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Visiting the Grafton MA Hilltop Village Downtown District
"The Next Best Thing to a Classic Vermont Village Green Town"
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Grafton MA, a hilltop village
The Grafton Hilltop Village business district and church.

Article and photos by Eric H.

The Grafton, Mass., historic hilltop district looks more like a classic Vermont village green town than a border town to Worcester -- the second most populated city in New England. For a Boston area resident like me, visiting downtown Grafton is a nice option if not wanting to travel three hours to Vermont.

Walking around the circular town common with a gazebo, benches and American flags draped around the entire village green gate prompted memories of a recent trip I made to famous Weston, Vt. -- best known for the Vermont Country Store, a quintessential Vermont town common and small town life that best represents the Vermont Way of Life. The only thing missing are the mountains!

The Grafton way of life is pretty nice, too.  I saw three churches and numerous old historic homes framing the village green, as well as the Grafton Country Store, the historic Grafton Inn, Grafton Historical Society and specialty shops like Peggy's Place Boutique and Apple Tree Arts. I was so impressed by the look and feel of the town that I walked the town common several times, simultaneously enjoying this moment of New England small town travel bliss and rubbing my eyes in disbelief that I was in Vermont without being in Vermont.

Strange as it sounds with its Worcester border location, but one could easily spend a relaxing country-like weekend getaway in downtown Grafton. The Grafton Inn not only offers a charming, historic setting for lodging, but also a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner -- and a cozy outdoor dining patio in the summer. They make a terrific chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, baked salmon, caesar salad, and New England clam chowder! The old-time Grafton Country Store is an authentic country store with jams and jellies, candles, specialty soaps, toys and games, jewelry, clocks, home decor items, and even a cafe overlooking the town common with baked goods, gourmet coffee and gelato. Add a layer of specialty stores and the village green district ideal for walking and you have a quiet, but wonderful New England getaway.

Here are some photos of the historic hilltop district...

Grafton Country Store Grafton MA
Grafton Country Store

Grafton Inn, Grafton MA
The historic Grafton Inn

Grafton Village Green, Grafton MA
The Grafton village green

Grafton Village Green, Grafton MA

The Grafton Town Common features paved walkways for an ideal walking experience.

Downtown Grafton MA
Another perspective: the business district and church in downtown Grafton.
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