Top 5 Reasons You Need to Visit The Mount Lenox MA

Edith Wharton’s historic home still stands as a popular tourist destination in Massachusetts. The Mount Lenox MA is an autobiographical house featuring the original gardens, architecture, and interior design that Wharton designed in the early 20th century. The 113-acre property was purchased in 1901 and became a fostering environment for writer Wharton, who poured her heart and soul into the house and surrounding landscape to create an atmosphere that would inspire her literature. Now, the estate and gardens serve as a wedding venue, host for a writer-in-residence program, and exhibition for guided touring. Here are just a few reasons that The Mount Lenox MA should be on your radar.

Historical Context

The estate’s ties to author Edith Wharton is an incredible reason alone to visit The Mount Lenox MA. Not only was this her home for 10 years during her writing career, but the estate was actually designed based on the principles outlined in one of her influential novels, The Decoration of Houses (1897). The classical revival home represents the only full expression that is available of Wharton’s architectural ideals.

Main House Design

The main house boasts quite a stunning architectural design. Right when you walk in, you will note the incredible design-work, such as the entrance hall, which serves as an extension of the landscape. It was imagined as a grotto or artificial cave with plaster-work to show mossy walls and dripping water. A marble fountain with a bronze statue is a central feature in the forecourt, while the gallery on the main floor displays a collection of Wharton’s travel findings, such as vases, busts, statues, and antique furniture. Wharton’s library is another stunning room with oak paneling and tapestry work as well as the many books lining the space. The bedroom floor then features a series of living and sleeping spaces that rival estates of the time period. You will be moved by all the beautiful architecture you will come across during your tour.

National Historic Landmark

Not only is The Mount Lenox MA an architectural gem, but it has been designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It is the only U.S. monument dedicated to Edith Wharton, and it is one of the mere 5% of National Historic Landmarks dedicated to women. This alone makes it a remarkable place to visit.

Restored Gardens

The gardens at The Mount Lenox MA are a marvel of their own. The grounds feature an Italian walled garden, formal flower garden, rock garden, lime walk, and grass terraces. Wharton’s authority on European landscape design and passion for gardening helped develop this elegant series of gardens that accentuate the natural landscape. A four-year restoration took place to plant over 5,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that would mirror the original grounds.

Terrace Cafe

The Terrace Cafe at The Mount Lenox MA opens daily at 11 am and serves beverages and light fare such as sandwiches, salads, desserts, wine, beer, lemonade, and iced tea until 4:30 pm. This is a great stop after touring the gardens and estate and working up an appetite!

The Mount Lenox MA to Brook Farm Inn

After marveling at magnificent The Mount Lenox MA, retreat to Brook Farm Inn in the heart of the Berkshires. The cozy atmosphere and home-away-from-home touches will provide a wonderful getaway in Lenox. For more to do in the Berkshires, download our free vacation guide today!

12 of the Best Attractions in Downtown Lenox, MA

Downtown Lenox, MA, is a great place to walk, shop, and explore, taking in the small-town hub. During your stay at Brook Farm Inn, be sure to enjoy the local attractions, many of which are located in Downtown, Lenox, MA. Tour the Ventfort Hall Mansion & Gilded Age Museum, buy a new outfit at Berkshire Classic, or grab an ice cream cone at The Scoop. Even better, do all three in a row. With their convenient Downtown Lenox, MA, locations, you can visit all 12 of these attractions!

Ventfort Hall Mansion & Gilded Age Museum

Ventfort Hall is the star of the show in Downtown Lenox, MA. This mansion and museum is open daily, year round and hosts concerts and events along with its permanent exhibits and consistently changing exhibits. The current Bellefontaine Decorative Arts Exhibit features the history of one of Lenox’s most lavish country houses.

Berkshire Classic

Berkshire Classic continues a 50-year tradition of carrying leather and silver. Handbags, wallets, and jewelry are the main merchandise you will find here, great for bringing back as gifts from Lenox. The family-run business has works by artisans from around the world as well as unique items you can’t find anywhere else.

McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a great retail store in Downtown Lenox, MA. The shopfront started on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 1977 and has extended through the Northeast with its high tier yet comfortable facade. This classic American clothier has the latest men’s and women’s styles at prices that match the high quality.

Lenox Yoga

Lenox Yoga is the ideal space to relieve stress in Downtown Lenox, MA. Classes incorporate easy to vigorous forms of Hatha, Kriya, Kripalu, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and more. A drop-in session will just cost you $15.  

Lenox Coffee

For a laid-back hangout with espresso, try Lenox Coffee in Downtown Lenox, MA. This coffee shop gets its blends from the Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, and its Main Street location is ideal for a caffiene boost during your shopping and exploring excursion.  

Church Street Cafe

Whether you’re stopping in for lunch, dinner, a drink, or dessert, Church Street Cafe is a wonderful Downtown Lenox, MA, Try the summer fish tacos, parma flatbread, or quiche of the day at the bar or sit down for couscous salad, gumbo, or a roasted eggplant and goat cheese sandwich. Top it off with a slice of white chocolate and maple cheesecake.

Haven Cafe & Bakery

A great place to stop for some delicious baked goods to boost your energy is Haven Cafe & Bakery in Downtown Lenox, MA. Choose from delicious treats such as German chocolate cupcakes, molasses ginger cookies, caramel turtle bars, coconut macaroons, scones, pecan sticky buns, lemon pound cake, and even gluten-free carrot cake. Yum!

The Scoop

Treat yourself to an ice cream cone from The Scoop in Downtown Lenox, MA. It’s the perfect treat, and this sweets cafe makes its own ice cream on-site in cozy flavors such as cider donut, bourbon caramel, mocha almond, pumpkin chip, and hazelnut. You can also get some fruity scoops, like banana cream pie, blueberry ginger, lemon blueberry swirl, and pink lemonade sorbet.

Lenox Town Library

Couldn’t fit enough books in your suitcase? No worries! Check out a book at the Lenox Town Library or take a break and read there in between exploring Downtown Lenox, MA. 

Colorful Stitches

This designer yarn shop in the Berkshires offers novelty and fiber yarns for the hand knitter and crocheter. If that is your hobby, then Colorful Stitches is the right place to shop. Select from over 8,000 yarns and then sort through buttons and pattern books to complete your look in mind.

Nejaime’s Wine Cellars

Nejaime’s Wine Cellars, established in 1970, is a great spot in Downtown Lenox, MA, to find some pinots and parmesans. A variety and wines and cheeses are offered at this wine cellar, as well as champagnes, spirits, and beer. Find some unique local beverages to enjoy during your stay at Brook Farm Inn.

Bagel & Brew

For a quick recharge between bouts of shopping in Downtown Lenox, MA, visit Bagel & Brew. These delectable bagels are simply some of the best in Massachusetts. Try the buffalo garlic parmesan cream cheese on top of your bagel of choice, and you won’t regret it!

Downtown Lenox, MA, Back to Brook Farm Inn

After enjoying your adventures in Downtown Lenox, MA, come back to the Brook Farm Inn for a satisfying sleep in The Berkshires. Then wake up to a divine breakfast and get ready to explore even more! For more to do in the area, download our free vacation guide!

Retreat to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a wonderful facility that offers stress relief from the exhaustion of day-to-day life. There are a variety of classes offered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health that focus on yoga, ayurveda, creative expression, fitness and wellness, self-discovery and psychology, and spiritual practice and inquiry. So, where is Kripalu located? Lucky for you, this new age health spa is located just minutes away from your Lenox, Massachusetts bed and breakfast. The close proximity is not the only perk of staying at Brook Farm. You will have access to day passes offered at Kripalu Spa as well as an opportunity for a reduced rate of $20 per night if you choose to opt out of breakfast at the inn and choose to eat at Kripalu instead.

Day Pass

With a day pass, you can treat yourself to a full R&R retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Show up as early as 6am and stay all the way through the evening activities. Whether you want a slow, calming escape or a busy day full of exciting classes, you’ll find what you need at Kripalu. Contact the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health today so you can enjoy a wonderful retreat and leave feeling rejuvenated!

Classes Offered at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

There are quite a few different classes offered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health that are included in the day pass. Yoga classes start at 6:30am, with four different available levels: beginner, gentle, intermediate, and vinyasa. Kripalu Yoga specifically uses inner focus, standard yoga positions, meditation, breathing, quiet mind development, and relaxation to create a refreshing technique. The emphasis is on the flow of prana (life-force energy) and self-acceptance. The goal is to reach mental awareness without judgment but instead with compassion and a willingness to learn and grow from your own thoughts.

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health also offers YogaDance classes, which are included with the day pass. These classes are offered at noon every day and are a longstanding and popular Kripalu tradition. The Kripalu YogaDance classes provide an invigorating movement experience, with great music, for people at all levels of fitness.The joyous dance combines yoga, breathing, and music into an inspirational, sacred dance of the multidimensional self. Along with uplifting energy, it also brings healing to body, mind, and spirit.

Other Activities and Amenities

Also included in your day pass at the Kripalu Yoga Centre are some fabulous evening events and activities, excluding special ticketed events. There is something happening every day of the year at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, from workshop samplers to cooking classes with much more in between. There are also daily R&R workshops that begin at 9am with topics including yoga, meditation, mindful living, coping with loss,and nutritions. You can download calendars of upcoming R&R offerings, but please note that all schedules are subject to change without notice.

Also included in your day pass at the Kripalu Center are three all-natural meals. The kitchen at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health strives to make delectable dishes with a focus on flavor and nutrition, with options available to meet various dietary needs. Begin your yoga retreat with breakfast, which is served from 7-8:30am. While on your day retreat, you will have access to all of Kripalu’s amenities. This includes the sauna, labyrinth, walking and hiking trails, lakefront beach area, fitness room, café, and bookshop.

After Your Retreat, Come Home to Brook Farm Inn

After spending an insightful day of relaxation at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, come back to your cozy room at Brook Farm Inn. After a great night’s sleep at the inn, check out the massage services offered here to enjoy another stress-free day of relaxation.  

What is So Fascinating About the Lenox Library?

The Lenox Library is a historic landmark, hosted in a 200-year-old courthouse building since 1874. The library itself has a rich history, from its famous visitors to its special collections, featuring the Tanglewood Papers. The Lenox Library also hosts modern youth programs and a distinguished lecture series, which keep the library active in the community while also continuing a tradition in furthering the literary and intellectual.

200-year-old Courthouse Building

Since 1874, the Lenox Library has been housed in the same building, which is now designated a National Register Historic Building. The Greek Revival structure with magnificent ionic columns, elaborate cupola, and a stately facade, was constructed on Main Street in 1815-1816. Designed by Captain Isaac Damon, it served as the county courthouse until 1868. Adeline Schermerhorn bought the building shortly after in 1871 specifically to use as a public library and reading room for the residents of Lenox. The Lenox Library Association, which was incorporated in 1856, moved into the courthouse building in 1874. It shared the space in the 1890s with Lenox’s town doctor, a jail, offices for the Lenox National Bank, as well as the town’s first telephone switchboard and fire alarm system.

Famous Associates

The Lenox Library had a strong relationship with surrounding cottages. From the mid-1800s to early 1900s, famous tenants took summer vacations in the surrounding homes. Some of these characters included the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Morgans, Sloanes, and Westinghouses. Their summer homes in Lenox gave the area an established reputation for housing culture and style. During these years, the Lenox Library was a civic center for the entire community.

Music Collection

The Tanglewood Papers are housed at the Lenox Library. These historic papers document the history of the Berkshire Symphonic Festival and Berkshire Music Center before the founding of Tanglewood, as well as the official founding of Tanglewood and its music pavilion, The Shed. The collection is available through appointment with the music and reference librarian.

Youth Programs

The Lenox Library is a great resource for kids, hosting several youth programs such as homework help centers and a summer reading program. The website also hosts a page of book series suggestions based on grade ranges and youth reference databases that are free to any Massachusetts library card holders. Kid’s search engines and information portals are also available as wonderful resources.

Lenox Library Distinguished Lecture Series

A monthly distinguished lecture series is hosted at Lenox Library, featuring intellectuals and artists that all seek to inspire with words. The series covers a range of cultural endeavors, from literature, art, and music to science, history, and politics. These free lectures are open to the public, and speakers have included a Nobel Prize Winner, an actor from Shakespeare & Company, a professor at Boston University, and several authors.

Keep Things Literary at Brook Farm

With its extensive poetry collections in the bed and breakfast library, Brook Farm Inn holds literature very dear. A good selection of popular novels are available alongside both traditional and contemporary poetry collections for guests to browse and read during their stay. The inn also hosts poetry readings in the library at tea time, during which guests can also enjoy homemade scones and strawberry jam! For information on what else to do during your stay in Lenox, download our free vacation guide.

Chesterwood in Stockbridge is a Sight You Need to See


If you’re looking for an attraction in the Berkshires, consider a visit to Chesterwood in Stockbridge, the former home of American sculptor Daniel Chester French. Most famed for the Lincoln Memorial, French split his time between New York and this beautiful summer estate in Massachusetts. Art, culture, and nature coalesce to create the modern museum, which is available for not only tours but also weddings and other events.

History of Chesterwood in Stockbridge

Chesterwood in Stockbridge was once the summer mansion and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). Back in 1896, the estate was purchased by French, who at the time was already renowned for his bronze Minute Man statue at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. A studio nearby the farmhouse was created on the property by French’s friend Henry Bacon, and here, the sculptor would create his artwork during his working career.

French & Chesterwood

French is most well-known for his giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln that sits at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The carving was designed at Chesterwood in Stockbridge and then carved in DC. After French’s death, Chesterwood mansion was inherited by daughter Margaret French Cresson, who formed the Daniel Chester French Foundation to help manage most of the property until it was donated. Most of the original 150-acre estate is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who utilizes the property as a museum and sculpture garden. Chesterwood in Stockbridge is now a National and Massachusetts Historic Landmark.

Make a Visit

Chesterwood opens on Memorial Day Weekend 2016 to visitors, parallel to when French would travel from his permanent home and studio in New York to his summer estate for the warm months. The residence, gardens, exhibit gallery, museum shop, picnic area, and walking trails are all available at this time for your perusing. Group tours are available through the rehabilitated studio, nine-bedroom estate, and surrounding woodlands. You can bring a picnic, order lunch, or request a private wine and cheese party on the studio’s pizza overlooking Monument Mountain.

Exhibits

The permanent exhibit at Chesterwood in Stockbridge displays French’s most renowned works, including the Minute Man, Lincoln Memorial, The Continents, and Samuel F. Dupont Memorial. This exhibit features his creative process, style, and the social context of his work. Other collections vary throughout the year.

Weddings

You can plan your wedding at Chesterwood in Stockbridge! A memorable venue with gorgeous Berkshires scenery as your backdrop will convey an aura of elegance and the peacefulness that comes with mountain views. The Italianate garden contrasts well with the rural landscape to provide an atmosphere fitting for a ceremony, reception, or dinner party from intimate gatherings to 500 guests.

Specials

There is a special price available for the American Icons ticket program, which includes tours of Chesterwood in Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, and The Mount in Lenox. With this package, you can receive $3 each additional location after purchasing your first full-price ticket.

Stay at Brook Farm

Stay close to The Mount, a member of the American Icons specials package, and book at Brook Farm. For more history to explore and things to do in Lenox and around Massachusetts, download our free vacation guide!

Winter Fun – Skating and Snow Shoeing

We heard from our friends at Canterbury Farm (Becket, MA) that the skating conditions and snow shoe trails are open. They snowshoe and ice skate rentals for you! – if you would like to get outside for this beautiful weekend. There is not enough snow to open for cross country skiing, but the ice is smooth, trails are beautiful and maybe a little snow on Saturday. There’ll be a nature tour Sunday at 11am, taking you to Beaver and Bird habitats.

Canterbury Farm
413-623-0100
www.canterbury-farms.com

Winter 2016 Specials

Massage Services

Enhance your stay with a relaxing massage. Ten licensed therapists offer massage (Swedish, couples, deep tissue, pre- & post-sports and pre- & post natal), reflexology, and acupressure. Click here to see all massage options.

Enjoy Winter Comfort: a Health-Filled Getaway

Enjoy one of our deluxe rooms for any two nights. You’ll receive 2 free passes to Lenox Fitness and $25 off your deep tissue massages in our dedicated spa room. (Click here for our reservation page. Expires April 1, 2016)

Dinner For Two, Table Six

Include a Friday evening in your two-day (or more) visit and dinner will be included. You’ll enjoy preferred fireside dining at Table Six restaurant, inside the Kemble Inn. Former White House Chef Ron Reda will prepare any three courses on the Friday evening of your stay. ($150 credit towards dinner, exclusive of drinks and gratuity. Expires March 31, 2016)

Winter Comfort and Table Six specials apply to the following rooms:
Bluebird (M)
Victorian (1)
Romance in Lenox (2)
Gilded Age (4)
Skylight Loft (9)
Shadowood Green (S-1)
Tanglewood Suite (S-3)

Kripalu Lodging Special

Brook Farm Inn in Lenox MA is located a mile from the Kripalu Yoga Center. Many visitors to Kripalu prefer the quiet atmosphere of our 15 room Country Inn with private bathrooms. Since many of the programs at the center begin early in the morning, we are offering a special no-breakfast rate for guests who are registered at Kripalu. Reserve any available room at a discount of $20 per night. Rates are subject to tax.

Kripalu Lodging Special

Brook Farm Inn in Lenox MA is located a mile from the Kripalu Yoga Center.  Many visitors to Kripalu prefer the quiet atmosphere of our 15 room Country Inn with private bathrooms.  Since many of the programs at the center begin early in the morning, we are offering a special no-breakfast rate for guests who are registered at Kripalu.  Reserve any room that is available at a discount of $20.00 per night.  Rates are subject to tax.


 

Mt. Greylock — A Peak Experience!

The highest peak in Massachusetts is Mt. Greylock.  The spectacular drive to the top is now open for the season, and Brook Farm Inn recommends it.  Go for a great view, or enjoy some of the best hiking in the Berkshires.  You can eat a light lunch there at Bascom lodge, or make reservations for dinner.  It’s only a short distance from our Lenox B&B.

Bascom Lodge is a rustic stone and wood Lodge perched atop Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s to provide accommodations for hikers, vacationers, and nature enthusiasts. The large dining room with its high ceiling and hand-cut oak beams provides an ideal atmosphere for a meal and the enclosed porch with wraparound windows overlooks the finest views in the Berkshires. Stone fireplaces create a relaxing setting after a day of hiking.

From June 1 till October 21 it’s open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Daily hours for dining:
Breakfast: 8:00 am – 10:00 am (for parties of eight or more
reservations are required).
Lunch:     11:00 am – 4:30 pm (
no reservations required).
Dinner:      7:00 pm, one seating (reservations are required for dinner).

Sunset Beverage Hour: Wednesday through Sunday, 5-7pm. Enjoy a glass of wine, beer or other beverage of your choice as the sun sets behind Mount Greylock.

History of Bascom Lodge:

In 1898, the State legislature established Mt. Greylock as the Commonwealth’s first State Reservation. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) designed the Lodge. Its low profile, integration into the summit’s contours, and the use of native materials typified the CCC design theory that shaped the identity of the country’s national and state park systems. Bascom Lodge has served day and overnight visitors to Mt. Greylock for 70 years, including through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.