It was on our return trip from the gorgeous mountains and fun towns of Northern Berkshire County last March, that Meredith and I came up with the idea for this website. We felt that we had stumbled upon something truly unique in North Adams, our hotel (Porches), our food (Public Eat+Drink), and the things we did (Mass MOCA), and wanted to create a way to both document our travels and share them with our friends and family. We loved the area so much, that we knew it would only be a matter of time before we returned. The opportunity presented itself to us last month, and although a few things about this trip overlapped with the first, we added quite a pleasant piece to the equation – especially in nearby Williamstown.
When I booked a wedding in the Berkshires for this summer, there was no question in our minds that three of us would make the trip together, stopping for a couple of nights at one of our favorite spots, The Porches Inn. Read more about The Porches Inn here.
August has to be one of Meredith and my favorite times to eat out in New England (although we rarely say ‘no’ to a good meal in any other month), because of the wide variety of local produce that becomes available towards the end of summer. As luck would have it, Williamstown happens to be home to an amazing restaurant, renowned for its locally-sourced, seasonal menu, so it was a fairly easy decision on where we’d be eating dinner once we got to town – Mezze Bistro + Bar. Read more about Mezze Bistro + Bar here.
Savoy Mountain Forest
Albeit a little confusing to navigate, Meredith, Orvis, and I eventually found our way to a lovely hike along the Tannery Falls trail in Savoy Mountain State Forest. A sprawling park, I could imagine that if we’d had more time, we would have been able to spend an entire day or weekend in different parts of it.
When Meredith read about the veggie options at North Adam’s Brewhaha in the Design*Sponge Berkshires Guide and she found out that it was a favorite among the Porches staff, she motioned that we stop by for a few post-hike sandwiches. Because we simply couldn’t select just one, we ordered the Portobello Focaccia and the Eggplant Panini and decided to share. If we’d had more time, we most definitely would have returned for their stellar-looking breakfast options. Good thing there’s always next time!
On our last trip to the area, Meredith and I spent a memorable morning at Mass MOCA, in North Adams, so it was somewhat surprising to me, after visiting the Clark on this trip, that such a small region could be home to more than one awe-inspiring museums. On top of being home to a fantastic French Impressionist collection with works by Monet and Renoir, the museum is surrounded by miles of (dog-friendly) trails, that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Currently undergoing a major renovation, the Clark is growing and positing itself far from under the shadow of its North Adams neighbor.
Sweets & Beans
The sweeter sister to Hops & Vines down the street (which we sadly missed the opportunity to try), Sweets & Beans is a candy, coffee, and ice cream shop that features flavors from SoCo Creamery (Mere recommends the Chocolate Chocolate, I recommend the Elvis, and Orvis, as always, recommends the Vanilla), and a great seating area outside to enjoy your treats. Remarkably (I guess only if you don’t know our habits), we ate here twice in less than 24 hours, and could’ve probably set a record if we’d had a little longer.
The kind of sandwich shop that I can only imagine would be packed door-to-door just a few weeks later, once school started back, Papa Charlie’s had more choices than my feeble out-of-school mind could handle. Meredith tried the Mary Tyler Moore (an avocado BLT) and I settled somewhere between the Stephen Collins and the Dwight Shultz, but if I had an entire semester, I’d probably try them all.