After leaving Sturbridge, Massachusetts at the beginning of our fall foliage driving tour, we headed north toward New Hampshire and Vermont. Before I dive into the adventures of day 2 on our trip, you can read all about our first stop at Old Sturbridge Village. You will learn that we spent our first night in New England, in Sturbridge. We toured the village and left the area after lunch. We decided to fill the rest of our day with butterflies, candles and pizza – Oh My!
We first headed west on 90, then north on 91. If you are traveling New England with little ones then a stop in Springfield, MA might make it on your list before heading north. There is a Dr. Seuss National Memorial museum, with statues of characters from his books. We didn’t make the stop, but it did sound interesting. Instead we went straight for Deerfield, MA where the Yankee Candle Village is.
I will say that this was probably one of hubby’s least favorite stops on our trip, but I LOVED it. So candles and holiday decor are not up his alley. He was a good sport and allowed me to peruse anyway. I wished I had oodles of money and suitcase space so I could take everything home with me. The store was quite large and was broken up into different sections. It truly did feel like a little village.
I loved the large section of the store which was set up like a village at Christmas-time. Store fronts, nutcrackers, villages and more. I even picked up a large wooden Bavarian Santa for my mom. If you time your visit just right you can attend a candle making demonstration, and learn about the early candles Yankee Candle made.
The grounds were lovely, and Yankee Candle makes for a great stop on any road trip in the area.
With plenty of time left in the day, we left Yankee Candle and headed up the road a few miles to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens. I am a lover of butterflies and this wasn’t far from Yankee Candle, so I had to squeeze it in. I was lucky to receive some comped passes so I could test out the conservatory, and I’m glad we went. In all honesty I was expecting a slightly bigger venue from what I read online, but it was still a peaceful and lovely stop.
I was impressed with the wide variety of butterflies we were able to spot. I thought I had read online beforehand that butterflies will even land on your clothes or head, but the signage inside clearly indicates that it’s forbidden.
Magic Wings is home to nearly 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies, in an 8,000 square-foot tropical environment. Before going into the conservatory there are several display cases where you can learn about and identify all of the butterflies. I’d say this is a very easy stop for any butterfly lovers out there, and not a lot of time is needed. Admission is $14.
Our day was finally nearing to an end as we left Deerfield, MA and stopped in Brattleboro, VT for the night. I kind of wish we had more time to scout out the area as I had read online that Brattleboro is a huge artsy kind of town. I didn’t notice art shops and the like on the main strip through town, so perhaps there was another part of town we missed. Our main goals here were dinner and sleep.
We turned to the Quality Inn right in town, and we were impressed with how friendly the staff was, and how festive the lobby was. It wasn’t quite Halloween-time, but they were already ahead of the game with some decorations. I wish I could say I had a great night’s sleep, but the bed and pillows were on the hard side. Everything was clean and safe, so if you like firm then this was a great affordable option.
For dinner we chose a local pizza shop, Brattleboro Village Pizza, run by a nice Greek family. They had their kids in there doing homework and helping take orders, which was neat to see. You could tell this was a spot the locals hit up, and I can see why. The pizza was delicious, and the baklava for dessert was also superb. Very tasty and a great way to end our first official day in New England.