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Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, has only 10 guest rooms, but two of them date from 1700.


 

 

Talk about colonial ambience!

The Wayside Inn, 10 miles (16 km, 30 minutes) southwest of Concord (map), was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poems telling Tales from a Wayside Inn and now boasts that it is the oldest operating inn in the USA.

Bought by Henry Ford in the early 1920s, it is now a private, nonprofit operation, and all proceeds from the guest rooms and restaurant are put toward its upkeep and restoration.

The inn has eight twin rooms and two doubles: Rooms 1 through 8 are of modern construction and traditional decor; rooms 9 and 10 are in the old, original part of the inn, and are very quaint. These latter two rooms are the ones most in demand, particularly from April to December.

Should you want to stay at the inn, it's wise to make reservations as far in advance as possible, even a month or two; but if you can't make them, call up in any case and see what vacancies they might have.

There was a fire in the inn around 1955 and it was heavily damaged (as you can see in the old kitchen), but restoration work was done well and the rooms are worth seeing even if you don't plan to stay for the night. A short tour of the inn is free if you drop in for a meal. Lunch is served from 11:30 am to 3 pm; dinner, from 5:30 to 9 pm; Sunday dinner, from noon to 8pm.

Besides the inn itself, you should explore the grounds and surroundings: the beautiful formal garden near the inn, the reconstructed barn across the road, and the Grist Mill, a short (15-minute) walk away, farther down the road.

The Grist Mill, a pretty and romantic stone building, is a replica of the mills that used to dot the New England rivers and streams. It is in a beautiful spot, with a copse of pines nearby, and although it's not 100% authentic (the mill wheel is made of heavy-gauge steel instead of wood), it is worth a look and a walk around.

The flour ground here is used in the Wayside Inn's kitchens, and is for sale at the inn's shop.

By the way, the Martha-Mary Chapel, on the road between the inn and the Grist Mill, is a typical New England meetinghouse that Ford had built to be rented out for weddings. The chapel and the Wayside Inn are very popular with wedding parties and honeymooners.

Longfellow's Wayside Inn
72 Wayside Inn Road (map)
South Sudbury MA 01776
Tel 800-339-1776, 978-443-1776


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Longfellow's Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA

Above, Longfellow's Wayside Inn,
Sudbury MA.


 

Grist Mill, Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA
The nearby Grist Mill.

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