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!

Red Chair Travels to the Best Bed and Breakfasts in New England

December 13th, 2012 by Katie Pate

Red Chair has arrived in the Berkshires!

What, you may be asking, is the ‘Red Chair?’ Well, here is a description from the Red Chair Travels website that will clarify:

“The Red Chair is a symbol, a movement,  a phenomenon,  a happening.  Not just a simple wooden chair, this bright red vintage object is moving from place to beautiful place, exploring the best of New England all this year.

Move aside Flat Stanley, lie down garden gnome, hang yourself out to dry traveling pants… the Red Chair has arrived and captured the hearts and minds of America.  This humble desk accoutrement, crimson paint peeling and wooden legs wobbling, will journey around New England building connections, meeting innkeepers and generally exploring some of the most beautiful corners of our country.”

Lee MA bed and Breakfast

Myself and Len with the Red Chair at our Inn

Sounds fun, right? The Red Chair’s visit to our Berkshires bed and breakfast was a great way for us to share with travelers all that the Berkshires has to offer as well as our thriving little community of Lee. Here are the places we brought the Red Chair:

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Berkshire During the Holidays

November 21st, 2012 by Katie Pate

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and that means Christmas is just around the corner! Here in the Berkshires, we are starting to feel the holiday spirit. In this post, we have some events that will help you get in the winter wonderland mood as well.

Hoffman Pottery: For Sale and Design-Your-Own

This artist’s shop is offering big deals for the Holidays! Get 10% off the entire Helix Collection, 15% off garden sculptures and 25-75% off already discontinued lines for the rest of 2012. Buying from a local artist and business owner is a great way to be a responsible consumer. If you’ve got your young ones in tow, bring in the whole family for a Plate-Painting Party! There’s no gift grandparents like more than a hand-made item from their grandchild to cherish. Hoffman Pottery is open daily.

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Berkshire Concerts in November & Early December

November 10th, 2012 by Katie Pate

As the weather gets cold and the night sets in early, a great way to spend the evening out is at a concert. Forget about the cold and the wet outside while enjoying the pulse of the beat and the warmth you feel while dancing or hearing your favorite song.

Upcoming Concerts in the Berkshires Area

Gaia Roots: The Colonial Theatre (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ) Gaia Roots World Music and Dance Ensemble is an all-female performance troupe that blends drumming, dance and vocal harmonies into a unique enactment of traditional music and original creations. They draw inspiration from the roots music of West Africa, the Caribbean and many other traditions from around the world. November 24th. Performance & Workshop: $15 at 7pm; Workshop only: $10 at 7pm; Performance only: $10 at 8pm.

Mary Verdi and Tony Lee Thomas host Christmas at The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): This lively show begins the holiday season with all your favorite Christmas songs! Mary Verdi is a local singer and songwriter who takes the stage with her seven piece band, bell choir, dancers, children singers and of course Santa Claus! Don’t miss this family-friendly Christmas show! December 1 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

The Temptations: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA):The Temptations are known as one of the most acclaimed and successful acts to record for Motown records. December 2 at 7pm. Tickets $80-$50.

Arlo Guthrie: The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): With Woody’s 100th birthday approaching, Arlo’s new solo tour is a celebration of Woody Guthrie’s immeasurable contributions to the landscape of American folk music. Best known for his song “This Land is Our Land,” Woody was a giant in the folk movement, inspiring a generation of new folk musicians, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan and of course his son, Arlo. December 6 at 8pm.

If any of these artists or shows peak your interest, consider making a real event out of it with a stay at our fine Lenox, MA bed and breakfast. We have several specials you might want to take advantage of – including a romance package, mid-week specials (some of the concerts are mid-week) and more.

Local Halloween Events in the Berkshires

October 7th, 2012 by Katie Pate

Berkshire Events for Halloween

Halloween is a holiday more about folly and fun than religion and rhetoric. It is a favorite day for children all over America and adults know that Halloween is an excuse to get into costume and act silly.

Wondering what to do in the Berkshires for Halloween? October brings the lovely fall colors to our landscape and spooky Halloween events. From Paranormal investigations to traditional Halloween parades, there’s a lot of fun to be had not far from our Lee, MA bed and breakfast.

2012 Halloween Season Events at Ventfort Hall

Located at 104 Walker St. in Lenox, MA.

Ventfort Hall mansion and Gilded Age museum has a number of fun and spooky events for Halloween.

Dancin’ at the Mansion Halloween Party Saturday October 13 at 7:30 pm.
Dances to the standards sung by Vivian Caputo and played by the Greg Caputo Quartet. Costumes very welcomed and prizes will be given. There will also be complimentary snacks and a cash bar.

Ghost Hunting at the Mansion Saturday October 20 at 8:00 pm.
Chicopee Paranormal Investigators will check out the ghostly activity at the mansion. In the process, they’ll train spectators on how to do their own investigation, including how to use tools of the trade.

Tea and Talk with Chicopee Paranormal Investigators Tuesday October 30 at 4:00 pm.
The Chicopee Paranormal Investigators return to share their findings at the mansion. Consider the evidence over a lovely Victorian Tea.

Tickets are required for all events. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit http://gildedage.org/

Friday Night Ghost Tours at The Mount in Lenox, MA

Every Friday at 5:45pm and 7:00 pm during October, visit to The Mount at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, MA for Ghost Tours! A 90-minute guided adventure though the haunted places of Edith Wharton’s home is sure to put you in the Hallow’s Eve mood. Wear good walking shoes, bring your flashlight and prepare to be spooked! Not recommended for children ages 12 and younger. Visit The Mount website for more information and to buy tickets.

Berkshires Halloween 2012

A vintage postcard posted by the New York Library. Enjoy the Halloween holiday in the Berkshires!

2012 Halloween Events in Pittsfield, MA

Pittsfield is a 25 minute drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast.

All Things Halloween Thursday October 18 in Pittsfield
Throughout downtown Pittsfield, come for the very cute Children’s Costume Contest & Parade. There will also be live music and performances. Downtown shops and restaurants will be open later for the festivities. The Halloween spirit continues with Pittfield’s annual Halloween Parade on Friday, October 26 at 7 pm.

2012 Halloween Events in Stockbridge, MA

Stockbridge is a 10 minute drive from our Berkshires lodging.

Halloween Week Walk & Talk October 25 in Stockbridge, MA at 5:00 pm
Tom Daly will lead a walking tour of Stockbridge Cemetery after a cider and doughnut reception at the Old Town Hall.

 

Foliage in Massachusetts

September 28th, 2012 by Katie Pate

The fall foliage in Massachusetts peaks in October and draws many visitors. Fall foliage trips are a popular activity around this time of year and we hope that for your 2012 fall foliage tour you will pick our Berkshires bed and breakfast as your premier lodging choice.

Autumn Foliage Maps

Berkshires fall foliage

Enjoy the stunning colors of fall in the Berkshires.

The state’s official Tourism site has a useful map describing foliage peak conditions in different areas of Massachusetts. The map indicates the Berkshires will be at peak color during the third week of October, and the eastern portion of the state by Nov. 6.

Berkshire Foliage Colors via Hike and Bike

Immerse yourself in the warm hues of fall! A favorite way to do this is via hiking, biking or running. There are a variety of organized excursions and independent treks to visit the fall foliage. Here are a few:

Housatonic Heritage Ride -Sun Oct 2, 9 AM – Sheffield Town Hall. Explore the 29 quaint towns of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

Running Routes: Stunning routes through the small towns of Lenox, Great Barrington, Williamstown and Stockbridge will give you a chance to take your time observing the changing leaves. For something more rural, try going up onto Mount Greylock and over the Mohawk Trail, the same foot path Native Americans used centuries ago.

Berkshire Foliage Driving Tours

The Mohawk Trail Association offers five suggested driving tours in western Massachusetts that are perfect for observing foliage in Berkshires, Massachusetts.

 

berkshires foliage driving tours

Driving routes for observing fall foliage in the Berkshires.

Tour 1: Mount Greylock (26 miles)
On a clear day, Mount Greylock can provide wide views of scenic Massachusetts. Greylock is Massachusetts’ highest peak, at 3491 feet. Allow half a day for this tour. This route starts one mile north of Lanesborough on Route 7.

Tour 2: Mohawk Trail,  Savoy State Forest (55 miles)
Williamstown, the home of Williams College, is the starting place for this foliage tour. This route covers most of the outstanding features in northern section of Berkshire County.

Tour 3: Mount Greylock / North Berkshire (33 miles)
This tour of scenic northern Berkshire County is on the western edge of the Mohawk Trail and starts in North Adams at City Hall at Route 8 and Marshall Street.

Tour 4: North Berkshire / Mohawk Trail (53 miles)
This scenic tour brings you north on Route 7 to The Mohawk Trail. Starting in Pittsfield, take Route 7 to Lanesborogh. Continue north on Route 7 to South Williamstown to the historic five corners. Here several walking tours to historic houses are available.

Tour 5: Mohawk Trail / Pioneer Valley (55 miles)
This tour begins in Greenfield at the eastern part of the Mohawk Trail. Watch an early sunrise from the Poet’s Seat Tower by driving east on Main Street to High Street, then follow the signs to the Tower. Return to Main Street, Route 2A, go west and turn left on Route 5 which takes you through the meadowlands of the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers, site of the Deerfield Massacre in 1704.

October 6-7, 2012 Harvest Festival at Berkshire Botanical Garden

September 16th, 2012 by jenn

Farmers Market at Berkshires Harvest Festival 2012

The 78th Annual Harvest Festival in Stockbridge, MA will have a farmer’s market, children’s activities, live music, vendors selling fine crafts and much more!

Saturday & Sunday ~ 10 am to 5 pm

The annual Harvest Festival in Stockbridge, MA is a long-standing Berkshires tradition. Locals and visitors gather every year in the beautiful setting of the Berkshire Botanical Garden to celebrate community and the harvest season.

This family friendly Berkshires event has plenty of opportunities to shop and to learn. Vendors will be selling handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, textile arts and more. There will also be a silent auction and plant sales. The farmer’s market will feature fresh locally grown produce. A food court and bakery will give visitors a wonderful chance to taste the work of local food artisans’ baked delights, burgers, sausages, chocolates and other fine foods. Learning opportunities include workshops and demonstrations–watch a blacksmith at work and see thread spun before your very eyes.

The Harvest Festival in the Berkshires is a favorite for children of all ages. Hay rides, face painting, balloon animals, a hay maze, crafting and kid-friendly farm animals are just a few of the fun activities kids love at the festival. This year, there are a few new additions too: horseback riding, an obstacle course by the Southern Berkshire Community Center and a monster photo booth will be sure to entertain everyone in the family!

Live music will set the mood with a swing jazz quartet and a banjo and fiddle duo. Buskers will also be out and about to keep the music going throughout the garden. It’s an altogether lovely celebration during a gorgeous time of year in the botanical garden.

Come to the festival at 5 West Stockbridge Road in Stockbridge on the Berkshire Botanical Garden grounds. Parking is free. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. It’s all for a good cause; proceeds support Berkshire Botanical Garden education programs. For more information, please visit BerkshireBotanical.org/Harvest_Festival.

Plan Ahead to Enjoy the Fall Colors in the Berkshires

September 2nd, 2012 by jenn

Lee MA Berkshires Fall Colors

Fall foliage in the Berkshires…plan ahead for your fall viewing vacation at our elegant Lee, MA bed and breakfast.

Summer is coming to its end… which means the spectacular show of the Berkshires fall foliage is about to begin! Plan your relaxing stay at our Berkshires bed and breakfast during the height of autumn color in October.

There are so many ways to take in that beautiful explosion of red, yellow and orange! The cool crisp air of fall is the perfect time to be active. Take an easy nearby hike on the Appalachian Trail. A leisurely bike ride in town or country will reward you with scenic views of our lakes and hills. If you love to kayak, there’s nothing better than getting on a peaceful lake ringed by trees bursting with color. Go for pure nature by visiting our local parks or visit quaint Berkshires towns to see the harmony of New England historic buildings set against the backdrop of hills drenched in color.

The arts and culture of the Berkshires will also enliven you during your fall foliage vacation in the Berkshires. Live theater, musical concerts and visual arts of the highest quality are part of the Berkshires landscape year-round. See our Things to Do page for more ideas on museums, performances and outdoor activities you can enjoy during your stay.

September 21-23, 2012 Lee Founders Day
A fall visit to our Berkshires B&B is also well-timed to join in Lee’s annual heritage celebration. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy local culinary delights at the Taste of Lee, plus a colorful parade, live music and other fun events and activities. For more information on the Lee, MA Founders Day, please visit TownofLee.com/Founders_Weekend.asp.

You can also relax at our stately Berkshires accommodations with its grounds and gardens putting on their own autumn show. You can take in the view from your luxurious room or sit in a comfortable chair on the spacious screened-in porch. If you love the fresh air and the sight of the fall leaves outside, you can have your full gourmet breakfast on the porch too.

Fall will soon be here…Be sure to book your room today and experience fall in the Berkshires and the warm hospitality of our Lee, MA B&B near Stockbridge.

Fall 2012 Berkshires Jazz in Lee and Pittsfield, MA

August 16th, 2012 by jenn

If you love jazz, the Berkshires delivers! Jazz has long been an important part of Berkshires culture. In the 50s and 60s, the Music Inn, the Music Barn and the Lenox School of Jazz were important venues for both jazz concerts and education. This great American musical tradition continues with Berkshires jazz festivals and individual performances throughout the year. There are two festivals to look forward to as fall approaches. Both are conveniently close to our Berkshires B&B. You can book your luxurious Berkshires accommodations at Applegate Inn in time for these jazz festivals and the display of spectacular fall color!

Karrin Allyson

Vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson, Saxophonist Charles Neville and the Sonny & Perley jazz duo are the three headlining acts of the 2012 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend. Flickr photo by Tom Beetz.

Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend 2012

The first of the two festivals, the 2012 Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend is September 14-16. In addition to performances by various local and regional musicians, there will be three headline acts that weekend:

Friday, September 14, 2012 ~ 8-10 pm: Sonny & Perley, the husband and wife jazz duo, will play their distinctive blend of jazz, Brazilian and International Cabaret styles. @ The Spectrum Theatre ~ 20 Franklin Street in Lee, MA

Two concerts are on Saturday, September 15, 2012 @ the First Congregational Church ~ 25 Park Place in Lee, MA
2-4pm: Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers is a master of the saxophone, with over 50 years playing R&B, funk, jazz and pop music.
8-11 pm: Karrin Allyson, Grammy nominated vocalist and pianist, will perform with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, thrilling you with the heart and virtuosity of their music.

For more information and online ticket sales, visit BerkshireGatewayJazz.com.

2012 Pittsfield City Jazz Festival

The second festival is the 8th Annual Pittsfield City Jazz Festival, October 5-13. For over a week, various venues around downtown Pittsfield will feature jazz music of incredible variety and depth.

October 5-7, 2012 Jazz About Town: Local jazz musicians will be playing in various restaurants, bars and cafes throughout Pittsfield.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012: Adam O’Farrill and his quartet will play their Berkshires debut at the Berkshire Athenaeum ~ 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. Note: The time is yet to be announced.

Friday, October 12, 2012: The Jazz Arts Trio headed by concert pianist Frederick Moyer.
8 pm at the Sydelle & Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center ~ 36 Linden Street in Pittsfield, MA (413) 236-8888

Saturday, October 13, 2012: The New England Jazz Ensemble, a 16-piece big band, will perform with jazz/blues vocalist Giacomo Gates and flutist Ali Ryerson. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will also play. 8 pm at the Colonial Theatre ~ 111 South Street in Pittsfield, MA (413) 997-4444

For more information about the 2012 Pittsfield Jazz Festival, please visit BerkshiresJazz.org. For ticket sales, please call each venue for details.

Don’t miss these exciting opportunities to experience jazz in the Berkshires!

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