The Berkshires

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Berkshires - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Berkshire Botanical Gardens

    The gardens' 15 acres contain extensive plantings of exotic and native flora—some 2,500 varieties in all—plus greenhouses, ponds, nature trails, and a small gallery. A guided tour, included with admission, leaves daily at 11 am, or grab a self-guided tour at your leisure. October's Harvest Festival is by far the biggest of the facility's annual events.

    5 W. Stockbridge Rd., Massachusetts, 01262, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $18, Closed Nov.--Apr.
  • 2. Berkshire Mountain Distillers

    The sweet scent of the country's premier craft gin permeates the Berkshires' first legal distillery since Prohibition. The retail store, open every afternoon, sells Greylock Gin, a multiple gold-medal winner, and Ethereal Gin, whose ingredients are reimagined every season, among other spirits. Take a self-guided distillery tour and try a complimentary tasting. During the summer, there's live music in the outdoor pavilion where you can sip on craft cocktails. 

    356 S. Main St., Massachusetts, 01257, USA
  • 3. Clark Art Institute

    One of the nation's notable small art museums, the Clark has won numerous architectural awards for its 2014 redesign by Reed Hilderbrand and for the new Clark Center by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando. The polished concrete of the latter visually connects it to the landscape through glass windows and open spaces. The museum has a large collection of Impressionist works, in particular many significant Renoir paintings. Other strengths include English silver, European and American photography 1840–1920, and 17th- and 18th-century Flemish and Dutch masterworks.

    225 South St., Massachusetts, 02167, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20 (2-day ticket), Closed Mon. Sept.–June
  • 4. Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

    For 10 weeks every summer, the tiny town of Becket, 14 miles southeast of Lenox, becomes a hub of the dance world. The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival showcases world-renowned performers of ballet, modern, and international dance. Before the main events, works in progress and even some of the final productions are staged outdoors, often free of charge.

    358 George Carter Rd., Massachusetts, 01223, USA
  • 5. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts

    Formerly the home of the Sprague Electrical Company, the nation's largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts is one of the finest such facilities in the world, a major draw for its art shows, large music festivals, dance presentations, and film screenings. Expansion in 2017 nearly doubled the amount of gallery space, bringing the total to a quarter million square feet, which includes the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt, an immersive light-based exhibit by James Turrell, and a large room in the main gallery that allows for massive exhibits that wouldn't fit anywhere else. A Kidspace, studios, cafés, shops, and festivals and other special events round out the offerings.

    87 Marshall St., Massachusetts, 01247, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20
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  • 6. Naumkeag

    The Berkshire cottage of Joseph Choate (1832–1917), an influential New York City lawyer and the ambassador to Great Britain during President William McKinley's administration, provides a glimpse into the Gilded Age lifestyle. The 44-room gabled mansion, designed by Stanford White and completed in 1887, sits atop Prospect Hill. Its many original furnishings and artworks span three centuries; the collection of Chinese porcelain is particularly noteworthy. The meticulously kept 8 acres of formal gardens, a three-decade project of Choate's daughter, Mabel, and landscape designer Fletcher Steele, alone make this site worth a visit. Creative use of the property now includes a Winter Lights display, with over 200,000 twinkling LED lights; a Halloween-inspired pumpkin trail and haunted house; live music nights with picnics; and a springtime Daffodil Festival.

    5 Prospect Hill Rd., Massachusetts, 01262, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20
  • 7. Schantz Galleries

    Jim Schantz's gallery is small and tucked behind a bank, but it displays some of the finest glasswork in the world. With items from nearly five dozen contemporary artists—including Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra—the museum-quality collection is truly stunning. Call ahead because hours are limited during the winter.

    3 Elm St., Massachusetts, 01262, USA
  • 8. The Mount

    This 1902 mansion with myriad classical influences was the summer home of novelist Edith Wharton. The 42-room house and 3 acres of formal gardens were designed by Wharton, who is considered by many to have set the standard for 20th-century interior decoration. In designing the Mount, she followed the principles set forth in her book The Decoration of Houses (1897), creating a calm and well-ordered home. To date, nearly $15 million has been spent on an ongoing restoration project. Summer is a fine time to enjoy the informal café and occasional free concerts on the terrace. Guided tours take place during regular hours, the private "ghost tour" after hours, and noteworthy authors make regular visits to discuss their latest books.

    2 Plunkett St., Massachusetts, 01240, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20, The grounds are free and open daily from dawn to dusk
  • 9. Williams College Museum of Art

    The collection at this fine museum spans a range of eras and cultures, with American and 20th-century art as two major focuses. The original octagonal structure facing Main Street was built as a library in 1846, and the painted wall above the stairs is by Sol LeWitt—actually the third mural to occupy the wall. Special events take place on the outdoor patio on Thursday night in summer. Get an inside look at Williams students' experience with Object Lab, a hybrid gallery-classroom curated by faculty to coincide with students' studies.

    15 Lawrence Hall Dr., Massachusetts, 01267, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • 10. Arrowhead

    Literary fans (and those particularly fond of Moby-Dick) will want to visit this historical 18th-century house where Herman Melville lived and wrote his most famous works. After viewing all the exhibits, take a walk around the meadow that boasts over 100 species of wildflowers, hike a trail, or just enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Greylock, the inspiration for Melville's white whale. Tours on the hour.

    780 Holmes Rd., Massachusetts, 01201, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $16 (guided tours included), Closed Nov.--May
  • 11. Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

    Passing through the Hoosac River Valley, the paved 12.7-mile Ashuwillticook (pronounced Ash-oo-will-ti-cook) trail links Adams with Pittsfield. The trail follows an old railroad, passing through rugged woodland and alongside Cheshire Reservoir. Walkers, joggers, cyclists, in-line skaters, and cross-country skiers all enjoy this route.

    3 Hoosac St., Massachusetts, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 12. Bartholomew's Cobble

    This rock garden beside the Housatonic River (the Native American name means "river beyond the mountains") is a National Natural Landmark, with 5 miles of hiking trails passing through fields of wildflowers. The 277-acre site has a visitor center and a museum, as well as the state's largest cottonwood trees.

    105 Weatogue Rd., Massachusetts, 01257, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5
  • 13. Bartlett's Orchard

    The smell of freshly baked cider doughnuts greets you upon entering this orchard's market, which also sells cider and maple syrup. Seasonally you'll find many apple varieties bagged for purchase, but it's more fun to head into the orchard and pick your own.

    575 Swamp Rd., Massachusetts, 01254, USA
  • 14. Berkshire Museum

    Opened in 1903, this "universal" museum has a little bit of everything: paintings from the Hudson River School, local artifacts, and natural history specimens both animal and mineral. The Hall of Innovation showcases Berkshires innovators whose creations range from special effects for Star Wars to the paper used for U.S. currency. Don't miss the Egyptian mummy, or the aquarium with a touch tank in the basement.

    39 South St., Massachusetts, 01201, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $15
  • 15. Blueberry Hill Farm

    Organic blueberries are ripe for the picking here on midsummer weekends starting in late July. Bring your own container. 

    358 East St., Massachusetts, 01258, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.--Thurs.
  • 16. Chesterwood

    For 33 years, this was the summer home of the sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850–1931), who created The Minute Man in Concord and the Lincoln Memorial's famous seated statue of the president in Washington, D.C. Occasional tours are given of the house, which is maintained in the style of the 1920s, but the real prize is the studio, where you can view the casts and models French used to create the Lincoln Memorial. The beautifully landscaped 122-acre grounds make for an enchanting stroll or bucolic picnic.

    4 Williamsville Rd., Massachusetts, 01262, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20, Closed Oct.–May
  • 17. Down Street Art

    This public-arts project includes 31 galleries in downtown North Adams. From late June through September, DSA presents visual and performing arts events including exhibitions, video screenings, site-specific installations, and, on the last Thursday of the month, opening galas and performances.

    51 Main St., Massachusetts, 01247, USA
  • 18. Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio

    This modernist property on a 46-acre site exhibits the works of American abstract artists Suzy Frelinghuysen and George L. K. Morris, as well as those of their contemporaries, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris. In addition to the paintings, frescoes, and sculptures on display, a 57-minute documentary on Frelinghuysen and Morris plays on a continuous loop. Tours are offered on the hour—just be aware that it's a long walk to the house. Painting demonstrations and workshops occasionally take place.

    92 Hawthorne St., Massachusetts, 01240, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20, Closed Nov.--mid-June
  • 19. Hancock Shaker Village

    America's third Shaker community, Hancock was founded in the 1790s. At its peak in the 1840s, the village had almost 300 inhabitants who made their living farming, selling seeds and herbs, making medicines, and producing crafts. The religious community officially closed in 1960, but visitors today can still see demonstrations of blacksmithing, woodworking, and more. Many examples of Shaker ingenuity are on display: the Round Stone Barn and the Laundry and Machine Shop are two of the most interesting buildings. The Shaker focus on sustainability has been maintained in the form of water turbines, sustainable gardens, and a solar array. There's also a farm (with a wonderful barn), some period gardens, a museum shop with reproduction Shaker furniture, a picnic area, and a café. Visit in April to catch the baby animals at the farm, or in September for the country fair. Reserve early if you want a spot at the Shaker-inspired suppers in October.

    34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Massachusetts, 01237, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20
  • 20. Hoosac Valley Train Rides

    Themed (fall foliage, Christmas) hour-long train rides make the 10-mile journey between Adams and North Adams in restored historic cars.  All trains depart from (and return to) Adams Station.

    4 Hoosac St., Massachusetts, USA

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