The very scenic and rural area affectionately termed, “The Berkshires”, by all New Yorkers is a region in the mountains of western Massachusetts. The region is made up of small villages and towns that are all comprised of family run farms and general stores. Outdoor activities can be enjoyed during every season. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the snow and cold so I probably won’t be making the trek from the city to the mountains to see the crystal beds of snow. I know, I know, it’s beautiful and the Shakers (historically religious group) do a great snow shoe tour through the mountains in the winter! I’m still not going. It’s too cold.
I am there for the breezy summers and fantastic fall foliage though. Let us not forget the farm-to-table food scene and thriving arts institutions. We visited a few family farms for fresh fruits and veggies. I ate tomatoes like they were cherries. I shopped at the outlet and we also took a phenomenal visit to the Norman Rockwell museum. The pieces are a must see.
Where to Stay:
While driving to an adjacent town, Lenox, from Pittsfield, we drove past the Marriott Courtyard. Listen Linda, listen. This hotel is perched atop a small hill and it is gorgeous. It appears to be brand spanking new and had luxury written all over her. I did not go inside not did I stay there but I was wowed by what I saw whilst driving.
We stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel and the location was good. It is located in the town of Pittsfield. It is right along the main street and the Berkshire Museum is right across the street from the hotel. The downside is the hotel rooms are a bit dated. The room felt old. The lighting was poor and the wallpaper takes you back to “Family Ties” days. It’s great if you aren’t picky with the hotel room:
What to Do:
I am a big art fan so the fact that a Norman Rockwell, an American legend, was nearby meant we had to make a visit. The grounds that the museum is built on is stunning. There is rolling green grass everywhere. You have an amazing view of the Appalachian mountains and not only do you get to see Rockwell’s art, you also get a peek at his actual studio where he made his art. The museum is located in the town of Stockbridge, MA.
Rockwell lived in the town of Stockbridge and had his studio on their Main Street. He painted people from Stockbridge in many of his most famous pieces. Take the tour with the docent. You won’t regret it.
I like to shop so the Lee Premium Outlet was perfect way to spend the evening. It isn’t a really big and overwhelming outlet and had the outlet basics like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet and Nike.
Honestly, there is no way to not see small family farms as you drive through the towns. Stop in and patronize.
Where to Eat:
On our way to the Norman Rockwell Museum, we stopped off at the Red Lion Inn for lunch. The Inn is large and there is a great big porch when rocking chairs (all full) lining the porch. The decor is a mix of Victorian and turn of the century swag. The food was fresh and good.
Plan your own visit to New England but first visit http://berkshires.org/ to plan your own itinerary.