You’ve tangled with enough Tanglewood crowds to know a Berkshires summer is a less-than-restful affair. Forgo mass cultural exodus and explore your favored getaway in the somnolent winter months.
Rest Your Weary Head
Stay at the Cranwell Resort for inestimable comforts like a glass-encased indoor pool; Sunday brunch buffet in the sunroom; and an ever-burning, oversize dark-wood fireplace. Secluded guesthouses at The Red Lion Inn include ecofriendly suites and a revamped two-story firehouse.
Have Snow, Will Travel
Accessible lift tickets ($15-$30) at Otis Ridge let you find your downhill ski legs without breaking the bank. At Notchview, try your hand at skijoring, a dog-led cross-country experience. Boot up for full-moon snowshoeing with an apres-shoe bonfire and wine tasting at Hilltop Orchards.
Clark museum’s just-debuted Electric Paris exhibition grants a City of Light escape for pennies on the dollar. Browse locally fostered authors (Edith Wharton, W.E.B. Du Bois) at The Bookstore before settling into the attached Get Lit wine bar.
Sample wintertime brews like the raspberry barley wine-style ale at Berkshire Brewing Company, which you can tour every Saturday. Thick hot cocoa at Chocolate Springs Cafe further entices with whipped cream and choco shavings. Stock up on indoor picnic staples (marinated feta, smoked fish) at Rubiner’s, housed in an old bank with the original vault.
Farm It Out
Chef Brian Alberg’s sustainable foods menu at The Red Lion Inn celebrates Western Massachusetts farmers and purveyors. Brooklyn transplant Mark Firth does locavore comfort fare at the wood-beamed Bell & Anchor. Snagging a spot at tiny, quietly revered Once upon a Table becomes a lot easier in the off-season.
Make a Night of It
An evening drink is de rigueur at Rumpy’s Tavern, a twee, tucked-away pub inside the Village Inn. Dancin’ at the Mansion happens once a month at Ventfort Hall, a Gilded Age treasure. Finish the eve with live music at the Garage at The Colonial Theatre.
Head for the hills.
Photos: Dennis Tangney Jr. / Getty Images; Courtesy of Berkshires Visitors Bureau; Courtesy of The Red Lion Inn