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10 reasons to visit the Berkshires in the USA

Posted on April 23, 2024Written by LocalIQ in partnership with 1Berkshire
Updated on April 23, 2024

A distant view of the Naumkeag grounds on a spring day. The sun is shining down on the historic mansion with fresh and colorful flowers blooming all aroundDon’t miss the Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag. Credit: Naumkeag by David Edgecomb.

Drive south to explore and restore in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Considering a trip across the border this spring? This is a season for adventure, growth, renewal, and restoration. No matter what you’re craving, you’ll find it in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, located in the heart of New England. Only a four-hour drive and 400 kilometres from Montreal – and another hour and 100 kilometres from Ottawa – the Berkshires offer an iconic New England experience. While the region is best-known for breathtakingly colourful fall foliage, spring and summer offer just as much fun for the whole family.

Whether you are planning a quick getaway (perhaps for Victoria Day weekend) or a more extended stay, you’ll never run out of things to do, see, and experience in the Berkshires. Soar into spring with this round-up of favourite picks in the region where you can soar, explore, and restore.

Ways to Soar

  1. Tackle the Catamount Zip Tour. Called “one of the most exciting zipline adventures in the Northeast,” the Catamount Zip Tour is a must for anyone searching for a boost of adrenaline. Reach speeds of over 85 kph – and soar for over 1,600 metres on the longest zipline in the United States, dubbed the “Cata-monster.”
  2. Keep that adrenaline high at Ramblewild, the largest aerial adventure park in the Berkshires. Beyond traditional ziplines for all levels, there’s also a skateboard and sea kayak zipline. Learn more about adventure tourism in the Berkshires
  3. Float above it all in a hot air balloon with Spirit Ballooning. You’ll feel weightless as you soar above the treeline for 45 to 90 minutes. Each adventure has a traditional champagne or sparkling cider toast and a light picnic.
  4. Twist and turn your way through the woods on the 1,097 metre Mountain Coaster at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. You’ve never experienced a roller coaster like this! Kids over 96.5 centimetres tall can ride as a passenger, and those age 9 (and 137 centimetres tall) can ride solo. 
Two women soar along a zipline in the air, wearing bright pink and green jackets, with smiles on their faces in the sunshine

Whether you plan a day trip, a weekend, or a more extended getaway, you’ll never run out of things to do, see and experience in the Berkshires. Credit: Catamount Mountain Resort.

Ways to Explore

  1. Slow down the adventure but keep the good times going with a boat rental from Onota Boat Livery. Choose from kayaks, canoes, rowboats, fishing boats, pontoons, and pedal boats to spend an hour – or all day – exploring Onota Lake. Want more water sports? The Berkshires has you covered.  
  2. Explore the trails less traveled with Pack a picnic and head to the woods for a spring adventure or savour the solitude of a day in the wilderness. Find hikes for all distances, terrains, and experience levels. 
  3. Step back in time and experience what life would have been like during the Gilded Age. Many of the lavish local estates were the country homes of 19th and early 20th-century American writers, artists, and business tycoons. Tour historic homes and gardens, including The Mount, Ventfort Hall, Chesterwood, and Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio – or check out the Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag. 
  4. Gallery-hop your way through the region from May 17-27 for ArtWeek Berkshires 2024. Expect over 100 hands-on or behind-the-scenes events and open studios, with gallery shows, live performances, poetry readings, and more.
A mother and child gaze at the Lincoln statue in the Chesterwood studio.

Tour historic homes and gardens, such as Chesterwood. Credit: Great Sky Media.

Ways to Restore

  1. After all that adventure, treat yourself to some self-care and time to relax and unwind. Stop by one of the eight local cannabis dispensaries offering small-batch and grown on-site products, craft cannabis sourced globally, and more. Just be sure to finish up what you buy before getting to the airport or the border.
  2. Craving time to restore and rest? Experience immersive “wellness with purpose” at Miraval – a sanctuary atop 1.5 square kilometres of protected land in the countryside. Choose from hundreds of activities, from nature walks and beekeeping lessons to chakra cleansing with sound baths and archery. Or spend your stay getting head-to-toe spa treatments at Canyon Ranch. The Berkshires is a hub for all things health and wellness


Getting there: The region is best seen by car, but Albany (New York) International Airport is 72 kilometres away, Bradley International Airport in Hartford (CT) is 76 kilometres away, and Boston’s Logan International Airport is 217 kilometres away.

Before you go, check websites for opening times and dates. For more information about spring in the Berkshires, visit, the quintessential Berkshire planning tool where you can request an Official Guide to the Berkshires.

Funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

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Our region is surrounded by picturesque mountains, lush green valleys, and crystal clear waters where you’ll find numerous, unique recreational activities all year long. Start planning your visit to the Berkshires today!

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