Lenox, Massachusetts

Photo: Stonover Farm
Photo: Stonover Farm

The Berkshires are one of your favorite places to escape for a long weekend. You drive along narrow back roads, take photos of the colorful foliage (much to the dismay of the locals behind you), and stop to pick apples at small farms in the fall. You head to the mountains to ski during the winter. Then you return in the spring to go hiking, fishing, and maple sugaring. But when the summer arrives, you forget about the green mountains and the picturesque little villages. All you can think about is the beach. That’s a mistake.

So this weekend, you’re off to Lenox. The historic town has been a summer—yes, summer—destination for centuries. It became an artist colony in the early 1800s, a resort town by the end of the century, and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1937. Everyone from the Astors to the Carnegies, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Edith Wharton, James Taylor to Yo-Yo Ma lived—or lives—here at least part of the year. While Tanglewood and October Mountain State Forest (through which the Appalachian Trail runs) continue to lure visitors to Western Massachusetts today.

You’re staying at Stonover Farm, a 120-year-old farmhouse just outside of the center of town. Its 10 acres have green lawns, a spring-fed pond, and saggy willow trees that give way to the wooded hillside. The barn is filled with contemporary artwork. Hammocks are perfectly placed for reading a book or napping. Wood-burning fireplaces and a sunny breakfast room are on the first floor of the main building. The suites, decorated with warm gray tones, have gas fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. Plus the Rock Cottage and the School House are more secluded—and more unique—accommodations.

Wake up in the School House—you couldn’t resist staying in the 1850s building. Sip coffee on its bluestone patio and enjoy the picture-perfect view of the barn, the pond, and the woods. Eat breakfast prepared by the farm’s owners: a tomlette (a goat cheese and mushroom omelette made by Tom) and Suky’s homemade granola. Ride a bike into town and stop at little cafes, taverns, and sweet shops. Explore the gorgeous grounds of The Mount, where Edith Wharton lived. Return to Stonover Farm for wine and cheese later in the afternoon. Then head to Tanglewood, just a half-mile down the road, for an evening of music under the stars. The beach has some competition now.

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