Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Most scenic route..Woodstock Vt. to Stockbridge

Most scenic route..Woodstock Vt. to Stockbridge

Old Nov 14th, 2002, 02:39 PM
  #1  
new to new england
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Most scenic route..Woodstock Vt. to Stockbridge

We will be traveling between the two in December and it seems there are a couple of ways to get there...any comments??? We love scenery but also appreciate the fact the weather might be dicey!!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 04:58 PM
  #2  
Donna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If the weather is dicey, your best bet is to head for I-91 from Woodstock, about 12 miles. Then, stay on I-91 south to I-90, also known as the Mass Turnpike. Stockbridge is Exit 2 off I-90. About 160 miles total, figure 3 hours. The interstates are almost always cleared, sanded, etc., quickly and efficiently. Any route through Vermont is scenic. One of THE most scenic routes would be to take Route 2 West off I-91 toward Williamstown, also known as the Mohawk Trail. Awesome! Even in winter. In Williamstown, head south on Route 7 to Stockbridge. More beautiful scenery. Mileage is just about the same, but will take you maybe 1/2 longer because of lower speed limits than interstate all the way. Keep in mind that road conditions can vary greatly from one ten-mile stretch to the next. Could be a lot better, could be a lot worse. But, unless there is a LOT of snow forecast or there is freezing rain, you should be just fine on the interstates. If you run into some really bad driving, pull off for an hour or two so the plows can do their work, then continue on.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:05 PM
  #3  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Route 7 through the Berkshires is the main north south county road, the first to be cleared and except after extremely large storms, usually not a problem. 100 is the scenic route south through Vermont, but 7 and 7A are beautiful as well, and I love the town of Manchester Center so would try to pick up 7 prior to Manchester. It might be a good stopping place for a late lunch at the Equinox Inn in a cozy room with blazing fireplace. 7 through southern Vermont is an excellent road, wide and well travelled. 7A, the old route 7, is narrow and twisty and to my mind anyway, not any prettier than 7 which has you a little higher up.

Hmmm...making myself homesick just writing about this! LOL If you take 7 through the Berkshires you'll go right past the street I grew up on.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:19 PM
  #4  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
And the street I lived on too. In Lenox. When I was growing up there I thought it was the dullest place on earth. I envied my cousins who lived in a cement hi-rise in Queens. Now I live near Chicago, travelled the US extensively, and think the Berkshires is one of the most beautiful places in the country. I love taking my Wisconsin bred wife back there.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:52 PM
  #5  
Donna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Just a note - the Route 2/Route 7 drive will take you all through the Berkshires.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 07:06 PM
  #6  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dan, I was right down the street from you...about a mile from the Pittsfield/Lenox line, just down the hill from the CC of P. gt; Like you, growing up there I had no idea how beautiful it was--it was just home.

My husband, raised in the south, and our kids, raised in Dallas, fell in love with it too and it's one of our favorite vacations. It's amazing though, how towns like Lee and Great Barrington, which we thought of just as factory towns, have *changed* and have actually become "in"!

I really did make myself homesick writing the first note, picturing Rte 7 after a snow, and the beautiful stretch of 7 between Williamstown and Pownal, near Mt Greylock Regional HS, where you look down into a valley toward an old red barn, guernsey cows grazing in the distance below. The quintessential New England scene! Or the Church on the Hill in Lenox after a snow. Beautiful! I find it incomprehensible that I had absolutely no inkling how pretty it was as I was growing up!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 07:43 PM
  #7  
new to new england
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wow, I wasn't anticipating this question being a tear-jerker!!! Thank you so much for the touching answers!!!

OliveOyl, you were quite helpful in my planning early on and I took all your advice to heart!!

We live in the beautiful Pacific NW and feel the same way about our area as you do about yours, it's amazing how much you take for granted as you are growing up!! Although, after your wonderful descriptions, we are afraid we will fall in love with New England and never want to leave!!

Thanks so much Donna, Dan and OliveOyl, you are the reasons this board is so great!!! We thoroughly appreciate all of your help and are more excited than ever about our upcoming vacation!!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 07:48 PM
  #8  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yes the area has changed. When growing up there were a lot of small houses in Lenox where the middle class could live. Those little homes are now fancy boutiques. I'm not sure what the CC of P is. Took the little bus to Pittsfield many times since that was the big town. Went to many small old restaurants with my parents Busy Bee, Highland,Friendlys in the Common. There used to be a dive on a side street called the Springs Hot Dog Ranch. Possibly my favorite junk food of all time.

When I go back I find myself going to some of the smaller towns. West Stockbridge, Egremont, New Marlborough, Bash Bish Falls. The Berkshires don't have the in your face scenery of Vermont or Colorado. But there is just something mesmorizing about those rolling hills. Especially in the morning.

I can vaguely remember the Pittsfield/Lenox line. Not far from the Lenox House. Possibly a Polynesian restaurant, where we would order the Poo-Poo platter and snicker about it.
I hope you have many happy returns.

 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 07:52 PM
  #9  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
New to New England

I didn't mean to ignore your post. We were writing at the same time. Pacific NW is gorgeous too, I can understand your strong feelings. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

So the question that begs to be asked. What am I doing in the Chicago suburbs?


 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 09:41 AM
  #10  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Many happy returns to you too, Dan. The Busy Bee--too funny! That's where our parents always took us too, but I can't believe you came all the way from Lenox for it! I guess yours, like ours didn't feel the Yellow Aster or Lenox House were appropriate (or cost efficient) with kids. gt; The Busy Bee...a little hole in the wall down near the train depot--never exactly made Zagat's list! LOL The area is unrecognizable now.

The CC of P = The Country Club of Pittfield, the golf course and pretty club house shortly past the Pittsfield/Lenox line, on the east side of 7. We lived just down the hill from that. I could and occasionally did, walk to Bousquet to ski and attended the little one room school house, 1st 2nd and 3rd grades, that was on the road to Bousquet. It had only about 20 kids, all from the two adjacent streets, and was the last of its kind in the area, later declared a historic landmark--100 yrs old when I was there 50 years ago and still standing, happily. What a terrific area to grow up in! The 4th of July and Halloween parades were the biggest happenings in town, but we thought it was great, not knowing any differently. No cousins in NY for me! The 4th of July parade made PBS several years ago it's such a small town classic...a Norman Rockwell sort of scene.

Lenox is still lovely, but I'm familiar with the boutiques too. Property is probably untouchable now. I used to ride there at Aspinwall Stables and thought the "boys" at Lenox School for Boys were, "to die for". gt;

My favorite county scenery:

1) Bash Bish Falls definitely, plus the road to it paralleling the little stream, especially in the fall.

2) The view from Greylock on a clear day, as well as the drive up it.

3) The parking lot in the pines overlooking the public swimming area at the south end of Pontoosic Lake, looking north over the lake. Rte 7 has been retooled in that area and I'm not sure you can get to it the way we did--a small road over the dam then up the hill to the parking lot on the right.

4) The view from the hill at the back of Tanglewood, looking out over Stockbridge Bowl.

5) The drive along 23 into the Monterey area where we came across some sort of thatch-roofed cottage, looked like it was straight out of Hansel and Gretel, but had been turned into an art gallery when we saw it.

6) The area around the hair-pin turn on Rte 2 Donna mentioned above, plus the rest of the Berkshire section of that route. It flattens out considerably as you leave the county.

7) Konkapot and various other streams.

Actually any back roads drive is lovely. One of our favorites took us the back way from Stockbridge to Lenox. Egremeont I've discovered since moving away. Found a terrific antique shop there, the Splendid Pheasant, but last time we looked for it, it was gone. It had been owned and operated by 2 NYC ex psychiatrists who left the rat race for the quiet of the S Egremont. Expensive goods but great items--cigar store Indian for 25,000 something, and the like!!

"New to new england", home will always be just that, so the Pacific NW will remain your favorite, but I think you'll really enjoy your trip. We haven't been to your stomping grounds yet, but it's high on our list of things to do! The coastal scenery looks stunning. I hope your trip is terrific and that the weather is good. That is the iffy thing about New England...when the sky is blue it's beautiful, but there sure are lots of cloudy days--something we are no longer used to after almost 2 decaded in Dallas and now FL. Hope too our suggestions have been good and useful ones for you!

It's been fun recollecting for you, new, and with you Dan. Happy travels!
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 10:21 AM
  #11  
DanB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well if you want to bring up Norman Rockwell how about this? My parents owned an Inn in Lenox. Norman Rockwell and his group of men "The Marching and Chowder Society" would come for lunch every Tueday afternoon. When I'd get home, Norman would ask me how school was, pet my dog, and tell me about his dog (I believe named Sid.) My mom was always very protective of his privacy because the other guests would want to talk to him. I used to get him to autograph prints for my friends mothers, because frankly, I didn't realize how famous he was. My mother banned me from getting autographs, but a few times after that I'd go up to him for a signature after he'd come out of the rest room. If I knew exactly who I was dealing with, I'd have asked him to draw a few simple sketches and sign them. He was a pretty nice, humble man from what I remember.

I also like the Egremont, Great Barrington area for antiques. Really nice inn and lodging barn in New Marlborough called Inn on the Green and Gedney Barn. Pretty expensive though they sometimes have specials.

http://www.oldinn.com/



 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 12:15 PM
  #12  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
DanB, are you the same Dan as above? (Didn't know if we had DanA and DanB) Too bad you couldn't appreciate your experience with Norman Rockwell at the time. What a neat story! Your mother's discretion was probably one of the reasons they kept coming back to your place.

I always thought his studio there was on that road that leads away from the monument to the right toward Tanglewood, then recently read something about it being across from the Red Lion. Was that (Lenox location) a studio or just the first museum--or nothing at all related? It had huge windows and great light, but now I'm wondering about my recollection??

He was supposedly a humble man...never felt he had made it as an artist! My mother and I toured the "new" museum on 183 about 10 years ago and the woman who led that tour had been the model who had posed in his picture of the little black girl heading off to school. Fun.

Where was your parent's inn? Do you remember the Curtis Hotel when it was still in operation as such?

Am not familiar with the New Marlborough inn you mentioned, but if you are in that area and like antiques, you might try the Buggy Whip Factory in Southfield. You can spend a day poking around and not see it all.
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #13  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Same Dan. Inn was called the Gateways Inn (still there, but....)A block from Curtis. Sometimes I'll stop and look at it because I lived there.

Only Studio I remember was by Red Lion.
Went there once and there was a half finished painting of John Wayne. I don't think it was released though.

Although he would sign Saturday Evening Post things out of couteousy, he felt they ripped him off. I better say allegedly.

My mom lives near Saratoga now. Lenox, Saratoga, what a jetsetter. It seems like I've heard some tough stories about downtown Pittsfield on the Albany newscasts when I visit her. Some of the pictures I saw looked more like North Adams than Pittsfield. Has the downtown area seen tough times. North St. or Up St. as some Pittsfielders used to call it? Maybe I've seen just a few isolated neighborhoods. Still remember Santa at England brothers. Bought a baseball glove on the 2nd story of Besse Clark. Sales was Baltimore Orioles All Star 2nd basemen Mark Bellanger. Impossible to believe that major leaguers
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 12:36 PM
  #14  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Cut off. Hard to believe majot leaguers had to work.

I should say something about the heading I suppose. Stick to the topic. As much as I would reccomend Stockbridge and probably Lenox, the Berkshires is more than just $250 b and b's, Tanglewood, aand trendy shops. To really get a feel for thee area, you have to get away from the towns and out into the country by the old fences and modest homes. Thats why I've been heading to Egremont and New Marlborough. Another area with potential is Old Chatham NY. Part of the town is rough around the edges, but real potential there. Great Shaker museum too.

 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 12:47 PM
  #15  
Jenna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Another interesting Rockwell story: I was in North Adams, home of MASS MoCA (inCREDible museum, go here if you are anywhere in the area-you won't regret it!) and admiring Mya, this huge sculpture of plastic action fixtures, by Jarvis Rockwell, Norman's son. Who was painting on the walls in the room next store but that same Jarvis. He chatted with me for a good while about his art-wonderful man, and a great contemporary artist. good times
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #16  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jenna...North Adams I guess is a success story. We'll have to get to MoCA next time we are there. Interesting story about Jarvis. I knew nothing about him...know our son would love that sculpture though (he could find his way through any Target to the action figures).

Yes, downtown Pittsfield has gone through a huge decline starting with the down-sizing of GE and the resultant shrinking of the population, continuing through the growth of strip shopping centers, branch banks and just general aging of the structures. England Bros (I remember when they got their escalator...a first in town but the beginning of a decline as they replaced the wonderful "elevator ladies" with their white gloves), Holden Stones, Kresge, Besse Clarke, one after another closed their doors, but the final cruel stroke was Englands. Without them, there wasn't a lot of reason to go downtown. I don't know how the Hilton, or whatever it is today, survives, but it's sure been there a long time!!

It's amazing that Mark Bellanger had to WORK!! I went to school with him and Tommy Grieve was a few years behind us...a teen at the pool I lifeguarded at. Now he's retired I guess, but his son Ben is here (Devil Rays) and doing well. Tom married the "girl next door", dated all through high school and still together, good for them.

I know that Inn. It's *beautiful*!! Has your mother retired from the business or is she carrying on in Saratoga?

Did you see Cider House Rules and recognize the "orphanage"? I didn't recognize it at the time, later found out what it was, but as I watched that movie and the winter scenes outside the orphanage, I was thinking..."gosh, does that ever look just like home"...and sure enough...
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 02:11 PM
  #17  
Dan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
No I didn't see Cider House. I'll check it out. I didn't know it was shot in the area. That makes me want to see it.

No mom is retired. That business is tough.

Since I moved to Chicago I've lived in two towns that have (a bit) of a New England feel. Two summers ago they shot Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks here.
The town has an old look. Went to Montpelier VT, on business a few weeks ago, and you know, I thought....this would be a nice place to live.

 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Dukey
United States
12
Jul 11th, 2008 03:54 AM
afc
United States
5
Aug 12th, 2007 04:34 PM
evanphyl
United States
5
Sep 21st, 2004 03:39 PM
mariya
United States
4
Oct 3rd, 2003 05:51 AM
deb
United States
7
Jul 27th, 2002 05:58 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -