Just 40 minutes outside of Boston, Bolton is a true autumn gem. Here in apple country, you can find endless orchards and golf courses, a winery and brewery, and hiking trails through open fields and meadows. It’s a perfect spot for leaf peeping and picking your own fruits. Don’t expect much late-night revelry, but there’s enough nearby to keep your fall getaway interesting at a historic movie theater and new saloon.
STAY Charlotte’s House Bed & Breakfast
(96 South Bolton Road, www.charlotteshousebandb.com
, 978-779-5005) could use some curbside improvements, but inside, this cozy home offers a real retreat. Rooms with a queen bed start at $105, and all three rooms feature working fireplaces, private baths, and handmade quilts. Innkeeper and former chef Lyn Slade prepares fresh cookies for guests on arrival and offers cooking classes and needle felting workshops on request. For a dose of indulgence, head over to the International
(159 Ballville Road, www.theinternational.com
, 978-779-6911), one of New England’s premier golf resorts. Spacious rooms with king beds and high ceilings start at $159. Make sure to request a room overlooking the course. The resort features a spa, restaurant with a new chef, and seasonal deals, including a New England fall wine tour vacation package for $165 that includes overnight accommodations, afternoon tour at Nashoba Valley Winery, a bottle of wine in the room, and deluxe continental breakfast.
There is no better place to stop for lunch than at Great Brook Farms Cafe
(356 Main St., www.greatbrookfarms.com
, 978-779-6680), a small haunt off the main road that boasts a fireplace, outdoor tables, and acoustic musicians playing live on Saturdays. Specialties include deli sandwiches and barbecue lunches. The pulled pork sandwich is a heaping pile of meat smoked for 13 hours, slathered with a special sauce, and served on a bulkie roll with a side of coleslaw and chips for $7.95. Great Brook also offers special events, including Octoberfest on Oct. 10. For a romantic culinary experience, book at least one dinner at J’s Restaurant
at Nashoba Valley Winery (100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, www.nashobawinery.com
, 978-779-9816). Set in a rustic farmhouse, J’s offers seasonal menus, often prepared with produce and herbs plucked from the garden on site. A three-course menu for $35 is offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and a wine pairing is available for $10 extra. Reservations are required.
DURING THE DAY
You can’t come to apple country and not pick your own apples. So head to Bolton Spring Farm
(159 Main St., www.boltonspringfarm.com
, 978-779-2898). Set on 150 acres of pristine farmland, rolling orchard hills, and woodlands, the farm features a wide variety of apples for picking, including Red Delicious, Baldwin, and Fuji. Hayrides to the pumpkin patch are also available on weekends. Don’t miss the bakery inside, where you can savor delectable treats like hot apple dumplings and cider spiced doughnuts. It’s not a complete trip to Bolton without stopping at Nashoba Valley Winery
(100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, www.nashobawinery.com
, 978-779-5521). This sprawling complex features vineyards, orchards, a winery, and brewery. Guided tours for $7 are available every weekend starting at 11 a.m., and include at least four wine tastings. Nashoba also offers a number of festivals and events, including a Bluegrass and Blues festival on Oct. 24.
Bolton goes to sleep early. There’s little night life in town unless you count Essential Therapies
(1094 Main St., www.etdayspa.com
, 978-779-2266), a day spa that stays open until 9 on Friday nights. To get your late-night fix, head a few miles away to the next town, Clinton. There you can catch a movie or comedy show at Strand Theatre
(58 High St., www.strandtheatre.com
, 978-365-5551), a historic movie house and grill built in 1924. Enjoy comfortable seating with square tables for your beer, fresh popcorn, or chicken tenders. Or check out Simple Man Saloon
down the street (119 High St., 978-365-1949), a new pub in Clinton that features live music every Saturday night. Offering peanuts at every table and Shipyard pumpkin beer on tap, Simple Man Saloon is the perfect nightcap for your autumn adventure.
Jenn Abelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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