In every season, The Berkshires sparkle with such a wide variety of entertaining experiences that you really should plan a visit. Located in western Massachusetts, The Berkshires are an easy drive of just over 2 hours from either Boston or New York City. Comprised of 32 small towns, The Berkshires are famous for art, music, theater, dance, galleries, farm-to-table cuisine and grand turn-of-the-century “summer cottages” of wealthy industrialists. Strategically centered between the towns of Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge, is the elegant Seven Hills Inn, a gracious boutique hotel that makes an ideal home-base for exploring The Berkshires.
About The Seven Hills Inn
This lovely property began its life as a Colonial farm in the mid-1700’s. Later, a series of owners transformed the original homestead into a grand estate house. In the early 1900’s, noted owner, Emily Spencer, undertook extensive renovations. Architectural features were shipped in from England, France and Italy. You’ll marvel at the expansive leaded glass windows from England that let cheery sunshine in and give views of the rolling lawns and gardens. Elaborately carved mantels, columns and furnishings have all been lovingly preserved. But this property is anything but stuffy, it has recently undergone a multi-million dollar refreshment that has artfully blended its historic past with current design elements and amenities. This Inn is a delightful place to relax, enjoy 27 acres of greenery, and explore the many nearby attractions.
Top Features of the Seven Hills Inn
The inn has 57 rooms and suites spread among the Manor House, two-story Terrace House, and the Carriage House. The historic dining room, library and Plunkett Lounge are inviting spaces to relax and socialize, and you’ll love the outdoor terraces overlooking the lawns and gardens. A large swimming pool is heated from May through mid-October, and family lawn games are available. One of the best features of the inn is that you will feel like a privileged guest in an exclusive Berkshire “cottage”.
We enjoyed a wonderful cheese plate with wine one evening in the Plunkett Lounge. The Inn offers small plate options and picnic baskets to take to Tanglewood. Several nights a week in the evening you’ll find a bonfire on the back terrace and the makings of campfire s’mores. Each morning there is a breakfast buffet at a reasonable cost. If you’ve brought your kids along, they’ll be entertained at Rosie’s Kids Club, complete with an adorable “Rosie The Pig” plush toy in commemoration of the pet pig that used to have free range of the estate. And of course, this makes a stunning spot for a wedding or special occasion.
Nearby Activities – There Are Just So Many!
The Mount – Right next door to the Seven Hills Inn you’ll find the wonderful home of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Edith Wharton, who wrote Ethan Fromme, The House of Mirth, and many other works of fiction in the early 1900’s. She is the first women to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Mount offers fascinating tours of the home, sculpture gardens as well as ghost tours. The home is beautifully designed and the tour gives you a glimpse into the lives of the social elite of the time. This picture is of the barn by the way!
Tanglewood – The famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where performances occur from mid-June until Labor Day. Join the tradition of picnicking on the lawn on nice days – you’ll want to arrange a picnic basket in advance at the inn. Recently, Tanglewood opened the Linde Center for Music and Learning enabling them to now offer performances year-round.
Norman Rockwell Museum – Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this museum houses all 357 Saturday Evening Post covers done by Norman Rockwell, along with the original paintings that were created in preparation of the covers. It’s amazing to see the vivid colors and textures of the paintings that you don’t see in the photo reproductions. If you ever need an infusion of Americana, childhood memories and wholesome humor, this is the place to come. I guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face and a new appreciation of Norman Rockwell’s vast talent. This museum is worth a trip to The Berkshires alone!
Jacob’s Pillow – World acclaimed dance festival and Nat’l Historic Landmark offering free and ticketed dance performances, talks, tours and exhibits during summer months.
Shakespeare and Company – Celebrating the life and works of William Shakespeare as well as modern plays performed on indoor and outdoor stages and in a beautiful meadow.
Berkshires Botanical Gardens – Tours are available from May through mid-October with a grand Harvest Festival to end the season, although the gardens are open all year. “Something is always blooming in the garden” and this is one of the oldest display gardens in New England. Well worth a visit.
On The Lighter Side
Take in Some Local Boutique Shopping – some of our favorites are the The Wit Gallery, An American Craftsman and Chihuly at Scantz Galleries. And RBG is thriving in The Berkshires, you’ll see fun loving sculptures of her in all the gift shops.
Local Farms and Markets
Colorful farmers markets are abundant in every town in the Berkshires. This means restaurants here are serving fresh produce from local farms. Come fall, be sure to visit the very picturesque Hill Top Orchards to sample freshly made cider donuts, pick your own apples and sip locally produced wines at the Furnace Brook Winery.
The Berkshires are stunning with winding lanes and green rolling hills. You’ll find biking trails, outdoor parks, and dozens of hiking trails that are part of the Appalachian Mountain Club network. For the height of outdoor action visit the Ramblewild Aerial Park for ziplines, rope courses and fun in the tree top canopies. For special treat this fall, visit Bousquet Mountain on Friday and Saturday evenings for Wine, Cheese and Trees. For a $20 ticket you can ride the chairlift to the mountain top where you can enjoy the views, nibble on hors d’oeuvres and sip a glass of wine.
All this just scratches the surface of things to do in the Berkshires. There are activities and entertainment here for everyone’s interests. For more information on the area visit Berkshires.org. And for a wonderful place to call home during your getaway, we highly recommend a relaxing stay at the lovely Seven Hills Inn. Tell them the gals at ‘Wicked’ sent you.