Gardner is a city of 21,000 people (2019) in Massachusetts. Gardner is known as the "Chair City" and "The Furniture Capital of New England", due to its long history in furniture production.
Named in honor of Col. Thomas Gardner, the community was settled by Europeans in 1764 and incorporated as a town in 1785 after receiving land grants from the surrounding towns of Ashburnham, Westminster, Templeton and Winchendon. Dating from about 1805, it became a center for lumber and furniture industries. By 1910 it had 20 chair factories which produced 4 million chairs per year. It was also noted for silversmithing. The Gardner State Colony for the Insane pioneered the use of cottage residences. Gardner was incorporated as a city in 1923.
Route 2 West From Alewife station in Cambridge will take you right to Gardner.
If you're coming from the south, I-190 North to Route 2 West will bring you to Gardner.
From the West Route 2 East goes from the New York border in Williamstown to Gardner.
The closest commuter rail station to Gardner is the Wachusett Commuter Rail Station. From the station State Route 2 West will take you to Gardner.
The best way to get around Gardner and the surrounding region is by car.
There is some bus service in and around the area provided by The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority it's rather limited though.
- 1 Dunn State Park, 289 Pearl St, ☏ . Sunrise-sunset. Parking $15/day, MA residents $8.
- 2 Lake Wampanoag Wildlife Sanctuary. Dawn-dusk.
- 3 West Gardner Square Historic District. Downtown Gardner was developed as an industrial site beginning in the early 19th century. The area now boasts a concentration of late 19th and early 20th century commercial, civic, and industrial architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
- 4 The Gardner Museum, 28 Pearl Street. Historic library building. It was given in honor of Levi Heywood, a prominent figure in the city's economically important chair manufacturing industry.It now houses The Gardner Museum which is dedicated to the city's history.
- Smith's Country Cheese, 20 Otter River Rd, Winchendon, ☏ . Award-winning Gouda, Cheddar, and Havarti.
- Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave, Phillipston, MA 01331, ☏ . Enjoy apple picking, cider, donuts, and local products at this orchard in the fall. Red Apple Farm is a big operation and gets very busy in the peak fall tourist season. So busy that they need parking attendants to direct the traffic. You can pick apples, take a hay ride, or feed some farm animals. The farm store sells a dizzying array of locally made products, most made right at the farm (jams, baked goods, syrup, cider, popcorn). They provide lots of free samples to entice you to buy. A cider doughnut is an essential fall experience. Outside, they have a grill and fire pit where you can order burgers, hot dogs, and a few BBQ options which you can eat in the covered picnic area.
- 1 Mount Watatic. At 1,831 ft, is the second highest mountain in Massachusetts east of the Berkshires. Trailhead is off of MA 119 in Ashburnham
- Priscilla Candy Shop, 4 Main St, Gardner, ☏ . Third generation candymaker founded in 1936. Known for their "French Roll."
- Terrapin Traders, 302 Central St, Gardner, ☏ . Store in Downtown area with a selection of goods, crafts, gifts, clothing, books and a wide selection of New Age items.
- Wal-Mart, 677 Timpany Blvd, Gardner, ☏ . Multinational retail chain
- Blue Moon Diner, 102 Main St, Gardner, ☏ . Worcester Lunch Car Company diner #815, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Classic diner food.
- Gardner Ale House, 74 Parker St, Gardner, ☏ . Bustling brewpub with eclectic comfort fare, microbrews & live music in a rustic, all-brick room.
- Blueprint American Bar & Grill, 9 Village Sq, Westminster, ☏ . A bit off the beaten path, this bar in a strip mall has one of the best beer selections in the region.
- [dead link] Wachusett Brewing Company, 175 State Road East, Westminster, ☏ . The region's largest brewery. Samples are offered in the tasting room and they give free tours on Saturday.
- 1 Levi Heywood Memorial Library, 55 W Lynde St (The Mart bus has a stop at the library.), ☏ . M Tu 9AM-5PM, W 10AM-9PM, Th 9AM-5PM, F Sa 9AM-1PM, closed Sunday. Free.
If you head north you can take in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, and hike MT Monadnock.
Take Route 2 East to 190 South and head to the second-most populous city in New England Worcester.
Head west out of Gardner on Route 2 West and experience The Mohawk Trail one of the first Scenic auto-touring roads in the country.
If you take Route 2 West to 202 South you can go see the Quabbin Valley, and the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, the Quabbin Reservoir.
|Routes through Gardner|
|Greenfield ← Jct S N → Gill ←||W E||→ Westminster → Fitchburg|
|END ← Jct N S ←||N S||→ Westminster → Shrewsbury|