Vacation Time! To the Berkshires from Niagara

Hancock Shaker Village,  Pitsfield, Mass. A must do !
Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, Mass. A must do!

When my daughter and I started this blog, a couple of years back, we promised several things as intentions. Obviously, we love featuring Niagara Falls, it’s beauty, seasons, ‘delectabilities’, restaurants, and things to see and do. But this is also a travel blog; for those of you who travel here, to Niagara, but also for our travels too! Far & near!

If you look back, one of the chicks shared her travels to Europe, Venice, Italy and Germany.

Another has shared about places closer, and often within a day’s journey of Niagara.

The Berkshire Mountains are one of these closer destinations. If you intend on a bit of a road trip, and you have some time on your hands, it is totally ‘doable’. The Northeastern USA, including any of the cities of Boston, New York City and Philadelphia can be reached by car, easily within a day’s drive.

The Berkshire’s are to the west (or northwest) of these cities and on the way towards Niagara.

Why I love the Berkshires so much, is not only their beauty, but the unlimited history made so accessible, simply by driving, or stopping at so many of the sites, homes and museums!

The Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is simply a ‘must do’! It is a living museum, giving a peek into the past lives of the industrious and innovative Shakers. You know them as furniture makers, but there is more to the story!

http://hancockshakervillage.org/

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Hand quilting still takes place at the village.
Hand quilting still takes place at the village.

There are live farm animals there, folks who do demonstrations of crafts and other activities, gardens, walk through tours and lots for the entire family to enjoy.

Beautiful gardens, the way they used to be.
Beautiful gardens, the way they used to be.
Threaded throughout the countryside, remembrances  through architecture. This is an old schoolhouse.
Threaded throughout the countryside, remembrances through architecture. This is an old schoolhouse.

As you drive throughout the countryside, the preservation of historic buildings will surprise you, just around the bend.

Beautiful countryside.
Beautiful countryside.

Lakes, rivers, creeks, woodlands and mountainsides are all a part of the charm of the Berkshires.

Along the roadside.
Along the roadside.

This unexpected beauty caused us to pull over, for just a moment to take it in.

The tallest peek in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock.
The tallest peek in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock.

Mount Greylock is not only the tallest peek in Massachusetts, but it has historic significance, walking and hiking trails, hang gliding accessibility and magnificent vistas.

Time for a bit of historical fun, Massachusetts style.
Time for a bit of historical fun, Massachusetts style.

Just make sure you don’t get tied up in the spirit of it all!

Stockbridge. Full of quaintness.
Stockbridge. Full of quaintness.

Mom & Pop businesses, restaurants and shops abound in the region.

One of the Stockbridge buildings. Can you find this in a Norman Rockwell?
One of the Stockbridge buildings. Can you find this in a Norman Rockwell?

We enjoyed the town of Stockbridge and searching the buildings to find the similarities in Norman Rockwell’s paintings.

http://www.nrm.org/

Norman Rockwell's Studio, at the Rockwell Museum near Stockbridge.
Norman Rockwell’s Studio, at the Rockwell Museum near Stockbridge.

The artist in me adored lollygagging along the paths and buildings of Rockwell’s Museum complex.

There's great scenery and some nice buildings on the Rockwell property.
There’s great scenery and some nice buildings on the Rockwell property.

This is inspiring me to do a bit of painting of my own!

Naumkeig, also in the Stockbridge area. A really fun place to explore!
Naumkeig, also in the Stockbridge area. A really fun place to explore!

There are so many historic elegant, massive, and intriguing homes to choose to tour. We spent the better part of a day at Naumkeig. http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/naumkeag.html We brought a picnic lunch and ate looking over the vast and beautiful landscape. A better location to build a home in the Berkshire’s, would be hard to find.

Around every corner, gateways and gardens appear.
Around every corner, gateways and gardens appear.

We loved the niches, corners, eclectic collections, and limitless personality Naumkeag presented.

A lovely viista.
A lovely vista.

A great place to have our lunch and take in the pristine gardens and breathtaking expanses.

Naumkeag's iconic blue steps.
Naumkeag’s iconic blue steps.

Nope. Never have seen steps quite like this before…

Naumkeag's renowned Chinese Gardens with it's authentic artifacts
Naumkeag’s renowned Chinese Gardens with it’s authentic artifacts

Perhaps we should have brought egg rolls and chop suey for a snack?

Williamstown
Williamstown

Williamstown is a neat & tidy town, home to Williams College. It is a nice place to stop and see the mix of a college town, historic churches, buildings and B & B’s. We really loved the wide avenue leading to the college.

A stately cathedral in Williamstown.
A stately cathedral in Williamstown.
One of many towns loaded with charm.
A statue along the way in one of the many historic Berkshire towns.
Pittsfield. Another stop along the way, for lunch and shops.
Pittsfield. Another stop on our roadtrip.

Pittsfield is the largest city in Berkshire County, offering a mix of old and new, with many amenities available.

There are many places to find locally sourced food. This was a cute little serve-yourself shop with artisan cheese, jams & jellies and meats, near Pittsfield.
There are many places to find locally sourced food. This was a cute little serve-yourself shop with artisan cheese, jams & jellies and meats, near Pittsfield.
We loved the trusting serve-yourself cash out!
We loved the trusting serve-yourself cash out!

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If you want a relaxing vacation and you have some time to explore, if you enjoy history and lovely mountain views, then the Berkshires might be for you.

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