So many truly unique treasures can only be found in the Berkshires. Gift shopping success comes from thoughtfully matching just the right gift for that certain someone. I have come to realize that for some, it’s all about personality and for others it’s about functionality, either way, the Berkshires never let’s me down in my quest for just the right gift. I have found great success, at, of all places, the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Norman Rockwell Museum, Berkshire Museum, Hancock Shaker Village and MASS MoCA. These gift shops include unique, thoughtful gifts that are surprisingly functional. Special finds like bookmarks, books, recordings, prints, and jewelry, or a numbered print has brought many a smile to those on my list.
The Berkshires abound with special treats at farmers markets, farm stands, and craft fairs to find that distinctive gift. Everyone loves the flavor of real maple syrup, the sweet taste of fresh apple cider or mouthwatering, homemade goodies. Lakeview Orchard, Taft Farms, Whitney’s Farm Market and Garden Center and Cricket Creek Farm, are some of my favorite spots to find the “feel better treat”. If there a baker on your list, Charles H. Baldwin & Sons vanilla and flavoring extracts is an extraordinary treat.
Galleries, craft fairs, antique and quilt shops are also among my favorite gift shopping stops. One of a kind, carefully crafted items take on a personality of their own and will undoubtedly fit the person I am buying for. The Harrison Gallery, has hand crafted jewelry, pottery, statues as well as paintings and photography by local artists. The Eclipse Mill, is filled with artists lofts where you not only get to know the artist but feel like a welcome friend. Stocking up at the Berkshire Crafts Fair or the Berkshires Arts Festival are my two “go to” events. Asia-Barong in Great Barrington is the largest gallery of Asian art, furniture and sculpture in the US where I have found some of the best housewarming gifts.
For the fashion forward friend, Lee Premium Outlets is a best bet in finding the season’s latest wristlet, designer collection sweater or the on-trend tie.
No matter what personality I am shopping for, from history filled antiques, to designer clothing; artistic one-of-a-kind items, to a tasty local treat, I know I will find the perfect gift right here in the Berkshires.