Fall foliage and Hancock Shaker village are two great attractions in the scenic Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.
The Hancock Shaker Village (Route 20, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 413/443-0188) is open daily 10am-5pm from May 29th through October 31st. Step back to an era when the Shaker community believed in "hands to work and hearts to God." Twenty restored buildings are open for touring, including a unique round stone dairy barn (milking demonstrations daily), a replica 1820 schoolhouse, and a dwelling house where up to 100 Brothers and Sisters lived in separate quarters (equality and separation of the sexes were key tenets of the Shakers). Pick up a "Family Activity Book" and allow some work time in the Family Discovery Room located in the 1910 Barn. This is a highly palatable dose of history about a religious group whose practice of celibacy (and the 20th century drought of orphans) doomed their fascinating social experiment.
The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum(10 Willow Creek Rd, Lenox, MA, 01240, 413/637-2210) operates between Lenox and Stockbridge through the last weekend of October. Enjoy a 90-minute, round trip excursion on a 1950's locomotive to enhance your experience of Western Massachussetts. A 45-minute ride is also available for those with shorter attention spans; this could be another way to sneak a peek at fall foliage.
Your family can also visit the Clark Art Institute (225 South Street, Williamstown, MA, 01267, 413/458-2303) and the Norman Rockwell Museum (9 Glendale Road, Route 183, Stockbridge, MA, 01262, 413/298-4100).
If you base yourselves at one the following inn options you will be in the prime area for leaf peeking. We suugest the Williams Inn (Off Route 2, Willamstown, MA, 01267, 800/828/0133) or Orchards Hotel (222 Adams Rd, Williamstown, MA, 01267, 413/458-9611) in Williamstown, or the Black Swan Inn in Lee (435 Laurel St, Lee, MA, 01238, 413/243-2700).
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.