20 Best Things to Do in Shrewsbury, MA

Shrewsbury, MA
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Incorporated in 1727, the town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, is a suburban community known for its agriculture-dependent economy.

Because of the economic depression during the Revolutionary War, the town became a staging area for the rebellion.

It wasn’t until 1786 that Shrewsbury jumpstarted its economic development.

Shoemaking and gunsmithing operations supported the town’s economy.

During the 19th century, streetcar routes were introduced, followed by the establishment of single-family housing.

Today, you’ll still see that Shrewsbury remains a quaint and simple town.

However, the addition of several recreational and business districts turned it into one of the best places to visit in Massachusetts.

It also has several well-preserved historical sites you won’t find anywhere else.

Check out the best things you can do in Shrewsbury, MA.

Watch the Sunset at the Wachusett Reservoir

The waters of Wachusett Reservoir
L.A. Nature Graphics / Shutterstock.com

There’s nothing more relaxing than watching the sunset in a quiet and serene place.

At the Wachusett Reservoir just northeast of Worcester, you’ll see a large body of water that perfectly sets the scene for sunset.

It's also 19 minutes away from Shrewsbury.

A bird near the waters of Wachusett Reservoir
Jay Yuan / Shutterstock.com

The reservoir also opens an hour before sunrise, which is a great way to start your busy day in Massachusetts.

The Wachusett Reservoir contains about 65 billion gallons of water, covering 108 square miles with 37 miles of shoreline.

Aside from watching the sunset, you can also do other recreational activities near the reservoir, such as fishing, biking, hunting, and snowshoeing.

A stone bench overlooking Wachusett Reservoir
Monika Salvan / Shutterstock.com

Spend Summer at the Ski Ward Ski Area

Are you looking to beat the heat this summer at Shrewsbury?

Make your way to Main Street and cool off at the Ski Ward Ski Area.

Enjoy some summer activities to stay cool and refreshed in this famed Shrewsbury recreational area.

Hop on the TubaSlide and experience sledding minus the cold hike.

Sign up for the summer beach volleyball league if you want to do something more competitive with your friends.

If you want to get fit (even on vacation), join the cyclocross cross-training program.

Although the Ski Area is a popular summer destination, visiting the facility during winter isn’t a bad idea, either.

Try skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during the cold months.

Have a Glass of Wine at Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery

Wine connoisseurs visiting Shrewsbury will have a blast at the Broken Creek Vineyard and Winery.

Eric and Peggy Preusse own the vineyard and winery.

Broken Creek’s winery is known for producing wines made from locally sourced estate grapes.

They also have dozens of wine flavors sourced from Chile, South Africa, California, and Washington.

Taste the flavors of red wine concoctions, such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Vino Tinto.

If you’re more of a white wine enthusiast, take your pick from selections like the Albarino, Chardonnay, Riesling, and more.

For special occasions, Broken Creek also offers limited edition wines such as Blush, Rose, and Raspberry Frost.

Hang Out at Quinsigamond State Park

Benches overlooking the water at Quinsigamond State Park
John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shrewsbury is surrounded by nearby towns where you can find new experiences or relax.

One example is the Quinsigamond State Park in Worcester, only about seven miles from town.

It's ten minutes away from Shrewsbury.

Here, you’ll find many recreational activities like picnicking, fishing, sailing, and swimming.

Picnic tables near lake quinsigamond at Quinsigamond State Park
John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Quinsigamond State Park has two sites: the Regatta Point area and the Lake Park area.

If you’re looking to do a bunch of watersports activities, hang out by the Regatta Point area.

Otherwise, if you want to engage in other activities like playing tennis, the Lake Park area is the place to go.

This state park is also famous for its 2,000-meter rowing course.

Dine at Dean Park Grill & Pizza

There’s nothing better than taking a bite of freshly made pizza, sipping on your favorite drink, and chatting with your friends.

At Dean Park Grill & Pizza on Main Street, you can do precisely that.

For over 30 years, Dean Park Grill & Pizza has served some of the best hand-tossed pizzas to the people of Shrewsbury.

Enjoy a hefty slice of the House Special, Spanakopizza, Athenian, shrimp scampi, and more pizza options.

Dean Park Grill & Pizza is great for dining any time of the day, as it also offers a great selection of seafood, pasta, salad, and chicken meals.

While you're at it, indulge in specialty drinks like milkshakes, root beer floats, pink lemonades, and raspberry lime rickeys.

Relax at Prospect Park

Breathe in the scents of the dewy grass and wildflowers when you take a walk along Prospect Park.

Known for its scenic landscape, Prospect Park’s wooded trails also make an ideal path for going on walks and admiring nature’s wonders.

Enjoy a quiet picnic in the middle of the woods.

Don’t forget to bring your camera with you to snap a pic of some of the most fabulous views you’ll see.

Along the park, you’ll also see classic photos of old mansions and gardens near the entrance, offering a glimpse of what the park looked like before.

Also inside the 71-acre park are remnants of intricate stonework during its early years.

Walk along the Carlstrom Memorial Forest

Fall hike at Carlstrom Memorial Forest
Monika Salvan / Shutterstock.com

Nothing beats a scenic walk along a secluded forest where you can hear your thoughts and feast your eyes on an enchanted route.

If you’re looking for a great spot in Shrewsbury, you might want to check out the Carlstrom Memorial Forest.

This 2.1km loop is considered an easy hike, which is also perfect for trail running and birding.

Watch out for local bird species during your hike, as well as a bunch of wildflowers, too.

Unlike other trails, only a few people visit the Carlstrom Memorial Forest, so you won’t encounter many people during your hike.

Check Out Busta Rhymes Island

Yes, you read it right.

There’s a small piece of land that Shrewsbury locals call Busta Rhymes Island.

The land is a 40x40 uninhabited outcropping with no official moniker.

Shrewsbury resident Kevin O'Brien named the land after the legendary rapper, claiming that the area has everything Busta Rhymes would have liked.

Unfortunately, one can name an island after a celebrity only once they’ve been dead for at least five years.

However, O’Brien’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, as many locals have unofficially referred to the hangout spot as Busta Rhymes Island.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Hebert Candies

Don’t leave Shrewsbury without paying a visit to Hebert Candies along the Hartford Turnpike.

Frederick Hebert founded the shop in 1917.

Hebert’s candy mansion is recognized as the country’s first roadside confectionery.

Get a load of sweet treats and specialty items at this candy store and bring home boxes of happiness to your friends and family.

Take your pick from a wide variety of geneva chocolates, jellybeans, licorice twists, and many more.

These items should satisfy your sweet tooth.

You can also buy boxes of fancy assortments that make the perfect giveaway for birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations.

Find the Perfect Decor at J.P. Faddoul Company

Grab everything you could need to spruce up your tables, from China dinnerware and crystal glassware to silver flatware and collectibles, at J.P. Faddoul Company.

Since 1964, this store along Boston Turnpike has given the people of Shrewsbury the perfect decor and tableware.

Choose an elegant and classy look to set up your table, or take the chic and straightforward route by shopping from J.P. Faddoul’s extensive collections.

The family-owned business also has a showroom where you can look at how their pieces can take your tables to a new level.

Shop ‘til you drop at this classy store and bring home a few pieces for your home or as souvenirs to commemorate your trip to Shrewsbury.

Pamper Yourself at Piel Skin Boutique

Feel refreshed and rejuvenated when you spend your day pampered at Piel Skin Boutique.

You can find it in Northborough, Massachusetts, nine minutes from Shrewsbury.

Get a facial or a massage, and let go of your stress and worries when you get treatment.

Those looking for skin treatment can choose from boutique facials, express facials, microdermabrasion, microcurrents, and more.

Piel Skin boutique also offers massage therapies.

Choose from personalized massage, express massage, prenatal massage, reiki, and hot stone massage.

There are also other services like facial botox and filler injection.

Dine at Burtons Grill & Bar

If there’s one place to indulge in good food while enjoying a great time with your friends, it’s definitely at Burtons Grill & Bar in the Lakeway Commons Shopping Center.

Take your pick from a great selection of seafood, veggies, meats, and a lot more.

The restaurants prepare these meals using only the finest ingredients available.

All meals are cooked from scratch, so you’re sure to get a serving that’s made fresh off the grill.

Indulge in good food while admiring the rustic setting at Burtons Grill & Bar.

While you’re at it, sip a couple of great cocktails.

Of course, your meal wouldn’t be complete without a slice of your favorite desserts like the key lime pie and chocolate budino.

Craft Your Own Brews at Deja Brew

Beer lovers and wine connoisseurs are in for a real treat at Deja Brew.

You'll get the chance to craft your own brew at this shop.

Unleash the inner winemaker in you as you create your own red, white, fruit, or dessert wine to bring home.

Let your family try your concoction.

You can also book a beer-brewing session under the tutelage of Deja Brew’s master brewers.

Otherwise, if you want to drink to your heart’s content, choose from over 200 beer recipes.

These recipes range from pale ales and lagers to pilsners and stouts.

Go on a Tour of the Artemas Ward House

Exterior of the Artemas Ward House
Monika Salvan / Shutterstock.com

Bring your historical excursion to the next level with a drop by the Artemas Ward House.

This historic museum was once a saltbox residence that flourished somewhere in the early 1700s.

It was a tenant home until, as the name suggests, Artemas Ward, found a home within its walls.

Close view of the Artemas Ward House
ListFiles/Martinde at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Several years later, the house has become a tourist attraction that's open from April to November.

Inside, you'll find vintage artifacts and other objects related to life during Artemas Ward's time.

The Artemas Ward House is on Main Street.

Spend Time in Nature at Dean Park

A bench facing the waters of Dean Park
Monika Salvan / Shutterstock.com

Family outings are never the same after a stop at Dean Park.

This 79-acre park features almost 2 miles of interconnecting trails.

One of these is a main route that passes through woodlands.

This makes the park a good place for a bit of nature walk and sightseeing.

The place also boasts a playground, a bandstand, and a picnic area.

And for a refreshing time, walk around the park's pond on sunny days.

Dean Park's entrance is on Main Street.

The waters of Dean Park
Monika Salvan / Shutterstock.com

Take Your Kids for a Walk along Shrewsbury’s Secret Garden

When it comes to the town's best-kept secrets, Shrewsbury’s Secret Garden is at the top of this list.

True to its name, this garden settles itself within the busy streets of the town.

Created and owned by Chief Joseph, this garden is accessible via a main trail lined with woods and trees.

Though the garden is not your usual plethora of flowers and plants, it makes up for its lack of blossoms with a multitude of sculptures.

Life-sized sculptures of animals and storybook characters greet you as you reach the pond.

Shrewsbury’s Secret Garden also has stone benches you can lounge on after a short trek to the lovely spot.

Tuck yourself in with a good book from the garden's Free Library.

You can find this garden on Stoney Hill Road.

Start an Indoor Gaming Adventure at Bowlero Shrewsbury

At Shrewsbury, the indoor entertainment options are always plenty.

Bowlero Shrewsbury is one of these options.

This entertainment center offers a 40-lane bowling alley, an arcade section, and a sports bar.

With the alley's soft lounge seats and vibrant lights, it's easy to feel nostalgic while you challenge your friends to a bowling game.

If you're a fan of modern video games, you can expect some of the best games at the center's arcade site.

And when you're ready for a craft beverage tasting tour, relax by the sports bar with a signature cocktail or a wine glass while watching a major league game on TV.

Get going to Boston Turnpike to get to Bowlero Shrewsbury.

Begin a Hike along the Meadow at Lake Street Park

Shrewsbury's selection of public parks is nearly astounding.

One of its picturesque parks is Lake Street Park.

This park features a variety of hiking trails ideal for short and long walks by yourself or with a loved one.

Since it's one of the hidden jewels of the town, crowds visiting the site are less frequent than most parks.

It also has an open field and a route that goes on a loop around a meadow.

Lake Street Park is, as its name suggests, on Lake Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn about the Wilderness at EcoTarium

Interior of EcoTarium
John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a few miles outside Shrewsbury is the EcoTarium in the Worcester community.

You’ll find anything and everything about natural history.

It's in Worcester, Massachusetts, 12 minutes from Shrewsbury.

Founded in 1825, EcoTarium was previously known as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History.

Let your kids explore the exhibits and learn about the wonders of science in all its forms.

Roam around the 45-acre facility, strolling along quiet trails, working with interactive exhibits, and discovering hundreds of resident species.

Inside the museum, you’ll have three floors’ worth of exhibits to explore.

See planetariums, natural history collections, displays of Mount Washington, forests, and a bunch more.

Visit the Willard House & Clock Museum

Exterior of Willard House & Clock Museum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

About five miles outside of Shrewsbury is the Willard House & Clock Museum in North Grafton, home to the largest collection of Willard clocks.

North Grafton, Massachusetts, is 12 minutes from Shrewsbury.

As you enter the Willard House, you’ll see over 80 Willard clocks displayed in the original workshop.

Three generations of Willard clockmakers have manufactured these timepieces.

The house also displays Willard family heirlooms, antique furnishings, and family portraits.

Facade of Willard House & Clock Museum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors get a sneak peek of what it was like to live in such an eventful era.

There’s also a clock museum in the area, which first opened its doors to the public in 1971.

Dr. Roger and Imogene Robinson founded the clock museum in 1969.  

Check out three modern galleries displaying dozens of Willard clocks in different period settings, furnishings from the Colonial, Federal, and Empire periods, and more.

Final Thoughts

The town of Shrewsbury may be small but make no mistake.

Within its borders are dozens of fun activities you can do and historical sites to check out.

If you’re only planning to stay for a couple of days, you might want to reconsider booking a longer stay.

Shrewsbury is an exceptional town that’ll give you memories that will last a lifetime.

Don’t forget to try out some of the best things to do in Shrewsbury to make your stay worthwhile.

Book your trip today!

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