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    The Berkshires

    When Mother Nature calls over Massachusetts way, it's the Berkshires, a rugged mountain range stretching across the western edge of the state, that pick up, a place popular with outdoorsy types for the abundance of trails on offer and the arts-oriented for the local selection of cultural attractions.

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    From boating and fishing around coastal islands to hiking and biking through the western mountains, Massachusetts has a surprisingly good range of outdoor activities from which to choose.

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The Berkshires, Massachusetts Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

The Berkshires are a range of the Appalachian Mountains in western Massachusetts, and a popular vacation destination for many New Englanders. Part of the Appalachian Trail runs through the Massachusetts Berkshires, and combined with the Berkshire Botanical Gardens, the area is a well-trafficked spot for outdoor lovers. Known for combining culture with the countryside, the Berkshires have live music events, summer festivals and arts, amidst a backdrop of mountains and hillsides.

The area serves as a summer home to many wealthy families from New York and Rhode Island, as well as other areas of Massachusetts. City dwellers come here in the summer for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming, and likewise in the winter, for skiing.

There are a number of museums in the area, including the Norman Rockwell Museum of Art in Stockbridge, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. Tanglewood, in the town of Lenox, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is also home to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a stylish retreat for the wellness-minded.

In Williamstown, in the northern Berkshires, prestigious Williams College along with the Williams College Museum of Art, fill the town with an academic vibe. The impressive Williamstown Theatre Festival is one of the most celebrated summer theatre extravaganzas in the country.

There are destinations for day trips all over the Berkshire environs, from a visit to Hancock Shaker Village, in Pittsfield, to a day of exploring the shops and restaurants of Great Barrington or Stockbridge. While visitors mainly flock to the southern portion of the area, from Great Barrington to Lenox, each of the small towns in the Berkshires offer an array of theater, musical, dining and outdoor entertainment.

The Berkshires are located in the westernmost portion of Massachusetts and run north to south. In their entirety, they run parallel and close to the eastern border of New York.

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