Four Great Things to Do in the Berkshires on Weekends
Most people think of the Berkshires as a place to go in the summer for the music festival at Tanglewood, the dance at Jacobs Pillow, and summer stock. Or leaf season in the fall. But winter is an excellent time to visit too.
Places to Stay. There’s the famous Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. The Lion’s Den tavern is dark and cozy, and the perfect place to plot an insurrection. Makes you feel like you’re back in Revolutionary War Days. Or, for smaller, more intimate and right in the center of Lenox, try 33 Main, an inn opened and designed by Annie Selke. It’s beautiful and her store is right across the street. Wheatleigh is another kind of choice. A luxurious escape in an Italianate villa with impeccable service when expense in no object. Especially for a romantic weekend, can’t be beat.
Things to Do. The list is long. There’s the Norman Rockwell Museum is Stockbridge. Not too big, just right. Reminds you of what the real America looks like. The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home is also open in the winter. You can’t see the gardens, but you can get a taste of how she lived. And the Clark Institute in Williamstown is definitely worth the hour drive from Lenox. The permanent collection of French Impressionists is impressive and the new addition, by Tadao Ando, is absolutely stunning. A must see. (There’s a Turner/Constable landscape exhibit through March 10.) Finally, you can ski. It’s not the alps, but it’s excellent just for fun. There’s Bousquet in Pittsfield, Catamount in South Egremont, and Jiminy Peak in Hancock.
Places to Eat. Two of our favorites in Lenox are Brava Wine Bar and Alta. Brava (open on weekends) can get crowded so go early or late. Great small plates. Alta (open for lunch and dinner) has a full restaurant, but we love the bar and the bar menu. Great burgers. For breakfast, definitely go to Haven where the pastries and eggs hit the spot on a cold morning.
Shopping. Lenox has some great design stores. Design Menagerie is curated by a European expat and her American husband and has beautiful but simple things and clothes to enhance your home and you. MacKimmie Co specializes in blankets and bedding and beautiful scarves. Down the road, in Great Barrington, try Mistral’s for gifts, French glass and tableware. Twigs in Lenox and Great Barrington is a must stop for casual clothes (discovered Nili Lotan there). The owner, Lisa, is a good friend, a real delight and has a great eye. Tell her Erica sent you.