Ten Best Museums to Visit in the Berkshires

Large and elegant stone building with mullioned windows set in a formal garden.

Chesterwood

Often thought of as a summer playground for the rich during the gilded age, the Berkshires in western Massachusetts evolved over the years into a year-round destination for all. Offering arts and culture, historic landmarks, outdoor recreation, and more, the region also has a reputation for amazing museums. You’ll not want for a place to explore historic homes. No need to yearn for a spot to contemplate beautiful paintings or sculpture. Even the kid in us will find a quirky outlet to feed the imagination. Because the list of museums is long and your time here may be short, we’ve curated a few of our favorite museums to visit, no matter the season. Here, in our humble opinion, are the ten best museums to visit in the Berkshires.

The Clark Art Institute, exhibits including both American and European artists and sculptors dating from the Renaissance era, the Clark is best known for its collection of French Impressionists.

225 South Street, Williamstown, MA
Open Tuesday–Sunday, September–June
10 am–5 pm
Open daily, July–August
10 am–5 pm
Admission

Norman Rockwell Museum, houses the most significant collection of the artist’s works. Exhibits highlights Rockwell’s 50 years of illustration.
9 Glendale Road / Route 183
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Open 7 days/week year-round
Admission

Schantz Galleries, 2 floors of contemporary glass art.
3 Elm Street
Stockbridge, MA
Open Daily 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Free

Berkshire Museum, a museum of art, natural history, and early civilization
39 South Street
Pittsfield, MA
Open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 PM
Admission

Mass MoCa, a former factory converted into a center for contemporary and performing art.
1040 Mass MoCa Way
North Adams, MA
Open Wednesday – Monday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission

Bidwell House Museum, a New England Heritage site showcasing early American homelife.
100 Art School Road
Monterey, MA
Open Memorial Day – October, Thursday – Monday, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Admission

Crane Museum of Papermaking, America’s oldest paper maker and supplier of banknote paper, the museum is housed in the former rag room of the factory.
32 Pioneer Street
Dalton, MA
Open June – October, Monday – Friday, 1-5 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM; October – May, Tuesday – Thursday, 1 – 5 PM
Free, donation suggested

Williams College Museum of Art, one of the finest college art museums in the U.S. With a collection of more than 14,000 works of art.
15 Lawrence Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA
Open daily June – August, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Thursdays 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM; September – May, closed Wednesday
Free

Animagic Museum of Animation and Special Effects, featuring the science behind animation and special effects, this quirky museum is fun for the whole family.
135 Main Street.
Lee, MA
Open 365 day/year by appointment.
Free

Chesterwood, the summer home of Daniel Chester French, sculptor extraordinaire and creator of the statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. And the Minute Man sculpture at the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA.
4 Williamsville Road
Stockbridge, MA
Open late May – late October, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission

Fall, winter, spring or summer, the Berkshires offers so much to see and do that you could spend weeks exploring the region. Let the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast be the host and travel guide for your visit.

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