By Darcie Sosa
Is there anything better than going on a shopping spree while on vacation? The Berkshires has hundreds of quaint stores filled with authentic goods. Be sure to bring your wallet — you’ll want everything you see.
Starting at our northernmost town, Spring Street in Williamstown is home to a number of restaurants, cafes and even an independent cinema. Amy’s Cottage is a must. It is an eclectic boutique that makes getting gifts for your picky friends and family so much easier. On your way down the street make time to pop into Where’d You Get That. It is filled to the brim with toys for the little ones and accessories for your home. The jewel shopping experience on Spring Street is Ruby Sparks. They are known for carrying great clothing, with brands like Frey, Eileen Fisher, Free People, and UGG. You’ll be sure to find unique items in this upbeat shopping environment.
If you are looking for some wacky, cool, unusual items there is no better place than North Adams. Get started at Bark n’ Cat to find natural and premium treats for your fuzzy friends. For your energetic children, nieces and nephews, and young cousins, Persnickety Toys is mecca. It is New England’s number 1 toy store so you are set up for success. If your heart is set on antiquing, Berkshire Emporium & Antiques is a favorite among locals. Be sure to leave yourself a lot of time, as the store is massive and filled with goodies. While you are in North Adams visiting MASS MoCA, be sure to stop at their gift shop, Hardware, on your way out. Get artist-inspired gifts to remember your trip by.
Driving south through the Berkshires on Route 8 will take you into downtown Adams. If you love the outdoors, you should head on over to Berkshire Outfitters. Here, you can rent or buy the gear you’ll need to take in the beauty of the Berkshires. If you’re pressed for time and looking to grab a great Berkshire-themed gift for someone back home, we have the place for you — Bella Sky Gifts. They have personalized, one-of-a-kind pieces that are reminiscent of what you see on Etsy and Pinterest. Many of the items here are made in, and themed around, the Berkshires.
Downtown Pittsfield is home to one of the best gift stores in the Berkshires, Dory & Ginger. Located inside Hotel on North, this carefully curated gift store offers everything from scarves, baby gifts, candles, unique barware, rustic yet contemporary home decor, and personal accessories. They even carry the lovely Barr Co beauty line. On North Street, you’ll also find the Berkshire General Store. It boasts a deli, ice cream, wacky cards, and unique gifts for the young at heart. Located just across the street is Brits R U.S., which can satisfy all of your English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish needs from sweet treats to meat pies. They even have a selection of British fan merchandise including Harry Potter, Dr. Who, and Sherlock Holmes.
A little farther south, in Lenox, you will find some of the most stylish choices in footwear for both men and women at Shooz. For clothing and accessories head to Casablanca. If you are looking for a truly unusual gift then you will want to stop in at Berkshire Classic Leather and Silver. Search through the store and you will be rewarded with brands such as Brighton, Baggallini, and Jack Georges. Now, if you are sick of your living space and want to change it up with new bedding, furniture, or accent pieces we have the places for you. We suggest getting refreshed with an item or two from Design Menagerie or MacKimmie Co., both located in the downtown Lenox.
Be sure to save time to meander the street of Stockbridge, in the Mews you will find Heirlooms Jewelry, which is a delightful store filled with sparkly and fun treasures, just a short walk away you will find a Yankee Candle Company. Be sure to take home a scented candle to commemorate your time in the Berkshires. Another not to miss spot is Vlada Boutique, we promise you will not leave this fabulous store empty handed.
Lee is the gatekeeper to the Berkshires with its easy access to the highway and popular scenic routes. It has beautiful gift shops like Karen Keenan Gifts & Home. This store offers unique and beautiful gifts for all occasions and sells some of your favorite brands like Vera Bradley, Willow Tree, Crabtree and Evelyn, and Thymes. The long-standing Ben’s Shop (80 years), which has a classic exterior and interior, offers quality brands for your clothing and shoe needs.
As you stroll along beautiful, downtown Great Barrington do not miss the amazing boutique stores lining the streets. TP Saddleblanket, GB9, Church Street Trading Co. and Hillary Rush Berkshires, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, and Castle & Main are just a few stores to get you started. These all have well curated, contemporary, stylish pieces you will not see anywhere else.
The Berkshires has a natural beauty that inspires local craftsmen to produce incredible items. Pop into stores while you walk around our quaint downtowns. Bring a piece of your trip home with you.
Darcie Sosa is a Berkshire marketing/PR professional, who when isn’t working loves being outside hiking with her dogs, going to live music and theatre shows, networking, trying new restaurants and volunteering for local nonprofits. She is an alum of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.