#1 Stockbridge, MA….Stockbridge inspired the classic paintings and illustrations of Norman Rockwell so, of course, it’s going to have one of the most charming main streets in the state. Browse the shops, stop by the historic Red Lion Inn, and grab a tasty meal at Once Upon A Table. See all
Unwind amid the bucolic splendor of the Berkshires, birthplace of Norman Rockwell’s quintessential New England.
Kick things off with a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum (the iconic painter spent much of his life in Stockbridge). Located on the edge of town, the museum maintains the largest single collection of the artist’s works — including every one of his Saturday Evening Post covers. Docents deliver an engaging presentation in the main exhibit hall every couple of hours. Afterward, your best bet is to take the self-guided audio tour, which allows you to hear insightful commentary on most of the displayed works at your own pace. Rockwell’s studio — which was preserved when he died — was relocated from his Stockbridge home to the museum grounds and is a highlight of the tour. See what Westchester Magazine has to say about Stockbridge, MA
Our area is not only a summer cultural paradise that lure tourists from all over the world, but being only an hour or so drive to the Berkshires of Massachusetts permits us to be tourists ourselves. The cultural riches of that area multiplies the bounty found at home.
The Berkshires offers great theater, wonderful classical, chamber, and the Boston Pops with great pop guest artists. There are a number of great museums like the classic Clark Institute, the contemporary MassMoCA, Norman Rockwell Museum and others. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is the resident orchestra and the 2017 season opens On July 7 with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. It closes on Aug. 27 with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. BSO artistic director Andris Nelsons will be on the podium for both. In between those events there will be music by the world’s best composers and guest artists and conductors. Read more
Start your day in Stockbridge with breakfast at the Main Street Cafe (413-298-3060). While you are enjoying your waffles or omelet, know that you are (sort of) inside a painting by Norman Rockwell; the artist spent the last 25 years of his life in Stockbridge, and his portrayal of Main Street has become an iconic image of American small-town life. After breakfast, take a short, scenic drive up Route 183 to see the canvas version at the Norman Rockwell Museum (413-298-4100, nrm.org), the world’s largest collection of his work. Marvel at the detail in Rockwell’s original paintings as well as the room devoted to his covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Spend some time walking the scenic grounds, enjoying the outdoor sculptures and touring Rockwell’s studio. read more
In recent years, the Massachusetts Berkshires have been luring more city slickers out of NYC and Boston than ever. Those in search of a picturesque bucolic escape look no further than Stockbridge, a resort town with relative name recognition thanks to famous resident Norman Rockwell. In fact, many visitors make the hike out to the western MA town just glimpse the largest collection of the prolific artist’s work and personal items at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Priceless art aside, it’s also worth spending some downtime at the Berkshire Botanical Garden and window-shopping the bric-a-brac-filled country stores on Historic Main Street. Once you work up an appetite, head 5-minutes down the road to No. Six Depot in West Stockbridge. The rustic small-batch coffee roaster/cafe/art gallery serves a mean panini (go for the porchetta with truffle aioli, hazelnut gremolata, and lemon-caper aioli) and—of course—the best caffeine fix in town. Read More
When it’s summer in the Berkshires, all eyes (and ears) are on Tanglewood. Come September, after the final note has been played and the seasonal crowds disperse, it’s time to explore some of the area’s equally appealing cultural and culinary attractions.
Stockbridge may be best known for the Norman Rockwell Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of original Rockwell art, and as the longtime home of the artist. Born in New York, Rockwell moved to Stockbridge in 1953 so his wife could receive psychiatric care at the Austen Riggs Center; he set up his studio nearby and lived in town for the last 25 years of his life. That studio now sits on the grounds of the museum, where current exhibits include a dive into the midcentury divide between abstract and realist art and a look at Rockwell’s more than 300 covers for The Saturday Evening Post. It’s well worth a visit, but art lovers shouldn’t neglect the Schantz Galleries, a smaller Stockbridge gem featuring glass works by more than 50 contemporary artists, including Dale Chihuly. Elegant, exuberant and brilliantly colorful, these museum-quality showstoppers are beautifully presented in the multi-level gallery, and well-heeled patrons of the arts can even commission installations for their private, corporate or public collections. Read more
The Berkshires in Summer | My New England
From Tanglewood picnics to modern art, this collection of favorite things to do in the Berkshires in summer from Linda Campos offers the perfect blend of old and new.
“Peace and quiet” means different things to different people. To some, it may be the sound of birds chirping in the morning, or owls hooting at night. To others, it might mean a charming harbor, or plenty of greenery and space to roam. Some might even find they are most at peace in a lively but friendly neighborhood. These communities across Massachusetts each offer a little something different in the way of tranquility, but they’re all places where peace and quiet are the rule rather than the exception. Read more