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495, Worcester and north--orchards and lunch close to the highway?

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We're going to be driving from NY to Maine a lot in the coming years (our daughter just started college at Bates). I posted some of our Maine finds on the Northern NE board but wanted to check in about this stretch of the drive, too.

This time we stopped at Carlson Orchards in Harvard. www.carlsonorchards.com Nice people and delicious fresh Paula Red apples. We're wondering about all the other orchards in the area. Do any also serve coffee and maybe sandwiches or muffins?

Also, Dunkin Donuts proliferate along the road, but are there any local coffee houses I should know about, or even Starbucks, which we prefer to DD?

We've gotten off at random exits and poked around for some good local places but haven't found much so far. Any tips? And I'll keep posting in the coming months. Thanks.

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  1. Well I'm a Colby grad but I'll reply anyhow...
    :-)
    Try Bolton. Two orchards: Bolton Spring and Bolton Orchards. A nice place to get a bite and coffee is Bolton Orchards or Great Brook Farm.

    You may also be interested in Nashoba Winery and Orchard in Bolton and their more upscale J's restaurant.

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    Bolton Orchards
    PO Box 305, Bolton, MA 01740

    4 Replies
    1. re: madisoneats

      Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated even from a Colby grad. :)
      We will definitely check them out, maybe even on our next visit at the end of the month.

      1. re: madisoneats

        Great Brook Farm is now a BBQ place called Slater's. Off the same Bolton exit is Colonial Candies, which has lots of chocolate, good ice cream and a make your own sundae bar. Also off that same exit are three other orchards: Honeypot, Shelburne Farms and Carver Hill, all in Stow, which is the next to Bolton on Rt 117 E. Carver Hill is pretty much an orchard with a small shop, while the other two are more touristy and child-oriented. A couple exits north on 495 is Westford, where you will find Kimball's. Very good ice cream (huge cones), a cafe and outside grill with popular lobster rolls. A bit further south on 495 is the Rt 20 Marlboro exit where you will find a Starbucks.

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        Colonial Candies
        47 Sugar Rd, Bolton, MA 01740

        1. re: madisoneats

          We visited Bolton Orchards this time and loved the apples (Cortland) but the real treat was the hermit cookies--wow! Really delicious. They were thinner than I'm used to, but still chewy and full of spice. The fact that they were thinner made it possible to eat twice as many. :) Highly recommended! Thanks for the tip about stopping here.

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          Bolton Orchards
          PO Box 305, Bolton, MA 01740

        2. Mann Orchards, 27 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen Ma, has great apples and wonderful apple pie.

          1. If you like Carlson's enough to go back, the Harvard General store just down the road at the intersection of 110/111 has George Howell coffee by the cup. They also have some assorted baked goods.

            Pick up coffee there and then go apple picking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: steve999

              Thanks, everyone. Turns out we'll be doing this drive two times in the next three weeks so we'll have a chance to check out several of your recommendations.