Welcome to Massachusetts - Berkshires/Pioneer Valley/Mohawk Trail
Berkshires: Sophisticated towns; music, theater, outdoor fun
The western part of Massachusetts is known at the Berkshires region, for its north-south Berkshire Mountains range, and also by its historic identities as the Pioneer Valley and the Mohawk Trail. It is a place of sophisticated small towns and college towns, great performance art and fine museums, outdoor sports in the mountains and state parks, and a vigorous antique-trading community.
Music, Performance, Art
Cultural life of the Berkshires is rich. Tanglewood, in Lenox, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It welcomes world-class musicians and performers. The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington is a year-round cultural center. The Jacobs Pillow dance festival is held yearly in Becket. Stockbridge is home to the popular Norman Rockwell Museum, with original Norman Rockwell art and seasonal events. In North Adams, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) charms visitors with visual and performing arts.
Where to Stay
With its natural beauty and lots of cultural happenings, the Berkshires region is a natural for couples ready to enjoy a romantic getaway. Among the many delightful lodgings are new boutique hotels like the award-winning Hotel on North in Pittsfield. At the same time, family friendly lodgings like Berkshire Fairfield Inn & Suites and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, which make is easy for families to get their fill of outdoor sports like hiking and skiing, along with the region’s many festivals and wonderful dining and shopping. Area resorts, like Cranwell and Ponds at Foxhollow, place you in the lap of luxury, with golf, spas, and white-glove service.
Families & Children
The city of Springfield has plenty of activity for families. The Springfield Museum complex includes art, history, and science museums along with the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden, honoring this native son’s beloved characters. Sports fans enjoy the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Zoo in Forest Park in Springfield has lot of ways to meet exotic animals. A bit north, in the town of Amherst, is the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Kids and families enjoy visiting the towns of Historic Deerfield in Deerfield and Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield.
Several ski areas, including Berkshire East, Jiminy Peak, and Butternut, are family-friendly and a bit less overwhelming that the big ski resorts farther north. There is white water rafting on the Deerfield River near Charlemont, with guides and rentals that welcome beginner to hard-body rafters. Several places offer zip line and canopy tours. The region has a wide assortment of state parks that welcome all kinds of outdoor activities, summer and winter.
Shopping and Dining
The corner of the Berkshires region around the towns of Williamstown, Great Barrington, Sheffield, and Lenox is considered a national-caliber hot spot for fine antique shopping, driven by the collective expertise of the Berkshire County Antiques & Art Dealer Association. The Berkshires generally is a place where well-heeled visitors, creative people, and college communities come together; college towns include Williamstown, North Adams, Amherst, and Northampton. With such a dense cluster of sophisticated locals and visitors, you can be sure that interesting shopping and good dining can be found in nearly every town.
- Fireside Chats at The Fireplace - Brookline, MA
- Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections - Boston, MA
- Salem Holiday Happenings 2016 - Salem, MA
- “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens - Norwell, MA
- Christmas by Candlelight 2016 at Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
- December 2016 at Historic Deerfield - Deerfield, MA
- Gardens Aglow 2016 at Heritage Museums and Gardens - Sandwich, MA
- “A Christmas Story: The Musical “ - Nantucket, MA
- Nantucket Festival of Trees 2016 - Nantucket, MA
- Holiday Pops 2016 with the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus - Boston, MA
- “The Nutcracker” with Boston Ballet - Boston, MA
- The Tinseliner Christmas Train Excursion with Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum - North Adams, MA
- Cellist Zuill Bailey with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra - Cambridge and Boston, MA
- Carol Singing at the Carousel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway - Boston, MA
- Blink! Sound & Light Show 2016 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace - Boston, MA
- ZooLights 2016 at Stone Zoo - Stoneham, MA
- Old Deerfield Holiday Sampler Craft Fair 2016 - West Springfield, MA
- Massed Media Exhibit at MFA - Boston, MA
- Now Playing: Festival of Trees 2016 - Pittsfield, MA
- Winter Reimagined 2016 at Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Worcester, MA
- Snowmazing! -- Sock Skating & “A Year With Frog and Toad” - Boston, MA
- Christmas Around the World Concerts with Pilgrim Festival Chorus - Middleborough, Plymuth, Duxbury, MA
- Sparklefest 2016 in Harvard Square - Cambridge, MA
- Christmas Festival of Lights 2016 at Edaville USA - Carver, MA