Around Town in Holden, MA


I was born and raised in Central Mass, and am especially familiar with the towns in the Wachusett District (Rutland, Sterling, Holden, Princeton, and Paxton), as my family lives in Princeton. After some time traveling around and living in California, my husband and I circled back and put our roots down in Holden. Funny how that works!

Over the years, so much has changed around these small central towns… yet so much remains the same. Familiar businesses have closed, new businesses have opened, and times are so different, but that small-town feeling is still there! IYKYK.

Now that I’m settled in Holden after almost three years, I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots in town in case you live nearby or are looking to pass through soon:

Sweets ‘n Java

Yummy coffee (with iced coffee cubes), delicious baked goods, plenty of easy parking, and friendly staff. This is a great option for kids, too. Kind of random, but grab one of their overnight oats. Some of the best I’ve ever had and I cannot seem to replicate it at home.

The Blushing Bee

Amazing, all-natural makeup, skincare, comfy clothing, bath essentials, gifts and candles. Basically a girl’s dream store! Oh, and they added a newer room with a baby/kids section. So fun!

The Bagel Inn

Scrumptious bagels (get the cardamon, trust me), unique cream cheese flavors, and a quaint cafe to dine in. This is a staple for our family. We love going early on the weekend.

Hodge Podge

One-of-a-kind gift store with vintage treasures and areas filled with local artisan crafts. Debby, the owner, is a sweetheart and will help you find exactly what you need. She is the queen gifter, as I ask for her opinion every time and she always nails it!

The Corner Shop Thrift Store

Lightly used clothes, shoes, purses, kid’s toys/clothing, and house items. If you’re into resale shopping, hit up this cute shop at the basement level of the Congregational church for unique finds and brand names for less.

Gale Free Library

A great spot, not only for loaning books for you and your family, but for fun kids’ programs, a spacious play area, and interactive games. The walkable, nearby playground is an added bonus because you can park once and hit up both!

Holden Farmer’s Market

From May through September, the Tuesday Farmer’s Market is such a local gem. Live music, veggies, loaves of bread, microgreens, prepared meals, stationery, and local eggs/ice cream. What’s not to love? Parking is a breeze.

Stewart’s Chocolate

European-style chocolates right in town, made with premium ingredients and a variety of seasonal options, too. Their salted caramels are to die for. This adorable spot is a must for any chocolate lovers or those looking to gift something sweet to someone they love.

Speciality Sandwich Co. Bar & Grill

A lengthy menu of tasty sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The perfect spot to meet up on the patio with friends, and summertime brings with it live music, too. Try the Mediterranean salad with chicken! It’s loaded with veggies and their incredible homemade Greek dressing.


Okay, this one’s random, but how cool is it that Holden has its very own Talbots?! I used to roll my eyes at this store when I was younger and my older relatives loved it, but now that I’m in my mid-30s, I totally get it. Work basics, comfy dresses, cute jewelry, and amazing athleisure. Don’t sleep on Talbots, people.

The Wong Dynasty

I’m probably biased, but the Wong has some of the best local Chinese food. Plus, the atmosphere is a lot of fun. One side offers more of a quiet, low-key restaurant vibe. The opposite end is more lively with a busy bar, karaoke, and those mai tais.. they’re definitely flowing.

Where do you live, and what other Central Mass towns do you love? I would love to learn of more small areas worth driving to for some summer day trips!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.