1. Hancock Shaker Village
Hancock Shaker Village is a living museum and historical site that preserves the culture of the Shakers. It is an excellent attraction for people of all ages and interests, and features restored buildings, crafts & activities.
The Shakers were a community of religiously-affiliated, non-profit people who believed in religious tolerance and peace. They produced agricultural machinery, clothing and home products, and were the first to erect large, communal buildings.
You can visit Hancock Shaker Village anytime, year-round. The Village also offers tours, events & festivals.
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2. Berkshire Museum
The Berkshire Museum is a cultural treasure with something for everyone. It combines an aquarium, art, history, science and children’s programs.
The museum is a little quirky, full of knick-knacks and a few masterpieces. It is more popular with school kids than tourists.
The museum is in the midst of a major re-imagining, with more emphasis on science and art as well as the arts. A variety of exhibitions are on display and there is a new Refrierator Art Gallery that features guest artists from local schools.
3. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
The 1,400-acre Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect place for nature lovers to explore. With trails that run through forests, wetlands and meadows, as well as along the slopes of Lenox Mountain, this park is an amazing place to go hiking or biking.
It also features several beaver dens, which can often be seen on hikes through the woods and ponds. The sanctuary is also home to many different species of animals, including hawks, owls, bears, and foxes.
The sanctuary was founded in 1929 by members of the Lenox Garden Club, with the help of a generous donation from Mary Parsons, the Lenox heiress. Its first superintendent, Maurice Broun, was an energetic urban naturalist who put up 225 bird boxes and built five miles of trails.
4. Arrowhead Museum
Arrowhead Museum, also known as the Herman Melville House, is the home of iconic American author Herman Melville during his most productive years. The house at 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield is open to the public and provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of one of America’s great writers.
A guided tour takes 45 minutes and includes visiting the historic barn and ending at Melville’s study, with an inspirational view of Mount Greylock from his window.
The museum has a variety of exhibits, including a Paleo, Archaic, and Woodland stone artifact exhibit. In addition to the impressive displays, there are fun hands-on activities for families and kids to enjoy.
5. Pittsfield State Forest
Located in the Taconic Mountains, Pittsfield State Forest is a great place to go hiking. It offers 30 miles of trails that offer beautiful views and an escape from the city.
Hiking up Pine Mountain will give you a chance to take in the scenery of this forest, as well as to see sweeping views of the Massachusetts and New York state horizons. You’ll also be able to stop at Berry Pond and Parker Brook for some beautiful small cascades.
Another great hike is the Holy Mount Trail, which will take you to the top of Holy Mount, where the Shakers stayed during their time in Pittsfield. You’ll be able to experience the history of the Shakers and explore what they did during their time in Pittsfield.