On Saturday morning, Anna and I hopped on Metro North and trained up to Westchester, where Danielle greeted us with a warm car and fresh banana muffins. We loaded our luggage in the trunk, turned on the radio, and set off! Our destination? North Adams, a quaint town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Located on the Western edge of Massachusetts, the drive was a short three-and-a-half hour ride. I’d been to the Berkshires to ski years ago, with my family, but hadn’t ever explored any of the towns.
We stayed at Porches, a group of Victorian-houses-turned-boutique hotel. Our room was really cute and cozy, with beadboard walls and a luxurious bathroom.
We arrived just around lunchtime, so we walked around North Adams looking for a good spot.
We settled on The Hub, a casual restaurant recommended by the hotel receptionist and filled with people. A good sign! After a short wait, we settled into stools at the counter for a relaxing meal including (but not limited to) sweet potato tater tots with raspberry “mumble” sauce and Massachusetts-made draught beers.
It was “Winterfest” in town, so town was crowded! There were shops open for coffee and cookie tastings, and ice sculptures all along the sidewalks.
It was windy, snowy, and bitingly cold…
The perfect afternoon to go to Mass MoCA, a contemporary art museum in the heart of town and right across the street from our hotel.
Housed in a series of 26 interconnected buildings, bridges and passageways, the galleries take up space in old factories that were active from the early 1700s until 1985.
Exposed brick, lofted ceilings, metal staircases… the space itself was exciting enough.
Word to the wise: be very careful when walking in snow boots around mirror-as-installation art. Just saying.
After resting our strained eyes (art appreciation is tiring!) we found a nice, local spot for dinner. Public eat+drink has an interesting, eclectic menu (falafel, fish tacos, linguine with clams, flatbreads) and had something for each of us.
There was a bit of a wait, so we enjoyed a glass of wine while we waited for our table. You know what’s great about life outside of New York City? Non-New-York-City prices! Pinot Noir for $8? Craft beer for $4.50? I’ll take it!
All of the restaurants we frequented during our trip had a big salad menu, and all had add-on options of grilled shrimp, chicken, steak or salmon. I appreciate this! And again, I also appreciate the $10 sticker price for this grilled salmon salad with spinach, goat cheese, toasted almonds and dried cranberries.
We split a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich for dessert, then adjourned to our room for more wine and cookies. Leave us to our own devices for a night and things get crazy!
We were up bright and early on Sunday morning for the continental buffet breakfast included for all hotel guests.
Nothing like the hot coffee and fresh bread to get you out of bed in the morning!
After breakfast, we took a short (steep) walk around the Porches grounds before driving to Bradley Farms in search of a hiking trail.
The trail was “interpretive,” a kind of choose-your-own-adventure for hiking.
With our trusted found hiking sticks, we trekked through ice, snow, and slippery rocks.
I may be a city girl, but I could get used to this!
On our way home, we stopped in Williamstown (home to Williams College) to stroll around the grounds, visit their (free, extensive) art museum and grab a bite.
We were famished by the time our food arrived at the Purple Pub (internet reviews warned us service would be on the slow side). I enjoyed the salmon club with avocado, roasted tomato, arugula, and lemon aioli and sweet potato waffle fries… after this trip, it may be hard for me to eat a non-fried ‘tater!
Our triple date was the perfect weekend getaway. We explored a new place, drank wine, told silly stories, played in the snow. Now home again, I’m ready to be in New York again, ready to appreciate our own parks and recreation, our restaurants and cultural events. It’s funny how just 36 hours away can send you back with clear eyes and full hearts.
How did you spend your weekend? What was the last trip you took?
Did you watch the Oscars? Did you agree with the winners?