By Nancy Macy
Come embrace the beauty and vibrancy of high season in the Berkshires, where outdoor fun and the performing arts are the main attraction, and unique shopping, great food and drink, and phenomenal scenery punctuate the experience. Here’s a look at some of what you won’t want to miss this summer.
The 2019 festival season opens with the Berkshire International Film Festival May 30-June 2, featuring an exciting lineup of features, documentaries, and shorts screened at theaters in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, plus opening night parties, filmmaker Q&As, and a tribute event with this year’s honoree, Academy-Award winning and legendary director Martin Scorsese.
In June, the curtains rise on indoor and outdoor stages across the region, bringing world-class theater, dance, and music performances to audiences of all ages. From Shakespeare to modern dance and ballet, folk music to rock and roll and the Boston Symphony, your hottest tickets this summer are in the Berkshires. What makes the experience even better? A picnic on the lawn at Tanglewood and the Pillow, or cocktails and dinner before or after the show at one of the area’s many fabulous restaurants. And don’t miss the new Linde Center for Music Learning complex on the Tanglewood campus, offering a variety of dynamic programming to engage, inspire, teach, and enrich your cultural experience.
Among this season’s highlights for art lovers, The Clark kicks off special exhibitions in June featuring the works of Renoir and Janet Cardiff. The Norman Rockwell Museum commemorates its 50th year with three special exhibitions exploring the illustrator’s art, life, and legacy. And Mass MoCA opens new exhibitions at the end of May with the revolutionary works of Cauleen Smith and an exhibition and performance featuring singer-songwriter Annie Lenox.
For the history buff, there are tours and special events at Hancock Shaker Village, Naumkeag, Chesterwood, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, and Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, among others. Discover art-filled spaces, lush gardens, and extraordinary architecture that illuminate the stories of who and what make this a place like no other.
Our vibrant downtowns are filled with one-of-a-kind shops, antique markets, coffee houses and sidewalk cafes, farm-to-table dining, indie bookstores, art galleries, and farmer’s markets brimming with local produce and the work of Berkshire artisans. Plus, recreational cannabis is now legal in Massachusetts and storefronts have opened in several Berkshire towns, with others in the planning stages or set to launch later this year.
Looking for ways to connect with nature? Hike the Appalachian trail, climb (or take a scenic drive) to the summit of the state’s highest mountain, or visit a Trustees of Reservations or Massachusetts Audubon property. Fill your days with adrenaline-pumping activity or relax with a book in hand beside a gentle stream. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Stargaze without light pollution. Try something you’ve never done before. Explore outdoors, it’s beautiful here!
At day’s end, find comfortable lodging options in our elegant resorts, rustic lodges, family-friendly motels, romantic inns, and stylish boutique hotels. There’s something to fit every taste and budget. Wake up in the Berkshires and get ready for another extraordinary day.
Just a short drive from New York City or Boston, the Berkshires are easy to get to. And with so much going on, you may find you never want to leave. Come play, stay, and explore with us this summer!
Nancy Macy is a freelance writer and editor based in the Berkshires.