5 can’t miss stops in New England’s Berkshires this Summer


Want to get away this Summer? There are few places in the world that can offer cultural experiences surrounded by natural beauty like New England’s Berkshires. A rural region in the mountains of western Massachusetts, the Berkshires is well-known for its picturesque views, farm-to- table food scene and its thriving art and cultural offerings. Historic and quaint towns like Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Williamstown offer unparalleled art museums, unique theatre festivals and famed concert halls.

If you’re planning to visit the region, here are the five can’t miss stops in any trip. For more information on landmarks, examine Berkshires highlights in several categories here.

Tanglewood

The famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood is a Berkshires landmark. Tanglewood’s 524-acre grounds include the Tanglewood Music Center and Seiji Ozawa Hall, two of the top ranked concert halls in the world, and has played host to legendary acts including James Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma and more. Led by Andris Nelsons, the BSO performs almost every week throughout the Summer. I’d also highly recommend Tanglewood on Parade, a once per year concert featuring the best orchestra talent in the world. In the Summer of 2018, Tanglewood will celebrate Leonard Bernstein, performing 15 of his major works and celebrating his 100 th birthday with a special concert.

The Clark

Opened to the public in 1955, the Clark has become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, and a staple in the Berkshires art community, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. The Clark, which sits on a unique 140 acre ground, features European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawing and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. The collection is especially rich in French Impressionist and Academic painting, British oil sketches, drawings and the work of American artists Winslow Homer, George Inness and John Singer Sargent. It’s three-tiered reflecting pool is also a can’t miss spot to relax on a Summer afternoon.

Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America’s finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires. From Bradley Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris to Blythe Danner and Matthew Broderick (in the Summer of 2018!), the WTF has played host to well known Hollywood actors who come each year to experience the Berkshires. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including free theatre, late-night cabarets, readings, workshops and educational programs. Their late-night cabaret is a can’t miss – with famed actors and young actors sharing the stage for a night of raucous fun.

MASS MoCA

With more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space in what was once an electric power plant, MASS MoCA is one of the largest centers for visual contemporary art in the world. Exhibits focus on large-scale, immersive installations that would be impossible to realize in conventional museums. The broad-shouldered, raw industrial character of its soaring galleries offer a vibrant experience, where the building itself is art. With vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA is able to embrace all forms of art: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and new, boundary-crossing works of art that defy easy classification.

The Mount

This National Historic Landmark is the former home of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edith Wharton, the first woman to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The grounds of The Mount feature unique sculpture, historic guided tours of the home and often play home to local theatre performances. It’s also home to an extensive garden with one of the best views in the Berkshires. On Friday nights in the Summer, The Mount features live Jazz music and wine on the patio, a personal favorite!

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to experience the Berkshires!

Gil Haylon is Founder & CEO of Blank Canvas Tours. Blank Canvas Tours offers vacation tours focused on art, theatre and music.

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