I may not be Ferris Bueller but I do enjoy playing hooky every once in a while! We’re just barely getting into the warm weather season, so I’ve been craving some new adventures! When I looked at the forecast and saw a rainy weekend ahead, I decided to take the beautiful Friday off before hand and get out of dodge with my boyfriend. The Brimfield Fair was in town so it inspired us to take a day trip to Central Massachusetts and the Worcester area, which was uncharted territory for me!
Antiques and Crafts
I’ve never experienced the massive Brimfield Fair before but after hearing my coworkers talk about it endlessly, I decided it was time to give it a go. After sitting in traffic for what felt like ages, we found a decent parking spot and ventured in. The fair stretched farther than the eye can see in both directions, and even on a work day, the crowds were huge!
I don’t know if there is any rhyme or reason to how it’s all laid out but we decided to wander into the first section we saw. From old motorcycles, collectible baseball mitts, and street signs, to solid wood antique furniture and hand-made metal working, they had it all! I obviously fell in love with a giant metal compass and had to buy it!
We’ll see how long it sits in my house before I actually get it hung up on a wall though!
As we continued on down the road, we found a central food area with all your typical “Fair style” food and beer stands. Upon further searching, we found a delicious looking pressed sandwich truck called Press’n It and ordered ourselves up a couple of those! If you ever find yourself at the Brimfield fair, treat yourself to a lemonade as well! You won’t be disappointed.
Since I’m not much of an antique-er, we didn’t stick around long and decided to move on to the next stop on our adventure!
State Park Stroll
In celebration of the beautiful weather that day, we looked up an area to go for a walk or a hike. Slightly to the north west of Worcester, in a small town called Paxton, Ma, you’ll find Moore State Park! Upon arrival, we looked at the map and realized that we could see all the sights with a simple loop around the park.
The paved road opened up to a Eames Pond to the right and ahead you could see the Enchanta Bridge crossing over the falls area. We stopped for a couple photos at the bridge then followed the river down to where an old Sawmill sat next to another series of waterfalls! Despite several broken windows, the sawmill was actually in decent shape! From there we took a dirt path that winded back up to the parking area. You could tell we were probably about a week early for the major bloom of the season as this path had budding flowers on both sides of a variety of different colors!
Id suggest looking into when the flowers bloom because this would have definitely been a sight to see!
The walk around this park took about an hour to do in total and is only one in a series of different paths you can take through this park. There are some that follow the lake up towards some higher elevation and others that provide perfect cycling opportunities. The path that we followed is simple enough that someone of any walking ability could handle it.
By now, our day trip was seriously lacking some beer. So we made our way towards Worcester.
Exploring the Beer and Food of Worcester
Our first stop was at 3Cross Fermentation Cooperative located in Worcester. This was the first “community owned” brewery that I had ever been to and it was a pretty neat experience! The whole theme of the brewery was based on bicycles, from their decor, to their beer names to their community events! On Thursday nights, they host events for cyclists to get together and go for a ride then end up back at the brewery to finish the night with a beer or two!
Since the cooperative really focuses on serving the community, they have jars for donations for a “Charity of the Month” rather than tipping the bartenders. They also had a gallery promoting local artists’ work throughout the space. While the brewery had plenty of room to grow, they don’t have any plans to sell the beers outside of the community. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
The bartender from 3Cross told us that in order to get the real “Worcester Experience”, we HAD to go to Vincent’s and order a meatball sandwich. When a local tells you something is to die for, you listen to them! Once our eyes adjusted to the darkness in this seedy little dive bar, we looked around and took in the variety of taxidermy animals decorating the walls. The staff looked like characters out of an old Mob movie and the bar was definitely all locals. We decided to split a sandwich and went out to the back garden to find a place to sit. We sat on the porch of little shed that looked like it was straight out of West Virginia and enjoyed the scenery!
Despite how bizarre this little dive bar was, she wasn’t kidding about the sandwich. Delicious meatballs covered in cheese between two of the softest pieces of bread ever. Simple yet perfect.
Our last stop of the day was at The Dive Bar. This bar sells beers from Hill Farmstead located in the tippity-top of Vermont so it’s very hard to get. Between the delicious beers and the cool mural located in the beer garden, it was easy to get comfortable here. And several hours later when the hunger set back in, they had food trailer called MamaRoux’s that was cooking up some of the best southern cooking in the north! We split a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and an order of Gulf Shrimp Croquettes and ate ourselves into a fat and happy coma.
Not bad for a spontaneous day trip on a work day! You’d be surprised what kind of cool new adventures there are within and hours drive of your hometown. Whether it be state parks, foodie destinations or local breweries, get out there and explore!
Gone on any fun day trips lately? Planning any upcoming adventures near home? Let me know in the comment section below! Until next time…