Art and Culture in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts

 

If you’re longing to experience art and culture in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts this summer, fear not. Although many of the region’s iconic performing arts venues have had to cancel their performance schedules, 7 of the most-loved museums, gardens, and historic sites announced plans to welcome visitors by mid-June.

Fortunately, for guests of the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast, all of these venues are located close to one another in the central and southern Berkshires. Each one will offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy art, history, nature, and culture through exhibitions and digital apps that can be downloaded to personal devices. Several of the properties require timed admission tickets so that you enjoy an extraordinary outdoor encounter while maintaining appropriate social distancing.

So, if you need to get out, stretch your legs, smell the fresh air, and feed your soul, plan a visit to any or all of these magnificent sites in the Berkshires.

Berkshire Botanical Garden
With 24 landscaped acres to explore and dozens of unique garden spaces to visit, the Berkshire Botanical Garden is just the spot to breath deeply and smell the roses. Open daily through October 12, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Timed admission tickets required.

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

Chesterwood

Chesterwood
Re-opening in late June, Chesterwood is the former summer home and studio of the esteemed sculptor, Daniel Chester French. French designed the formal garden in the European tradition, a studio garden to enhance the many outdoor parties held throughout the summer, and woodland walks and trails that lead to scenic vistas. A limited number of timed admission tickets are available online.

A round stone structure set amidst bright red and yellow wild flowers. .

Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village
Open now Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the grounds of Hancock Shaker Village offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy being outdoors. Newborn baby animals roam the new fenced-in exhibits with their moms watching closely nearby. Stroll the one-mile Farm and Forest trail and admire the 5-acre garden in full bloom. Timed entry tickets are required in advance.

Naumkeag Public Garden and Historic Home
You can relive the glory of the gilded age when you visit Naumkeag Public Garden. Take your time strolling through the lovely gardens that surround the historic home. The Afternoon Garden, Tree Peony Terrace, Rose Garden, Evergreen Garden, and Chinese Garden exemplify the whimsical spirit of the designers. Visitors are required to wear face masks and purchase timed entry tickets in advance.

Norman Rockwell Museum
Looking forward to welcoming visitors back in mid-July, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA currently offers virtual tours of its exhibits and experiences. When the museum does re-open, the curators have planned a variety of ways in which to safely enjoy the works of its beloved artist.

Tanglewood (grounds only)
Although all live performances were cancelled due a concern for the health of the artists and visitors alike, the BSO is creating an online festival to run July 3 to August 23. Performers include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Joshua Bell. In the interim the lovely grounds are open for visitors to enjoy Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Visitors are required to wear masks and register online in advance.

The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home
While the estate is closed until further notice for health and safety reasons, the grounds of The Mount are open and free-of-charge to the public. A passionate gardener, Edith Wharton designed her gardens as a series of outdoor rooms that would enhance the house and reflect the natural beauty of the environment.

Come visit these well-loved historic homes, gardens, and museums in the Berkshires this summer. A stay at the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast in Sheffield, MA will put you in the heart of art and culture in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

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