Year round in the Berkshires – nature and outdoor activities


The Berkshires are a highland geologic region located in the western parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The term “Berkshires” is normally used by locals in reference to the portion of the Vermont-based Green Mountains that extends south into western Massachusetts
Also referred to as the … Berkshire Mountains … the region enjoys a vibrant tourism industry based on music, arts, and recreation. Geologically, the mountains are a range of the Appalachian Mountains.” – from The Berkshires
Outdoor Activities

Berkshires Outdoor Activities offer a paradise for the adventurers and people who simply like to take in the fresh air.

One of the beautiful things about Berkshires is the change of seasons. It keeps life interesting with a constant change of scenery. Changes in Berkshires outdoor activities accompany all of these seasonal changes. In the Berkshires, you can participate in a wide range of recreation in the great outdoors not available in many parts of this country.

Berkshires Outdoor Activities During the Spring, Summer and Fall Months

Sometimes the best way to experience nature is on your own two feet. Hiking in the Berkshires is a treasured pastime for both visitors and locals. There are many scenic trails for day hikes. Many of these day hikes lead to the tops of mountains with beautiful vistas. Autumn in the Berkshires is just an amazing time of year to be outdoors and watch the daily changes as the maples begin to turn color and prepare for winter. It is often rainy in November, but we also have lovely low humidity and crisp, clear days that make for some of the best hiking of the year. Cooler weather makes it a nice time to get out for those end-of-the-season bike rides or hikes. Explore our area:

October Mountain – Becket/Washington

Monument Mountain – Great Barrington

Tyringham Cobble – Tyringham

John Drummond Kennedy Park – Lenox

Barthomew’s Cobble – Sheffield

Bash Bish Falls – Mount Washington

Ice Glen and Laura’s Tower – Stockbridge

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – Lenox

Mount Greylock State Reservation – Adams

Notchview Reservation – Windsor

Heritage Walks – Western Massachusettes & Connecticut

Berkshire Botanical Garden – Stockbridge


Nature & Wildlife Areas in Berkshires‎

Forests in Berkshires‎

Parks in Berkshires‎

State Parks in Berkshires‎



Winter in the Berkshires – ski resorts, Cross country skiing, ice skating and more


Summer in the Berkshires – Plays, Musicals, Festivals, Events, Museums, Galleries, Shopping & More!

Plays, Musicals

The Berkshires offer a stunning array of theatre, drama and various performing arts, both professional and amateur, some of which are within walking distance of the Federal House Inn.  Follow the links below for event calendars, directions and further information.


Shakespeare & Company

Season Lineup

Shakespeare & Company operates year-round in the Berkshires, scheduling hundreds of performances on our indoor and outdoor stages, scores of workshops, multiple lectures and demonstrations, and literally thousands of classes for professional and aspiring actors, teachers, and directors.” 

Berkshire Theatre Festival / Colonial Theatre Professional performances in the Berkshires on the historic main stage, Unicorn Theatre and BTF Plays! Theatre for Young Audiences. May through October. Stockbridge/Pittsfield  Full calendar

Mahaiwe Theatre A leading year-round presenter of performing arts, film, and educational programs for the Southern Berkshires and neighboring communities.


Festivals, Events, Museums, & Galleries

Our area offers a deep history, and opportunities for Berkshire area festivals, events, galleries, museums, etc. abound! The Federal House Inn is ideally located to explore the many Berkshires attractions to be found in this region. Make our bed and breakfast your home base for discovering or rediscovering Berkshire history.

Just click on one of the many links below to explore the breadth of opportunities available this summer:

BerkshireStyle Events Calendar

Lenox Calendar of Events


Festivals & Special Events in the Berkshires

Tripadvisor – Things to Do in Berkshires


Berkshires Museums and Historical Attractions

Mass MOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) One of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best art of our time. North Adams

Norman Rockwell Museum Dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. Stockbridge.

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum is a historic house at 67 East Road in Adams, Massachusetts. It is notable as the birthplace of suffragist Susan B. Anthony.

Arrowhead Museum Arrowhead, also known as the Herman Melville House, is a historic house museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It was the home of American author Herman Melville during his most productive years, 1850–1863.

Hancock Shaker Village Hancock Shaker Village brings the Shaker story to life. Events, exhibits, and daily tours for the whole family.

The Clark The Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, referred to as “The Clark”, is an art museum with a large collection located in nearby Williamstown.

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum is a historic, Jacobean-style mansion and museum located at 104 Walker Street, Lenox, Massachusetts. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mount Visit the restored home of writer Edith Wharton in Lenox, MA.

Edna St Vincent Millay Society The Society’s mission is to illuminate the life and writings of Edna St. Vincent Millay and to preserve and interpret the character of Steepletop, her homeand gardens, places where nature inspires the creative spirit.

The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic shrine located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Mission House Journey back in time at this Colonial-era house and museum, a National Historic Landmark that tells the story of the Stockbridge Mohicans and missionary John Sergeant.

Naumkeag Tour this gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age.

Fun Facts About The Berkshires

What makes the Berkshires special?


The Big E (West Springfield, MA)

Eastern States Exposition, home of The Big E, has presented the finest livestock, the most innovative commercial, industrial and artistic developments, and the highest caliber of varied entertainment to the people of the Northeastern United States for more than eight decades. More than one million people now attend the 17 day Big E, an annual autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits and agriculture – the culmination of a visionary idea first expressed by Joshua L. Brooks at the beginning of the 20th century.”



Shopping in the Berkshires provides a unique blend of opportunities, from outlets to charming local gift and antique stores and sprawling shows.

Enjoy the natural beauty and the many attractions of the Berkshires as you shop in our local Lee Premium Outlets, as well as numerous local gift and antique shops in Stockbridge and Lee, MA.

Outlet Shopping in the Bershires

Lee Premium Outlets® is a shopping village just 10 minutes from the inn. Reminiscent of a quaint New England village, this shopping mecca includes Brooks Brothers, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Talbots Outlet, Calvin Klein, Lindt Chocolate, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew Factory Store, Nautica, Michael Kors, Under Armour and others.

Federal House guests will receive a VIP discount “passport” for the Lee Premium Outlets. Ask us for the passport for shopping in the Berkshires when you arrive.

Berkshires Shopping: Local Gift Shops and Antiques

The towns of Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge have great shops with unique gift items. You can also choose the antique shop trail – we can point you in the right direction. At the end of each day’s shopping in the Berkshires enjoy a glass of wine in our living room before you dine at one of our fine area restaurants.

Stockbridge, MA shopping

Antiques & Vintage in the Berkshires

Berkshires Specialty Retailers

Lenox, MA Shopping

Stockbridge Farmer’s Market

Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas

Shopping in the Berkshires

Brimfield Antiques & Collectibles Show (Brimfield, MA)

The Brimfield Antiques Show began in the 1950’s and has become the largest and best-known outdoor antiques show in the country … the Brimfield Show is a huge, vast undertaking … selling everything from the finest antiques to ‘yard junk’, requiring a day or two to see everything there is to see. Food courts and rest facilities abound, and the Shows are filled with hidden treasures … creating a safe and fun environment for everyone, children included.”


Saratoga Springs, New York

Only an hour and twenty minute drive from the Federal House Inn, Saratoga Springs is home to the Belmont Stakes Festival, as well as other horse racing events and various attractions:

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga/NYRA Race Track

Saratoga Casino Hotel

Saratoga Race Course & Harness Track

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (including New York City Ballet)

Saratoga Spa State Park


Summer in the Berkshires – Music and Dance: Part I

It’s that time of year again… Tanglewood Season

The Stockbridge and Lee areas of the Berkshires are filled with cultural attractions that match or surpass those of many metropolitan areas.

During the summer months, Tanglewood is a top attraction. This music venue in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts is one of the world’s premier summer music festivals and famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937. Tanglewood is conveniently located to the Federal House Inn and features many concerts throughout the summer season. Area lodging books quickly so plan your trip early.  Below is the 2019 schedule of


June 15, Saturday

  • Popular Artist Series Live From Here with Chris Thile

June 16, Sunday

  • Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds

June 22-30, Saturday

  • Tanglewood Learning Institute String Quartet MasterPass

June 23, Sunday

  • One Day University at Tanglewood: Immigration, Literature and Musical Masterpieces

June 29, Saturday

  • Ozawa Hall String Quartet Marathon

June 30, Sunday

  • Chamber Music: Brass and Percussion Extravaganza
  • String Quartet Marathon

July 02 Tuesday,

  • Josh Groban