Pittsfield, Mass., has been slowly reinventing itself from an industrial hub to a center of New England art and culture, gaining a reputation as the “Williamsburg of the Berkshires.” This June, the town took a major leap forward with the debut of Hotel on North, a new $14 million, design-focused, boutique hotel and restaurant located in a pair of buildings that date from the 1880s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to prime location in an urban, downtown (read: walkable) neighborhood, the hotel has easy access to acclaimed cultural venues including the restored Colonial Theatre from the Berkshire Theatre Group, the Berkshire Museum, and the Barrington Stage Company, as well as dozens of restaurants, shops, and galleries. A quick car ride takes you to the art epicenter of the Berkshires—cultural venues like Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, the Williamstown Theatre, MASS MoCA, The Clark, and more are no more than 30 minutes away.
You could rent a car and spend far more than a weekend exploring the back roads and foliage (James Taylor playing on Pandora), stopping for a little enlightenment here and there, maybe a swim in a lake or a picnic in some incredibly green pasture.
When you've had your fill, return to the comfort of the hotel, where much of the furniture was created from the workshops of local artisans, and the in-room mini bars feature Berkshires products like Big Elm Beer and Berkshire Mountain Distillers Bottled Gin & Tonics. Don't miss dinner at the restaurant, Eat on North; never was a more passionate locavore present behind the stove (the chef actually has the name of the restaurant tattooed on his arm). Here, it's all about good, uncomplicated food without pretense: cocktails are served in beakers, not to be cool but because they are sturdier and less expensive to replace that typical glasses. Looking to escape the city during these last gasps of summer? This could be your personal heaven.