Some places are like vocations: they call you.
For students of art and culture, Paris certainly has its embarrassment of inspiration. New Yorkers, too, should be justifiably proud of our tourist-filled, insomnia-inducing, beauty-found-where-you-least-expect-it megalopolis.
But are cities the only places where one can practice unfettered bohemianism?
Is there a rural community that could actually satisfy the nightlifers, the voluntary vagabonds, and the weekly readers of “Goings On About Town”?
Nestled in Western Massachusetts, in the Berkshire Mountains — a southern extension of Vermont’s Green Mountains — there’s a pocket of four picture-perfect towns that may assuage even the most sincerely sworn big-city person: Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lenox, and Becket. (Approximately three hours from midtown Manhattan.)
If you’re searching for a way to feel simultaneously totes zenned out and creatively overfed, then a proper Berkshire respite is more than essential, it’s nonnegotiable.
Read on to discover what to bring, where to start, and how to do it like a local. Start calculating your maximum summer home price now!
The Stockbridge Bowl: It’s an Artificial Lake
A rare instance of humans improving on nature
Most Extraordinary Museum: The Clark Art Institute
An admirable permanent collection and world-class exhibitions. Outdoor seating is arranged so that the bucolic setting is also framed in an artistic fashion. Plus: cows!
Your Mansion Away from Home: The Mount
Edith Wharton, presupposing #bestlife since 1902.
The Mount's main house was inspired by the 17th-century Belton House in England, with additional influences from classical Italian and French architecture. Edith Wharton used the principles described in her first book, The Decoration of Houses (co-authored with Ogden Codman, Jr.), when she designed the house. She thought that good architectural expression included order, scale, and harmony. Its west (entry) elevation is three stories; on the garden side it is two stories with an opening out to a large, raised, stone terrace overlooking the grounds. The house exterior is a striking white stucco, strongly set off by dark green shutters, and rises from a quasi-rustic foundation of coarse field stone. Clusters of gables and white chimneys rise from the roof, which is capped with a balustrade and cupola. This main house is augmented by Georgian Revival gatehouse and stable, and a beautifully restored Lord and Burnham Greenhouse. Wharton's sometime collaborator, Ogden Codman, Jr., assisted with the architectural design. Wharton's niece, Beatrix Jones Farrand, designed the kitchen garden and the drive; Farrand was the only woman of the eleven founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects. . . . . #themount #lenox #lenoxma #lenoxmass #theberkshires #theberkshiresma #theberkshiresmass #edithwharton #edithwhartonhouse #dreamhouse #dreamgarden #dreamwedding #dreamweddingvenue #weddingintheberkshires #berkshirewedding #berkshireweddingvenue
Worth Standing in Line For: Baba Louie’s Pizza
Gluten-free? Vegan? Insufferably picky about pizza? This won’t disappoint.
The Spiritual Rejuvenator: Tanglewood Music Festival
The greenest grass in the whole wide world.
Never Leave Home Without: Badger Balm Products
The Wish-We-Had-It-In-NYC: Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
The Triumph of Art: Jacob’s Pillow Dance
“Thousands of people, of all ages, from across the United States and the world, have Jacob’s Pillow to thank for opening their horizons to dance.” – President Obama
The Shortest Route to Inebriation: Berkshire Brewing Co.
The Lasting Legacy: W.E.B. Du Bois
Walk in the footsteps of greatness.
The Only Must-Do Thing in the Berkshires: Find Your Writing Nook
Cats love it too.
In every town, around every corner in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, there's a beautiful vista, a notable monument, and an extraordinary story worth retelling. Whether it's on Edith Wharton's Mount, the pristine grounds of @tanglewoodmusicfestival, or at Ted Shawn's magical theatre at @jacobspillow, to be #intheberkshires is to be walking in the footsteps of America's greatest artists — past and present. 🎶🎶🎶 For our managing content editor (and his cat Coco) however, a quiet corner in a cozy mountain cabin may be inspiration enough. 💯 #tanglewood #remotework
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