Stroll The Town
The historic village of West Stockbridge is a tiny, eclectic arts community set along-side the peaceful Williams River. It is an easy, pleasant stroll around the square block town, and it is filled with treasures.
This charming New England hamlet is
easily reached by taking Route 102 west from Stockbridge, or Exit 1 off Mass Pike, heading west, or the B3 exit off I-90 heading east.
Once you arrive, you'll want to stroll the town, a quaint square block filled with small shops, unique craft galleries and a number of excellent restaurants. Your first stop should be the Kiwanis Club Tourist Information Booth, at the corner of Depot and Route 102, where you can gather all kinds of information. West Stockbridge's speed limit is 25 MPH (please observe it). Drive through the town then take a left immediately after the bridge and continue to the Berkshire Center of Contemporary Glass. The Center offers tours, demonstrations of live glass blowing and the Glass Café. You'll find ample parking here as well as at the Shaker Mill Inn. You're welcome to tour the inn, probably the best kept secret in the Berkshires. Each room is a suite, exquisitely done, with gracious hospitality. (Other choices for accommodations include the charming Marble Inn at 4 Stockbridge Road and Card Lake Inn on Main Street.)
Next, cross the "walking bridge" to Main Street, and just to the right of the walking bridge is Rathbun's Village Variety. Stop in for cold drinks and sundries. Proceed west of Main Street to the Berkshire Hills Candle Company, which manufactures original candles and features Berkshire crafts. Across the street is the Card Lake Inn, mentioned previously, offering delicious fare. In less than two miles from Main Street you will discover Hoffman's Pottery. Stop in and meet the artist and discover some most original works at affordable prices.
From Main Street, turn onto Center Street and you'll encounter Charles Baldwin & Son, manufacturers of Extracts. Take a glimpse into yesterday's ambiance. Next door is New England Stained Glass, then Artifacts.
Back to Main Street, continuing west, step back into yesterday at the public market. The next stop is Ebenezer II Gifts and Antiques, which features antiques, a great copper collection and unusual oriental rugs at great prices. Nearby is Berkshire Ice Cream, a quaint ice cream parlor offering homemade ice cream from Golden Guernsey cows. This fall they celebrate the harvest with pumpkin and apple strudel ice cream.
As you cross Center Street you'll see two unique studios: Hotchkiss Mobile Studio, featuring original indoor and outdoor mobiles of museum quality and factory prices; and Vortex/New England Stained Glass, which combines the talents of two special artists. Both galleries are worth a visit.
Extend your stay until dinner time and you have two distinctively different restaurants to choose from: Trúc's Orient Express and the Card Lake Inn.
Do make this charming, hidden town one of your stops in the Berkshires.