Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare & Company!

Shakespeare & Company Pride and PrejudiceLenox’s own Shakespeare & Company is heating up the Berkshires with two upcoming presentations: a costumed reading of a new version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as well as the annual Winter Studio Festival of Plays. If you’re a fan of excellent theater (or just good entertainment) you do not want to miss these performances!

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and has since become a Berkshires’ cultural institution. They put on one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country, May through December of every year, along with a variety of other programs.

Shakespeare & Company has three different venues in Lenox: The Roman Garden Theatre, The Tina Packer Playhouse, and the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater. All three have concession stands offering light fare for both before and after the shows. The Tina Packer Playhouse and the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater also feature outdoor spaces with tables for a picnic, snack, or drink.

While Shakespeare & Company focuses primarily upon the Bard’s plays (natch), works by others are also regularly produced. The two upcoming performances mentioned at the top are excellent examples of this. (more…)

Step Back In Time at The Bidwell House Museum

Bidwell House MuseumStep back in time to the Berkshires of the 1760’s with a visit The Bidwell House Museum, an authentically restored historic house and museum, in Monterey, MA. The beautifully maintained grounds include 192 acres of gardens, fields, forest, stone walls, and trails.

The Bidwell House Museum is an elegant, two-story, post-and-beam, Georgian saltbox that was constructed as a parsonage, circa 1750. Its location marks the center of what was originally known as Housatonic Township Number 1. Docent led guided tours of this beautifully restored home are recommended. In fact, they’re the only way to see the interior!

House Tours begin outside with a focus on the grounds and architecture. Inside, a tour of the first and second floors further reveal the history of the house, the Bidwell family, and 18th century life in the Berkshires. A virtual tour on tablet is available for those unable to manage the stairs to the second floor. (more…)

Explore Chesterwood – Estate of Daniel Chester French

Chesterwood- the Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.Chesterwood, in Glendale, near Stockbridge, MA, is the country home, studio, and gardens of Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). The 122 acre estate is now a fabulous house museum and sculpture garden here in the Berkshires.

Daniel Chester French was one of the country’s foremost public sculptors. If you’re not sure who French is, just conjure up an image of the seated Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. That’s the work of Daniel Chester French. Other iconic sculptures of his include Concord’s The Minute Man, and the Dupont Circle Fountain in Washington, DC.

Chesterwood was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will definitely enjoy exploring the estate. You’ll see the Daniel Chester French residence, studio, barn, gardens, and gift shop. (more…)

Enjoy An Afternoon of Hunting Lenox MA Antiques!

Enjoy An Afternoon of Hunting Lenox MA Antiques!If you love antique shopping, then you’ll love Lenox MA antiques. The selection of shops could keep any antique hunter busy for days! Stroll charming downtown streets while enjoying a variety of specialty shops and cafes, plus a large selection of antique shops.

As you know, no two antique stores are alike. In fact, with time, no two visits to the same antique store are alike! This makes coming back for repeat visits all the more exciting and enticing. (more…)

Explore Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum

Explore Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum

Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum
(image courtesy of Daderot)

Just about everyone has heard of Herman Melville’s classic “Moby Dick” but how many realize that the house where he wrote most of this famous book is right here in the Berkshires? Arrowhead the Herman Melville House Museum is just minutes away from our Lenox B&B in Pittsfield, MA.

Herman Melville lived at Arrowhead with his family from 1850 to 1863. It was a very productive time for him as an author. He worked on some of his most famous stories while here. Titles from that period include “Pierre or The Ambiguities,” “Bartleby the Scrivever,” “The Confidence-Man,” and, of course, “Moby-Dick.”

Arrowhead and the surrounding Berkshires appear in a number of Melville’s stories. Some even say that Mount Greylock was partial inspiration for his legendary white whale, Moby Dick.

“The Piazza” and “I and My Chimney,” offer very clear descriptions of Arrowhead and include details that can be seen at the museum to this day. “I and My Chimney” is one of the most accurate descriptions that exists of Arrowhead during Melville’s time. There’s even an inscription from the story’s text on the Arrowhead chimney, added by the author’s brother, Allan Melville. Another example, “The Piazza,” refers to a porch Melville added to the house. (more…)

Discover Stunning Works In Glass at Schantz Galleries

Visit Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MACome face to face with some of the most impressive and beautiful glass art you’ll ever see at Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA. The galleries include works by more than fifty world-renowned glass artists including Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, and William Morris.

From the outside, Schantz Galleries do not look like much. With its entrance squirreled away down an alley, you may think you’re wandering into just another gift shop. Once you make it inside, however, all misconceptions fall away.

Schantz Galleries are not “just another” anything!

Exceptional works from internationally recognized glass artists fill four rooms like artifacts from some other world. The galleries host a truly lovely and absorbing collection of astonishing glass art in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors.

Though the galleries are small, they are filled with exclusive pieces by big name artists like Chihuly and Tagliapietra. The whole room is devoted to pieces from galleries around the world – not just the US. In fact, even though the works are for sale, not exhibition, Schantz is very much like a museum. (more…)

Step Into Another World: The Historic House Museums of the Berkshires

Visit Berkshires historic House Museums, like Herman Melville's Arrowhead!

Spring has sprung! Though there can still be a bit of a nip in the air, the sun is out, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming! Now is the perfect time to visit the historic house museums of the Berkshires!

The Berkshires have so much to offer: scenery, history, culture, shopping, dining, and more. Once the weather begins to warm, it can be hard to choose what to do and see first! We often suggest one or more of the many historic house museums of the Berkshires. Many of them reopen their doors in May, so now is a great time to see them freshened up after winter.

Visiting the homes of authors, artists, statesmen, or those simply very well off can be quite interesting and instructive. The opportunity to walk the same floors and fields a famous person once did can do more than just show you how they lived. Visiting a historic home may also provide insight into what drove, inspired, or otherwise influenced the lives of these fascinating people.

The Berkshires have a great many historic house museums that you can visit and explore. In fact, five of the best house museums are within ten minutes of our Berkshires B&B. One is right down the street!

Berkshires Historic House Museums

Freylinghuysen Morris Home and Studio
92 Hawthorne Street, Lenox
The Bauhaus-inspired Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio in Lenox is a historic house museum of American Abstract Artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen. You’ll see the artists’ original furnishings, collected art, unique home, and 46 acre estate.
www.frelinghuysen.org

Visit Berkshires historic House Museums, like Ventfort Hall!

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
104 Walker Street, Lenox
Ventfort Hall is a Jacobean-style mansion and museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also used as a set in the 1999 film, Cider House Rules. Visit for tours of the estate or attend one of their many events: concerts, lectures, tea socials, and more.
gildedage.org

The Mount – Edith Wharton’s Home
2 Plunkett St, Lenox
Come tour the magnificently restored estate & gardens of author, Edith Wharton! The Mount, house and grounds, was designed by Edith Wharton. Fascinating and beautiful.
www.edithwharton.org

Naumkeag
5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge
This Gilded Age mansion is the former country estate of noted New York City lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate. The stunning home is filled with original furnishings and art and surrounded by ten acres of iconic gardens.
http://www.thetrustees.org

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead
780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield
Arrowhead was the home of American author Herman Melville during his most productive years, 1850–1863. Yep – this 18th century farmhouse is where Melville wrote Moby Dick! Visitors will enjoy guided tours, the museum shop and more.
www.mobydick.org

Brook Farm Inn
15 Hawthorne St, Lenox
Our Victorian home here in western Massachusetts may not be a house museum but it is a historic Berkshires treasure! Accommodations include 15 guest rooms and a carriage house surrounded by trees and award-winning gardens. You’ll feel serene and secluded at our Berkshires B&B but, as shown above, the best of the Berkshires are at your fingertips! Book your stay at Brook Farm Inn today!

7 of the Most Fun Things to Do in Pittsfield, MA

Pittsfield, MAThe Berkshires are a great place for outdoor adventure, historic exploration, and some delicious restaurants. When you stay at our luxury bed and breakfast in Lenox, MA, we offer an oasis among some incredible nature. We also offer proximity to a variety of activities and attractions that you are sure to love! These include some exciting and fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA. This nearby town offers some of the best attractions in the Berkshires, from museums to ski lodges to state forests. Here are some of our favorite fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA!

Find out more about all of the fun things to do near Brook Farm Inn when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for things to see and do like enjoying these fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA.


7 Fun Things to Do in Pittsfield, MA


Discover History at the Berkshire Museum

There are a lot of fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA, but one of the most popular is visiting the Berkshire Museum. This museum of natural history, art, and ancient civilization brings people together for an innovative and educational experience. Created in 1903, the Berkshire Museum includes varied collections with objects from every continent! Explore and discover fine art, sculpture, natural science specimens, and ancient artifacts.

Bousquet Ski Area

If you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, then a trip to the Bousquet Ski Area is in order during your stay in the Berkshires. In winter, enjoy racing along the powdery slopes in an exciting expedition. Or, during the summer, try zip lining 40 feet above the ground for an adrenaline-pumping 700-foot ride!

Pittsfield State Forest

Another wonderful outdoor adventure awaits within the Pittsfield State Forest. One of the most fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA, is hike along these beautiful trails! You will walk past cascading streams, waterfalls, and flowering vegetation. Then, enjoy stunning views from the top of Berry Mountain. An amazing panorama awaits, and sunset scenery from the peak is simply breathtaking!

Arrowhead: Herman Melville House

Arrowhead, also known as the Herman Melville House, is a historic house museum that was once home to this famous author. When you visit this historic site, you can embark on house and landscape tours. Guided house tours include the historic barn and the many rooms of Melville’s house, including the study where most of his work was written. A self-guided grounds tour is also available, including the beautiful Arrowhead Nature Trail.

Hebert Arboretum

Located in Springside Park, the Hebert Arboretum displays a unique collection of trees and other plants in formal landscapes among a natural setting. Exploring this living tree library is one of the many fun things to do in Pittsfield, MA! Enjoy 231 acres within the city, serving as a sanctuary for plant and animal life.

Lake Onota

You can soak in some waterfront views in Pittsfield, MA, when you visit Lake Onota. This 617-acre large pond lies entirely within the city of Pittsfield. It is heavily traversed by fishermen, swimmers, rowers, sailors, and others seeking water activities. A boat ramp and fishing pier are among the lake attractions.

Mission Bar & Tapas

After all these adventures, are you hungry yet? Well, Mission Bar & Tapas is a great destination for a lunch or dinner break! You will love this rustic chic tapas bar with a loungy atmosphere. Spanish small plates, Iberian wines, and live music are a few highlights from this popular restaurant!

Stay at Brook Farm Inn During Your Berkshires Adventures

At Brook Farm Inn, you will get an authentic Berkshires experience that will create memories for years to come! Enjoy a mountain retreat with your special someone, friends, or family members. At Brook Farm Inn, you will love our charming decor, massage services, and luxurious amenities. We also have complimentary gourmet breakfast each morning to start your day of adventures off right!

 

What You’ll See at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead

The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts feature a strong artistic and literary culture that you will be able to appreciate during your stay. There is also a rich history that comingles between these cultures and fuels many interesting attractions and destinations in the area. One of these such attractions is the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA. Here, you will take a trip back to the 1800s, when the famous poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant lived within these walls.

Find out more about all of the great cultural and historical attractions near Brook Farm Inn when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for literary destinations as well, such as the William Cullen Bryant Homestead!

William Cullen Bryant Biography

Born in 1794, William Cullen Bryant became a popular American poet, journalist, and editor of the New York Evening Post during his influential lifetime. His boyhood home was the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, which he would later occupy and which would eventually become a museum. Inspired by the surrounding nature of Cummington, MA, Bryant began writing poetry. A single bird flying on the horizon inspired one of the most famous William Cullen Bryant poems, “To a Waterfowl.” He later became connected to New York City, where he was hired as editor of the New York Review and then of the United States Review and Literary Gazette. His star career role, however, was as the editor of the New York Evening Post. After retiring from his affluent career, Bryant returned to poetry and translations of Homer, passing away in 1878.

Touring the William Cullen Bryant Homestead

When you visit the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, you will discover the personal history of one of America’s most famous journalists and poets. With a sweeping view of the Hampshire Hills, the homestead is a testament to a prominent past. Bryant purchased the house in 1865, which his family had sold in 1835. He renovated it as a summer home, making it very similar to the homestead you will see today. He also planted over 1,500 fruit trees on the property, and remnants of this orchard still remain on the south end of the farm. 188 of the original 478 acres of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead are still preserved today, and the property is a designated National Historic Landmark. A self-guided tour of the property will take visitors to many of the locations that Bryant talked about in his poetry, including along the Rivulet Trail! 

Discover Our Poetry Collection at Brook Farm Inn!

Here at Brook Farm Inn, you can discover even more ties to poetry! Poetry, in fact, is at the very heart of our Lenox bed and breakfast. The library at our Berkshires inn features an extensive collection of poetry, both traditional and contemporary. We also showcase a poem of the day each morning, encouraging guests to browse our selection. There is ample comfortable seating throughout the inn, from seating by the library fireplace to the gardens outside or hammock beside the pool. Along with our library collection of poetry, we also host poetry readings throughout the year during which you can enjoy homemade scones and strawberry jam among inspirational words!