Berkshires

Berkshires Travel Guide

The Berkshires is the nickname for Berkshire County the western-most region of Massachusetts that borders on Connecticut. The countryside is dappled with charming villages, verdant farms, thick forest and crumbling stone walls. Travel to the Berkshires for a lovely weekend getaway or romantic summer retreat. The Berkshires has long been a haven for artists, musicians, writers, and revolutionary thinkers who’ve fled the claustrophobia of New York City or Boston to set up sanctuaries in the serene countryside. Visit the Berkshires to discover that a bohemian atmosphere persists in the folk festivals, bookshops, farmers markets and art galleries that grace the winding country roads. Check out the Travel + Leisure Berkshires travel guide to find the best hotels, restaurants and sights.

Things Not to Miss in the Berkshires

• Catch a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood
 • Peruse the Norman Rockwell Museum, MASS MoCA and Clark Art Institute
 • Watch a dance performance at Jacob's Pillow
 • Visit the Hancock Shaker Village to see a living slice of American history
 • Hike up Mount Greylock
 • Stop in Great Barrington to do an afternoon of shopping
 • Drive the Mohawk Trail in autumn to see the leaves change

When to Go to Berkshires

Berkshires travel is excellent year-round, since there are always seasonal activities to tempt visitors. The height of the tourist season is the summer (June to August) when city-dwellers from Boston and New York make the 2.5-hour drive into the countryside. There are many wonderful summer festivals that visitors won’t want to miss, like the Williamstown Theater Festival and the Tanglewood summer music series. In fall, when the weather cools down, travelers can watch the autumn leaves change, and winter is perfect for skiing.

Articles about Berkshires

In the crunchy Seventies, no New England town was crunchier than Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The core population back then seemed to be made up of double-wide earth mamas in droopy skirts and ethnic ponchos. Secondhand-book shops did a brisk ...
The first time I met Berkshires butcher Jeremy Stanton, he asked me if I wanted an interesting pig. “You know, a rootin’, tootin’, mushroom-hunting one.” I’m a Jewish girl, raised kosher, from suburban New Jersey. I didn’t know anything about pigs...
If you travel light, a hotel notepad is an ideal memento—slim, utilitarian, free. And even if it doesn’t cost anything (except the price of a room, or a Campari in the lobby), it’s exclusive. The only way to get a hotel notepad is to find yourself...
For spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, and for plenty of other reasons—many of them man-made, thank you very much—the fantasy of a coast-to-coast road trip endures. Want to make it a reality? From West to East (With Apologies to the Midw...
inns and resorts Cranwell Resort & Golf Course 55 Lee Rd., Lenox; 413/637- 1364, fax 413/637-0571; doubles from $89 in winter, $199 in summer. Pretend you're Gatsby at this old-style resort housed in 1890's buildings on 380 acres, with an 18...
We wanted two things on our vacation: trees and music. and so we went to the Berkshires. We packed up the car and drove the two hours from Boston to Tanglewood, the very name, coined by Hawthorne, evocative of gnarled roots and soaring trees, of m...
The best mushroom I've ever eaten came from the edge of Route 41. John Wheeler spotted the thing, not me. But I was there. The specimen in question—a full-pound monster the size of a baseball glove—was an Hericium erinaceum, known variousl...
Since 1980, when I first traveled to the Berkshires to visit the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, I’ve returned to explore this art-rich region more times than I can remember. But last spring, with my friend Carol LeWitt, was a special pilgrim...