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Interesting things to do fill your trip to the Berkshires, Pioneer & Mohawk valleys

This historic region offers a wealth of memorable events 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 stay , 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 Phone: 413-339-6617

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!

30 Main Street Stockbridge, MA, 01262 Phone: 413-298-5545

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.

1090 Main Street Williamstown, MA, 01267 Phone: 413-458-9371

Williams Inn places you amidst wonderful things to do in the Berkshires

The Williams Inn on the campus of Williams College offers a cozy and well-serviced home base for your explorations of the Berkshires of Massachusetts – among the most beautiful and culturally rich places in all of New England. The campus wears the classic images of ivy and old stonework, and the inn embraces classic Colonial architecture with comforts like fireplaces, tavern dining, sauna, hot tubs, and heated pool. Stepping out, you can enjoy art treasures at the nearby Clark Institute and professional theater at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (in summer). Fans of outdoor life are near Stone Hill Trail, endowed with views of Vermont mountains, and the scenic drive up Mount Greylock. Doing business with the college? Stay here but slip away for unforgettable Berkshire explorations.

247 Stockbridge Road (Route 7) Great Barrington, MA, 01230 Phone: 413-528-3272 Toll-Free: 888-592-7314

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).

Route 7 Lenox, MA, 01240 Phone: 413-637-1469

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.

Come play in the sweet mountain air this winter

Less than three hours from New York City and Boston, the Berkshires of Western MA 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, soul-satisfying 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.

231 River Street North Adams, MA, 01247 Phone: 413-664-0400

MassMoCA and more in quaint and quirky North Adams

Visit the world renowned Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) and stay across the street at this fascinating 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.

Route 2 (Mohawk Trail) Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-532-7483

11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels

Try Zoar Outdoor’s newest adventure on a Deerfield Valley Canopy Tour in Charlemont Massachusetts. Our 3-hour-long zip line canopy tour leads adventurers on an aerial trek through the woods by means of 11 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and 3 rappels suspended in the trees in the northern Berkshires and connected through platforms that sit high above the forest floor. Our double-cable construction provides an extra margin of safety and hand braking (with backup brakes on each zip) allows you to control your zip speed with a gloved hand and keep from "spinning out". Our guides are trained in both safe zipping practices and in interpreting the environment around you so you can fully appreciate this unique journey through the forest canopy.

372 Main Street Great Barrington, MA, 01230 Phone: 413-528-3150

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.

We Take the Name “Emporium” Seriously

North Adams 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Benjamin Franklin Endorses This Drink

Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery at 1209 Hawley Road in Ashfield posts this homespun quote on its website and we concur: “He that drinks his cyder alone, let him catch his horse alone.” -- Benjamin Franklin. Old Ben clearly meant that drinking hard cider (a daily practice in his time) is a social event. Bear Swamp, founded in 2016, is using growing methods that incorporate and protect the whole environment to produce apples and cider. Visit in the fall to pick apples and shop at the farm stand. On Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. through December, you can visit to taste hard ciders, including honey-infused Cyser; fizzy, refreshing Hopped Cider; old-school Farmhouse; and Prohibition-era New England Style, barrel-aged with brown sugar and raisins. Call ahead to check on availability. 413-625-2849.

Pittsfield Hops with Shopping and Browsing Fun

Pittsfield 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.

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 in Lenox 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.

Namaste

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 in Stockbridge 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.

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.