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!

Discover The Hidden Waterfalls Of Berkshires County

The Hidden Waterfalls Of Berkshires County - Bash Bish Falls

Beautiful Bash Bish Falls

The arrival of spring is a cause for celebration. What better way to celebrate the warmer weather than by getting outside? There are lots of pretty hikes to take in our area but why not make your outing spectacular? Take your hike to the next level by visiting a few of the hidden waterfalls of Berkshires County!

I’m not sure why we’re all so attracted to splashing cascades of water – but we sure are! People flock from all over to see a waterfall. Maybe it’s the soothing white noise generated by the falls or the feel of the cool spray on our skin. Falling water releases negative ions into the air that have a positive effect on our moods. Combine these factors with the hypnotic sight of a waterfall and maybe we’ve solved the why of waterfall popularity.

There are lots of waterfalls in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Many are some of the most beautiful falls you will ever see. It doesn’t hurt that they are couched in Berkshires scenery, either!

Instead of going over every last waterfall in the area, we decided to highlight some of our favorites. What we refer to as the hidden waterfalls of Berkshires County. (more…)

Don’t Miss "Victor Borge: Take One" Tea & Talk At Ventfort Hall!

Victor Borge: Take One at Ventfort Hall, March 25th, 2017Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum just announced the presentation of “Victor Borge: Take One” Tea & Talk with Rikke Borge, March 25th, 2017! This rare and exciting event returns by popular demand, as anyone familiar with Victor Borge will understand!

Victor Borge (1909-2000) was a Danish-American conductor, concert pianist, and comedian. He achieved fame and popularity through Europe and the U.S. with his unique blend of classical music and comedy.

The key to Victor’s success was the depth of his talent. Not only was he hysterically funny, he could actually play the piano – and not just a little. Victor Borge regularly performed with top symphony orchestras as a world-renowned concert pianist. As an entertainer, he was one of a kind, generating packed houses of international audiences whenever he appeared. (more…)

Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series!

Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2017

What do David Sedaris and Natalie Merchant have in common? They’re both part of the 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series!

Tanglewood may be the summer home to the BSO but their summer festival isn’t just classical music. The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series brings big names from the world of rock, pop, and jazz to the Berkshires’ stage, too!

If you plan to be in the Berkshires this summer, you’ll want to set aside some time for Tanglewood. The festival routinely brings some of the brightest stars of the musical firmament to the Berkshires.

The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series has featured legends as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Jackson Browne, Lady Gaga, and James Taylor. The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series generates lots of anticipation and surprises each year – and this year is no different!

A number of performance dates that have yet to be announced, including  July 3rd, 4th, and Labor Day Weekend. James Taylor, in particular – a regular guest for the series – is noticeably absent from the current schedule. (more…)

Revisit Saturday Morning – Hanna-Barbera At The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Architects of Saturday Morning - Hanna-Barbera At The Norman Rockwell MuseumThe Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge is currently hosting the world’s first exhibition of the animation powerhouse, Hanna-Barbera. Now through May 29th, 2017.

The Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning exhibit highlights what is considered the world’s most successful animation partnership. You’ve undoubtedly seen at least one of their shows as they dominated the animated airwaves between the 1950’s and 1980’s. The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and so many more.

The exhibit focuses on Hanna-Barbera’s Golden Age. Classic shows from this era: The Ruff and Reddy Show, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, Top Cat, and The Herculoids.

The fascinating exhibit includes original animation art, sketches, photographs, and more. Dave Nimitz, owner of the world’s largest vintage Hanna-Barbera toy collection, even loaned some of his rarest pieces to the exhibition! (more…)

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!

 

6 of the Top Massachusetts Wineries to Visit This Year

wine into glassDo you consider yourself a wine aficionado? Are you always on the hunt for delicious new versions of your favorite varietals? Consider planning a few days to experience Massachusetts wineries. Lenox, in Western Massachusetts, maintains a notable reputation for having exceptional wineries and delicious wine throughout the Northeast.

The Brook Farm Inn is a fabulous place to stay when you embark on an adventure to explore incredible Massachusetts wineries. During your visit, you’ll probably want to check out the local dining scene, or perhaps do a little shopping. Download our free vacation guide to find out our recommendations for the best things to do and see in the region!


Massachusetts Wineries Near Brook Farm Inn


The Furnace Brook Winery

The Furnace Brook Winery at Hilltop Orchards is planted 15 minutes from the Brook Farm Inn with a rich 200-acre expanse. The legendary, 160-year-old winery and orchard has been documented on NBC for their rich wines. From the Cabernet to Chardonnay to Sparkling Moscato, the Furnace Brook Winery at Hilltop Orchard houses a variety of wine and provides wine for each palette. The winery and orchard also offers the delectable, New York Times-approved Johnny Mash Hard Cider made from Hilltop Orchard apples. Try other excursions like apple picking from the Orchard, exploring the Boston Globe-raved snowshoeing and cross-country skiing experiences, or hiking during a full moon. All activities are exceptional with a glass of wine.

Les Trois Emme Winery

Find time for Les Trois Emme Winery located in rural New Marlborough. Translating into “The Three M’s,” the winery shares its name with Mary Jane and Wayne Eline’s three granddaughters: Megan, Madison, and Mary. The family-centered winery provides unique wines such as Stingy Jack’s Pumpkin Wine and the sangria-inspired Jack’s Ruby Red. The large tasting room boasts an open space for you to experience all their premium wines and find your new favorite.

Black Birch Vineyard

Located in nearby Southampton, Black Birch Vineyard emphasizes bringing people together over a large selection of wine. Their signature rich red and fresh white wines delight all who try them. Bring blankets, towels, or chairs to enjoy the fresh Northeastern air with stunning scenic views of the vineyard and the surrounding mountains and fields. To prepare the best wine, the vineyard remains closed for several months out of the year and opens in April. 

Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm

The Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm creates fresh, palate-pleasing wines for all tastes. Located outside of Lenox in Florence, the Winery began as an orchard and bee farm in 1984 and added the winery in 2010. Try their 15 different blends and find your perfect wine in one sip (of each). When seasons allow, the winery also sells signature favorites such as fresh apples, savory apple cider, ripe blueberries, and natural honey.  

Pioneer Valley Farm & Vineyard

Located in Hatfield, the Pioneer Valley Farm & Vineyard traces its roots back six generations to their first vine. Their historic, refined wine blends taste incredible over the company of friends and family. The Pioneer Valley Farm and Vineyard creates specialty blends with other fruits such as cranberry, blackberry, apple, and blueberry. From dry to semi-dry to sweet, the farm and vineyard provides an excellent, high-quality selection for your indulgences.

Amherst Farm Winery

Taste wine in a 19-century post-and-beam barn. Amherst Farm Winery offers a rustic venue and award-winning wines from the heart of the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts. The exquisite blends of apple, pear, peach, or raspberry dazzle the taste buds with fresh, smooth flavors. Any wine taster could purchase their choice of 6 of 19 vintage wines and a logo glass for $8. What a deal!

Stay at Brook Farm Inn

Once the wine tastings conclude, check into the sumptuous Brook Farm Inn. Our cozy bed and breakfast offers a luxurious retreat with 15, elegantly-furnished guest rooms perfect for a large party or a couple’s getaway. Enjoy our scrumptious breakfast, delightful afternoon tea, and tasty recipes. Stop in our beautifully restored library to read extensive poetry collections and even stay for a poetry reading over afternoon tea.

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!

This is Why You’ll Love the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Lenox, MA, is a great destination for a variety of cultural and artistic endeavors. Whether you’re looking to peruse art galleries, go to a concert, or attend a play, there are many venues that will suit your preferences. The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is a great destination for live performances that are sure to delight and entertain. At this beautiful historic theater, you will discover music, dance, theater, opera, film, and more! Discover a variety of artistic endeavors at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Find out more about all of the great entertainment near Brook Farm Inn when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for places to discover local creatives, like the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

History of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

The Mahaiwe Theater was built back in 1904, after a coalition of local businessmen orchestrated the architectural and cultural achievement. The three-story French Renaissance Revival brick and marble building officially opened the next year. With a capacity of 1,000, the performing arts center was initially home to vaudeville acts and musical performances, such as that of John Philip Sousa. Renovations and redevelopments followed, with the final work completed in 2005. The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a year-round schedule of performances!

Events at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Discover the best of the artistic entertainment scene during your stay in the Berkshires when you visit the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. From a rousing holiday performance of the Nutcracker Ballet to film showings for audiences of all ages, there are many things to love about this venue. There are many operas at the center as well, while theater takes the main stage throughout the year for some comedies, tragedies, and everything in between. Musical performances, from classical string quartets to bluegrass bands, are some other Mahaiwe favorites! Discover what shows are happening while you are in town, and plan to work one into your itinerary.

Plan Your Visit to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Located in Great Barrington, MA, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is a popular Berkshires entertainment destination. When you plan your visit to the Berkshires and your stay at Brook Farm Inn, be sure to consider this attraction for your itinerary. Whether you are looking to see a band, play, or movie, there are several performances throughout the year at Mahaiwe in a variety of media and genres. Your visit to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the perfect date night plan, following or preceding a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Discover a taste of what the Berkshires art scene has to offer with this great venue!

Stay With Us at Brook Farm Inn

Our Lenox, MA, bed and breakfast is the perfect retreat to enjoy during your stay in the Berkshires. Our charming inn features luxurious amenities among antique decorations and spacious accommodations. A complimentary breakfast each morning, as well as an on-site spa, are just two reasons you should stay with us!