By Kim Ostellino
As the autumn leaves gave way to snow I thought it would be nice to get some early holiday shopping done and where better to do that than in downtown Great Barrington? Named the best small town in America, by Smithsonian Magazine, this town offers the best of big city living in a small New England setting. Dressed warmly for the crisp air that had recently ushered itself into the Berkshires I headed to Railroad Street to patronize some of my favorite local shops.
Railroad Street is part of the hub that makes up the downtown region of Great Barrington and quaint shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants fill every nook and cranny. This area has become a popular destination for both locals and visitors, who flock there to find tasty culinary treasures or distinctive gifts. The downtown area is committed to their local community and hosts several fun cultural events throughout the year. Folks also come for the night life, whether it’s to see a newly released film at the Triplex Cinema or to catch a little jazz at the Castle Street Cafe, the nighttime scene is always busy.
On this particularly blustery fall day, I popped into GB9 to check out the latest seasonal fashions in this women’s clothing store, warm scarves being particularly foremost in my thoughts! As I continued browsing in shops down the street, SoCo Creamery caught my eye. This hard to resist ice cream shop always has interesting flavor combinations and they use only quality ingredients, keeping customers returning again and again. Back on Main Street, I made my way to Emporium Antique Center and was pleasantly overwhelmed by their fantastic selection of colorful glassware, eclectic furniture, and interesting artwork.
By now I had worked up an appetite and Baba Louie’s seemed like a perfect spot for a bite to eat on this chilly day. This well-known eatery offers delicious pizzas, sandwiches, and a daily rotation of seasonal soups. I grabbed a seat by the window so that I could partake in a little bit of people watching and ordered one of their tempting pizza specialties. With my belly filled, I headed across the street to the Berkshire Co-op Market. This store carries all of my favorite organic and local goodies and I thought this would be a perfect way to end my day of festive shopping. With all of the downtown shops and restaurants all ready for holiday shoppers, it was easy to get into a festive spirit and find some fabulous gifts for my loved ones #intheberkshires.
Kim is a freelance writer, devoted to bringing the best of the Berkshires to locals and visitors alike through her website, Berkshire Girl Online. She is an avid hiker and kayaker, who also loves to explore the cultural and historical sites of the Berkshires.