As illustrated in our just-released “Escape to the Berkshires” lifestyle catalog, summertime in this region epitomizes the quintessential New England retreat—small towns, a bucolic setting, laid back days, fresh meals, cultural opportunities and a list of outdoor activities that seemingly never ends. Just a 2.5-hour drive from Boston and New York, this sophisticated rural area located in the western part of Massachusetts provides the prime weekend, or even vacation home, destination for individuals in search of a peaceful yet activity-packed getaway. So pack your bags and plan your itinerary! Here are some of the key things to do this summer in the beautiful Berkshires.
Get in touch with your creative side by visiting some of the Berkshires’ well-known visual and performing arts centers and events. Home to four professional theatres that harbor great talent including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Shakespeare & Company as well as the Berkshire Theatre Group, this area thrives in the arts, especially during the summer. Head out to the Tony Award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival, which features a wide variety of new and classic plays, or enjoy top-notch on-screen talent during the popular Berkshire International Film Festival and Williamstown Film Festival. These two annual events present the top current American and foreign films. Tanglewood, the renowned summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and venue for multiple professional performances throughout the season in Lenox, Mass., further adds to this already vibrant music and theatre scene, having welcomed past performances by James Taylor, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. On the more visual side, highly acclaimed ballet and modern dance groups can be found at Jacob’s Pillow, the country’s most captivating dance festival. Four museums are also nearby, including the recently expanded Clark Art Institute, the Norman Rockwell Museum, MASS MoCA, which displays contemporary and performance art, The Williams College Museum of Art and the Berkshire Museum.
Farm to Fork
If you haven’t already gotten a taste of the new and rapidly growing fresh food movement that’s sweeping the nation, chances are when you visit the Berkshires, you will. Often referred to as “farm-to-fork,” this healthy dining trend, which focuses on traditional styles of cooking that emphasize freshness, seasonality and local availability, can be found at various independently owned restaurants and farmers’ markets throughout the area. As a result of the many local farms that dot the landscape, foodies from all around find themselves gathering in the Berkshires to partake in its vibrant culinary scene. “For interested buyers, any home in Great Barrington, Lenox, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Egremont or Alford has very easy access to farm-to-fork dining,” explains Gladys Montgomery, a real estate agent in our Great Barrington brokerage, and expert on the area. “This fresh dining movement is the norm at virtually every chef-owned restaurant in the Berkshires.” For popular “farm-to-fork” restaurant options, look back at our previous blog post on the topic here. Be sure to also keep your eye out for some great local farmers’ markets to cook up your own fresh creations, some of which are located in downtown Pittsfield, Williamstown and North Adams.
Wide open spaces and untouched woods comprise the Berkshires—a beloved region whose inhabitants take genuine care to protect and conserve its land. As a result, there is a myriad of activities to keep you both busy and energized from sunrise to sunset during the summer months. Whether you spend the day on one of the Berkshires’ many scenic lakes or hiking the Appalachian Trail, there is something for everyone when it comes to spending time in the great outdoors. Go for a walk or bike ride with the family on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail along a former rail bed nestled on the Cheshire Reservoir, or pack your backpack for a hike through the Appalachian Trail. After some heart-pumping exercise, there is always a chance to cool off with some boating, kayaking, fishing or swimming at a nearby lake. A few recreational destination highlights include Mount Greylock Reservation, which contains the state’s highest mountain peak, the Otis Reservoir for swimming in its largest recreational lake and Beartown State Forest, which encompasses the state’s most extensive woodland preserve.
Be sure to check out our special “Escape to the Berkshires” catalog for further details, and a selection of current offerings now available in this beautiful region of Massachusetts, as part of our company’s Berkshires County lifestyle campaign. Click here to “escape” now!