A Local’s Guide to Fall In The Berkshires

Alana Chernila is a cookbook author, a dinner wrangler, mother to two girls, wife to an artistic preschool teacher, farmers market worker, a teacher of all-things-yogurt, and an undercover ambassador for the Berkshires, where she lives with her family. We love her blog, Eating From the Ground Up—we appreciate that she’s human and makes mistakes, even though her food is delicious. Born and bred in the Berkshires, she gave us her favorite haunts for the perfect fall getaway. Her new book, Homemade Kitchen, is out this week.

The Berkshires have always been a place of escape. The wild woods, mountains, and rivers have been inspiring people for hundreds of years. That was true when Edith Wharton or Herman Melville were escaping here to write, and it’s true now. I grew up in the Berkshires and I never thought I’d come back, but it’s an amazing place to raise a family. This past summer, my husband and I had the opportunity to walk across the length of Berkshire Countywe got to be tourists in our own home. I have a whole new list of picks after that walk. Here are a few discoveries and old favorites!

Art and Culture Galore In the summer, we have Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, and so much more. The rest of the year, we have the land and the museums all to ourselves. The hills get quiet and the sites empty out, so it’s easier to explore.

Located on the lovely grounds of a renovated 19th century factory complex, MASS MoCA is one of the most interesting museums of contemporary art in the country, featuring the latest and greatest in both performing and visual art. It’s genuinely fun for the whole family.

Photo credit: David Dashiell

Nearby Williamstown is a small college town, with an amazing big city art collection in the Clark Art Institute, including great works by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Edgar Degas, and many others. The grounds of the Clark are beautiful toothere are hiking trails and paths. I also love visiting The Mount in Lenox, which was Edith Wharton’s house. After you tour the estate, you can have lunch on her terrace and it’s totally magicalshe designed the gardens herself.

Local Food A lot of really innovative things are going on with food here. There’s a close relationship between farmers, makers, and chefs, and this creates some really fabulous eating experiences.

Photo Credit: Martin Albert

Eat on North in Pittsfield is the perfect place to while away a fall afternoon with some East Coast oysters and a cocktail.

Photo credit, left: Bistro Box. Photo credit, right: Kyle Johnson.

The Bistro Box is a great little roadside burger joint in Great Barrington. Get there soonthey close in the middle of November for the season! And the most important tip I can give: No. Six Depot in West Stockbridge. They have the best coffee I’ve had anywhere.

Suddenly feel like planning a trip? Don’t let the weather stop you. We’ve got your fall jacket needs covered. How about our Faux-Fur Pea Coat? It’s perfect for a cool fall day, sipping coffee, taking in the fall foliage, and seeing great art. 


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