Food And Drink In The Berkshires
You might not think of the Berkshires as a culinary destination but wait until you see what this place has to offer! Some of my favorite experiences in the Berkshires involved the fabulous local cuisine.
Be sure to double-check the opening hours, because many places are closed Monday through Wednesday.
Top Reasons To Visit The Berkshires In September
You may call it September, but we call it the insiders secret to a perfect vacation in the Berkshires. If youre looking for a relaxing escape from the city or planning a romantic getaway, then the transition from summer to fall is a wonderful time to visit our bed and breakfast near Lenox, MA. Not only will you be greeted with exceptional accommodations, a delicious daily breakfast, and gracious hospitality but youll get to enjoy all of the top attractions our area has to offer. Its the perfect time to squeeze in a trip between the crowded summer season and fall color craziness.
Best Time To Visit The Berkshires
Most people say that the best time to visit the Berkshires is either the summer or the fall. The summer because its when the most events are on Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, all the theater performances and the fall is when you get the best foliage.
Keep in mind that the absolute busiest time in the Berkshires is during summer and fall weekends. You can expect big crowds and high prices with both peaking on the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.
If youre looking to experience the best foliage in the Berkshires, time your visit from late September through mid-October. Columbus Day is usually pretty solid for foliage. Though its always a smart idea to check an almanac as this can vary from year to year.
I visited the Berkshires in mid-May and it was a surprisingly good time to visit. There were no performances going on, but the weather was absolutely glorious it was actually much sunnier and warmer than Boston!
Winter is a slow and quiet time of year but this is a great time to visit the Berkshires if youre looking to ski, snowshoe, or bundle up by the fireplace.
Keep in mind that early spring in New England is mud season and most if not all of April falls into this category. Spring hits later here than many parts of the US.
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Things To Do In Lenox Ma Attractions
A short walk from the inn will find you in the historic village of Lenox, the heart of culture in the Berkshires. Shop the appealing boutiques, discover antique treasures and fine art in its many galleries, and dine in the towns splendid restaurants. Tour the Ventfort Hall Mansion & Gilded Age Museum, buy a new outfit at MacKimmie Co , or grab an ice cream cone at The Scoop. Even better, do all three in a row!
The Lenox Library is a historic landmark, hosted in a 200-year-old courthouse building since 1874. The library itself has a rich history, from its famous visitors to its special collections, featuring the Tanglewood Papers. The Lenox Library also hosts modern youth programs and a distinguished lecture series, which keep the library active in the community while also continuing a tradition in furthering the literary and intellectual.
The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a wonderful facility that offers stress relief from the exhaustion of day-to-day life. There are a variety of classes offered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health that focus on yoga, ayurveda, creative expression, fitness and wellness, self-discovery and psychology, and spiritual practice and inquiry.
Get Active At The Adventure Parks
The Berkshires are action-packed in the winter, but there are plenty of top things to do in The Berkshires in the summer, as well. Adventure parks, for one, make for an adrenaline-fueled day for the whole family.
Let’s start with Ramblewild in Lanesborough, a tree-to-tree adventure park in Feronia Forest. This aerial park has eight aerial obstacle courses that are perched high above the ground in the forest canopy. Intrepid travelers can wander through the trees at this lofty height, experience the courses’ many different elements, from high wires and zip lines to rope ladders, cargo nets, suspended bridges, and more.
Catamount’s ski area makes the most out of the non-ski season with an aerial adventure park, as well. The Catamount Aerial Adventure Park has 12 aerial trails that wind their way through the lush forest. Cross bridges, climb ladders, and zoom down zip lines all in the forested park at the base of the mountain.
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Williams College Museum Of Arts
Another museum showcasing beautiful and unbelievable displays of arts and craft, the Williams College Museum of Art is a property located on the campus of the Williams College.
The place is the central hub for students to learn about discipline and intricacies of art and architecture. The place has a collection of more than 14,000 artworks which would blow your mind is away.
The college Museum of Art also organises events and workshops which include Visual as well as physical performances of arts. To put in simple words, this place is an artists delight and antique pleasure.
Fall Activities In The Berkshires
When it comes to fall activities in the Berkshires, were often voted one of the top places in America for fall foliage and for good reason. As summer fades and cooler temperatures take over, the mountains come alive with brilliant colors that just may leave you speechless. And well let you in on a little local secret: October is peak fall foliage time in the Berkshires.
You may be asking yourself So beyond leaf-peeping, what is there to do in the Berkshires during the fall? Aside from the myriad of fall events to enjoy, visitors can expect to find some of the most fun fall activities and attractions in all of Massachusetts. Allow us to share with you some of our favorite ideas for fall activities in the Berkshires.
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Other Activities If You Have More Time
The Berkshires is a large region, and its impossible to do everything in a weekend. Here are some other ideas of things to do if you have more time, or are just looking for alternatives:
- Visit a farm to pick apples, corn, or berries . The Berkshires is a rural region after all, so it makes sense to spend some time on a farm.
- Check out the Retro Pop Shop. This store is technically in Lee, one of the towns I recommended visiting, but its far out from the town center. I only saw this shop when driving by, and really wanted to turn around and take a look around. According to reviews, youll find tons of retro signs/posters and quirky objects.
- Go to Charles H. Baldwin and Sons. A local friend recommended this store to me, but it was a little out of the way in West Stockbridge. The shop is best known for its vanilla extract and other extracts and spices. Youll also find local candy, toys, and souvenirs.
Things To Do In The Berkshires With Kids
The Berkshires may be associated with romantic escapes and girls’ getaways, but make no mistake: This hilly, charming region of western Massachusetts is a great choice for a family getaway. With breathtaking nature trails, waterfalls, mountains, quirky museums, and welcoming farms dotting the region, the Berkshires offer something for all kids, especially ones who appreciate the outdoors and the arts. We’ve narrowed down our 25 favorite things to do in the Berkshires as a family.
Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall shines at dusk. Photo by Steve Rosenthal
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Top 5 Things To Do In The Berkshires In November
November in the Berkshires shines as a wonderful time to explore the hills and valleys of western Massachusetts. Although most people consider the summer months as the premier time to visit, the fall offers just as much fun and excitement. Theres a chill in the air, and the holidays loom, but cozying up in a fireplace room at the Devonfield Inn offers an irresistible sense of contentment. Book a pre-holiday getaway and try one of our top 5 things to do in the Berkshires in November.
Take Advantage Of Our Low Rates
Not only is September the most relaxing time of the year to visit, its also the most affordable one. Skip the regular hotels in Massachusetts, and opt to stay at our affordable bed and breakfast during your midweek escape from Boston, New York, or Philadelphia. If youre planning to celebrate a special occasion, we offer a variety of specials and packages to help make planning easy.
We look forward to hosting you during your visit to the Berkshires this September!
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Visit Shops And Museums Without The Crowds
The location of our romantic inn is conveniently close to all of the fun places to go near Lee, MA. It offers easy access to all of the upscale shops, specialty stores, antiques malls and galleries in our quaint town. Nearby, youll also find botanical gardens, historic homes, as well as first-class museums all of which are much easier to maneuver through without so many tourists in town.
Most Breathtaking Places To Experience Fall In The Berkshires
Fall in The Berkshires is an experience not to be missed.
After all, I should know. I almost missed it.
Despite the fact that New Englands become my go-to travel region, I was late to hop The Berkshires bandwagon.
Plus, I was fortunate to get my foliage fix in Woodstock, so I never envisioned venturing south for autumn amusements.
It wasnt until I saw fantastic foliage photos on Instagram that my curiosity was piqued.
While Woodstock in autumn undoubtedly has its charms, I can officially say its hard to top fall in The Berkshires.
In fact, I was smitten after just one day trip to this stunning western Massachusetts region.
Since I couldnt resist sharing these irresistible autumn gems, here are the cant-miss spots for your Berkshires itinerary.
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A Perfect Fall Weekend In The Berkshires
A mountain destination resplendent with culture, scenery, and eclectic hotels, the area of Western Massachusetts known as the Berkshires is particularly lovely in the fall, with foliage reaching peak in mid-October. While its a well-known, well-loved weekend escape for residents of New York and Boston, the rural region feels a bit more off the beaten path to many who live in other parts of the countrybut that’s beginning to change, and for good reason.
Comprising 30 towns and two cities, North Adams and Pittsfield, the Berkshires region started to develop during the Gilded Age in the late 19th century, when industrialists began to leave New York City to build their mansions in the Berkshire Mountains, about 150 miles to the north. Famous writers, such as Edith Wharton and Herman Melville, followed. When the Boston Symphony Orchestra opened Tanglewood in the town of Lenox some 85 years ago, it unofficially put the Berkshires on the map. Then modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn founded what would become the acclaimed Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, solidifying the regions future as a cultural mecca.
The Berkshires are easily accessible from Hartford, Albany, and Boston airports, all within a scenic few hours drive. When it comes to packing, leave your suits and stilettos at home comfortable shoes do double duty for museum tours and hiking. Get ready for adventure, because youve got a lot of ground to cover.
Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall.
The Clark Art Institute.
Pitch A Tent At The Foot Of The Mountains
If youre hoping to camp near the Mt. Greylock area, you have two options for campsites:
Mt. Greylock Campsite ParkWe ended up staying in this campsite at the foot of Mt. Greylock. Its owned by the sweetest older couple, and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. It costs around $40 for a pond campsite for one night, and $35 for a regular campsite. We stayed at the pond, which had the loveliest view.
If you like fishing, the owners even provide poles to borrow and worms for free. There just happened to be a bonfire the night we arrived, and they also provided free ingredients and equipment to make smores. The next morning, we were also treated to free coffee and pumpkin bread, which had been baked by the couples friend.
If you come in the summer, they even have an outdoor pool. In all seasons, they have a rec room with tons of board games and free wifi. The bathrooms were also very clean, and the other campers were friendly.
If camping isnt your thing, there are also tons of cute cabins and apartment rentals. Heres a log cabin on the lake in the woods, a stone cottage on the way to Mt. Greylock, and a charming two-bed apartment in Lee. If you prefer hotels, here are the top-rated ones.
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How To Get To The Berkshires
You really need a car to visit the Berkshires. Everything requires driving. Even if you base in a town like Stockbridge, you need to drive to the local attractions.
Most people drive to the Berkshires. Depending on where you base, its about a 2:15-2:45 drive from Boston and a 2:45-3:15 drive from New York City.
If youre flying to the Berkshires, the closest major airport is in Albany, about a 45 minute drive from Stockbridge. There are also bus and train connections to Pittsfield.
Dine At The Best Restaurants Without The Wait
Whether youre looking for a casual pub to enjoy with friends, or a fine dining restaurant for a romantic rendezvous youll find it in our historic town. Check out our recommended restaurants in Lee, MA and the surrounding areas. Were always happy to personally recommend a great place to eat and help with reservations if necessary!
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Mount Greylock State Reservation
Visiting the summit of the 3,489-foot Mount Greylock will see you standing on the highest point in Massachusetts. If you choose a really clear day the views are amazing and you could be able to see as far as 90 miles over five states. If you love views but hate hiking there is good news you can drive all the way up to the summit during the summer months and if you feel particularly energetic you can climb up to the top of the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Tower. Hikers can follow several trails to the top of the mountain the shortest route takes around 90 minutes but most people opt for a comfortable half or full-day hike. If you visit during the autumn you will have the added bonus of spectacular fall foliage.
Mount Greylock Reservation, 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesborough, MA 01237, Phone: 413-499-4262
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Hiking Gear I Recommend
If youre planning to shop on Amazon, I have some affiliate links for products that I use and love. If you want to avoid Amazon, consider shopping instead at REI or Dicks Sporting Goods or buying from a small, local shop.
Trekking polesThese are helpful for hikes with significant elevation gain, as they take some strain off of your legs they also have kept me from falling on steep descents. I use Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles. Theyre pricey at $110, but I really wanted high-quality, lightweight Z-fold poles since I was hoping to use them for trail races. If Black Diamond is out of your budget, these Foxelli poles and Paria poles are well-reviewed. I didnt feel that I needed poles on the hike I did, but
Hiking bootsI purchased Clorts boots a few years ago since they were the most affordable hiking boots I saw on Amazon . The model I got back then is now unavailable, but this pair looks similar , and has more ankle support than mine.
Hydration packI didnt bring my hydration vest on this hike, but I use this Triwonder one for my trail runs and shorter hikes. I like that it doubles as a small backpack at 10L, has a phone pocket on the left chest, and lets me secure my poles on the back with the adjustable elastic. You also get a free emergency blanket and whistle with the pack.
I hope this gives you a better idea of things to do in the Berkshires! Be sure to take proper precautions, and enjoy the beautiful region.
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