My Favorite Vacation Spot - the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts

mcherwood By mcherwood, 13th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>New England

The Berkshires in western Massachusetts is home to several tourist attractions which draw visitors in every season of the year. The Norman Rockwell Museum, the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the famous Red Lion Inn, the Tanglewood Music Center, are just a few of the highlights which will entice you to visit the area many times over.

My Favorite Vacation Spot - the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts

I have visited the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts four times in recent years and have fallen in love with the area. Something keeps drawing me back to its mystique and the variety of sights and sounds that are available there.

My base of operation is a place called Vacation Village in the Berkshires, located in Hancock, Massachusetts, not far from the cultural activities in the surrounding towns. Vacation Village has much to offer in the way of accommodations, but you will have a choice of hotels, inns and B&B's to choose from in this delightful region.

The Red Lion Inn located on Main Street in Stockbridge, MA is an old New England Inn which has been in operation since the 18th century. It is convenient to all of the cultural attractions which I will describe here. But first, you must stop at The Red Lion Inn for lunch or dinner. Please try their famous Chicken Pot Pie; you won't be disappointed.

Just up the street from The Red Lion Inn on Prospect Hill Road is the Shrine of Divine Mercy administered by the Marian Fathers. The Shrine, devoted to the revelation of Divine Mercy by Sister Faustina, is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful. Sister Faustina was canonized a saint in the year 2000. Pope John Paul II designated the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Less than two miles from the Shrine you will come upon the Norman Rockwell Museum on Glendale Road in Stockbridge. Norman Rockwell lived and worked in Stockbridge during the last 25 years of his life. The Museum houses 574 of Rockwell's original works of art plus various artifacts such as fan mail, business documents and photographs. Among the paintings are Rockwell's well-known Four Freedoms Series inspired by President Roosevelt's speech on the Four Freedoms.

A short drive over to Lenox, MA will bring you to The Mount at 2 Plunkett Street which is the Home and Gardens of Author Edith Wharton. Edith lived at The Mount from 1902 to 1911. In l897, she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was at the Mount that Edith wrote her famous masterpieces - Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, and The Age of Innocence.

The highlight of summer activity in Lenox is The Tanglewood Music Festival. Since 1936, the concerts have been held in July and August on an impressive estate in the Berkshire Hills. The Tanglewood Music Center is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has hosted such varied artists as James Taylor, Garrison Keillor, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma and Leonard Bernstein. The audience can bring a blanket to spread on the ground along with a picnic basket and listen to live music as the sun sets.

If your schedule permits, be sure to look into the following places of interest located nearby.

Arrowhead, the home of Herman Melville in Pittsfield, MA. It is here that Melville wrote Moby Dick.

Hancock Shaker Village is a 200-year-old Village comprising 21 historic buildings. Shaker furniture, wall clocks and crafts are available for purchase as well as garden produce, jams and teas. Innovative educational programs for the public have been added recently. The Village, located on Route 20 in Pittsfield, MA was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

Chesterwood, the summer estate of sculptor Daniel Chester French who crafted the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, is part of The Red Lion Inn's guesthouses and is available from May through October.

In addition, the Berkshire area provides recreational activities for adults as well as children. Horseback riding, swimming, golfing, rafting, fishing, skiing, as well as dining and shopping are at your fingertips when you are in the Berkshires.

I have just whet my appetite for another visit to this charming venue where you can leave the cares of the world behind.



Berkshire Mountains, Edith Whartons Home, Herman Melville, Lenox Ma, Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell Museum, Shrine Of Divine Mercy, Tanglewood Music Festival, The Red Lion Inn

Meet the author

author avatar mcherwood
I am a retired teacher/ administrator for the Buffalo School System. I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Administration.
I write book reviews, film reviews plus a large variety of topics.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
13th Jun 2013 (#)

Nice travel article. Seems as a place where you can relax and calm.

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