Berkshires in January

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Nov 21st, 2010, 08:09 AM
  #1
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Berkshires in January

Hello,
Four of us are thinking of going to the Berkshires in January over the MLK long weekend to celebrate my birthday & my sister-in-law's birthday. We have done this for several years now & are starting to plan our trip for this January. We live in Massachusetts & like to try a different place each year that is not too far away & affordable.

I'd appreciate ideas for sightseeing in the winter. We are all in our early 60's & don't ski so that is not an option. We've been to the Berkshires before & don't mind re-visiting places we've been to before, such as Norman Rockwell Museum and Hancock Shaker Village but we would like to see something new, too. We will most likely stay in Stockbridge. What other sightseeing suggestions are there? What are your opinions of the Clark Art Institute & Mass MoCA? How long would we need to see them? I think they would be a one hour drive from Stockbridge. Are any of the summer theater places open in the winter? I was hoping we could see a show at the Barrington Stage Theater in Pittsfield, but it doesn't look like they have any shows scheduled during the winter. We did go there several years ago in February so I was surprised that nothing seems to be scheduled for January.

Thanks for any ideas/suggestions. Also would appreciate recommendations for dining.
Thanks!
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Nov 21st, 2010, 09:15 AM
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I went to Mass MoCA a few years ago. If you like contemporary art with the possibility of a certain level of cutting edge, it's very good. I like things like this, myself. Its closest NYC equals would likely be a combination of the New Museum and PS #1.

A few, but not all attractions will be open in January in the Berkshires. Besides Mass MoCA, I'm pretty sure both of the Williamstown art museums are open then, as is the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. Haven't been to any of these yet, sorry to say.

It looks like it is possible to arrange a tour of Arrowhead off-season but you have to make arrangements several days in advance. I found this home reasonably interesting, but a knowledge of Melville's life and work is helpful for full appreciation.

Not much else in the way of attractions appears to be open in the area. If you're keen to head to Albany NY or the Pioneer Valley in MA, you'll find more options.
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Nov 21st, 2010, 10:08 AM
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The Clark is one of the nicest small museums I know of. Its well worth the drive to see it. The permanent collection includes a fair number of impressionist paintings, and some lovely Winslow Homer's. I think a couple of hours is enough to see it, although they added a new building since the last time I was there. And it may depend on how interested you are in the special exhibit, which is currently Albrecht Durer.
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Nov 21st, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Thanks, china_cat & bachslunch. Based on your descriptions, I definitely would like to see the Clark & Mass MoCA. I especially appreciate impressionist paintings. I don't know anything about Arrowhead so will definitely research that one ,too. I know the Rockwell Museum is open during the winter as is the Hancock Shaker Village, so we should have plenty to keep us occupied.

Any suggestions for restaurants & what to do at night, such as seeing a show?
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Nov 21st, 2010, 01:24 PM
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Is there a reason to stay in Stockbridge? I'd likely prefer Great Barrington or Lenox that time of year as there is more of a town feel in the dead of winter. And although I like to pass thru the Red Lion Inn, I wouldn't want to stay there, but that's just me. Although this has nothing to do with your question, have you done Portland Maine that time of year?

For a casual, local grown, local patronized place in Great Barrington, we really enjoyed

http://www.Route7Grill.com/

and there is a chocolate shop in Lenox that is really really good.
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Nov 21st, 2010, 03:28 PM
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Kealalani,
Thanks for your response. My SIL likes the Red Lion Inn & really wants to stay there. I agree with you about Great Barrington & Lenox, but I suppose we could always drive there to go shopping & for meals, etc. Do you know if the Helsinki Cafe is still in Gr. Barrington? We've eaten there before & love it, but I seem to remember hearing they were moving. Thanks for the restaurant & chocolate shop suggestions!

The 4 of us have been to Portland, Maine (which we love!)many times because my daughter went to college nearby & my BIL & SIL have a vacation home in the area. So that's why we are looking for a different destination. So far we have celebrated our birthdays in Newport, Woodstock, VT, & Hartford (& surprisingly, really enjoyed Hartford). I remember that some of my friends joked with us about why we were going to Hartford for a weekend but we really had a great time there.
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Nov 21st, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Well if someone wants to stay there, then that is reason enough. Enjoy the elevator! It's a gas.
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Jan 5th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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I love the Clark. Lovely small museum.

We prefer Lenox or Great Barrington, as towns go. More to do. Restaurants. Movies. Shops. Baba Louie's Pizza. People travel for miles for that! (We have friends in Lee, but that's a pretty sleepy place.) There AIN'T NOTHIN' HAPPENIN' in Stockbridge....
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Jan 5th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Mass MoCa has concerts, dance parties, and movie nights -- you might want to check their website. Visit the website below for a list of Berkshire concerts and events in January (although their definition of Berkshires is pretty broad)

http://eventful.com/berkshire/events...sic/this-month
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Jan 5th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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I also like the Norman Rockwell Museum. It's very close to Great Barrington and Stockbridge. It's a beautiful setting.
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Jan 5th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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Oh also - I had the rehearsal dinner for my wedding at Route 7 Grill!!! I LOVE that place!! It's very delicious and very cute & country. Another gem is dinner at The Old Inn on the Green, but that's a more formal dinner but it's one of the best chefs in Massachusetts.
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Jan 5th, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Love Route 7 Grill as well
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Jan 6th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Glad I decided to check back in on this site. I appreciate everyone's suggestions. We are staying at the White Horse Inn in Pittsfield because we got a good rate, & it is equidistant between the Williamstown area & Great Barrington area.

Has anyone eaten at Spice Root or Hobson's Choice in Williamstown? What about Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield?
Thanks!
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Jan 6th, 2011, 06:28 AM
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hpluss1, where is the Old Inn on the Green located?
We are leaving next Saturday! Can't wait! I love weekend getaways!
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Jan 6th, 2011, 06:29 AM
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Spice root is not very good. Trattoria Rustica is wonderful; you may need reservations even in January. No experience with Hobson's. Some people really love Nudel, though it is precious.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Old Inn on the Green is in New Marlborough, MA, 5 minutes outside of Great Barrington. It's right near Butternut ski mountain, here's the restaurant website: http://oldinn.com/dining.php
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Jan 13th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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hpluss1,
thanks!
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Jan 13th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Hopefully you have good snow tires. Pittsfield got ~ 20 inches of snow yesterday with more coming...

Enjoy it.
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