Guidebook for Woodstock, CT

Arno

Guidebook for Woodstock, CT

FOOD SCENE - HIGHER END
(alphabetical)
Opened summer 2018 and is really nice; a good option for excellent food and lovely decor; also offers a beautiful bar area. If they keep it up, this could become our No 1 for special occasions!
ANYA Dining
49 CT-193
Opened summer 2018 and is really nice; a good option for excellent food and lovely decor; also offers a beautiful bar area. If they keep it up, this could become our No 1 for special occasions!
Delicious food (much of it organic), nice decor and service. Sit on their terrace when the weather permits!
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85 Main
85 South Main Street
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Delicious food (much of it organic), nice decor and service. Sit on their terrace when the weather permits!
One of our favorite outings in the area: small and very welcoming; the owners offer excellent French cuisine: Marie-Paule is an authentic French cook and Jay a very caring host. If you linger long enough, Marie-Paule may even sing French songs for you; she has a lovely voice! No liquor license, so be sure to BYOB…
The Metro Bistrot
176 Main Street
One of our favorite outings in the area: small and very welcoming; the owners offer excellent French cuisine: Marie-Paule is an authentic French cook and Jay a very caring host. If you linger long enough, Marie-Paule may even sing French songs for you; she has a lovely voice! No liquor license, so be sure to BYOB…
FOOD SCENE - MORE CASUAL
(alphabetical)
Fun, authentic local bar and restaurant. Menu categories named after court & legal terms! Great selection of burgers.
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Courthouse Bar and Grille
121 South Main Street
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Fun, authentic local bar and restaurant. Menu categories named after court & legal terms! Great selection of burgers.
Fabulous small, high-quality restaurant. Not easy to get a table at, because of its size and popularity. Friendly, tasteful, welcoming and exquisite! Well worth the wait to get seated, having a drink at their lovely bar if possible, even if you have to try a few times... A beautiful concept and perfect execution!
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Elizabeth's Farmhouse
75-81 Canal St
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Fabulous small, high-quality restaurant. Not easy to get a table at, because of its size and popularity. Friendly, tasteful, welcoming and exquisite! Well worth the wait to get seated, having a drink at their lovely bar if possible, even if you have to try a few times... A beautiful concept and perfect execution!
We appreciate their Italian cuisine every time we go. The place has a no-frills, diner-style decor, and the food is truly good! Try their yummy hand pounded veal dishes.   Note July 2021: they have moved to Webster, MA and we haven’t yet tried their new location…
Monte Bianco Restaurant
1097 Thompson Rd
We appreciate their Italian cuisine every time we go. The place has a no-frills, diner-style decor, and the food is truly good! Try their yummy hand pounded veal dishes.   Note July 2021: they have moved to Webster, MA and we haven’t yet tried their new location…
A staple in Webster, MA, mostly (in our opinion) for its deck over the lake; sunsets are majestic. The bar can be fun and, if you are a fan, they host music, dancing, and other events. We try to avoid Fridays & Saturdays, crowded evenings when service can become challenging.
Point Breeze
114 Point Breeze Rd
A staple in Webster, MA, mostly (in our opinion) for its deck over the lake; sunsets are majestic. The bar can be fun and, if you are a fan, they host music, dancing, and other events. We try to avoid Fridays & Saturdays, crowded evenings when service can become challenging.
A must in Woodstock. True country store and café-restaurant. Food is fresh and made to order; try the Woodstocker hamburger, their famous thin-crusted pizza, and the lesser-known, but oh so delightful, Lentil-burger! Either order at the counter, directly from the cooks, or enjoy full service in the dining room at the back. Eat outside in Summer and treat yourself to their scrumptious ice-creams! Now also offers a “FREE charging station for electric vehicles and hybrids”.
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Sweet Evalina's Stand
688 CT-169
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A must in Woodstock. True country store and café-restaurant. Food is fresh and made to order; try the Woodstocker hamburger, their famous thin-crusted pizza, and the lesser-known, but oh so delightful, Lentil-burger! Either order at the counter, directly from the cooks, or enjoy full service in the dining room at the back. Eat outside in Summer and treat yourself to their scrumptious ice-creams! Now also offers a “FREE charging station for electric vehicles and hybrids”.
A local hallmark for food and live music; at times a meeting place for motorcycles (or even vintage cars). Order from the counter and get a large playing card that will ID your table for food and drinks to be brought to you. Good chili, soups, all sorts of great salads, sandwiches, desserts and more... Hot or cold, fancy or basic, healthy and allergy-conscious, or not... The choice is yours!
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The Vanilla Bean Cafe
450 Deerfield Road
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A local hallmark for food and live music; at times a meeting place for motorcycles (or even vintage cars). Order from the counter and get a large playing card that will ID your table for food and drinks to be brought to you. Good chili, soups, all sorts of great salads, sandwiches, desserts and more... Hot or cold, fancy or basic, healthy and allergy-conscious, or not... The choice is yours!
PIZZA
Sweet Evelina’s (see above) makes great pizza, to eat there or take home. Other favorites are the following:
We don’t eat on the spot, but this is our No1 for take-out Pizza. We love the House Special! They don’t deliver but we order by phone and drive a few minutes to pick it up. (note: we have read complaints since the change of ownership, but we are still happy with our choice! Others seem to recommend Rainbow Pizza, in Webster, MA, but we have yet to try that out).
Dudley House of Pizza
206 West Main Street
We don’t eat on the spot, but this is our No1 for take-out Pizza. We love the House Special! They don’t deliver but we order by phone and drive a few minutes to pick it up. (note: we have read complaints since the change of ownership, but we are still happy with our choice! Others seem to recommend Rainbow Pizza, in Webster, MA, but we have yet to try that out).
Possibly the most famous Pizza between here and Hartford, laden with awards, and well worth a visit. From the Widow-maker to the gluten-free, plus every variety in between, there is something mouth-watering for everyone. The place is warm, with great vintage decoration, plenty of enjoyable photos (incl. the UConn female basketball teams), and comfy booths to slide into.
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Willington Pizza House
25 River Road
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Possibly the most famous Pizza between here and Hartford, laden with awards, and well worth a visit. From the Widow-maker to the gluten-free, plus every variety in between, there is something mouth-watering for everyone. The place is warm, with great vintage decoration, plenty of enjoyable photos (incl. the UConn female basketball teams), and comfy booths to slide into.
BARS, BREWERIES, WINERIES
See above for the following venues that also have very nice bars: Anya, the Courthouse, Elizabeth’s farmhouse, Point Breeze. But our favorites are the following bar, 2 breweries, 1 vineyard, and wine trails:
A very likable, authentic, and active bar, with live music. Always a friendly crowd and someone to share a conversation with, plus the food we have had there was always to our liking! We understand they also serve lunch now.
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The Stomping Ground
132 Main Street
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A very likable, authentic, and active bar, with live music. Always a friendly crowd and someone to share a conversation with, plus the food we have had there was always to our liking! We understand they also serve lunch now.
For beer lovers, this is a gem, well worth the trip. They offer tastings, tours and host lots of fun events throughout the year. They sell all types of beers, some unique and fascinating, continually developing new flavors, and are gaining recognition and awards. We also like the items they sell sporting their business logo, which make original and quality gifts! Nick Garrison will take great care of you!
Foolproof Brewing Company
241 Grotto Ave
For beer lovers, this is a gem, well worth the trip. They offer tastings, tours and host lots of fun events throughout the year. They sell all types of beers, some unique and fascinating, continually developing new flavors, and are gaining recognition and awards. We also like the items they sell sporting their business logo, which make original and quality gifts! Nick Garrison will take great care of you!
Another special brewery and some of the best craft beers ever. A large variety to choose from, one for every taste; plus a wonderful restaurant inside the brewery. Winning awards galore and growing fast, Jack and his brothers run a successful enterprise and we are lucky to have them within reach. You can find their beers in many restaurants and we highly recommend them at all times!
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Jack's Abby Craft Lagers
100 Clinton St
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Another special brewery and some of the best craft beers ever. A large variety to choose from, one for every taste; plus a wonderful restaurant inside the brewery. Winning awards galore and growing fast, Jack and his brothers run a successful enterprise and we are lucky to have them within reach. You can find their beers in many restaurants and we highly recommend them at all times!
A vineyard that many Woodstock, Pomfret, and other local residents enjoy, support, frequent and recommend. Very nice owners and a great place to hold a special occasion or simply have a Sunday-brunch. Enjoy the rolling vineyards, taste the wines, take in the full beauty of what the Quiet Corner has to offer.
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Taylor Brooke Winery
848 Connecticut 171
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A vineyard that many Woodstock, Pomfret, and other local residents enjoy, support, frequent and recommend. Very nice owners and a great place to hold a special occasion or simply have a Sunday-brunch. Enjoy the rolling vineyards, taste the wines, take in the full beauty of what the Quiet Corner has to offer.
Whether a true wine connoisseur or an amateur enthusiast, CT has a lot to offer: its vineyards are growing in both number and quality, attracting increasing numbers of visitors each year and getting their deserved spot in wider markets. It is a treat to go wine tasting and there are CT-wines to please every palate, even the more “selective” French ones! To add a little 'juice' to your wine experience: starting May 3rd, 2019, get your "Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries" from any of 40 participating vineyards (26 on the CT-trail above and 14 more in this Passport program). You have until Nov. 3rd to collect stamps from at least 12 wineries &/or the CT-wine festival in Goshen. The number of stamps collected entitles you to participate in different lotteries and hope to win a price! Drawings will occur on Dec. 5, 2019. CT- Department of Agriculture, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103; Rebecca Murphy (860) 713-2538 www.passporttoctfarmwine.com
Connecticut Wine Trail
433 S Main St
Whether a true wine connoisseur or an amateur enthusiast, CT has a lot to offer: its vineyards are growing in both number and quality, attracting increasing numbers of visitors each year and getting their deserved spot in wider markets. It is a treat to go wine tasting and there are CT-wines to please every palate, even the more “selective” French ones! To add a little 'juice' to your wine experience: starting May 3rd, 2019, get your "Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries" from any of 40 participating vineyards (26 on the CT-trail above and 14 more in this Passport program). You have until Nov. 3rd to collect stamps from at least 12 wineries &/or the CT-wine festival in Goshen. The number of stamps collected entitles you to participate in different lotteries and hope to win a price! Drawings will occur on Dec. 5, 2019. CT- Department of Agriculture, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103; Rebecca Murphy (860) 713-2538 www.passporttoctfarmwine.com
PARKS & NATURE
We really like this large State Park, with trails for every level of difficulty, and beautiful lakes, forests, paths. We take family and visitors there who wish to hike, and the "Walktober" event that occurs there every year is a winner for serious hikers. There is, however, much more going on there than hiking, including boating, fishing, camping, and more; definitely worth some exploring.
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Bigelow Hollow State Park
Connecticut 171
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We really like this large State Park, with trails for every level of difficulty, and beautiful lakes, forests, paths. We take family and visitors there who wish to hike, and the "Walktober" event that occurs there every year is a winner for serious hikers. There is, however, much more going on there than hiking, including boating, fishing, camping, and more; definitely worth some exploring.
700 acres open to the public, 10 miles of trails, a visitors’ center with a display of stuffed animals, a store, and lots of nice events, programs, exhibits, etc.. The Audubon Society is a worthy cause; we are grateful to Pomfret residents who donated land over the decades, allowing such a quality sanctuary to develop so close to us.
Connecticut Audubon Society--Center at Pomfret
218 Day Rd
700 acres open to the public, 10 miles of trails, a visitors’ center with a display of stuffed animals, a store, and lots of nice events, programs, exhibits, etc.. The Audubon Society is a worthy cause; we are grateful to Pomfret residents who donated land over the decades, allowing such a quality sanctuary to develop so close to us.
"5,907-acre Douglas State Forest borders Connecticut and Rhode Island. Enjoy swimming and boating at Wallum Lake or hike miles of woodland trails.”
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Douglas State Forest
107 Wallum Lake Rd
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"5,907-acre Douglas State Forest borders Connecticut and Rhode Island. Enjoy swimming and boating at Wallum Lake or hike miles of woodland trails.”
Try pronouncing its full name: "Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg", sometimes referred to (even in Europe!) as one of the longest place names in the world. Our family has had a summer cottage on this “Webster lake” since 1938, so we can easily advise you about the area. Swimming in its soft waters; sighting of eagles/ turkey vultures/ herons etc; boat rides from Indian Ranch; boat launching areas. Well worth the 15-20 mins to get there!
Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
Try pronouncing its full name: "Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg", sometimes referred to (even in Europe!) as one of the longest place names in the world. Our family has had a summer cottage on this “Webster lake” since 1938, so we can easily advise you about the area. Swimming in its soft waters; sighting of eagles/ turkey vultures/ herons etc; boat rides from Indian Ranch; boat launching areas. Well worth the 15-20 mins to get there!
Public access to swimming and boat launching at Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaug.
Memorial Beach
Public access to swimming and boat launching at Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaug.
"Rich with history, legend and lore, Mashamoquet Brook with its Wolf's Den, offers hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming for the whole family.”
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Mashamoquet Brook State Park
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"Rich with history, legend and lore, Mashamoquet Brook with its Wolf's Den, offers hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming for the whole family.”
"Whether you are walking, hiking, boating, fishing, or picnicking, beautiful Roseland Park is the perfect place to visit in Woodstock, Connecticut, offering historic elegance in the heart of 'The Last Green Valley' " There is no swimming here, but it's a nice area, with a playground, barbecuing-picnicking facilities, and a beach. It can be rented for special events, including weddings!
Roseland Park
205 Roseland Park Rd
"Whether you are walking, hiking, boating, fishing, or picnicking, beautiful Roseland Park is the perfect place to visit in Woodstock, Connecticut, offering historic elegance in the heart of 'The Last Green Valley' " There is no swimming here, but it's a nice area, with a playground, barbecuing-picnicking facilities, and a beach. It can be rented for special events, including weddings!
ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES
The Quiet Corner has much more to offer than any of us can ever possibly take part in. We have had family roots in Webster, MA since the 1930s, and have been living in Woodstock, CT for 12 years now, but have yet to participate in, visit, discover, everything we would like. Take your pick, whatever you wish to do can probably be found! We are only mentioning a few of our favorites here.
Member of the Historic New England organization. They host many events during the years, including outdoor concerts, stallion shows, etc. We particularly love their Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, to be held Oct. 19-20 2019.
Roseland Cottage
556 Connecticut 169
Member of the Historic New England organization. They host many events during the years, including outdoor concerts, stallion shows, etc. We particularly love their Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, to be held Oct. 19-20 2019.
2019 Woodstock Fair: 30 Aug. to 02 Sep. Wonderful Fair, Antique vehicle exhibit, Concerts, Shows, Amusement Park, etc. A must for anyone around Labor Day weekend. Another event which we enjoy at the Fairgrounds: Celebrating Agriculture (21 Sep 2019)
Woodstock Fair
39 N Gate Rd
2019 Woodstock Fair: 30 Aug. to 02 Sep. Wonderful Fair, Antique vehicle exhibit, Concerts, Shows, Amusement Park, etc. A must for anyone around Labor Day weekend. Another event which we enjoy at the Fairgrounds: Celebrating Agriculture (21 Sep 2019)
“The Last Green Valley is green by day and dark by night. We are a National Heritage Corridor with a rich history in a surprisingly rural landscape. Still 77% forest and farm, we are the last swath of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington DC.” 35 towns are part of this area; check out the association’s website for a multitude of outstanding events and activities. Their next "Walktober" will take place from late Sep. to early Oct. 2019 and we cannot get enough of those events: we love their hikes, historical tours and presentations, farm visits, and so much more.
The Last Green Valley
203 Main St
“The Last Green Valley is green by day and dark by night. We are a National Heritage Corridor with a rich history in a surprisingly rural landscape. Still 77% forest and farm, we are the last swath of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington DC.” 35 towns are part of this area; check out the association’s website for a multitude of outstanding events and activities. Their next "Walktober" will take place from late Sep. to early Oct. 2019 and we cannot get enough of those events: we love their hikes, historical tours and presentations, farm visits, and so much more.
A campground on the shores of Webster Lake, of interest because they offer Summer outdoor concerts and lovely boat rides on the 'Indian Princess’. They opened a restaurant also, but we have yet to try it.
Indian Ranch
200 Gore Road
A campground on the shores of Webster Lake, of interest because they offer Summer outdoor concerts and lovely boat rides on the 'Indian Princess’. They opened a restaurant also, but we have yet to try it.
Susan has been going there since she was a child, but she still loves walking through time and enjoys each of their 1800s buildings, activities, costumes, talks, and shows. Try to also stop at some Antique Stores in Sturbridge.
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Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
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Susan has been going there since she was a child, but she still loves walking through time and enjoys each of their 1800s buildings, activities, costumes, talks, and shows. Try to also stop at some Antique Stores in Sturbridge.
Always a pleasant outing. Small museum with quality pieces, great exhibitions, and superb Roman mosaics! Have lunch in their small café, it’s good!
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Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street
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Always a pleasant outing. Small museum with quality pieces, great exhibitions, and superb Roman mosaics! Have lunch in their small café, it’s good!
When Susan's family started going there in the 1980s, it was called "Southwick Animal Farm" and they were always impressed by the animal's good health, as evidenced by the number of offsprings and the luxuriance of their fur. Even though they have grown since then, they still seem to take great care of their animals and we love taking our grandchildren there.
Southwick's Zoo
2 Southwick St
When Susan's family started going there in the 1980s, it was called "Southwick Animal Farm" and they were always impressed by the animal's good health, as evidenced by the number of offsprings and the luxuriance of their fur. Even though they have grown since then, they still seem to take great care of their animals and we love taking our grandchildren there.
Nice concerts, a shopping mall and, of course, the full Casino regalia. If you have time, also visit their exceptional Pequot Museum.
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Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Boulevard
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Nice concerts, a shopping mall and, of course, the full Casino regalia. If you have time, also visit their exceptional Pequot Museum.
Wonderful concerts all summer!! Go for a day to discover the Berkshires, visit The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, or get a yoga class at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health; then finish the day at Tanglewood!
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Tanglewood
297 West Street
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Wonderful concerts all summer!! Go for a day to discover the Berkshires, visit The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, or get a yoga class at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health; then finish the day at Tanglewood!
FAVORITE STORES & MARKETS
(alphabetical)
3 times a year Brimfield, MA, morphs into the most expansive antique/flea market in the country, attracting local and out-of-state visitors. Treasures galore, especially if you have the stamina to walk all the fields… If looking for something special, you may want to pay to get to the higher-end exhibitors; but if you’re just browsing, on an open-minded hunt, you’ll probably stumble upon a surprise object just waiting to be yours; in any case, the experience itself is its own reward. 2019 dates: May 14-19; July 9-14; September 3-8.
Brimfield Antique & Collectibles Shows
106 Five Bridge Rd
3 times a year Brimfield, MA, morphs into the most expansive antique/flea market in the country, attracting local and out-of-state visitors. Treasures galore, especially if you have the stamina to walk all the fields… If looking for something special, you may want to pay to get to the higher-end exhibitors; but if you’re just browsing, on an open-minded hunt, you’ll probably stumble upon a surprise object just waiting to be yours; in any case, the experience itself is its own reward. 2019 dates: May 14-19; July 9-14; September 3-8.
A new store at Elm Farm, very close to Cedar Ridge. Go pick up any of their amazing products, most (or all?) locally grown or produced. An impressive selection of meat, dairy products, ice cream, bread, etc.; and the quality is exceptional! All of this in a beautiful location just a few minutes from us. A huge WOW to the Peckham family, and THANK YOU from their grateful neighbors!
Farm to Table Market
324 Woodstock Rd
A new store at Elm Farm, very close to Cedar Ridge. Go pick up any of their amazing products, most (or all?) locally grown or produced. An impressive selection of meat, dairy products, ice cream, bread, etc.; and the quality is exceptional! All of this in a beautiful location just a few minutes from us. A huge WOW to the Peckham family, and THANK YOU from their grateful neighbors!
Crafts, clothing, gifts, dried herbs etc... Very warm and friendly.
Martha's Herbary
589 Pomfret St
Crafts, clothing, gifts, dried herbs etc... Very warm and friendly.
Antiquing in Woodstock is pure pleasure and we always find something to suit our fancy. Fortunately, Scranton's is standing strong, as several others we loved have closed (we can no longer visit 3-4-5 antique stores as we used to, especially when we had visitors...). But, we spotted a new one that just opened and will check it out soon. In any case, Woodstock remains more affordable and more fun than more famous antique shops in the area... (which have unfortunately also dwindled down in the past 15 years)
Scranton's Shops
300 CT-169
Antiquing in Woodstock is pure pleasure and we always find something to suit our fancy. Fortunately, Scranton's is standing strong, as several others we loved have closed (we can no longer visit 3-4-5 antique stores as we used to, especially when we had visitors...). But, we spotted a new one that just opened and will check it out soon. In any case, Woodstock remains more affordable and more fun than more famous antique shops in the area... (which have unfortunately also dwindled down in the past 15 years)
Very nice garden store with everything you may need, and friendly advice.
Sprucedale Gardens Greenhouse & Nursery
20 E Quasset Rd
Very nice garden store with everything you may need, and friendly advice.
Carla Manzi is wonderful at running this business; she single-handedly revived Webster Lake Souvenirs & Memorabilia; our family has been thrilled to find items that had no longer been available for decades. Plus new goodies every year! We go there several times a summer and love bringing friends and family. We never walk out without a new item and use everything with great pleasure!
Webster Lake Gifts
154 Thompson Rd
Carla Manzi is wonderful at running this business; she single-handedly revived Webster Lake Souvenirs & Memorabilia; our family has been thrilled to find items that had no longer been available for decades. Plus new goodies every year! We go there several times a summer and love bringing friends and family. We never walk out without a new item and use everything with great pleasure!
Very nice farm store with seasonal ‘pick-your-own'.
Woodstock Orchards
494 CT-169
Very nice farm store with seasonal ‘pick-your-own'.
We love their products! A must during your stay at Cedar Ridge for all your dairy needs, and more….
Woodstock Creamery at Valleyside Farm
210 Child Hill Road
We love their products! A must during your stay at Cedar Ridge for all your dairy needs, and more….