Travel Guide: 5 things to do when you visit Lenox, MA

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Lenox has historic mansions and museums, top resorts and local restaurants, as well as the world-famous Tanglewood Music Hall.

But what visitors may not know about the famous city of Berkshires is how beautiful its parks are, said Kerry Sullivan, a city employee for five years and a Lenox employee for 28 years.

“Parks, in general, are a hidden gem, parks all over the city,” he said.

Next, discover some of Sullivan’s options for where to go and what to do with Lenox.

Plan an escape to nature.

A Lenox park adored by locals – and Sullivan’s personal favorite – is the 500-acre Kennedy Park, which offers old driveways and nearly 25 miles of paved trails. Guests can go hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking in the park. Tripadvisor critics described the park as “beautiful and peaceful and serene” and “a fantastic place to escape from civilization”. Here is a map.

Sullivan also loves spending time in smaller area parks such as Lilac Park, a charming 1 acre area in historic Lenox area full of lilacs and benches where community events such as summer concerts and craft fairs are usually held. The Lenox Garden Club restored the park in 1908 in the 1990s, planting 100 lilacs, 10 Canadian blood cells, small shrubs and 1,500 water lilies. The 5-acre Tillotson Park is also a Sullivan’s favorite because there is a baseball field named after her father-in-law, Bob Sullivan, a local baseball star.

The Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is always a delight, Sullivan said, with its 1,300 acres of forests, meadows and wetlands, along with seven miles of well-marked trails. Outdoor activities at the sanctuary include birding, canoeing, snowshoeing and hiking. Hikers can choose from trails for beginners to more difficult hikes to the top of Mount Lenox at 2,126 feet.

“We are so lucky,” he said. “It’s all here.”

Explore a historic mansion.

One of Sullivan’s favorite places to experience Lenox culture is The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, a 1902 Gilded Age mansion, and the former home of author Pulitzer Prize winner. The property, a National Historic Landmark, welcomes more than 50,000 visitors annually.

“Who does not love historic homes?” Sullivan said.

Guests can walk into the 35-room white stucco halls and take a look at the rooms where the author once lived, view her library, take historical photographs and objects, walk through the gardens and see rooms imagined by former employees. such as the kitchen and the sewing room. This summer, visitors will encounter modern large-scale sculptures throughout the property, thanks to a partnership with SculptureNow.

Sullivan also loves the mansion’s artistic and literary programs all year round, whether it’s live music on summer nights or a virtual book club with Zoom chats.

Eat like a local.

When all this exploration makes you hungry, do yourself a favor and grab a meal at River Dale Market and Deli, Sullivan said, where the sandwiches are fantastic. loves the vegetarian hoof, made with homemade hummus. Customers can make their own sandwiches, choosing from a variety of meats, cheeses, breads and side dishes, or order homemade pasta, chicken and tuna salads.

Sullivan said she will probably meet a friend at The Olde Heritage Tavern in downtown Lenox, which offers food on and off. The restaurant is known for its burgers and also serves wings, soups, sandwiches and wrappers.

“Heritage is the place you go to meet people,” he said. “You will see the people who make Lenox so special. The locals gather there. “

kayaker at lenox, ma A kayaker explores the Woods Pond in Lenox. —Ben Garver / The Berkshire Eagle via AP

Think about the time of year you want to visit.

When planning a trip to Lenox, think about the time of year that suits you, Sullivan said.

“Summer is really busy,” he said, noting that Tanglewood concerts and other cultural activities are usually in full swing.

Tanglewood, the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has canceled the live season of 2020 due to a Koranic pandemic, but will offer a shortened season this summer from July 9 to August 16 with about 50% of its usual seasonal offerings.

In the fall, people come to town for leaf peeking, fall festivals and Josh Billings Triathlon, Sullivan said. The latter is charged as one of the oldest and largest canoeing triads in the country and raises money for the Berkshire United Way. Josh Billings is the pen of 19th century humor and the born Henry Wheeler Shaw of Berkshires.

“The fall has become very busy,” he said. “And we are also a destination for weddings.”

Winter and spring are the quietest seasons, Sullivan said. However, there is still much for Lenox visitors to see and do, from museum trips to food to cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Sullivan said. “I think he has it all. And people will welcome you. “

What readers are saying about Lenox:

When we asked readers to share what they love about Lenox and the best activities in the area, one answer was quite popular.

Michele Hurt simply replied, “Tanglewood.”

“Tanglewood,” wrote Marla Murphy Smith, then added: “Breakfast at The Haven, pizza at Betty’s Pizza Shack and then a quick drive to Pitsfield for what is never a fountain at the Wandering Star Craft Brewery.”

“Tanglewood for sure,” wrote Pia Margareta Kyto. “Many good memories from several years ago.”

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