Interesting things to do fill your trip to the Berkshires, Pioneer & Mohawk valleys
This historic region offers a wealth of memorable
and activities framed by breathtaking natural beauty. The Berkshires feature year-round culture, recreation, and adventure in quaint towns like Stockbridge, Lenox, and Williamstown, while North Adams has the fabulous Museum of Contemporary Art. There is no shortage of places to
, shop, and dine. Great ziplines and canopy tours are here; for all-day fun, visit Look Park with a zoo, lake, water spray park, 18 holes of miniature golf and six tennis courts. In winter, family-friendly skiing and other snow sports are just a short walk uphill.
66 Thunder Mountain Road
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Featured by USA Today as one of the Top Ten Zip Lines of the United States!
Berkshire East is New England's largest zip destination with three tours to choose from. The Base Tour is our introductory course… give zipping a try! Then move on to fabulous views of the valley on the Mountain Top Tour. Mountain Top zipping is a great family experience and summer memory.
Ready for tour number three? The Valley Jump is fun to the extreme. You will love it. Two 1/2 long mile zips, approaching 200' off the ground. This tour has been featured in the Washington Post.
Come, fly above the tree tops!
247 Stockbridge Road (Route 7)
Great Barrington, MA, 01230
Make this heart-of-the-Berkshires hotel your base camp for endless adventure
Oh, the places you’ll go in the Berkshires – and all from your comfy, affordable room at the Monument Mountain Motel in Great Barrington. Hike up the hotel’s namesake and gaze in awe at the unending colors of autumn; in winter, ski with the kids at the Butternut Ski Area; take a summer tour or watch an open rehearsal at Tanglewood; stroll along the Housatonic River boardwalk. Don’t miss the concerts at the Guthrie Center and Foundation, inspiration for “Alice’s Restaurant,” or the latest installations at the prestigious Clarke Art Institute. Get in the holiday spirit in picture-postcard Stockbridge, go antiquing in the area’s numerous quintessential New England towns (or celebrate the spirit of those towns at the Norman Rockwell Museum).
Lenox, MA, 01240
Endless adventure and recreation in a Berkshires vacation
The Berkshire Hills has it all. And you can have it too at this magnificent and secluded resort set on a picturesque 223 acre estate. Your home away from home can be a one or two bedroom condominium with master bathroom and Jacuzzi, a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, living and dining areas, sleeper sofa, television, stereo, DVD player and a deck overlooking the pond. Right outside your door are gas barbecue grills, tennis, shuffleboard, bocce courts, a playground, indoor and outdoor pools, exercise room with hot tub and sauna, rowboats and canoes, trails for walking and cross country skiing. Within a short drive, enjoy Berkshire’s history, art, music, old inns and taverns, great food and shopping. Breathtaking mountain scenery included.
372 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA, 01230
No boring moments during your comfortable stay in the Berkshires
Think of the Berkshire Days Inn, a comfortable hotel that is but a brief walk from historic downtown Great Barrington, as Point A. Points B through Z are all the nearby activities you can choose from. Go antiquing through quaint Berkshire towns, ski at Catamount, stroll through the Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Hancock Shaker Village or along the fascinating Housatonic River Walk. Marvel at MASSMoca or the Gilded Age Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, admire the offerings at the Norman Rockwell Museum or Clarke Art Institute or take in some exceptional theater at Shakespeare & Co. or the Barrington Stage Company. Catch a concert at Tanglewood. With hundreds of restaurants and shops to choose from, there will be no boring moments during your time in the Berkshires.
Route 2 (Mohawk Trail)
Charlemont, MA, 01339
So many amazing activities at this adventure center for all skill levels
If you have ever wanted to try zip lining, or whitewater rafting or stand-up paddle-boarding, the place to launch your adventure is Zoar Outdoor in the Berkshires. It’s also the place for experienced folks, with whitewater rapids up to level IV and a three-hour zip lining canopy tour that reaches heights of 50 feet. Zoar also offers stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, easy river floats and, at its center in Wilmington, Vt., snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Experienced instructors and guides are ready to assist or teach people at every skill level, and the equipment they use is first-rate. Kayaks and paddleboards, for example, are stable enough for first-time users. Lodging options include Hawk Mountain Lodge, 11 cabin tents, five tent sites – and a yurt.
Come play in the sweet mountain air this winter
Less than three hours from New York City and Boston, the Berkshires offer culture and adventure year round. In winter, though, it is the crystal-clear blue skies, snow-topped mountains and fields calling out for ski and snowshoe tracks that make us an ideal vacation destination. So, too, are leisurely visits to our first-class museums, meals at our many gourmet restaurants or simply finding the perfect fireplace to relax in front of at one of our cozy New England bed and breakfast. Journey here as a couple or pack up the entire family, get out & about in the Berkshires. Whether you choose to spend your time indoors or out, the Berkshire region is a welcome respite in the winter. To learn more visit us at berkshires.org or find us on Facebook at Visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
30 Main Street
Stockbridge, MA, 01262
Make the Red Lion Inn your headquarters for Berkshire memories
There is everything to like about a visit to Stockbridge, MA. There’s two plus centuries of America’s history. Here’s the adopted home of Norman Rockwell not far from his celebrated museum. The studios and creations of famed artists, musicians, and authors are within easy reach. The outdoors offers hiking, biking, skiing, water sports and more. In short, there is something for everyone. The Red Lion Inn has it too. Rooms with complimentary WIFI, air conditioning, cable television, and cozy plush bathrobes. There’s great food rooted in the region’s traditions. Enjoy the fitness room, the partners spa, a heated outdoor pool, a porch with rocking chairs, a gift shop, nightly entertainment at the Lion’s Den, and a very curious lobby cat.
231 River Street
North Adams, MA, 01247
MassMoCA and more in quaint and quirky North Adams
Visit the world renowned Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and stay across the street at this lodging in restored Victorian row houses. You’ll enjoy the relaxed, cozy atmosphere and quirky and colorful spirit within. Architectural framings and angles vary. Individual decors give a distinct personality to every space. No two rooms are alike and the comforts are everywhere from lofts and/or spiral staircases, separate living rooms, working fireplaces, to private slate floored baths with Jacuzzi, claw foot tubs, and separate shower stalls. There’s complimentary continental breakfast, a heated outdoor pool, fitness center and lobby bar. The museum highlights the northern Berkshire’s arts and crafts scene while quaint, walkable North Adams offers great shopping, restaurants, galleries and more.
It might seem like all your trendy friends are heading off to yoga class these days, but the folks at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
have been doing it and relatged health treatments for more than 30 years. Tucked away in the beautiful Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Kripalu offers a multitude of classes, workshops, and weekend retreats. Different yogic programs focus on writing, creativity, relationships, body detoxification, cooking, dancing, and even snow-shoeing. So whether you’re a long-time yoga practitioner or a dedicated couch-potato, it’s a safe bet that a stop at Kripalu will make you feel peaceful and rejuvenated. Phone: 866-200-5203.
Scones and Clotted Cream
Brits R U.S.
at 16 Armory Street in Northampton
is a dream come true for fans of all things from across the pond.
Featuring a variety of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish products, from sweet treats to meat pies. Anglophiles are swarming the place for delicious tidbits from the old Empire. The staff is sweet and helpful. Stop in a Christmas for pudding. 413-770-1608
We Take the Name “Emporium” Seriously
has a fun downtown center bookended by the art museum, MASS MoCA, and the Berkshire hills. Among the distinctive shops on the Main Street – where you are likely to enjoy browsing and to find a perfect tidbit for yourself or a friend, is Berkshire Emporium & Antiques
, a mammoth shop of two floors and several rooms, at 59 Main Street. This attractive shop is stocked with local products, antiques, and specialty gifts. No need to take a long break at meal time; within the emporium, you can buy edibles off the shelf or visit Luma's Muffin & Mug café, serving sweet and savory crepes made to order, and delicious coffee, all within the store. 413-664-4032.
Botanical Garden Offers Herbal Beauty Year-Round
Plant lovers can find a place of peaceful, studious beauty at the Botanic Garden of Smith College
on College Lane in Northampton. The garden includes thousands of plants, of course, under glass in the Lyman Conservatory and outdoors in various not-so-secret gardens. There is also a collection of dried plants. There are 60,000 pressed specimens available for research in the Herbarium. The public is invited to explore the campus arboretum and specialty gardens. Open daily, year-round. Phone: 413-585-2740.
Delicious Bites of Far Away in Northampton and Amherst
In the sister college towns of Northampton and Amherst, several intriguing eating places opened or expanded in 2016. Falafel fix at Pita Pockets
and gourmet doughnuts at Glazed
are now available in both towns. The Northampton Nourish Juice Bar opened the full-service Nourish Wellness Café
, serving juices and smoothies and a signature Wellness Bowls. Foreign food choices in Amherst also now include Lebanese cuisine at Malek Shawarma
and food of Nepal, India, and Bhutan at Himalayan Friends Corner.
Private Poet on Display in Amherst
Emily Dickinson was a loner, a recluse and a rogue female
poet who is said to have spent much of her life hiding out at home. At the
Emily Dickinson Museum
in Amherst, Massachusetts, Dickinson enthusiasts can tour that home, and the landscaped grounds that
inspired so much of her poetry. Visitors can take a guided walk through the
house and learn all about the poet’s idiosyncrasies, 19th Century architecture,
and the Dickinson family drama. See the room where the prolific poet wrote her masterpieces and
learn why, 1,800 poems later, her life and work have generated more than a
century of scholarly debate. Phone: 413-542-8161.
Pittsfield Hops with Shopping and Browsing Fun
is a lively town centrally located between other stars of the Berkshires, like Stockbridge, Lenox, Williamstown and North Adams. The downtown is a fun place for dining, browsing and shopping (with lots of seasonal festivals and public entertainments). If you need a gift for yourself or anyone else, the options here are delightful: the stylish shop, Circa
, is a place to fine mid-century antiques, and a toothsome selection of vintage clothing and jewelry. Paul Rich and Sons Home Furnishings
has made a name for itself in the town over a long period to time. Shop here for high-quality furniture. And, be sure to investigate Whitney Center for the Arts
, for year-round arts and cultural programs.
You Like Candles? We Got Candles
This is one of New England's most popular destinations, with lots of fun shopping and holiday spirit. Yankee Candle Village
on Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield
offers a unique shopping, entertainment, and dining experience. Explore the largest selection of Yankee Candle fragrances and styles. Stroll through the Bavarian Christmas Village, Nutcracker Castle, and Home Store. Enjoy fabulous candle, home décor, and holiday shopping. Savor freshly made fudge and other sweet treats in the Fudge Shop. Dip your own candles and watch history brought to life in the Candlemaking Museum. Open daily. Phone: 877-636-7707.
See Deerfield Through 19th Century Artist’s Eyes
In a place with such natural beauty as Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley region, it is reasonable that painters have worked there to re-create the countryside on canvas. A painter from the 19th century named James Well Champney worked in Deerfield
and much of his work now graces the walls of the Deerfield Inn
and its bright, airy Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern. Deerfield Inn is among the several New England lodgings lucky to show original art, often by local artists. A visit to his historic town and inn, or a meal of fresh-cooked New England dishes at Champney’s puts you in the middle of a 19th-century vision of this unique place.
Morgan’s Mansion Hosts Lots of Fun Seasonal Events
Call him a robber baron, but at least J. P. Morgan took care of his kid sister; the mansion built for her in 1893 is a testament to that. Ventfort Hall
is an imposing Jacobean Revival-style mansion with a history dating back to the grandeur and opulence of the Gilded Age. Despite its brush with demolition in the 1980s, today the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and declared an official project of “Save America’s Treasures.” Visitors can tour the grand estate, peruse the art gallery, or simply enjoy the architecture. Open daily year round. Phone: 413-637-3206.