Where nature sets the stage, and culture steals the show.  

Combining glorious open countryside of farm fields and mountains, a longstanding tradition of land and trail system conservation, with the rich cultural offerings of Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow and world class museums, the Berkshires offer a fantastic destination for equestrians, their friends and families.  

Whether one comes to the Berkshires to ride the rolling hills, sip cider at a fall apple fest, bike the scenic roads, soak up chamber music under the stars, enjoy a Broadway show, or simply relax and enjoy the view, there is plenty to enjoy in the Berkshires.  Berkshire County is a year ‘round destination for urbanites with second homes and the lucky ones who have been able to move here permanently. Equestrians love the access to fantastic open country, abundant offerings of private and public boarding facilities and easy trailer ride to “HITS”, eventing and dressage venues all within an hour’s drive.  

Named one of America’s cultural centers, the Berkshires are home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood which alone annually draws 400,000 attendees, Jacobs Pillow Dance , Hancock Shaker Village and a host of world-class museums such as the Sterling Clark Art Museum (which recently underwent an amazing expansion), Mass MOCA for the most innovative of contemporary art, the Berkshire Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum, and many more.  With so many live theatres , summer evenings offer Broadway or TV stars performing at the Barrington Stage , Colonial Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival or Berkshire Theatre.

The Berkshires, pronounced “Berk- shers”, first became popular as a summer retreat during the “Gilded Age” of the 19th Century.  Boston and New York high society mingled with literary and artistic luminaries, drawn to  the clear mountain air, pristine hills, valleys and lakes.  The Astors, Westinghouses, Vanderbilts and their peers built and furnished lavish “cottages” in a rusticated style, celebrating a less formal setting than their contemporaries in Newport.   Some of these vast mansions have become museums, like Ventfort Hall, Naumkeag, Edith Wharton’s Mount. Others are now exclusive resorts such as Blantyre, Cranwell, and  Wheatleigh.  Shadowbrook, burned to the ground and is now the site of the internationally acclaimed Kripalu Institute.  The few remaining in private hands, some of the most distinguished such as Southmayd Farm, Clipston Grange and Sunnyridge have been listed and sold by LandVest brokers.

Easy to get to for weekend residents, Berkshire County is nearly equidistant from Manhattan and Boston, about a 2 ½ hour easy drive north on the beautiful Taconic Parkway from NYC and West on the MA Pike from Boston.  Train travel from Manhattan also affords easy access as Metro North goes as far as Wassaic and Amtrak to Hudson.

10 things we love to do in the Berkshires:

  1. Bring a picnic to the BSO www.bso.org
  2. Enjoy a dance performance at Jacob’s Pillow www.jacobspillow.org
  3. See Shakespeare performed at its best www.Shakespeare.org
  4. Enjoy uncrowded skiing at Butternut and Jiminy Peak www.Skibutternut.com or www.Jiminypeak.com
  5. Expand artistic boundaries at MassMOCA www.MassMoca.org
  6. Check out the ice wine at a local winery www.Furnacebrookwinery.com
  7. Tour Williamstown, home of Williams College and be sure to catch as show at the Williamstown Theatre Festival www.Wtfestival.org
  8. Walk or drive to the top of Mt. Greylock, Massachusett’s highest mountain, and enjoy the view over a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Bascom Lodge  www.bascomlodge.net
  9. Find great locavore food at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, Taft Farms or any of number of farmers’ markets throughout the county  www.guidiosfreshfoodmarket.com
  10. Go for a gallop along the trails at Perry’s Peak in Richmond or join nearby Old Chatham Hunt Club for foxhunting, trail rides, hunter paces and for the non-equestrian, beagling.  www.oldchathamhuntclub.com

 


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