Berkshires

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The Berkshire region is a sophisticated area known for its glorious scenery, rich cultural, intellectual and social life, and educated, well-traveled visitors, residents and creative entrepreneurs. The area is an epicenter for world-class performing arts events, museums, chef-owned restaurants, organic farms, wineries, boutiques, antiques stores and country auctions, outdoor activities, and holistic programs. These include:

MUSIC:

Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass., the Boston Symphony's summer home, offers superb classical, pop, rock, and jazz concerts, including July 4-weekend performances by James Taylor, an area resident. www.bso.org

Music Mountain, Falls Village, Conn., is a summer chamber music festival presenting outstanding musicians in an intimate setting. www.musicmountain.org


The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a beautifully restored historic theater in Great Barrington, Mass., may defy pronunciation (Ma-hay-wee), but serves up a rich, year-round menu of film and performing arts, including live feeds from the Metropolitan Opera. www.mahaiwe.org


The Colonial Theatre
, a restored Gilded Age masterwork, presents a lively, year-round schedule of Broadway productions, comedy, family programming, and pop and rock music in Pittsfield, Mass. www.berkshiretheatregroup.org


Club Helsinki
Hudson, N.Y., just one of the many music clubs in the area (others include the Lion's Den in Stockbridge, Mass., Castle Street Café and the Gypsy Joint, both in Great Barrington, Mass.) is a venue for dining and a hip line-up of music—whether blues, jazz, swing, zydeco, rock, or gospel—in a city that's a nexus for antiquing, shopping, restaurants, and more. www.helsinkihudson.com


The Berkshire Bach Society
, Great Barrington, Mass., attracts top-ranked musicians who perform cantatas, organ works, concerti and chamber music by Johann Sebastian Bach, from solo instrumental recitals to large choral works with full orchestra. www.berkshirebach.org


Aston Magna
, a festival of chamber and baroque music performed on period instruments, is a summer attraction at the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, Mass. www.astonmagna.org


DANCE:


Jacob's Pillow
, the nation's premier summer dance festival in Becket, Mass., presents stellaer companies from around the world on its main and second stages. www.jacobspillow.org


THEATER:


Williamstown
Theatre Festival, an award-winning organization, is a renowned magnet for the nation's top actors and for new plays that often make their way to larger stages on Broadway and elsewhere. www.wtfestival.org


Shakespeare & Company
, Lenox, Mass., dedicated to the works of the great bard, takes his legacy to new heights with inspiring interpretations and works by those he's influenced, such as Tom Stoppard. www.shakespeare.org


Berkshire Theatre Festival
, Stockbridge, Mass., showcases a wonderful range of works and talent, from emerging playwrights, to rock opera, to American and international classics. www.berkshiretheatre.org


Barrington Stage, a flagship in the renaissance of Pittsfield, Mass., "the new Brooklyn," is a professional Equity theater with high caliber productions from musicals to thought- provoking portraits and heart-rending dramas. www.berkshiretheatregroup.org


VISUAL ARTS:


Williams College Museum of Art
, Williamstown, Mass., is an outstanding free museum, with 14 galleries and a collection of 13,000 objects ranging from Assyrian reliefs to contemporary photography. www.wcma.williams.edu


Norman Rockwell Museum, in the artist's adopted hometown of Stockbridge, Mass., celebrates the great illustrator with the country's foremost collection of his iconic work; it also exhibits the work of other illustrators in the Rockwell tradition. www.nrm.org

MASS MoCA—The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art—is a hub for the visual and performingance arts community in North Adams, Mass., a ground-breaking institution that catalyzes and shows the best art of our time, and one of the nation's most visited modern art museums. www.massmoca.org


Clark Art Institute
, Williamstown, Mass., is a distinguished museum centered on the collection of Sterling and Francine Clark, and welcoming impressive touring exhibits with subject matter ranging from Pissaro to Picasso. www.clarkart.edu


The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Mass., offers something for everyone in the family, with a unique blend of exhibits of fine art, sculpture, and artifacts from Native American and ancient cultures, an aquarium and touch tank, and a hall of innovation. www.berkshiremuseum.org


Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, Mass., shows and sells painting, sculpture, ceramics and other works by Berkshire artists, many of whom boast national and international reputations. Other galleries of note form a constellation of culture from Hudson west to Great Barrington and throughout Berkshire County, whether the focus is impressionist paintings, contemporary art jewelry, or hand-thrown pottery. www.ferringallery.com


Other galleries of note form a constellation of culture from Hudson east to Great Barrington and throughout Berkshire County, whether the focus is impressionist paintings, contemporary art jewelry, or hand-thrown pottery.


FILM


Berkshire International Film Festival in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, Mass., in June, along with the Chatham (N.Y.) Film Festival, and the Williamstown (Mass.) Film Festival, each in October, draws leading actors and film professionals to the Berkshires, and highlights the best in independent cinema.www.biff.org


WELLNESS


Kripalu, in Lenox, Mass., is among the nation's premiere centers for the study of yoga, ayurveda, nutrition, and healing, spiritual growth, and creative development. www.kripalu.org


Canyon Ranch, consistently rated the top spa in the country, pampers its guests with meticulous service, programs dedicated to health and fitness, life management, spiritual growth, and spa treatments. www.canyonranch.com/lenox


Or choose from among the area's many local day spas, including Seven Salon Spa (Stockbridge, Mass.), Essencials (Lenox, Mass.), or Body & Soul (Great Barrington, Mass.)


OUTDOOR LIFE


Catamount (South Egremont, Mass.), Ski Butternut (Great Barrington, Mass.), Jimminy Peak (Hancock, Mass.) and Bousquet Ski Area (Pittsfield, Mass.)—the first slope in the country to have night skiing—provide downhill thrills for skiers and snow boarders, whitle snowy fields and trails—and the White's Hill Greenway—are ideal for cross-country skiing.

The Berkshires' rivers and lLakes offer myriad opportunities for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and sailing.


Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Mass., has acres of gardens, specimen trees and plants, classes, and special events. www.berkshirebotanical.org


The Appalachian Trail, with access points in several a variety of locations, is just one of the numerous places to hike in the Berkshires.

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