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A Weekend in Williamstown, MA

Sometimes, you just need a weekend away. Maybe things have been stressful at work. Or your to-do list seems never-ending. Or you and your partner — or best friend or mom — haven’t found time to connect recently. Either way, spending a few days outside of your usual routine could be exactly what you need to reset. 

That’s what we love about the Berkshires. If you’re coming from the Northeast, the drive isn’t very far and, before you know it, you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery and a serene, relaxed vibe. 

One great place to consider: Williamstown, MA. Home to Williams College, the town of just under 8,000 people isn’t huge, but between the art, food and outdoor activities, there’s plenty to fill your time — and we’d argue a nap or two is also a nice touch. Here are some ideas for your visit: 

To stay: 

The Williams Inn

Opened just five years ago, this boutique hotel — there are 64 rooms — is well-designed, with a modern and welcoming vibe. It’s also in a great location, basically right across from both Spring Street, where you’ll find a slew of restaurants and shops, and the Williams campus itself, which definitely merits a walk-through. During a recent stay, our King Junior Suite was both well-appointed and spacious. One touch we loved: Instead of the rarely used, in-room coffee machines, there are coffee bars on every floor, with self-serve coffee, tea, and other options, which we took advantage of both in the morning and afternoon. Also good to know: There are bikes on-site you can use, which would be great for cruising around town, and The Barn Kitchen & Bar (more on that later) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus brunch on the weekends. 

Other options: 

The Porches Inn

Just a 10-minute drive from Williamtown’s Spring Street, this North Adams, MA hotel is close to The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art — MASS MoCA — and includes an outdoor, heated pool, sauna, and more. The coolest part? The 47 rooms and suites are in resorted Victorian row houses, some of which include their own porches. 

Hotel Downstreet 

Also in North Adams, this 90-room hotel, which is also in walking distance to MASS MoCa, is located right on Main Street. Along with an indoor pool — and very cool mural — it also boasts on-site artists studios and king- and queen-room options. 

To do: 

See some incredible art  

A visit to the area would definitely not be complete without taking in some of the incredible art that can easily be found. Consider starting with a visit to The Clark, which features multiple collections and exhibitions, including Edgar Degas: Multi-Media Artist in the Age of Impressionism, which debuts in July 2024. Once you’ve had your fill indoors, don’t miss a chance to stroll the beautiful grounds. Next, a visit to MASS MoCa, with its galleries and performances spaces, is also a must. (Check out their calendar for what’s on while you’re there.) Also great? The Williams College Museum of Art, where admission is free and there’s lots to see

Get outside 

​​Start with a stroll down Spring Street and a walk through the Williams Campus — there was an outdoor music event happening during our visit, which was a nice throwback to our own college days — and the buildings and architecture are beautiful. We also did a three-mile walk in Hopkins Memorial Forest, which was mostly flat and offered lots of pretty, woodsy scenery to take in. For those looking to golf, there’s the Taconic Golf Club and for the more adventurous, check out the outdoor adventure park, Ramblewild.  

Eat some great food

A highlight of our recent visit to Williamstown was dinner at The Barn Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant at The Williams Inn. The service was great, as was the food — the Curried Chickpea Ragout was a favorite — and, like the town itself, it had a laid-back and friendly vibe. Beyond that, consider lunch at The Spring Street Market & Cafe, with its many sandwich options, or dinner at Mezze Bistro + Bar, with its three-course prix fixe menu. And if you’re looking for something quick or to take a break, there’s coffee and treats at Tunnel City Coffee — the outdoor seating is a plus — and frozen yogurt and boba tea at Spoon.  

Explore the rest of the Berkshires 

Whether on your ride to Williamstown or on your way home, consider checking out other towns in the Berkshires, including Lenox and Great Barrington, both of which feature restaurants and shops, as well as places to stay, like the iconic Red Lion Inn and cultural musts, like Tanglewood, with its incredible summer line-up of performers. 


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