I never got into bowling. My parents brought us as kids, and they were on bowling teams, but I wasn’t any good and never developed an interest in it. Same story with Jeff. So in the seven years of our relationship, we had never been bowling together! Fancy that. We were on a day trip to the lovely town of Shelburne Falls and there was a bowling alley. I wouldn’t have even turned my head if it was a regular one, but this specific spot was special, unique. I was intrigued. Walk through the narrow brick ally and tucked behind Main Street you will find Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley [43 Bridge Street Shelburne Falls, MA], which has been open since 1906.
It is one of the oldest bowling alleys in the country, but history is not all that makes it different. This particular spot has candlepin bowling.
The interesting variation of bowling has three main differences from your normal game. You get three balls per frame, the balls are smaller and they have no holes, and the pins are thinner.
We arrived just as the place was opening and had it to ourselves for a short while, but it would fill up over our stay. There are just a few lanes, so to make sure you get one, be early!
The friendly attendant went over the rules with us and got us our shoes. Instead of paying by game you pay by the hour or half hour here, and it is quite affordable. We picked the corner lane where out of the window we spotted Salmon Falls. Beer and bowling go together like peanut butter and jelly, so you might be happy to know there are local beers available.
After a few rounds the day was getting on and there was more to see in town. We reluctantly passed up the arcade games and hit the road.
Whether you love bowling or you don’t, a visit to Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley is a really great novelty. It is a perfect element to add to your day in town for a half an hour, or an afternoon!