14 Best Things to Do in Shrewsbury (MA)

Shrewsbury is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, located approximately 40 miles west of Boston. Shrewsbury offers a range of attractions for visitors, including Dean Park, which offers walking trails and sports fields, and Lake Quinsigamond, a popular spot for boating and fishing.

There are a variety of accommodation options in Shrewsbury, including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Some popular options include the Days Inn by Wyndham Shrewsbury Worcester, the Sheraton Four Points Hotel, and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.

The nearest major airport to Shrewsbury is Boston Logan International Airport, which is approximately 45 miles east of the town.

There is also a regional airport, Worcester Regional Airport, which is located just 6 miles from Shrewsbury. Visitors can also reach Shrewsbury by car via I-290 or I-90.

Shrewsbury experiences a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature in January is around 25°F (-4°C), while the average temperature in July is around 71°F (22°C).

Shrewsbury offers a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Some popular options include the Bean Counter Coffee Bar & Bakery, Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca, and The Sole Proprietor.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of the 14 best things to do in Shrewsbury to help you make the most of your visit. From scenic parks to historic landmarks to delicious dining options, read on to discover all that Shrewsbury has to offer.

1. Dean Park

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Source: discovercentralma.org

Dean Park is a beautiful recreational area located in the charming town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. This expansive park spans over 79 acres and offers a plethora of amenities for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

One of the most prominent features of Dean Park is its sprawling green space. The park is home to several lush fields perfect for a friendly game of soccer, football, or frisbee. In addition, there are several walking and hiking trails that snake through the park’s wooded areas, providing a scenic and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

For those looking for more structured activities, Dean Park has plenty to offer. The park features several playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts, making it an excellent choice for families with young children. There are also several picnic areas equipped with grills, making it the perfect spot for a summertime BBQ or family gathering.

One of the park’s most popular attractions is its large pond, which offers ample opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. There are also several benches situated along the water’s edge, making it the perfect spot to relax and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

Dean Park also hosts several events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and community gatherings. These events bring together locals and visitors alike, creating a sense of community and camaraderie that is truly unique to the area.

Overall, Dean Park is a must-visit destination for anyone in the Shrewsbury area. With its expansive green space, numerous recreational amenities, and scenic surroundings, it’s no wonder that this park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

2. Lake Quinsigamond

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Lake Quinsigamond is a beautiful freshwater lake located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, about 40 miles west of Boston. The lake is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and families looking for a relaxing day out in the sun.

The lake is roughly 772 acres in size and is surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including lush green forests, rolling hills, and picturesque views of the water.

Visitors to Lake Quinsigamond can enjoy a variety of activities on and around the lake, including swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking.

One of the most popular activities at Lake Quinsigamond is boating. The lake is home to several boat ramps, making it easy for visitors to launch their own boats or rent them from nearby marinas.

From the water, visitors can explore the lake’s many coves, islands, and beaches. They can also go water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing, or simply cruise around and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

For those who prefer to stay on land, there are several picnic areas located around the lake. Visitors can bring their own picnic supplies or buy food from the various food trucks that park nearby. The picnic areas offer shaded tables, grills, and restrooms, making it easy for families to spend the whole day outdoors.

Lake Quinsigamond is also a popular spot for fishing. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and trout. Anglers can fish from the shore or from a boat and are required to have a valid Massachusetts fishing license.

In addition to recreational activities, Lake Quinsigamond is also a great place to enjoy nature. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, turtles, and beavers. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the lake’s many trails, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

All in all, Lake Quinsigamond is a great destination for anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors. With its beautiful scenery, numerous recreational opportunities, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this idyllic spot year after year.

3. Shrewsbury Historical Society

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Shrewsbury Historical Society is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, located in the charming town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Founded in 1966, this society aims to preserve and promote the rich history of Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

The society’s main building is the St. James Parish House, a beautiful and well-preserved structure that dates back to the early 1800s. Visitors can explore the various rooms of the building, each of which is filled with fascinating exhibits and artifacts that showcase the town’s history.

From antique furniture and clothing to photographs and documents, the society has a vast collection of items that offer a glimpse into the town’s past.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Shrewsbury Historical Society is the research library, which is open to the public. This library contains an extensive collection of books, maps, and documents that relate to Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

Visitors can browse through old photographs, read about the town’s founding fathers, and learn about the various industries that have shaped Shrewsbury’s history over the years.

The society also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. These events are open to the public and provide an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn more about the town’s history and engage with other history enthusiasts.

Overall, the Shrewsbury Historical Society is an essential destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or simply looking for a unique and educational experience. The knowledgeable staff and impressive collection of artifacts and documents make it a must-visit destination in the town of Shrewsbury.

4. General Artemas Ward House

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The General Artemas Ward House in Shrewsbury is a significant historic site that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of one of America’s revolutionary heroes. Built-in 1727 by Nahum Ward, the father of Artemas Ward, the house was initially intended to house tenants on the farm.

However, Artemas Ward moved into the house in 1763 and spent the rest of his life there. The house is situated along the original Boston Post Road, and an original mile marker of that road is still visible across Main Street on the Dean Parkside.

Artemas Ward was a Major General in the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts. He was also an influential figure in the development of the Massachusetts state militia, serving as the state’s first major general.

In 1785, he expanded the house, nearly doubling its size and raising the roof to accommodate the family of his son Thomas Walter Ward alongside his own household. The house was further expanded in 1820 by Thomas Walter Ward, adding a two-story ell to the rear.

The General Artemas Ward House was occupied by Ward family members until 1909, after which descendants of the general lived in a second structure situated behind the colonial home until 1954. In 1925, the property was donated by the family to Harvard University.

Today, the house is operated by Harvard as a museum and is open to the public for limited hours during the summer months. The property also includes a four-story barn that was created by joining two separate barn structures in 1848.

Visitors to the General Artemas Ward House can take guided tours of the historic home and barn, exploring the various rooms and artifacts that have been preserved from the Ward family’s time there.

The house features many original furnishings and artifacts, including a portrait of Artemas Ward by John Singleton Copley and a collection of Revolutionary War-era firearms. The barn houses a collection of agricultural tools and equipment from the 19th century, as well as a display of vintage automobiles and carriages.

5. Ski Ward Ski Area

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Source: skiward.com

Ski Ward Ski Area, located in the east of Shrewsbury, has been providing skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts with thrilling winter experiences since 1939. This popular ski resort boasts a vertical drop of 220 feet and offers nine trails, all with 100% snowmaking coverage.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an expert skier or snowboarder, Ski Ward Ski Area has something to offer everyone. With nine trails that are equally weighted between different levels of difficulty, skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can find a trail that is perfect for them.

The ski area has also become a popular destination for schools in the area, thanks to its excellent facilities and well-maintained trails. With dedicated ski instructors and friendly staff, Ski Ward Ski Area is the perfect place for students to learn and improve their skiing or snowboarding skills.

One of the latest additions to the ski area is the snow tubing facility, which has quickly become a favorite among visitors of all ages. With five lanes and two designated lifts, visitors can enjoy the thrill of snow tubing and experience the rush of adrenaline as they zoom down the slopes.

But the fun doesn’t stop when winter comes to an end. The ski area offers summer tubing as well, with a six-lane, 220-foot Tubaslide served by a carpet lift. This unique summer activity has become a popular choice for families and friends looking for a fun-filled day out.

Ski Ward Ski Area is always looking for ways to improve and upgrade its facilities. Each new season brings new improvements and upgrades to ensure that visitors have the best possible experience. With excellent facilities, friendly staff, and exciting activities, Ski Ward Ski Area is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a winter adventure or a fun-filled day out.

6. Prospect Park

Prospect Park is a beautiful 71-acre park located just moments from the center of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. This park has a rich history, having once been the site of a grand summer estate owned by Matthew John Whitall, a local rug and carpet manufacturer. The estate, known as Juniper Hall, was completed in 1912 and sat at the highest point in town, offering breathtaking views of Central Massachusetts.

Juniper Hall was a place of prestige and was visited by many notable figures, including then vice-president Calvin Coolidge. However, after Whitall passed away, the estate was deeded to the Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, who transformed the mansion into a masonic hospital. Unfortunately, the city eventually acquired the property in the 1970s, and the mansion was torn down.

Despite the mansion being gone, visitors to Prospect Park can still see the footprint of the building on the hilltop, along with other reminders of the estate’s grandeur, such as a semi-ruined pergola that was once part of the formal gardens. The kiosk at the entrance of the park offers information about the estate’s history, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

The park’s main trail is on the mansion’s old paved driveway, providing a unique and interesting walking experience. The park is also home to various other trails, picnic areas, and a playground, making it a great place for families to spend a day.

Prospect Park offers a tranquil escape from the bustle of everyday life, allowing visitors to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Central Massachusetts. It’s a peaceful and historic destination that’s not to be missed.

7. Hebert Candies

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Source: pixabay.com

Hebert Candies is a beloved American confectionery company that has been providing sweet treats to its customers since 1917. The company was founded by Frederick Hebert, who purchased chocolate-making equipment for a mere $11 and began crafting chocolates and caramels in his kitchen.

As demand for his confections grew, Hebert expanded his operations and eventually established his headquarters in a beautiful Tudor stone mansion on the Hartford Turnpike in the south of Shrewsbury.

Today, more than 75 years later, Hebert Candies continues to operate out of that same historic mansion, serving as the company’s main retail outlet and headquarters. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Frederick Hebert and his commitment to providing high-quality, delicious chocolates to his customers.

One of the most notable contributions of Hebert Candies to the confectionery world was the introduction of white chocolate to America after WWII. This innovation helped to set the company apart from its competitors and cemented its place as a leading confectionery brand in the United States.

Hebert Candies offers a wide range of chocolate products to suit every taste and occasion. From boxed assortments to seasonal chocolates, bars, and sundaes, the company has something for everyone. Customers can indulge in classic favorites like genevas and caramels, or try something new and exciting like the company’s signature white chocolates.

In addition to its retail offerings, Hebert Candies also provides corporate and custom gift solutions, making it the perfect choice for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. The company’s commitment to quality and customer service has helped it to build a loyal following of fans who appreciate its delicious chocolates and its dedication to excellence.

Hebert Candies is a true American success story, with a rich history of providing delicious chocolates and sweets to generations of customers. Its iconic Tudor stone mansion remains a popular destination for chocolate lovers, and its commitment to quality and innovation continues to make it a leader in the confectionery industry.

Whether you’re looking for a special treat for yourself or a thoughtful gift for a loved one, Hebert Candies is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

8. Secret Garden

Nestled away in a quiet residential zone in the south of Shrewsbury, there lies a true hidden gem – the Secret Garden. A private woodland retreat open to the public, this enchanting space is sure to delight visitors of all ages, but especially younger children.

The Secret Garden is the brainchild of the dedicated resident, Chief Joseph, who has spent years crafting this magical space into what it is today. The 0.4-mile pondside trail and side trail that wind through the garden are adorned with whimsical sculptures, interactive installations, carved benches, and inspiring messages for grownups.

As you meander through the garden, you’ll discover a plethora of delightful sights and sounds, from the soothing babble of a cute little waterfall to the towering presence of a giant, climbable bear. The attention to detail and the sense of wonder that permeates every corner of the garden is truly remarkable.

One of the most striking features of the Secret Garden is the way that Chief Joseph has managed to create a sense of peace and tranquility within the bustling heart of Shrewsbury. The garden provides a much-needed respite from the noise and chaos of everyday life, allowing visitors to slow down and reconnect with nature.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax and reflect or a fun-filled adventure for the whole family, the Secret Garden is a must-visit destination in Shrewsbury. So why not take a stroll along the pondside trail, explore the whimsical sculptures, and immerse yourself in the magic of this hidden woodland retreat? You won’t regret it!

9. Willard House & Clock Museum

The Willard House and Clock Museum in Shrewsbury, MA is a fascinating destination for those interested in the history of clockmaking in America. Set on the former farm homestead of the Willard brothers, the museum showcases the craftsmanship of one of the most renowned families in the horological trade.

Visitors to the museum can explore the original homestead farmhouse, which has been expanded over the years to include two large galleries. The house is furnished with period furniture, giving visitors a glimpse into what life was like for the Willard family in the 18th century. In the reconstructed workshop building, there is a display of historic horological tools, offering a glimpse into what Simon Willard’s original workshop may have looked like.

The museum’s collection includes over 80 Willard clocks, representing the craftsmanship of all the members of the family. While several clocks are signed “Grafton,” the exhibits also include clocks made later after the Willard clock enterprise had moved on to Roxbury, Massachusetts.

In addition to the clocks, there are many Willard family memorabilia on display. Visitors can learn about the family’s life and work, and gain an understanding of the impact they had on the clockmaking industry in America.

One of the highlights of the museum is the running condition of the clocks. Visitors can see and hear the clocks in action, experiencing the intricate mechanics of the timepieces. It’s a rare opportunity to see these clocks in operation, and it’s a treat for clock enthusiasts of all levels.

The museum is run by an independent foundation, governed by a board made up of representatives of the Willard family, the founding couple, the local community, and some horological experts. There is a small gift shop on-site, and the museum has a small Willard-centric library open to museum members by appointment.

The Willard House and Clock Museum is a unique and fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of clockmaking in America. With its extensive collection of Willard clocks and memorabilia, it offers visitors a chance to learn about the Willard family’s impact on the industry and see some of their most intricate and impressive creations in action.

10. Quinsigamond State Park

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Quinsigamond State Park in Shrewsbury, MA, is a natural gem that offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for visitors. Whether you are looking for a relaxing picnic by the lake, an invigorating swim, or a thrilling boating adventure, this park has something for everyone.

One of the park’s main attractions is the Regatta Point area, which is famous for its 2,000-meter rowing course that has hosted regattas for over 165 years. If you visit during a regatta, you can witness the excitement and energy of rowing competitions, or simply enjoy the view from the park’s vantage point. At other times in the summer, you can rent a kayak, paddle boat, SUP, or sailboat to explore the lake on your own.

If you prefer land-based activities, the park offers plenty of options as well. You can take a leisurely stroll or a brisk run on the groomed trails, play tennis on the courts, or enjoy a game of soccer or frisbee on the athletic fields. The picnic areas and grills provide a perfect setting for a family gathering or a romantic lunch date by the water.

For those who love winter sports, Quinsigamond State Park transforms into a winter wonderland with cross-country skiing trails and snowy landscapes. The accessible trail at Lake Park ensures that visitors with disabilities can also enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

The park’s facilities are well-maintained and accessible to all visitors. The pavilions are perfect for hosting events or larger gatherings, with options for groups of 35 or 75 people. Restrooms and showers are also available for visitors’ convenience.

Visitors can purchase daily parking passes on the park’s website, with different fees for MA and non-MA residents. The park’s daily parking fees are reasonable and help to maintain the park’s facilities year-round.

11. Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery

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Source: brokencreekvineyard.com

Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery, situated in the scenic town of Shrewsbury, MA, is a testament to the American dream of pursuing one’s passion and transforming it into a successful business. What began as a simple hobby of making wine at home has evolved into a thriving vineyard and winery offering an exceptional selection of wines.

The winery’s story is a classic tale of hard work, determination, and a love for the craft. The founders, a husband and wife team, worked tirelessly for years to turn their dream of owning a vineyard into a reality. Starting with just a few rows of grapevines, they gradually expanded their estate, planting new vines each year until they had created a stunning 5-acre vineyard.

When visitors arrive at Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery, they are greeted with a warm and welcoming atmosphere that immediately puts them at ease. The winery’s rustic decor, cozy seating areas, and picturesque views of the surrounding countryside create a tranquil and inviting ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and conversation.

But the real star of the show is the wine. With a diverse selection of wines made from estate-grown grapes, as well as grapes imported from around the world, Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery has something to please every palate. From rich, full-bodied reds to crisp, refreshing whites, each wine is crafted with care and attention to detail, resulting in a product that is truly exceptional.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking for a place to unwind and enjoy a glass of wine with friends, Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery is the perfect destination.

12. Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market

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Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market is a vibrant and lively event that brings together local producers, artisans, and farmers to offer their fresh, high-quality products to the community. Every Wednesday from mid-June to mid-September, the Senior Center parking lot next to the town hall is transformed into a bustling market filled with the sights and smells of a diverse range of goods.

The market has a great variety of vendors, with as many as 20 different stalls offering everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh fish, grass-fed meats, honey, spice mixes, herbs, maple products, cider, bread, cupcakes, fudge, pet treats, prepared meals, meal kits, teas, organic skincare, handmade soaps, jewelry, and more. Each week, the list of vendors changes, so there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

One of the unique features of the Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market is the specialty Asian and micro green produce on offer. These exotic fruits and vegetables are not commonly found in regular supermarkets and provide an excellent opportunity for shoppers to try something new and different. Alongside this, there is also a selection of local, grass-fed, free-range, and antibiotic-free meats, including sausages, ground meats, cuts, eggs, and cheese.

The atmosphere at the market is lively and friendly, with vendors eager to share their knowledge and passion for their products with shoppers. The market is not just a place to shop but a community hub where people can catch up with friends, enjoy live music, and grab a bite to eat. The prepared meals and meal kits available at the market are a great option for those looking for a quick and easy dinner without compromising on quality.

The Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market is a wonderful way to support local enterprises and discover the best that the community has to offer. It’s a must-visit for anyone who appreciates fresh, high-quality produce and wants to experience the vibrancy and diversity of the Shrewsbury community.

13. Carlstrom Memorial Forest

Nestled just west of Prospect Park in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, lies a hidden gem of natural beauty and tranquility – the Carlstrom Memorial Forest. Managed by the New England Forestry Foundation, this publicly accessible demonstration forest is a testament to the importance of preserving and maintaining our natural resources.

While the entrance and parking area on Gulf Street may be easy to miss, what lies beyond is much larger and more breathtaking than one might expect. The forest spans a vast tract of land and abuts several swathes of town property to the south and west.

Visitors to the Carlstrom Memorial Forest can explore the many wonders of nature along its four color-coded trails, each of which is up to ⅔ of a mile in length. Meandering through secluded woods and wildflower meadows, these trails offer a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world and take in the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest.

At the entrance to the forest, visitors will find helpful kiosks providing maps and QR codes, which can be scanned for additional information about the trails and the flora and fauna that call the forest home. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the Carlstrom Memorial Forest is a destination that is sure to delight and inspire.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Carlstrom Memorial Forest also serves as an important educational resource for the community. The New England Forestry Foundation manages the forest with a focus on sustainable forestry practices and encourages visitors to learn about the role that forests play in our ecosystem and the steps we can take to ensure their preservation for future generations.

Carlstrom Memorial Forest is a hidden treasure that offers something for everyone – from outdoor enthusiasts to those simply seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. So if you find yourself in Shrewsbury, be sure to take some time to explore this beautiful and unique forest and discover all that it has to offer.

14. Summer Festival

Families, friends, and visitors from all around come together to enjoy the festivities. The festival is a hub of activity, with games, rides, and attractions for all ages. The children can be seen jumping in the bouncy castle, while their parents enjoy browsing the local vendors’ wares.

The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the music. The main stage is set up in the center of the festival, with local and national acts taking turns to perform throughout the day. The sound of guitars and drums can be heard from all corners, and the energy from the performers is infectious.

The food at the Summer Festival is another drawcard. From traditional American fare to exotic international cuisines, there is something for everyone. Mouth-watering smells drift through the air, tempting visitors to indulge in the culinary delights on offer.

As the day turns to dusk, the festival takes on a new dimension. The lights come on, and the night sky is illuminated with a rainbow of colors. The rides and attractions take on a magical feel, and the music continues to entertain the crowds.

The Summer Festival in Shrewsbury, MA is more than just a celebration of summer. It is a celebration of community, of coming together to enjoy the best of what life has to offer. It is a time to relax, to unwind, and to make memories that will last a lifetime.

14 Best Things to Do in Shrewsbury (MA)

  1. Dean Park
  2. Lake Quinsigamond 
  3. Shrewsbury Historical Society
  4. General Artemas Ward House
  5. Ski Ward Ski Area
  6. Prospect Park
  7. Hebert Candies
  8. Secret Garden
  9. Willard House & Clock Museum
  10. Quinsigamond State Park
  11. Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery
  12. Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market
  13. Carlstrom Memorial Forest
  14. Summer Festival