This mountain range in west Massachusetts combines spectacular nature, world-class cultural destinations and charming New England towns.
The Berkshires is a picturesque mountain range that runs for 98 miles (158 kilometers) along Massachusetts west border. Known for its scenic beauty and its cultural offerings, the Berkshires is one of the state’s top vacation destinations.
Bring a pair of comfortable hiking boots and explore the beautiful wilderness. Hike some of the famous Appalachian Trail, which runs through the Berkshires on its 2,160-mile (3,476.18-kilometer) journey. The Berkshires portion of the trail passes through spectacular peaks such as Mount Greylock and Mount Everett, along with small New England towns.
Explore the trees at the “living tree library” of Hebert Arboretum. This 231-acre (93.5-hectare) park lies in the city of Pittsfield, the largest town in the Berkshires. The arboretum is home to fields, forests and wildflowers. During the spring and fall, the garden is host to migrating songbirds.
Surround yourself with flowers at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) south of Pittsfield. Browse more than 3,000 species of plants in the botanical garden, which is one of the oldest public gardens in the United States. It was founded in 1934. Stay in Stockbridge to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum of Art, which has the world’s largest collection of work by the famous American artist. Rockwell spent the last several decades of his life in the town, and the museum displays over 500 pieces of his art.
If you’re in Stockbridge in summer, visit Tanglewood. The music venue is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and hosts regular music concerts.
Drive 1-hour north of Stockbridge to North Adams for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the largest and most renowned contemporary art centers in the United States. Look through 19 galleries in the converted factory space.
The best time to visit the Berkshires is in summer, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra is in residence and many visitors flock to the mountains from New York and Boston. Cold winters are best enjoyed indoors, but there are plenty of museums, concert halls and theaters to keep visitors occupied.
To learn more about all there is to do in the region, visit the official Berkshires of Western Massachusetts tourism website.