“The temperature’s rising; it isn’t surprising. We’re having a heat wave.” Or so the song goes. But when the mercury climbs, we dream of cool mountain air and the welcoming shade of an ancient elm. All of which can be found when you explore historic Stockbridge, MA.
Picture historic cottages enveloped by ornate gardens with panoramic mountain views. A haven for visitors with an artistic bent, the Berkshires’ natural beauty and unparalleled cultural attractions have long appealed to poets, sculptors, and lovers of the arts everywhere.
Among the many lovely towns and villages that comprise the Berkshires, Stockbridge stands out in any season. Home to Norman Rockwell’s iconic museum and studio, Daniel Chester French’s incomparable summer estate, and so much more, a trip to explore historic Stockbridge should rank high on your bucket list.
Let’s break down a few of the highlights to fill your dance card when you visit the bucolic village of Stockbridge on your next trip to the Berkshires.
Cresting the knoll that leads to Chesterwood, Daniel Chester French’s summer home in the Berkshires, you’ll be mesmerized by the view of rolling hills and manicured lawns that stretch as far as the eye can see. French is most known as the creator of Abraham Lincoln’s seated figure in our capitol’s Lincoln Memorial. He was also a prolific sculptor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Touring his home and studio reveals an exquisite view into the life and works of this renowned artist. Be sure to spend some time in the gardens and wander the woodland trails that surround the property.
Open Thursday to Monday, May through October, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Guided tours offered at 11 AM, 12 Noon, 1 and 2 PM. Other options include self-guided tours and grounds-only tickets.
Naumkeag, one of Stockbridge’s fabled summer cottages, was built for Joseph Choate and his wife Caroline in the late 1800s. Although the home itself is gorgeous, the gardens are the primary draw here. Designed by a noted landscape architect, each themed garden sets a different tone. Take time to embrace the true spirit intended for the Afternoon Garden, Tree Peony Terrace, Rose Garden, and Chinese Garden. The highlight of any visit to Naumkeag undoubtedly will be the magnificent Blue Steps. Flanked by four flights of steps, a series of half-moon shaped deep blue fountains lead through a stand of white birch.
Open: Thursday through Monday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Norman Rockwell Museum
Beyond a doubt, Norman Rockwell’s iconic museum in Stockbridge, is among the most visited spots in the Berkshires. The museum and studio house an extraordinary collection of his original works, including his famous cover illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell’s work is famous for depicting visual stories of real life in America with a whimsical flare. For more insight into Rockwell’s artistic philosophy, read our blog: 7 Reasons to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Open: Thursday through Monday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Berkshire Botanical Garden
Established in 1934, the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s mission is to serve as the community’s one-stop spot for inspiration, education, and information. Covering 24 acres of land in Stockbridge, and featuring several unique garden spaces to reflect a number of design concepts, your visit will no doubt fuel your own green thumb. Stroll among the rock garden, herb garden, and pond garden. Then, wander the meadow walk in search of wildlife. For more details on what to expect when visiting, read our blog: Your Guide to the Beautiful Berkshire Botanical Garden.
Of course, there’s more to Stockbridge than just historic homes and gardens. Visit main street in downtown for fun and unusual shopping, delightful cafes and bistros, and unforgettable performing arts venues.
Our delightful country inn located near Lenox, MA is the ideal spot to hang your hat while you explore historic Stockbridge, MA. We are committed to providing gracious hospitality and unparalleled luxury. Your stay gives you easy access to dozens of cultural attractions and the spectacular beauty of the place we call home.