Monday, May 13, 2013

A Day Trip for the Senses

Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, MA
As mentioned in our last "Top 10 Things To Do" list, a great day trip or side trip from the Monadnock region is the Mohawk Trail area in western Massachusetts.  And one approach to this trip would be to make it a "Day Trip for the Senses" and include visits to Yankee Candle, Kringle Candle and The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls (in season).

When it comes to candles, Yankee Candle is probably one of the most well-known names, and their original flagship village in South Deerfield, MA is a New England destination for many.  In addition to 400,000 candles in over 200 scents, you’ll find a year-round Bavarian village where Christmas is celebrated every day, hands-on candlemaking, a Yankee Candle Home store, and fine-dining at Chandler’s Restaurant.  Very nearby are other destinations including Historic Deerfield, an open-air living history museum, and Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory.

Founded in 2009, Kringle Candle is a newcomer in the world or candles, but they’ve been making quite a splash with unique scents and contemporary style.  Founded by the Mick Kittredge, son of Yankee Candle founder Mike Kittredge, Kringle Candle has been building their own village in Bernardston, MA, not far off Route 91, just south of the Vermont border.  Their village comprised of multiple buildings on both sided of Route 5 including a candle shop, Christmas Barn, the Farm Table Restaurant, and Chocolate Cottage.  When I was there in the fall, I grabbed a bite to eat at their outdoor cafe that serves quick sandwiches, treats and beverages to go and sat outside enjoying the sunny day.  As for their candles, they feature robust, realistic candle fragrances in all-white candles (so you don't have to worry about whether your favorite scent matches your decor) and many of the scents are food-related, everything from Cranberry Scone and Blueberry Muffin to Fresh Baked Bread and Frosted Cake. Yum!
Kringle Candle, Bernardston, MA
Shelburne Falls is a quaint little village along the scenic and historic Mohawk Trail (Route 2) in Massachusetts (about 8 miles from I-91).   It is home to artists, a natural feature in the Deerfield River called Glacial Potholes, the ShelburneFalls Trolley Museum, and the Bridge of Flowers.  The Bridge of Flowers was originally a trolley bridge built in 1908, but by 1927 the railway company went bankrupt, unable to keep up with modern progress such as the invention of the automobile.  Quickly, the unused bridge became overrun with weeds, but in 1928, a town resident had the idea to turn the weed-filled "eyesore" into a bridge of flowers.  By 1929, with funds raised by the Shelburne Falls Women's Club, the project was in motion.  Now, in season, this former "eyesore" is absolutely stunning!  Filled with beautiful, fragrant flowers and mature trees, it is a treat for all... including the birds and bees.

Depending on the amount of time you spend shopping or doing other activities, you could easily visit all three locations in one day!  You’ll want to consider the order in which you visit though, since Kringle Candle is the most north of the destinations, Yankee Candle is the farthest south, and Shelburne Falls is in between (and a little west).