Pittsfield

Massachusetts

11 Fun & Best Things to Do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

11 Fun & Best Things to Do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts


Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is a small city within the northwest a part of the state. Despite its small dimension, it’s the most important metropolis in Berkshire County and is a improbable place to go to. Whether visiting Pittsfield as a household, with buddies, or as a romantic getaway, you’ll be in awe of the town’s magnificence!

The former mill city is an in depth weekend vacation spot for a lot of, together with these from Boston, New York, Jersey City, Newark, Philadelphia, and Montreal. Pittsfield has all of it if you happen to’re searching for four-season recreation, world-class theaters, glorious museums, and delectable eating!

In addition, the town is pedestrian-friendly, with many sights inside strolling distance.Families will benefit from the interactive reveals on the first-class Berkshire Museum, the oldest working farm at Hancock Shaker Village, and the Tranquility Trail at Pittsfield State Forest.

In addition, households flock to Burbank Park at Lake Onota through the summer time to swim, kayak, or experience a pontoon boat. For out of doors adventurers, Pittsfield has year-round out of doors recreation, together with mountaineering trails at Pittsfield State Forest (and snowshoeing trails within the winter!), snowboarding and tubing at Bousquet Mountain, mountaineering and cross-country snowboarding at Springside Park, and fishing at Lake Onota.

Couples will discover many enjoyable issues to do, together with a visit to Lake Onota, dinner at District Kitchen & Bar, one of many reside performances on the Colonial Theatre, and a nightcap at Methuselah Bar and Lounge.

So, whether or not you’re visiting Pittsfield along with your vital different, buddies, or youngsters, you’ll discover many superb issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts!

TLDR

  • Most vital landmark – Hancock Shaker Village
  • Best park – Springside Park
  • Best free exercise – Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Best exercise for youths – Bousquet Ski Area/Play Bousquet
  • Best exercise for adults – The Colonial Theatre
  • Best meals – District Kitchen and Bar
  • Best nightlife – Methuselah Bar & Lounge
  • Best all-around lodgingBerkshire Mountain Lodge

Best & Fun Things to Do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

1. Pittsfield State Forest

Address: 1041 Cascade St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Pittsfield State Forest is a year-round vacation spot for out of doors lovers, with 30 miles of trails for mountaineering, mountain biking, horseback driving, and cross-country snowboarding. The state park contains 11,000 acres, quite a few campsites, cascading streams, and Pontoosuc Lake.

The trails vary from novice to skilled, with essentially the most accessible path being the Tranquility Trail. If you’re searching for extra of a problem, attempt the 11-mile Shaker Village to Parker Pond hike. This hike has an elevation acquire of over 2,000 toes and often takes a median of 5 hours to finish.

There are three campgrounds: Berry Pond, Parker Brook, and Bishop Field. To keep on high of Berry Mountain, you’ll need one of many 13 campsites within the Berry Pond Campground. Conversely, if you wish to pitch a tent on the mountain’s base, seize a spot on the Parker Brook Campground. Lastly, if you happen to want open-field campsites, take a look at Bishop Field Campground.

Summertime actions on the state park embody mountaineering, tenting, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback driving, and fishing. Wintertime recreation alternatives embody cross-country snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. With four-season out of doors recreation at Pittsfield State Forest, it’s a really perfect vacation spot for nature lovers!

See Related: Things to Do in Massachusetts & Places to Visit

 2. Hancock Shaker Village

Address: 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Hancock Shaker Village is well one of the crucial fascinating and academic issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Village is a former Shaker commune that emerged within the 1780s and was energetic for nearly two centuries.

When it closed in 1960, a non-profit bought the land and turned it into the open-air museum it’s at present. In 1968, Hancock Shaker Village was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark District.

Visitors can spend all day studying about Shaker life within the 750-acre Village, with 50 room-setting reveals, a Shaker Mercantile, and an onsite Cafe. In addition, guests may discover most of the property’s trails, move by deserted Shaker buildings, and even see the holy web site, Mount Sinai.

Not solely are you able to stroll by means of these real-life reveals with actual Shaker furnishings, instruments, and tools, however many areas have costumed interpreters that present a extra in-depth studying expertise.

For instance, one of many many reveals is an infirmary with hospital beds and nineteenth Century medical tools, and one other is a Dairy and Weaving Loft with looms, spinning wheels, and butter churns.

Lastly, many guests hike to the holy web site of Mount Sinai from Shaker Village; it’s a 2.6-mile round-trip path that takes you to the North Family websites after which to the sacred web site in Pittsfield State Forest.

Regardless of whether or not you make the hike to Mount Sinai, Hancock Shaker Village is a must-see attraction for each children and adults!

3. Berkshire Museum

Address: 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

The Berkshire Museum is an distinctive instructional expertise well worth the journey from New York, Albany, or Boston. The Museum is extra than simply artwork; it contains historic civilization, science, and pure historical past.

In partnership with the Smithsonian, the Berkshire Museum is likely one of the few museums within the United States that may share the Smithsonian’s assets with its guests. Kids particularly love the hands-on reveals, the aquarium, and the partaking programming.

However, a visit to the Berkshire Museum is enjoyable for all ages, whether or not you’re 5 or 95 years previous! The first flooring is an interactive exhibit encompassing over 3,000 sq. toes.

This exhibition celebrates regional inventors and their innovations which have formed the world. In addition, many guests benefit from the Animals of the World in Miniature exhibition, with fourteen totally different ecosystems displayed in wealthy, lifelike scenes.

However, younger guests discover the Aquarium and Reptile Room among the best issues to discover as a result of they will see reptiles, amphibians, fish, and bugs up shut! This eclectic museum is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on any given day.

You may go to the museum store to take residence some mementos and souvenirs to your home or canine sitter! In addition, the handy location in downtown Pittsfield makes it an ideal place to cease on a wet day.

See Related: Best Museums within the US You Need to Visit

4. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: 472 W Mountain Rd, Lenox, MA 01240

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is positioned only a quick drive from Pittsfield within the neighboring city of Lenox. This 1,400-acre wildlife sanctuary is a part of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and is a superb place for mountaineering, chicken watching, and wildlife viewing.

In the majestic barn on the property, it’s also possible to see artistic endeavors by six native artists who share their visions of nature. There are seven miles of mountaineering trails, with one of many trails heading to Lenox Mountain’s peak.

Regardless of which path you resolve to take, you’ll undergo varied habitats comparable to wetlands, meadows, forests, and mountains. Because of the totally different habitats, there’s a vary of hikes, from simple to difficult. While mountaineering, you may even see beavers, or at the very least proof, through dens or dams.

The strolling trails embody loop trails, boardwalks, and scenic views. So, whether or not you might be searching for a strenuous hike to the summit of Lenox Mountain or a 20-minute stroll round Pike’s Pond, you are able to do each at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

This sanctuary is likely one of the greatest issues to do close to Pittsfield, whether or not touring as a household, in a gaggle, or as a pair. If you need to keep in Lenox after spending the day on the sanctuary, the Hampton Inn & Suites Berkshires-Lenox is ideal with its signature Cloud Nine beds, swimming pool, and mountain views.

5. Arrowhead Museum

Address: 780 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Whether or not you’re accustomed to “Call me Ishmael,” the opening line of Moby Dick, you’ll discover a journey to the Arrowhead Museum very instructional. The Herman Melville House, often known as Arrowhead, was the house of the well-known writer throughout his most prolific years.

Melville named the farm “Arrowhead” because of the native artifacts he discovered within the fields. Herman Melville purchased the home and barns encompassing 160 acres in 1850. Part of his job was to maintain the horse and milk the cows; he additionally planted tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and apples. 

Many of his tales and novels have been impressed by his life at Arrowhead and the encompassing space. Along with Moby Dick, Melville wrote Bartleby, the ScrivenerThe Bell Tower, and Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile throughout his time at Arrowhead. 

Today, it’s a historic home museum, with excursions of the place Herman Melville produced a few of his most outstanding work. The Melville Trail additionally connects most of the writer’s most beloved locations in Berkshire County with interpretive panels.

Some locations on the path embody Pontoosuc Lake, Monument Mountain, Berkshire Athenaeum, Balance Rock, and Mount Greylock. Arrowhead shouldn’t be solely a terrific place to study Henry Melville but additionally to see the inspiration behind a few of his greatest works. This museum is well among the best issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts!

If you need to relaxation your toes and head close by, contemplate the Berkshire Mountain Lodge, with a sizzling tub and recreation room on web site!

6. Colonial Theatre

Address: 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

The Colonial Theatre is a part of the Berkshire Theatre Group, which manages the Unicorn Theatre and the Fitzpatrick Main Stage. Opened in 1903, the theatre boasted classical structure and glorious acoustics. Of the 220 theatres architect J.B. McElfatrick designed, the Colonial Theatre is considered one of six nonetheless standing.

After an extended and storied historical past, together with the theatre’s closure a number of occasions (through the Depression and WWII) after which the theatre going to public sale, it reopened in 2006 after a $21 million restoration. The renovation preserved the theatre’s historic design parts whereas creating a contemporary efficiency middle.

Today the theatre has 780 seats and options reside performances from nationwide acts such because the legendary country-pop crossover band Lonestar and reside music such because the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and Bennie & The Jets: A Tribute to Elton John.

If you get an opportunity to go to the Colonial Theatre, you’ll be in awe of the architectural particulars inside, from the elaborately adorned balcony to the vaulted entrance. The theatre is an excellent place with a whole lot of historical past and is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts!

Start your night off proper earlier than the present with a cocktail and dinner on the close by District Kitchen & Bar for contemporary American meals in a snug setting. And if you would like a nightcap to finish your night, the Methuselah Bar and Lounge is ideal for a glass of Berkshire Mountain Distillers Berkshire Bourbon or Pierre Ferrand Cognac.

See Related: Best Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts

7. Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum in spring
Image by Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism used underneath CC BY-ND 2.0

Address: 9 Glendale Rd, Stockbridge, MA 01262

The Norman Rockwell Museum is a brief drive from Pittsfield in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It’s well worth the journey to see essentially the most in depth assortment of Rockwell’s work from 5 many years of illustration for The Saturday Evening Post. His artwork has fashionable enchantment as a result of it mirrored American tradition all through the years.

According to Rockwell, his Stockbridge studio, initially positioned in his yard on South Street, was his “best studio yet.” Before he died, he left the studio and its contents to the Museum. In 1986, the constructing was moved to the Norman Rockwell Museum’s grounds.

The 36-acre web site options lovely gardens, beautiful views, specimen timber, and sculptures by Rockwell’s son. Visitors can stroll by means of the character trails, decide apples from the orchard, or head to the Housatonic River.

Many museumgoers buy meals from the onsite cafe and have a picnic, whereas others use their artwork supplies to sketch on the grounds. Plan at the very least an hour and a half to tour Norman Rockwell’s studio and galleries; nevertheless, many guests spend further time on the Museum’s lovely grounds.

If you propose on seeing Rockwell’s studio, it’s a good suggestion to make superior reservations because it has restricted availability. If you need the total expertise, reserve a guided tour! Your tour information will encourage interactive dialogue as you stroll by means of the museum.

If you’re searching for issues to do close to Pittsfield, you may’t go unsuitable visiting this museum!

See Related: Most Beautiful Places within the United Kingdom

8. Springside Park

Address: 874 North St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Springside Park is a improbable place to go to if you happen to’re searching for a spot to let your little ones burn off some power. Originally fertile farmland early within the metropolis’s improvement, Springside Park is now the most important municipal park in Pittsfield. The park contains over 230 acres alongside the north aspect of city.

Visitors to the park can hike on one of many many woodland trails, play basketball, climb on considered one of two playscapes, or discover the pond. There can also be the Hebert Arboretum, a residing tree museum with over 50 species of native timber, 135 species of wildflowers, and over 300 species of vegetation.

During the spring and fall, migrating songbirds come for sanctuary and relaxation. In the southwest part of the park is the Springside House, which dates again to 1856.

The home is the previous residence of the Pittsfield Parks and Recreation Department and is an integral a part of Pittsfield’s previous and future. In 2008, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

See Related: List of US National Monuments (Including Best to Visit in 2022)

9. Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: 309 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary is conveniently positioned only one mile from the middle of Pittsfield. The sanctuary attracts wildlife, comparable to ospreys, warblers, otters, turtles, and the occasional bear.

Visitors to Canoe Meadows can take pleasure in a number of trails that wind by means of the wetlands, fields, and scenic woods. These nature trails are additionally alongside the sting of the scenic Housatonic River.

Birdwatchers can attend one of many weekly guided chicken walks within the spring and fall. With greater than 60 acres of open fields, the wildlife sanctuary is a breeding habitat for grassland birds. Some birdwatchers have seen White-throated Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Northern Cardinals, Hairy Woodpeckers, Rock Pigeons, and Ring-necked Pheasants.

In addition to nature trails and birdwatching, the sanctuary has a group backyard, which rents plots to Mass Audubon members. They additionally provide accessible raised-bed gardens for many who may have them.

If you’re searching for a chilled and exquisite place to spend time and take within the native wildlife, a visit to Canoe Meadows is a must-do attraction! It’s a terrific place for nature lovers, with entry to the scenic woods and wetlands of Berkshire County.

10. Lake Onota

Address: 401-487 Lakeway Dr, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Owned and managed by the town of Pittsfield, Lake Onota is a leisure lake to be used by residents and vacationers visiting the Berkshires. The 617-acre lake has over 7 miles of shoreline and is roughly a mile huge at its widest level.

Visitors to the lake can fish, boat, kayak, swim, or canoe. Lake Onota is a good swimming gap and can also be glorious for fishing, with numerous species like largemouth bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, chain pickerel, and northern pike.

On the jap shore of Lake Onota is Burbank Park, with a free public boat launch and fishing pier. The 153-acre park is ideal for accessing the lake, with a public swimming seashore and a strolling path round Lake Onota.

You can hire a ship, canoe, pedal boat, or kayak by means of Onota Boat Livery. The livery can also be a improbable place to get fishing bait and deal with, whether or not a novice or an skilled fisherman.

And if you happen to’re a rower visiting the realm, go to Berkshire Community Rowing to take a look at their membership. They can set you up in a staff boat, or you may hire a single and head out on the lake your self.

If you’re searching for improbable views and a serene expertise, you may’t go unsuitable with visiting Lake Onata. It’s simply among the best issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, whether or not touring with younger children, a big group, or as a pair.

If you need to benefit from the morning sounds of the birds whereas consuming your espresso, keep at a tranquil house conveniently positioned on the lake! This stress-free 5 bed room residence has two small docks and a small seashore, with two canoes, 5 kayaks, and a stand-up paddleboard.

11. Bousquet Mountain

Address: 101 Dan Fox Dr., Pittsfield, MA 01201

Bousquet Mountain is the oldest current ski space within the Berkshires, opening in 1932. Before turning into a ski space, the mountain was a mink farm owned by Clarence Bousquet. When the Depression hit and the mink farm tanked, Bousquet met with the Mount Greylock Ski Club to chop a 750-foot ski slope to the northern summit of Mahanna Cobble.

Today, Bousquet Mountain is a winter wonderland with 23 ski and snowboard trails, snow tubing, a summit elevation of 1,818 toes, a vertical drop of 750 toes, two chair lifts, two magic carpets, and a terrain park. The lately renovated ski lodge has home windows with countless mountain views, a ski rental space, and a restaurant.

However, winter isn’t the one time for recreation on the mountain. Summertime permits for lovely hikes, together with the Mahanna Cobble, a 3-mile out-and-back path. There are beautiful views on the vista, with chicken’s eye views of Pittsfield and the North Berkshires.

If you’re searching for a extra intense hike, you may take the Yokun Ridge Trail and connecting trails, which comprise greater than 10 miles alongside the Yokun Ridge. Bousquet Mountain is the northern trailhead through the Mahanna Cobble Trail for this hike.

If you go to through the summer time, plan on attending one of many mountain’s summer time live shows. The family-friendly live shows embody blues, jazz, rock, and people artists.

And no matter what season you go to, you may plan to wine and dine at one of many two eating places on the mountain, Lift Bistropub and the Kitchen. If you’re searching for considered one of Pittsfield’s enjoyable locations to go, look no additional than Bousquet Mountain! It’s the right ski resort for households, {couples}, or teams, with year-round eating, recreation, and enjoyable at one place.

See Related: The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List

FAQ

What are some issues to do in Pittsfield, Massachusetts with children?

Pittsfield is a four-season vacation spot for the entire household, with loads of state parks for out of doors actions like mountaineering and swimming within the spring and summer time and snow tubing and snowboarding within the winter. There are additionally film theaters just like the Little Cinema on the Berkshire Museum, fascinating historical past museums (Hancock Shaker Village is a should!), and two wildlife sanctuaries.

What are one of the best issues to see in Pittsfield, Massachusetts?

Pittsfield has all of it, whether or not you’re seeking to go to historic websites like Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, see native artwork galleries, or have an out of doors journey on the mountaineering trails at Pittsfield State Forest. Downtown Pittsfield is the town’s cultural district, with reveals on the Colonial Theatre, interactive reveals on the Berkshire Museum, and glorious eating and procuring.

What is Pittsfield, Massachusetts, recognized for?

There are a few notable residents from Pittsfield, together with Herman Melville, the writer of Moby Dick, and Rev. Thomas Allen, the “Fighting Parson” from the Revolutionary War. In addition, the realm is especially well-suited for out of doors actions, with fall considered one of its busiest journey seasons for world-class leaf-peeping and different actions. No matter the season, you may guess on beautiful surroundings, delectable delicacies, and a few of the nation’s high museums.

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