pick your space most of the time. It does not seem to be overcrowded at the best of times.
While parking is free, entrance to the museum is not. You pay up to $20.00 as an adult per day (although returning next day will allow you free entry). If there's more than one, you can easily try and negotiate a better price.
I picked up my museum map and went on my merry way. There are guided tours throughout the day but I didn't want to wait and started walking around the open fields on my own.
You start off near the church, school house and meeting house to see how settlers in the early parts of the 18th and 19th century settled in and around the area.
There are more than 40 structures that can be visited while inside the compound. And while it is not necessarily for the person after a lot of excitement, it will tell the story of settlers in New England, tell the story of their lives and how they went about their day to day duties.
All throughout the day and when entering the different houses you will find people working with the tools available. You can watch women spinning, making clay pots and more. There are teachers teaching and ordinary folk going about their daily business.
You can ask people about their work and they are happy to tell you, always staying in character. It is living history at its best where you can become part of the history simply by taking an interest in it.
Of course there is a lot of walking involved but on a nice day that's shouldn't be a problem. Paths are clearly marked and with your map you will never really stray of the beaten track.
Take your time and take a stroll through history of early settlers in New England. There may be a lot of museums about but rarely any show off the settlers the way they encounters the rugged country.
Definitely worth a visit when in the area.
Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
Official website http://www.osv.org
Seniors (65 and over) $18.00
Youths (3-17) $7.00 Children
Under 3 Free
April - October, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
October - December Tuesday - Sunday, 9:30 am - 4:00 am
Open Thanksgiving Day
Closed Christmas Day
From Sturbridge I continued across New England until I ended up in via Providence in Newport, Rhode Island where I continued my travels and sightseeing to experience some of the most ostentatious houses in the USA and then back towards Boston via Cape Cod and along the coast stopping off in Plymouth.
Summary: 60 miles outside Boston, history explained