A National Treasure, a Massachusetts Landmark
The Wayside Inn property is located within The Wayside Inn Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of nine historic buildings situated on just over 100 idyllic acres in the town of Sudbury, Massachusetts. The centerpiece and namesake of the property is Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, a Massachusetts landmark and America’s oldest operating inn, which has been providing food, beverages, and lodging to guests since 1716. Originally known as How's tavern, and later also as the Red Horse Tavern, the Inn was immortalized by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic work, Tales of a Wayside Inn, published in 1863 – and was thereafter forever rechristened “Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.”
In addition to over ten historic dining rooms serving classic New England cuisine with gracious hospitality, the Inn features three period-style museum rooms, exhibiting objects related to colonial life in a rural farming community, as well as exhibit cases with artifacts pertaining to the How family who operated this inn for four generations from 1716 to 1861.
During a period of ownership by the American industrialist Henry Ford from 1923 to 1945, the property was substantially expanded and many new structures were added, including the iconic Grist Mill, the stunning Martha-Mary Chapel, and the re-located and much loved Redstone School House of believed Mary Had a Little Lamb fame.
In 1945, The Wayside Inn property was placed into nonprofit organization (The Wayside Inn Foundation) by the Ford family to be preserved for posterity. However, no endowment was provided for the property, and it was left to rely on hospitality revenue and charitable contributions to survive.
Today, we invite you to enjoy fine dining in one of our historic rooms, stay the weekend, or bring your family to enjoy a quiet walk through one of New England's finest historic sites. We encourage visitors to take advantage of the unstructured layout of our village-like property and learn about our buildings and explore our grounds using our Property Map and Self-Guided Walking Tour. Plenty of parking is available at our three main buildings, The Inn, The Grist Mill, and The Martha-Mary Chapel. Be sure to check out our upcoming events before your visit, and please call well in advance for restaurant or lodging reservations, as we are frequently booked around special holidays and peak seasons (spring and fall).
The Wayside Inn property is a private, non-profit landmark property, the use and protection of which is overseen by a board of trustees and managed by a professional staff. We kindly request that visitors respect our buildings and grounds so they can be enjoyed for future generations.
We look forward to your visit.