After seeing a few daffodils sprout up from the hardened winter’s ground yesterday, my thoughts turned to exploring again. Lately I have been taking a look at all the places in the United States that I have yet to explore. This winter my thoughts when dreaming of travel took me to places in warmer states. Now with spring is almost upon us, I have been looking north toward the Berkshires! Those that live in Boston need to make this a road trip quickly.
For almost 100 years, the Berkshires region of the United States has been known as a premier summer spot for travel and culture in New England.
At first, I thought let's go straight to searching for accomodation in the Berkshire, MA area. Then I thought, what can I do there?
Three days I say are always enough to know if you want to explore more of a region. I like to think I can always come back. So here is what my research has found so far on how to have the Best 3 Days in the Berkshires experience.
Day 1: Where to Call Home Base
Make your home base in Lenox for the classic “The Berkshires” experience. The city of Lenox is where one can find the area’s most iconic properties such as a country mansion called Blantyre, a Relais & Chateaux, a 16th century palazzo styled hotel called Wheatleigh, and luxury wellness retreat like Canyon Ranch. For the ultimate in a wellness retreat I would pick Canyon Ranch Lenox.
Day 2: Where to Explore
We all know that I am heading to a luxury spa while on any trip, if not out in the middle of nowhere. BUT there are other wellness activities in this special place in the U.S. The multiple activities include snowshoeing, snowboarding, hiking, walking, wildlife viewing, eating, skiing, rafting, kayaking, golf and fishing entice many to venture to the area annually.
My pick is the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. It has over 1,000 acres of wildlife trails for all ages and levels of walkers and hikers. It is even friendly for wheelchairs. Pleasant Valley’s multiple trials take hikers and walkers through forests, wetlands, and meadows; all while basking in the shadow of Lenox Mountain. I picked this place since they say while you are out exploring, you have a great chance of seeing some of the sanctuary’s most prevelent wildlife and habitats such as a beaver, their dams, their dens, or their lodges. I know when I have spotted beavers before in North Carolina, they are much larger than one thinks they are going to be in real life. Seeing them in their own natural surroundings (their domain) would be exhilarating .
Day 3: Event Exploration
Cultured events are how the area got a boom in tourism, so an event is definitely a must when coming to the area. It started when the Boston Symphony Orchestra began decamping to the Western Massachusetts countryside area from the summer of June through late August in the 1930's. There they then hosted a season of open-air concerts. The event space is now called Tanglewood Music Center. This series has alone drawn a huge crowd of 350,000 visitors each year. Hopefully as covid gets under control this will continue, since it is so the heart of culture in the area.
Other event venues to check out are the MASS MoCA, the country's largest contemporary art center, the Norman Rockwell Museum and also the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Per Wiki, the Berkshires and related Green Mountains formed over half a billion years ago when Africa collided with North America, pushing up the Appalachian Mountains and forming the bedrock of the Berkshires. Erosion over hundreds of millions of years wore these mountains down to the hills that we see today.