Things to do in the Berkshires: Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Lee

May 8th, 2013 by Katie Pate

You can get a walking tour map from the Lee visitor information center at the Chamber of Commerce, a 2 Park Place. Here are some of our favorite stops on the tour:

Congregational Church. (25 Park Place) The 150-foot steeple makes this church the tallest structure in town. It is an unusually fine example of Romanesque style of architecture and it is the dominant feature of the green on which it stands. It was burned down in the Main Street fire of 1857 and rebuilt. Afterwards, it became a favorite item of gossip in other Congregational churches in the Berkshires because it was too ornate and fancy. From June through October tours are given every Saturday morning from 11 am to 1 pm.

Lee Library. (100 Main St.) The original part of the Lee Library was built in 1907 and is the only remaining “Carnegie library” building in the Berkshires. Lee Marble Works quarried and cut the local marble used in the construction.

The Historic Lee Library

The Historic Lee Library

Memorial Hall. (32 Main St.) Built in 1874, the town offices and Lee Police Station are housed here. The entire structure is a Civil War Memorial. Etched on tablets inside the building read the names of 38 Lee men killed in the War Between the States.

St. George Episcopal Church. (20 Franklin St) The Church was built in 1858. In 1861, it was burned to the ground. After another fire in 1879, several improvements were made to the building. Most notable among them were two beautiful stained glass windows.  One, entitled “The Light of the World”, was installed in the nave of the church.  The window pictures Jesus knocking at a door with no outside latch, bringing the message that hearts, like the door, should be open.

Visiting the Berkshires this Summer?

Come and stay with us at the Applegate Inn Bed and Breakfast. Between our expansive grounds, pool and luxurious guestrooms, you will be thrilled with your choice!

 

Girls Getaway Ideas: Lee Premium Outlets

April 26th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Looking to plan a get together with the girls this spring? Why not take a weekend or overnight trip to the Berkshires and shop to your heart’s content at the Lee Premium Outlets? With 60 outlet stores, you are sure to find something (well, maybe a few things) you can’t live without, along with a perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Find impressive savings at Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Cole Haan, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Talbots and more. See the full listing on shops on the Outlet mall website.

Catch a quick lunch at one of their eateries. Don’t forget summer is around the corner! Hit up the Sunglasses Hut, Michael Kors or Coach and get yourself some shades.

Mother’s Day Getaway?

Maybe taking your mother (and sister and their best friends) to the Berkshires could be a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day this year!

The Lee Premium Outlets

The Lee Premium Outlets

Go shopping together and enjoy staying at our beautiful bed and breakfast. We have 10 luxuriant guestrooms or select our carriage house suite, an independent cottage separated from the main house, with two bedrooms. Start your day right with one of our delicious home made breakfasts.

Along with beautiful rooms, the grounds at Applegate Inn will be a pleasant addition. Relax on the porch near the pool in wicker furniture with comfortable cushions, perfect for starting a good book or chatting with friends.

Get some sun in the lounge chairs at the pool’s edge. Lounge chairs can easily be moved under one of our two apple trees that flank the pool if you need some shade later in the afternoon. Two comfortable hammocks are also located near the pool.

Come and see us this spring!

 

The Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts

April 11th, 2013 by Katie Pate

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) is a hiking path that runs 2175 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Ninety miles of this long-distance trail are in Massachusetts, running along the tops of the ridges and through the valleys of Berkshire County.

The Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts provides diverse hiking opportunities for long-distance backpackers. However, there are also beautiful and accessible routes for the day hiker. The AT travels over Mount Everett in the south, Mount Greylock in the north and and through the Housatonic and Hoosac Valley’s small towns.

Appalachian Trail Day Hikes

These are some of the hikes closest to our Berkshires Inn, in Lee.

Click on the image for a PDF of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.

Click on the image for a PDF of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.

Cobble Hill. This a 3.4 mile round trip hike that starts at Main Road in Lee, 5 miles Southeast of US 20. There is limited parking along the roadside. Head South on the trail; after .1 miles, cross the Hop Brook bridge. At mile 0.8, pass through a hemlock grove and cross a small stream. 0.3 miles later, cross Jerusalem Road, which puts you in the Tyringham Cobble Reservation. Another 0.3 miles from the road crossing, reach a side trail (the 0.3 miles) to the top of Cobble Hill for a rewarding view.  Retrace your steps to complete the hike.

Warner Hill. This is an easy 1.4 mile round trip hike originating in Pittsfield. Reach the trail by following Blotz Road 6 miles east out of Pittsfield or for 1.3 miles west from Massachusetts 8. From Blotz Rd. head South on the trail and climb .7 miles through a dense evergreen forest to the top of Warner Hill. A cairn that sits a few feet to the left of the Trail marks the summit.  Retrace your steps to complete the hike.

Rest Your Feet On Our Hearth!

After a day of exploring the Appalachian Trail and the natural beauty of the Berkshires, head back to our bed and breakfast for a comfortable room with fireplace to warm your feet. Or perhaps a deep soaking tub is what you’d prefer. Either way, we have what you need!

 

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2013

March 25th, 2013 by Katie Pate

While you may feel like it is still winter, the Spring has arrived and summer will be just around the corner!

One of the biggest events of the Berkshire summer is the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This is the longest-running dance festival in the nation; Jacob’s Pillow plays host to more than 50 dance companies. There will be over 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits, films, classes, tours, and community events. The festival takes place over 10 weeks (mostly weekends) of the summer, starting with the Opening Gala on Saturday June 15th and ending the last weekend of August.

Pre-Season Tickets

Jacob’s Pillow is offering a variety of different ways to get to the front of the line when ordering tickets for the performances you want to see the most.

By becoming a member (minimum $60 donation) a subscriber (purchase tickets to 5 or more events) you can purchase your tickets before April 8, when they go on sale to the public.

Subscriber Packages

If you are unsure which performances you would like to attend when becoming a subscriber, Jacob’s Pillow has grouped shows together based on themes: Around the World, Ballet Lovers, Music Lovers, American Artists and the Variety Package.

2103 Festival Highlights

Here are a couple of the performances already slated for early this summer:

DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM (June 19-23) The preeminent American dance company opens the Festival with The Lark Ascending by Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine’s masterwork Agon, and more.

COMPAGNIE KÄFIG (June 26-30) The sold-out hip-hop show of 2012 returns! Experience the virtuosity, humor, and irresistible energy of this unique production from Brazil and France.

Lodging in Lee, MA

Our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast is located in the quaint town of Lee, about 20 minutes away from Jacob’s Pillow. We are business partners with the dance company and one of the most convenient accommodations to the festival.

Do you have your David Sedaris Tickets?

March 10th, 2013 by Katie Pate

One of America’s consummate satirists is coming to the Berkshires! It is not too early to buy your ticket for David Sedaris’ show in Great Barrington on April 6. A quick 20 minute drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast in Lee brings you to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, at 14 Castle St. where Sedaris will be speaking.

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris is established as one of America’s dominant humor writers. With great skill, Sedaris cuts through through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, showing Sedaris as master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

Here are some highlights from a review by Scotty Zacher of the Chicago Theater Beat:

“Mr. Sedaris tells the first fable from the point of view of a curious owl that asks questions of the more interesting prey. This owl is on a quest to be more than just his appetites and drive to hunt. If the prey has an interesting story, the owl releases it only to watch his parasitic (and hilariously stupid) family show up to eat the poor creatures anyway. The tales are told in a matter of fact style that is both absurd and surreal. I have yet to shake the image of the owl’s passive aggressive mother arriving as he is about to snack on an unfortunate rabbit.

Good storytellers reveal the world more than tell the listener or reader something new. There are a multitude of facts on this planet but Sedaris crafts the story behind them and puts a kaleidoscope spin on even scientific facts. As part of the owl fable, there is something revealed about leeches and hippos that could have been a gross out moment. I took away a new attitude about leeches and a new respect for gerbils.”

If you are a Sedaris fan, this is a night well worth the $45 – $65 ticket price.

 

New Productions from Shakespeare & Company in Lenox and the Barrington Stage Company

February 24th, 2013 by Katie Pate

The Berkshires is known as an artful place – whether it’s the Tanglewood Music Festival, charming art galleries in town or performances, we have a rich cultural tradition here.

Two local theater companies have new productions out right now. So take a getaway from the city to the Berkshires for a weekend of impressive performances!

10×10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company

Running through March 3rd at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield MA.
Thurs-Fri-Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun at 3 p.m.
$20 Thursday evenings and Sat-Sun matinees; $25 Friday and Saturday evenings

Head to Pittsfield, about 20 minutes north of our Berkshire Inn, to the St. Germain Stage for an evening of ten 10-minute plays by 10 different playwrights, featuring seven talented actors as part of the 2013 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. Fortunately for you, the show is running for an extended three week period!

The Lair by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox

The Liar by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA.

The Liar by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA.

Running through March 24th at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox MA.
Fri-Sat at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
$22-$42 for Friday and Saturdays; $15-$25 for Sunday matinees

A tangled web of lies, misdirected advances and the unmistakable confusion of love, The Liar has all of the ingredients that make for a great French farce.

The truth will set most people free, but for Dorante, the disingenuous hero, a sequence of fibs may pave a convoluted road to happiness. A hilarious farce about mistaken identity, The Liar was originally penned by the classic 17th-century French playwright Pierre Corneille, in 1664. This adaptation by award-winning American playwright David Ives merges the iambic humor of classic verse with a contemporary twist.

Let Us Be Your Berkshires Lodging!

Whatever brings you to the Berkshires, theater or Tanglewood, Skiing or sketching, we would love to host you in our elegant and spacious inn, located in Lee, MA.

 

Stay with us during your Ski Trip to Butternut or Catamount

February 7th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Visiting Butternut Ski?

Ski Butternut is regarded by many as the number one Massachusetts ski resort. Located on the East Mountain, ski Butternut provides 110 acres of skiing, spread across 22 trails. All of the trails are also supplemented with man-made snow as necessary.

Butternut is a friendly resort that also has many family – oriented ski areas, ideal for youngsters just learning to ski or snowboard. Ski Butternut is also affordable, offering bargain ski lift tickets and downright cheap season passes. Of course, they also offer ski and snowboard lessons and rental skis or snowboard packages.

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Berkshires Downhill Ski Areas

January 27th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Last post, we talked about places to cross country ski near the inn. For this post, we target those that live for the thrill and speed of alpine skiing!

Typically, our area of the Berkshires doesn’t get as much snow as the New England coast, but the snow stays longer. The first flakes fall before Thanksgiving and gets heavier in mid-December. By January the snow is building up as temperatures drop. A thaw at the end of January cleans the palate for the February storms. In March there are often early signs of spring, but the white stuff usually lingers into April.

That adds up to a four month ski season, give or take a few weeks. But that’s just the natural stuff.

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Cross Country Ski Berkshire Style

January 12th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Come and enjoy the pristine, snowy trails of the Berkshire winter! We have a couple favorite places to cross country ski that are close to our Berkshire bed and breakfast in Lee, MA.

Canterbury Farm

With 22 Kilometers of groomed and tracked trails, you ski alongside beautiful brooks, beaver ponds, stone walls, lakes, fields and mountains. It is very picturesque! The trails meander through old wood stands and you really feel like you are deep in the wilderness. Other trails are wider for excellent ski skating.

If you’re a beginner, ski instructors will teach you the best techniques and skills so you can quickly be off to enjoy the winter woods. The rental equipment at Canterbury is well maintained and their ski shop employees can help you with fitting or repairs to your ski equipment. They also have hot chili, soup, wraps, cold and hot drinks and snacks available.

Ice skating is also available, with with optional lessons and equipment rentals.

Canterbury Farm is located at 1986 Fred Snow Rd. in Becket, about a 15 minute drive from the Inn.

Hilltop Orchard

Hilltop Orchard has well groomed ski trails

Hilltop Orchard has well groomed ski trails

The Orchard has lovely trails as well. In fact, Hilltop was called “The coziest place to cross country ski in the Berkshires” by Berkshire Magazine in 2012. 100% of trails are groomed for both classic and skating-style skiing – great for beginners and intermediates. The wooded country trails will challenge more experienced skiers. The scenic views into the southern Berkshires are breathtaking!

Trails Fees: $15 for adults, $12 children 12 and under. $1 off for seniors. Half days start at 2pm and are $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Hilltop Orchard is also a winery. If you’re traveling as a couple and skiing is not an interest for both of you, one of you can relax in the ‘Barrel Room’ on the comfy leather couches and enjoy a huge natural stone fireplace and LCD TV. Warm up with your sweetie upon their return from the trails with some hot chocolate, cider or a glass of wine.

Hilltop Orchard is on the border of Massachusetts and New York at Rt. 508 Canaan Rd. in Richmond, MA; about 20 minutes from our Inn.

Berkshire Events – Gilded Age Museum and Arrowhead, Home of Herman Melville

December 29th, 2012 by Katie Pate

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Does the phrase “Call me Ishmael” have a special meaning for you? If you said “yes” to either of these statements, we have some upcoming Berkshire events that might peak your interest.

Herman Melville’s home, named Arrowhead, is the site where Moby Dick was written. The home will be open during the holiday season on weekends through January 13 for public tours. Hours are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with tours on the hour at 11,12,1 and 2. The shop is open with gifts for all the history and literature buffs in your life.
Also recently opened is The Melville Trail. The intent of the Trail is to deepen the public’s understanding of Herman Melville’s connection to and love of many places in Berkshire County. Four of his most beloved locales now have permanent interpretive panels. Find them at Arrowhead, Pontoosuc Lake, Berkshire Athenaeum and Monument Mountain.

Berkshire Events

Arrowhead – the home of Herman Melville in Pittsfield MA

Also included on the trail are eight more places that Melville loved. Park Square, Hancock Shaker Village, Crane Museum of Paper Making, Balance Rock, Lenox Court House, Tanglewood/Hawthorne Cottage, October Mountain and of course Mount Greylock.
Although Melville’s work belongs to the world, it was the Berkshires that inspired him.

Ventfort Hall Mansion

On Saturday January 12 at 3 p.m. the Gilded Age Museum at Ventfort Hall presents a Tea and Talk. “Lords, Ladies & Mummies: The Story of Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey” will be the subject with Curt DiCamillo as the speaker. DiCamillo is an architectural historian and a recognized authority on the British country house. The lecture coincides with the third season of the highly popular fictional television series Downton Abbey returning to American television. A snow date has been scheduled for Saturday, January 19, at 3:00 pm. A Victorian High Tea will follow the program.

Looking for a Massachusetts Getaway? We hope you will consider staying at our romantic Berkshire bed and breakfast – we would love to be your hosts!

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