As things are heating up in the beautiful Berkshires, many of us want refugee from all the fun in the sun. Per usual, the Berkshires does not disappoint. Here you will discover a vast array of places to cool down.
The whole county offers a wide variety of watery fun. Including Windsor Lake in North Adams, North and South pond in Savoy Mountain State Forest, Cheshire Lake, Onota & Pontoosuc lakes in Pittsfield, the Stockbridge Bowl, Benedict Pond, Garfield and Mansfield lakes. There’s always a way to cool down with a nice swim.
What is that you say? You want to be on the water but not in it? You can rent kayaks and canoes from the Arcadian Shop in Lenox, Berkshire Outfitters in Adams and from Onota Livery (also offering motor & pontoon boats) in Pittsfield. (Almost all lakes are open to canoes/kayaks but not all are open to motorized boats so it’s good to check first).
Really want to cool off and find adventure? Take a ride down the Deerfield River and go white water rafting! Crab Apple Whitewater Inc. has been splashing groups through the rapids seven days a week since 1983 or book a paddling tour at Zoar Outdoor, perfect for the whole family.
Maybe you just want to relax after a hot day in the sun with a cold beverage under an umbrella? There are a number of great restaurants in the Berkshires that offer al fresco dining. If you’re up North, hit up Gala Restaurant & Bar and ‘6 House Pub in Williamstown for patio side cocktails and eats. North Adams has a spacious, downtown porch at Richmond Grille and the new Trail House Kitchen & Bar on Route 2 has a lively patio with room for 40 people.
Pittsfield’s European gem, Mission Bar & Tapas offers a quaint, fenced-off, sidewalk-style seating and has a great selection of Spanish plates and wine or if you are looking for Italian cuisine be sure to enjoy a meal at Trattoria Rustica. Lenox offers several outdoor spots to grab food and drinks. Alta Restaurant +Wine Bar, Café Lucia, Firefly Gastro Pub, Frankie’s Ristorante Italiano all offer lovely porch settings and delectable offerings. In Lee, MINT Indian Lakeside Dining at the Black Swan Inn offers refreshing views of Laurel Lake and delicious mango lassis.
The most famous porch in all the Berkshires is the one in Stockbridge. Established in 1773, The Red Lion Inn, an iconic Berkshire landmark has a wide porch full of visitors and locals looking to cool off with some rosé on tap while relaxing in their oversized white rocking chairs. Head just a little further south to Xicohténcatl Mexican Restaurant in Great Barrington for famous margaritas and guacamole on the patio. No matter where you turn there is a spot for you to chill out. So don’t let the summer heat get you down, head on out and visit us in the Berkshires.
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.