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Explore the Norman Rockwell Museum

January 14, 2021 by Corey A. Edwards

Norman Rockwell Museum studio exhibitThe Norman Rockwell Museum, in Stockbridge, MA is home to the largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art in the world plus exhibits of other illustrators from around the world. Best of all, it’s just minutes from our Berkshires inn!

Norman Rockwell passed away in 1978, yet remains one of America’s most popular and recognizable illustrators. His work, mostly featured in magazines from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, captured the very essence of the American experience like no one before or since.

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2021 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series – a 2020 Redux

December 20, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

2021 Tanglewood Popular Artists SeriesIf missing a favorite artist’s Tanglewood concert was one of your complaints about 2020, you’ll be happy to learn they’re getting a do-over. The 2021 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series is 2020 rescheduled!

2020 was a bizarre and challenging year for us all. So many of the annual traditions – or even daily habits – that we take for granted were altered or curtailed by the pandemic. The cancellation of the 2020 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series was just one in a seemingly endless series of disappointments that made up the year.

Now, with New Year’s Eve 2020 just around the corner, we’re beginning to see what looks like a little light at the end of pandemic tunnel. Plans for next summer are coming together and they include live concerts. In person, if you can still imagine such a thing.

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The Best Berkshires Skiing
Near Lee, MA

December 12, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Best Berkshires skiing near our Lee MA innNow is the time to start making plans for that fantastic Berkshires skiing getaway you’ve been dreaming of all summer long. Applegate Inn is a short drive away from some of the best skiing the Berkshires have to offer and would love to be your home base.

Is there any other winter activity that is as exciting than hitting the slopes? Not for most of us! Once the snow starts to fly there’s no end to the fun. We typically start seeing for snow around late November or December and up through as late as the end of March. January and February are the most reliably snow packed.

And what skiing!

The Berkshires are home to some excellent alpine, cross-country, and snowboarding opportunities. We’re also home to excellent snowshoeing, ice-skating, sledding, tubing, and more.

No matter what shape your idea of a winter-sports vacation takes, the Berkshires have it. Even better, most of the best skiing opportunities are less than a half hour from our Berkshires bed and breakfast here in Lee, MA.

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NightWood at The Mount Edith Wharton’s House & Gardens

November 22, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

NightWood at The Mount Edith Whartons House and GardensLooking for something fun and safe to do in the Berkshires this holiday season? Visit Edith Wharton’s house and gardens to experience NightWood at The Mount, 5 unique scenes of light, sound, and color. November 19th through January 3rd, 2020 in Stockbridge, MA.

2020 continues to be challenging, right up to the end of the year. Many of our traditional holiday events have either been seriously limited, gone virtual, or called off entirely. It is difficult to conceal a bright light, however, and the Berkshires continue to shine in bright holiday colors despite the pandemic.

Some Berkshires holiday traditions, like Winterlights at Naumkeag, are able to go on almost unchanged. Others, like Stockbridge Main Street At Christmas and Berkshire Museum’s Festival of Trees, have gotten creative and adapted.

Then there are new attractions like NightWood at The Mount.

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Experience Naumkeag Winterlights 2020

November 14, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Naumkeag Winterlights 2020The end of the year is fast approaching and one of our favorite holiday attractions is about to begin. Winterlights 2020 at Naumkeag is back, from November 27th to January 2nd in Stockbridge, MA.

The Gilded Age splendor of Naumkeag, with its magnificent landscaping and architecture, is lovely to behold no matter when you visit. Come the holidays, however, and the twinkling magic of Winterlights takes this already stunning, historic estate to new heights.

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Ventfort Hall Mansion
and Gilded Age Museum

September 25, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age MuseumStep back in time with a visit to Ventfort Hall Mansion and see how the Rockefellers and their peers “roughed it” in the country with their Gilded Age, Berkshire cottages.

America’s “Gilded Age,” occurred between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century. It was period of upheaval and rapid economic growth that benefited wealthy tycoons and corrupt industrialists over the working class.

The wealthier class were drawn to the Berkshires by both the beautiful countryside and the famous artists and writers who preceded them. Literary and art world luminaries like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Lenox, MA was the center of this scene. Ventfort Hall is just one of seventy-five such Gilded Age “country cottages” that were built here during the period.

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Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum & Hoosac Valley Train Rides

September 13, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum Lenox StationRailfans and history buffs alike will enjoy a visit to the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in Lenox, MA. Explore the historic Lenox Station museum and enjoy a short train ride!

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum is housed in the restored Lenox Train Station. The station was built in 1903, replacing the 1850 building which burned in 1902. The Lenox Station served the Stockbridge & Pittsfield Railroad until the 1950’s, after which it saw a variety of tenants and uses.

The building was donated to the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in 1986 and has been home to the museum, ticket office, and store ever since.

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October Mountain State Forest
Hiking, Biking, Paddling & More

August 22, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

October Mountain State ForestGet out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to October Mountain State Forest. Hiking, biking, boating, picnicking, gorgeous scenery, and more. October Mountain has it all!

October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts largest state forest. Its 16,500 acres encompass a portion of the Hoosac Range on the western edge of the central Berkshires. The forest includes an uplands area with several reservoirs.

The “October Mountain” name comes from the forest’s highest point; a ridge rising majestically up out of the Housatonic River Valley. Herman Melville treasured the view of the ridge from his home in Pittsfield, particularly in autumn. The name “October Mountain” is attributed to him.

Best of all, October Mountain is right here in Lee. Just a ten-minute drive from your room at our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

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Historic Becket Quarry and Forest Preserve

August 8, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Becket Quarry and Forest PreserveExplore miles of beautiful, protected forest trails and the remains of abandoned, historic Becket quarry in Becket, MA. Just 30 minutes from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

The Chester-Hudson Quarry was integral to the early development of Becket and the surrounding area. It extracted granite for gravestones and monuments from the 1850’s to the 1960’s.

The quarry was one of the largest in the area, which makes it doubly surprising that, in the end, it was simply abandoned. Not just the site but the equipment. Trucks, drills, derricks, buildings – all left behind to rot and rust. Almost as if the workers went for an afternoon stroll and just never came back.

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Jiminy Peak Summer Fun

July 25, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Jiminy Peak Mountain CoasterJiminy Peak Mountain Resort is well known to visiting skiers – but did you know the resort is open during summer, too? During warmer months, their Mountain Adventure Park offers ziplines, alpine slides, mountain coasters, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, and more. And all less than an hour away from our Berkshires bed and breakfast.

It would be an awful shame to ignore all that beautiful mountain terrain just because it’s not blanketed in snow – and they don’t. In fact, Jiminy Peak’s summer activities may be more diverse than their winter ones. Whether your taste runs to high flying adventure or something more down to earth like hiking, this nearby Berkshires resort has you covered.

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Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass

June 22, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Schantz GalleriesSchantz Galleries, in Stockbridge, MA is home to some of the most stunningly beautiful pieces of art glass you’ll ever see. The expansive, two story gallery displays works from more than 60 talented artists.

The sparkle, shine, and transparency of glass gives it a liquid, magical look that is perfect for catching the eye and expressing the soul. Very few other forms captivate like glass art can. The way it catches the light and takes on liquid forms, the shifting tones of its multi-hued transparencies. So unique and beautiful.

If you agree, then you’ll marvel at Schantz Galleries’ museum-like collection in Stockbridge – less than 10 minutes drive from our Berkshires inn.

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Take a Peak at Monument Mountain

June 7, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Monument Mountain summit panorama

The view from the top – “Monument Mountain panorama” by Tom Walsh is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Looking for something spectacular to do during your Berkshires getaway? Try a hike to the summit of Squaw Peak on Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain Reservation for panoramic views of the Housatonic River Valley and beyond.

Best of all?

The trailhead is just a little over ten minutes from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

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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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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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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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