Photos of Tourists had been popping up here and there in my Instagram feed. Each time I’d say, “Man, I need to go there!” It was never quite the right time and with it being up in the northern Berkshires I figured it would be best served by a long weekend. My birthday fell on a Monday this year, so I thought it would be the perfect place to go and with taking one day of work off, it all fell into place. Based on the photos I was seeing of the cozy hang zone by the fireplace, I had high expectations. If you want to skip reading all of the details below, I will tell you now that those expectations were absolutely met!
It’s a 3.5 hour drive from our house so we cruised up on Saturday and stayed for two nights. I’m going to get this out of the way now because it’s the only non-amazing thing I have to say about this place. You drive up and you realize it’s right on a somewhat busy road. Based on the vibes and photos you might have been expecting it to be set back further into the woods. Just know this so you don’t get a sting of disappointment when you arrive. I will promise you that this will not affect your stay and you will basically forget all about the road.
It has 48 rooms and they are set up motor lodge style (we love a classic roadside motor lodge!). When you check in you go into the main building. This is where those gorgeous fireplace photos are taken. There is a bar there where you can get cocktails/beer/wine/espresso drinks, etc. At least when we were there you can also get food. We had delicious breakfast there as well as dinner. (I’ll get to that later). Once we checked in we went to our room. They have 6 different room choices, all at different price points, and with various configurations. Some have a little loft hang/sleep zone for kids with twin beds up there, others have a deck that look over the woods. After our trip to Hawaii the month before, we opted for the cheapest option, the Gallery Room. While it’s the smallest room offered, it was just a large (or larger!) than your standard hotel room and even included a daybed for Sally. This place has some of the most extraordinary attention to detail of any place I’ve ever stayed. While it had only been open for 6 months, they had already thought of everything. I liked the design of the room, I liked the blinds, I liked the folding chairs to take outside, I liked how the TV was covered up, I liked the bench when you walk in to sit down and take off your shoes, I liked the soaps, I liked that there was an outdoor shower (not as fun in January), but I LOVED their Field Guide. On the desk they have a little orange book that has so much useful information in it! It give you the history of the area, information about hiking, swimming holes, fly fishing zones, places to eat and drink, tips on local art and culture, and some extra pages to take notes of your own.
With the field guide in hand, we set out to take a walk across the suspension bridge and around the property. Oh, remember how I mentioned it was on a road? You probably forgot already because I did. None of the windows in the rooms face that direction. All of the windows face towards the river and the woods. Out the sliding glass door of our room, we walked toward the suspension bridge that takes you over the Hoosic River. If one was less lazy and didn’t have a 2 year old, you could walk on down the path to the Appalachian Trail and walk your way to Vermont! (guessing that takes a while). Instead, there were perfect little strolls for us to do with Sally. We took a wander to the chime chapel where you can use the supplied mallets and make some music. We continued along the berms and found their yoga platform. Empty in January, but a perfect place in the trees for a toddler to dance and put on a show. Speaking of being empty in January, there is a pool! I truly hope to make it back up here this summer to experience all this place has to offer. For the time being, we made a lot of use out of the lounge area, drinking coffee, drinking wine, playing games, and working on jigsaw puzzles. Oh, here might be a good time to mention the food. I had an eggcellent (catch that Dad joke?) egg sandwich and Sally had a delectable rye waffle with ricotta and apple compote. We stayed in for dinner as well, eating at the communal table, and the burger was delish! It was such a friendly vibe there and we ended up talking with a number of other families who were just lovely! Always and added treat! For the future: They were working on opening a new restaurant in a 1800s farmhouse called the Airport Rooms, which I’m sure will be exquisite with tasty food and drink.
In making chit chat, folks would ask if we were going to Mass MoCA, which is located close by. Everyone we spoke to raved about it and said it was well worth a visit. The place is large and they have a vast array of visual art as well as a huge selection of performing arts. We were wondering if it would be a good place for a toddler, but everyone confirmed that it would be. Despite the glowing reviews, we skipped it this time and thought Sally would have more fun at a smaller museum that was more natural history oriented. We headed the the Berkshire Museum. I loved it here! It was the perfect size for a family, not too big with a wide variety of awesome stuff to check out! This museum was started in 1903 by the owner of the Crane paper company. He travelled the world and collected beautiful art and artifacts for his museum. I’m talking everything from an Egyptian mummy to a meteorite to a fur suit that was worn on the first successful expedition to the North Pole (I am a big fan of arctic adventures). It was such a great variety in a manageable space. It’s what I consider a perfect museum! We’ll hit Mass MoCA on the next trip.
To break up the drive on the way home, we stopped in our beloved Hudson. There is a Museum of Firefighting there that we had been meaning to check out with Sally (she was a Unicorn Firefighter for Halloween). DEFINITELY worth a stop if you have a kid (or adult!) interested in firetrucks and are in the Hudson area. The downstairs just has rows and rows of fire engines. Walking around for the first 10 minutes I thought it was going to be a bust, BUT there is an upstairs! Up there are all sorts of hands on things for kids to do. The best is that they can put on a little fire outfit and climb in different old timey fire trucks. There is one with a video so you can simulate driving the streets to a real fire. Watch out world, Fire Chief Sally’s at the wheel!