Visiting the Berkshires


Have you ever thought about visiting the Berkshires? It’s one of my favorite areas in the United States. Located in Western Massachusetts, the Berkshires are about 135 miles west of Boston and around 150 north of New York City.

The Berkshires are a year round mountain vacation spot enjoyed by many visitors throughout the year. Whether you visit in the summer to fish in some of the many rivers, streams or lakes, or if you want to find a golf course in a beautiful mountain setting, the Berkshires is the place for you.

Many tourists flock to the Berkshires in the fall to see the colorful transition of the leaves as summer moves into fall. Just as lucky are the ones who venture into the region to see the beauty of spring following the cold and snows of winter.

Speaking of winter, the Berkshires is your place for both downhill and cross country skiing. The area is post card picture perfect with snow on the ground. You may even find the perfect spot to take the photo for your family holiday card.

There is a lot of art and culture to be found in the area. I was surprised recently to find that many of today’s younger generation did not know who Paul McCartney is. So I will not assume everyone is familiar with Norman Rockwell. If you are, or if not, you should visit the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Here you will find many of Rockwell’s paintings that helped define America for the world. It is also located on property that is perfect for strolling and enjoying the views.

If you have young children or grandchildren, then you have probably heard of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other children’s books and illustrations by Eric Carle. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is also located in the Berkshires.  Here you will find the art of Eric Carle along with exhibitions of the art of other children’s book illustrators. It is a fun trip to take while in the area.

We can’t touch of culture without mentioning that Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This summer artists such as Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will grace the stage at Tanglewood.

A trip to the Berkshires would not be complete without a trip to Stockbridge. Stockbridge, Massachusetts is a lovely New England town. You will find places to shop, places to stay and places to eat. You will find the Red Lion Inn which has been welcoming visitors for more than two centuries. You can spend the night, visit the tavern or enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in the restaurant. You may want to pick up items from the area in the gift shop. In the warmer months you will find outdoor dining available.

My last stop after leaving Stockbridge will be The Guthrie Center. If you have any familiarity with Arlo Guthrie and “Alice’s Restaurant” then you are probably familiar with the Old Trinity Church which is now the home of The Guthrie Center. This is the church which was the home of Alice and Ray and the location for the beginning of Arlo’s journey which he recorded in song and then on the silver screen.

A few years ago Arlo purchased the church and turned it into a center to help the people of the area. There are many community services offered. There are hootenannies and other musical events. There are interfaith church services on the first Sunday of each month. Arlo has proclaimed this to be a Bring Your Own God Church.

I invite you to travel to western Massachusetts and form your own memories of the Berkshires.

Next: Driving Across the USA

More from TripSided