By Darcie Sosa
Looking to get out of the daily hustle and bustle and finally take some “me time,” but can’t do the long plane rides and travel expenses of India, Bali or spas of Northern California? Want a new alternative to the beach vacation?
Wellness doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive, faraway destination. Natural beauty, local food and health classes can all be found just a drive away. The Berkshires, long known for attracting those seeking travel for cultural events and spectacular outdoor amenities, also naturally flows with another great attraction: wellness. This is a perfect addition to any group itinerary and will allow you to customize your group’s experience
Wellness, or the maintaining or enhancing of one’s personal wellbeing, is not just a recently manufactured phrase, but a natural lifestyle that has been practiced here in The Berkshires for decades.
The Berkshires have held the reputation for health and wellness, in part because well-known health resorts like Canyon Ranch and Kripalu call it home. Also places like Cranwell offer spa services. And while these and other resorts offer complete weekend wellness/spa packages, in recent years the spiritual practice of yoga has caught on all over the Berkshires and a whole new crop of yoga studios have popped up in Berkshire downtowns. From Frog Lotus in North Adams to Radiance and Berkshire Yoga Dance and Fitness in Pittsfield to Berkshire Pulse and Yoga Great Barrington, these studios offer all levels of day and evening classes. It might be the perfect way for some of the more active members in your group to start or wind down their day. Or for a niche travel idea you could look at bringing a group to places like rustic-chic Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield and the newly renovated Eastover Estate & Retreat in Lenox who are now offering all-inclusive weekend retreats and workshop getaways where your entire group could relax in natural beauty, practice yoga, stretching, meditation all while having holistic food prepared.
If your group is more interested in outdoor activity, the Berkshires natural landscape is a year-round abundance of natural beauty. And what better way to recharge yourself and bring harmony into your life than to get back to human roots and get into nature? Each season, the Berkshires overflows with outdoor activities in breath-taking beauty. The spring and summer months offer great hiking, swimming and of course kayaking trips. With outdoor stores dotting our main routes 7 and 8, boating rentals are convenient and easy. A favorite kayaking spot is The Stockbridge Bowl, is a 2.4 mile circle of calm water surrounded by tall pines and large lake houses with nesting birds flying overhead. An afternoon paddle is a great way to spend a summer day with family or by yourself. And from spring on, the Bowl is a favorite spot for athletes training for the annual Josh Billings RunAground triathlon. But if flowing rivers are more your speed then get your paddles ready. There are a variety of outfitters in the area who can rent your groups equipment and also provide guide services.
Speaking of nature, who doesn’t find serenity while hiking? Luckily the Berkshires is known for its abundance of hiking trails. Whether it’s hiking Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, exploring the Pittsfield State Forest or trekking up Mount Greylock, Massachusetts highest peak, year round hiking in the Berkshires is one best ways to find peace of mind and strength of body. Whatever activity your group is seeking the Berkshires has it to offer. We promise that after your Berkshire tour your group will head home with a well-rested body and mind.