Driving to the Berkshires from Long Island was a picturesque experience well worth the drive. By nature of it not being directly off the highway, it has a secluded old-world nature to it. Speaking of an Old World nature, If one had to design an old New England typical age, this would certainly be the archetype.
One can feel the history of the area in every detail of The Apple Tree Inn and you are immersed in every detail. The original building is preserved with beautiful antiques. Each room in the inn is well decorated and cozy. Breakfast was included with our stay and it felt like we were eating in a miniature dollhouse. It had an incredible view of the mountains.
We attended the Lenox Apple Squeeze where the entire town of Lenox is transformed into a festival covering the main street area. It is vendor after vendor of four madness. If you have a hankering for pumpkin spice or anything fall-related you’ll find it overflowing. Everything from jewelry, baked goods, clothing and unusual items like giant wooden bubble wands and very realistic looking baby dolls. We sampled lots of great food, including great BBQ and bratwurst. We loved all the free samples, I think we ate quite a few apple cider donuts.
We stopped by Whitney’s Farm for a quick lunch. Their deli offered a variety of choices, we loved the grilled corn. They had a wonderful assortment of pumpkins including the sage green one we bought.
We took a scenic drive to Adams to ride the Hoosac Valley Train where the theme is the 1950’s, a clean and enjoyable ride going from Adams to North Adams. Traveling through two mountain ranges you see how this area has transformed. For children, it’s a great opportunity to show them authentic trains from the 1950s with a beautiful view.
Like a monolith alongside the highway, Mazzeo’s stands out, it is large and serious. The quality of the food matches the imposing nature of the building and is quite impressive. The decor was upscale in warm browns with beautiful lighting. We had a great dinner at Mazzeo’s where we had warm crusty Italian bread and great olive oil on the table, a sign of a great Italian restaurant. The eggplant and risotto appetizers were perfect. The Risotto with scallops and shrimp was the perfect blend of creamy and cheesy and the eggplant was perfectly seasoned. The pasta is all homemade as well as the desserts. We highly recommend a meal here.
We visited the Edith Wharton house which is sure to inspire any young lady. From what we learned Edith Wharton was a fierce and strong woman. She had a limited number of friends and we got the impression she liked it that way. If you love symmetry in architecture you will love touring this house. Wharton went to great lengths to show symmetry both outside and inside.
Naumkeag was a beautiful estate we visited on our way home. The gardens and views were worth the stop. They offer a variety of family activities like family hikes and playgroups. There are also lots of fun seasonal activities like trick or treating and Winterlights where this amazing setting is lit up for the holidays.
Overall, there is a uniqueness to this area with its great charm which exudes “nature hideaway”. It’s not off of a major highway and it’s kind of not the kind of place in the pass-through going from one place to the other, that in and of itself is what gives it a charm. It’s the kind of place you can go to with your family and feel like you’re in another time and another lifestyle. It’s safe, calm and overall welcoming. This is not a Disney vacation, but a calm New England vacation.