Fodor's Expert Review 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.