Weekend in the Berkshires with the Red Lion Inn
Now that spring has sprung (sort of), it was time to put our ski gear away and turn the page to warmer weather activities. This past weekend, we took a trip straight west of Boston to the Berkshires Region of MA.
We decided to make a pit stop halfway at the Tree House Brewing Company in Monson, MA. This was a place we had been itching to check out, as the internet reviews were world class. It certainly lived up to its reputation, as we purchased 3 of the best double IPAs we've ever had! The ‘Haze’ was our favorite.
When we arrived in Stockbridge at the Red Lion Inn, we were greeted to a beautiful wrap around front porch and a lobby full of character. The Red Lion Inn was one of the original landmarks in the town of Stockbridge,originally built in 1739. Over the years the owners have done a great job preserving the rustic charm while providing guests with a luxurious stay. Our room was in the newly renovated Maple Glenn House and featured artfully crafted design and a beautiful ambiance.
We took a tour with Denise, Director of Events and Planning, who was able to share a wealth of information with us on the history of the hotel, artwork, and different rooms. The amount of history and art in the hotel made it as much a museum as it was a hotel. Some highlights of the tour included learning about the hotel’s expansive teapot collection, local art, and craft donations. However the manually operated “bird cage” elevator took the cake as the coolest part of the tour.
Speaking of food, we had breakfast both mornings in the hotel’s main dining area. The food and atmosphere were incredible. We recommend trying the corn-beef hash or the apple pancakes. Also be sure to check out the Tavern for an even more rustic setting, which we really enjoyed for dinner. The Lion’s Den, located in the basement also features pub food and live bands on the weekend.
As it turned out, the Red Lion Inn was conveniently located down the road from October Mountain State Park, Massachusetts’s largest state park. On Saturday we found a few breaks in the clouds to set out on a hike up Schlemmer Gorge, located on the west end of the park. This was a steep mile long hike with stunning views of the gorge throughout the trails. The hike ends with a small waterfall from the dam and pond that feeds the gorge. On our way back the weather quickly changed from blue skies to a hail storm right as we hit the steepest descent. This made for an interesting trek down and a first-time hail hiking experience to share!
On Sunday, before returning home, we made a visit to the Norman Rockwell art museum. Art is a big part of the Berkshire’s culture and Norman Rockwell was one of the local pioneers and most iconic figures. His 20th century artwork depicts different aspects of life and defining events from America's culture. The museum was the perfect way to finish the trip.