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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

May 23, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Pleasant Valley Wildlife SanctuaryGet out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The 1,142 acre reserve includes a large beaver pond, 7 miles of trails through a variety of habitats, and plenty of wildlife.

Actually, the Massachusetts Audubon Society runs three separate Wildlife Sanctuaries within reasonable driving distance of Applegate Inn. There’s Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield, and Pleasant Valley in Lenox.

All three preserves are lovely and worth your time – Pleasant Valley is just closest to our Berkshires inn.

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Explore the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

May 9, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Ashuwillticook Rail TrailSoak up the natural beauty of the Berkshires with a visit to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. This nearly 13 mile long, converted railroad track runs from Adams, MA through Cheshire, to Lanesborough, with plenty of lush scenery and wildlife throughout.

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail started out as an extension of the Housatonic Railroad in 1845. The line served the area for nearly 150 years before shutting down in 1990. A successful campaign for the track’s conversion to a multi-use trail began shortly thereafter and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail was born.

Ashuwillticook (ash-oo-will-ti-cook) is a Native American word for “the pleasant river in between the hills” and a very appropriate name.

The trail runs along the Hoosic River, between the Mount Greylock and the Hoosac Mountain Ranges, parallel to Route 8. Its’ course takes it past the shores of the Cheshire Reservoir, Berkshire Pond, and a variety of wetlands teeming with waterfowl and other wildlife.

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Chesterwood – The Daniel Chester French Studio Museum

April 19, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Daniel Chester FrenchCome explore Chesterwood, the summer home, studio, and gardens of one of America’s most celebrated sculptors, Daniel Chester French. Many of the artist’s most famous public monuments were modeled right here at his Berkshires estate.

Not sure who Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) is? Just picture the statue of seated Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC. You may also be familiar with the Minute Man statue in Concord, MA. Or maybe Alma Mater at Columbia University, NY – or any of his many other public works.

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Tour Jacob’s Ladder Trail Scenic Byway

April 10, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Jacob's Ladder Trail Scenic BywayLooking to soak up some of that beautiful Berkshires scenery? Take a cruise along the Jacob’s Ladder Trail. The historic, 35 mile Scenic Byway treats its travelers to gorgeous views of the southern Berkshires between Lee and Russell, MA.

Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway, part of U.S. Highway 20, runs from Russell, MA, to the Lee/Lenox town line, here in Berkshire County. In between, the road takes you through the towns of Huntington, Chester, and Becket. The area has seen less development than other parts of New England, leaving it rich in culture yet charming and unpretentious.

The Trail will also take you through plenty of lush nature scenery, too. It crosses over the Appalachian Trail, through three State Forests, past Jacob’s Pillow, across Westfield River, and up Mount Tekoa. You’ll see ponds, streams, hiking trails, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, and much more.

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Elizabeth Freeman, Ashley House, and Bartholomew’s Cobble

March 20, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Mumbet Elizabeth FreemanElizabeth Freeman was the first enslaved African American to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts. You can learn more about her extraordinary story at historic Ashley House near Bartholomew’s Cobble, just a half hour south of Applegate Inn.

Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1744 – 1829), also known as “Mumbet,” was born into slavery around 1744 in Claverack, New York. At the age of 7, she was sent to Sheffield, MA and the house of John Ashley, who had married her master’s daughter.

In 1780, Freeman heard a reading of the newly ratified Massachusetts Constitution. Its statement that “all men are born free and equal” inspired her to fight for her freedom. In 1781, a Great Barrington jury agreed with her, making her the first African-American woman set free under the Massachusetts Constitution.

With a motion picture on Freeman’s life under development, her relatively unknown story is about to get a lot more notice. Until that time, one of the best ways to learn about her is to visit the Ashley House in Sheffield, MA.

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Berkshire Botanical Garden – Put a Little Spring In Your Step

March 6, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshire Botanical GardenWhat better way to welcome the arrival of spring than with a visit to Berkshire Botanical Garden? The annual Bulb Show is on right now – and the display gardens open soon – May 1st, 2020!

If you’ve never made a visit to Berkshire Botanical Garden (BBG), you’re truly missing out. Even non-gardeners are wowed by the stunning display. 24 acres of meticulously groomed display gardens, walking paths, manicured lawns, and 3 greenhouses.

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Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2020

February 17, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2020As expected, the 2020 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series has continued to evolve since our last post on the subject. Five new entries have been added, including John Legend, Brandi Carlile, and The Mavericks!

As usual, the upcoming Tanglewood Festival summer is so chock full of amazing performances and star appearances it’s hard to know where to begin. This is especially true with the new Linde Center added into the mix! This year will see performances and events on almost every day of the schedule.

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Experience Hancock Shaker Village

February 8, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Hancock Shaker VillageCome experience the unique world of the Shakers at Hancock Shaker Village, established in 1774, in Pittsfield, MA.

Shakers are known primarily for their fine craftsmanship, plain furniture, and work ethic. The Christian sect formed in England around 1747 but left for New York in 1774 after years of religious persecution. The settlement at Hancock, established in 1780, was the third Shaker village to form in the new world.

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Valentine’s Day Berkshires Getaway Lodging Specials

January 23, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshires Getaway Lodging SpecialsThinking of a Valentine’s Day Berkshires getaway, or maybe a spring fling is more your thing? Applegate Inn has you covered. Our selection of Berkshires lodging packages combine valuable perks with considerable savings for just this time of year!

Little that is more romantic than whisking that special someone off on a surprise getaway. Dinner and a movie is fine – but how about somewhere other than your home town? Refresh your romance and break out of that stale routine with a Berkshires getaway.

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Discover the Berkshire Museum
Art, Science & History

January 13, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshire MuseumIf you’re looking for a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA is it. The only art, history, and natural science museum in the Berkshires is home to a wide variety of exhibitions designed to fascinate just about anyone.

The museum has been a fixture in the Berkshires for over 100 years. It was founded in 1903 by Zenas Crane (1840-1917), third-generation owner of Crane & Company paper manufacturer. Crane, inspired by institutions like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dreamed of combining the best of them here in the Berkshires. With the opening of the Berkshire Museum, Crane saw his dream come to life.

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Tanglewood 2020 – Summer Schedule Highlights

December 23, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Tanglewood 2020 Festival Schedule HighlightsGet set for a fantastic summer of music during Tanglewood 2020! Ringo Starr, Judy Collins, Trey Anastasio, Act III of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Isaac Stern’s 100th birthday, the Empire Strikes Back, and so very much more. Tickets go on sale February 9th, 2020 so now is the time to begin formulating those summer plans.

With the Tanglewood Learning Institute open and presenting special events all year ’round, you wouldn’t think the summer schedule announcement would cause so big a stir. But you’d be wrong. The annual Tanglewood Summer Schedule is always highly anticipated in the Berkshires’ and well beyond. And no wonder. One look at any year’s schedule would tell you why and 2020 is not going to break the streak.

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires Lodging Special

December 6, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires Lodging Special 2019Give yourself and your loved one a much deserved break and come celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Berkshires at Applegate Inn.

We’ll be having champagne and hors d’oeuvres, we’ll have a lovely fire going, – and you’re most definitely invited. In fact, with our New Year’s Eve Lodging Special, you can enjoy all this and more … while saving money!

You did it – you survived 2019. Phew! Now is the time to take that much needed rest – and the Berkshires are the perfect New Year’s destination.

From the area’s quaint, New England charm and lovely countryside, to our theaters, museums, galleries, shops, and fine dining – there’s something for everyone in the Berkshires, and Applegate Inn is at the epicenter.

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Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas 2019

November 18, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas 2019Have you ever seen a painting that was so warm and welcoming that you wish you could step right into it? The chance exists at Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas 2019, the annual recreation of Norman Rockwell’s famous 1967 painting. December 6-7 in Stockbridge, MA.

Norman Rockwell may have been gone for over half a century, now but his body of stunning artwork continues to live on. One of his most iconic holiday images, “Home for Christmas,” depicts a quintessential, small New England town on Christmas Eve. Rockwell was living in Stockbridge, MA at the time and its Main Street served as both inspiration and a model for the painting.

Moving forward to today, very little of Stockbridge’s Main Street has changed since Rockwell copied it to canvas. Add in a few vintage cars and Christmas decorations you could be looking at a live version of the painting. What a great idea! So great, in fact, that that is exactly what has occurred every holiday season for the past 30 years.

This year’s event is just weeks away – and you’re invited!

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Don’t Miss Naumkeag Winterlights 2019!

November 11, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Naumkeag Winterlights 2019Get into the holiday spirit with a festive stroll through the Naumkeag gardens draped in a sparkling blanket of colorful holiday lights! Winterlights 2019 runs from November 21st to December 31st in Stockbridge, MA.

The historic, Gilded-Age “cottage” and grounds of the Naumkeag estate open seasonally between mid-April and early October. The museum and gardens are closed during the winter months with a few special exceptions. One of the most popular  exceptions occurs during the holidays every year – Winterlights!

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Explore the Clark Art Institute

October 25, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown MAThe Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA is considered one of the country’s foremost art museums. The stunning collection includes paintings, sculpture, decorative art, and works on paper from around the world and ranging from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.

Though nearly an hour’s drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, the Clark Art Institute remains a worthy destination for fans of fine art. Few museums in the country can rival The Clark’s collection, which includes more than 6,000 works from some of the most important and celebrated artists in history. Dürer, Rodin, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Homer, Pissarro, Cassatt, Millet, Inness, and Singer Sargent, to name but a few.

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Halloween Fun at The Mount and Naumkeag

October 11, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Halloween Fun at The Mount 209It’s October and don’t look now but All Hallows Eve is slowly creeping closer! If you’ve a taste for the spooky and are looking for some Berkshires Halloween fun, Edith Wharton’s The Mount and Naumkeag are great places to start.

Halloween is always a good time with “creepy” decorations, yummy treats, fun parties, and, of course, all the creative costumes. The holiday is supposed to be kind of scary but is really just a bunch of good, clean fun.

The Berkshires get into the spirit (boo!) every year with a wide variety of Halloween related celebrations for both young and old. If that sounds like your cup of tea … or arsenic … read on.

Ghost Tours and Stories at The Mount

Edith Wharton (1832-1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer.  “The Age of Innocence,” “Ethan Frome,” and “The House of Mirth,” are but a few titles of the more than 40 she authored in as many years. She designed The Mount, now a historic site dedicated to her life and writings, to be her home and writer’s retreat.

Along with her more famous works, Wharton penned a number of ghost stories. Though she claimed to not to believe in ghosts, the author also stated that she feared them and admitted to sometimes sleeping with the lights on. Come experience some of those same thrills and chills with Ghost Tours at The Mount!

Mount Ghost Tours are two-hour, guided experiences that take you to the spookiest and most haunted parts of the estate. A great many people have lived at The Mount since its construction in 1902. If ghosts do exist, certainly some will be hanging around this historic site!

The tours include around a half-mile walk with some areas not suitable for wheelchairs or children under 12. Attendees should wear warm clothes and sensible shoes. Costumes are encouraged. Those who do so may enter the costume contest.

A selection of Wharton’s ghost stories will be presented on October 30th.

The Mount 2019 Halloween Schedule

Ghost Tours
Fridays, September through October, 5:45pm and 7pm
Saturday, October 19 and 26, 5:45pm and 7pm
Thursday, October 31st at 8pm and 10pm

Edith Wharton’s Ghost Stories
Wednesday, October 30th, 5pm to 6pm

Edith Wharton’s The Mount
2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, Massachusetts 01240-0974
Space is limited, so please reserve ahead of time: www.edithwharton.org

A Naumkeag Halloween

Naumkeag is a National Historic Landmark and one of the Berkshires’ original gilded-age cottages. The house and grounds are open from mid-April to early October every year and are very much worth your time.

Though “closed for the season” by the time Halloween rolls around, Naumkeag reopens its doors for this spooky holiday. Come see the more then 400 jack-o-lanterns and over 1000 pumpkins and gourds, along with a variety of special events, at Naumkeag!

Naumkeag 2019 Halloween Schedule

The Incredible Naumkeag Pumpkin Show – October 10-13, 17 18-20, 24, and 27
The Pumpkin Trail – October 11 and 12
Mind-reading by mentalist Keith Zalinger – October 13
Live Action Clue – October 18 and 19
Haunted House – October 25 an 26
Seance/Spirit Message Circle – October 27
All-Ages Trick-or-Treat at Naumkeag – October 31

If you missed all the Halloween fun, don’t despair – Winterlights is coming right up, November 22nd and through December 31, 2019!

Naumkeag
5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA 01262
Visit www.thetrustees.org to learn more about these and other upcoming events.

Berkshires Lodging

Both Naumkeag and The Mount are less than 10 minutes drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn in Lee, MA! In fact, our centrally located Berkshires inn puts the best of the region at your fingertips. Choose from eleven beautifully appointed suites, complete with private baths, fireplaces, and spa tubs. Applegate Inn is your ticket to relaxation and service in the Berkshires!

October is Peak Color Month for Berkshires Fall Foliage

September 23, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshires Fall FoliageIf you’re a “leaf-peeper,” or just a fan of stunning scenery, October is the peak month for viewing Berkshires fall foliage in western Massachusetts. Make plans to visit now, while the everchanging rainbow of autumn leaves is still up in the trees.

There is never a bad time to visit the Berkshires of Western MA but, when it comes to colorful views, you could pick a worse time than Autumn. The leaf-peeping season begins here in late September and tends to peak during mid-October, around Columbus Day weekend. That’s when our always picturesque landscape bursts to life with color. Reds, golds, oranges, browns, greens and all the tones in between.

Lucky for you, Applegate Inn is right in the middle of some of the area’s most gorgeous country. That’s the thing about the Berkshires. You don’t have to go anywhere to find beautiful fall foliage – it’s all around you!

If you’re up for a drive, however, the area offers endless possibilities.

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Lenox Apple Squeeze 2019 – the 40th Annual Return!

September 9, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Lenox Apple Squeeze 2019Lenox Apple Squeeze 2019 is just weeks away on September 21st and 22nd in Lenox, MA. The beloved, annual Berkshires harvest festival always includes great food, live music, craft vendors, and so much more.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Lenox Apple Squeeze. The FREE, 2-day harvest celebration and street festival includes nearly 150 food, craft, and local business vendors spread throughout downtown Lenox.

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