Sometimes the best vacations don't require airfare and a passport.
new england red island inn
Credit: Courtesy of The Red Lion Inn

While celebrating our wedding anniversary this fall, my husband and I chose to explore the Berkshires. The leaves were starting to turn, the air was just beginning to get crisp, and the spirit of autumn seemed to be everywhere. Our destination was Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Red Lion Inn, the famous subject of Norman Rockwell's Christmas painting, was our home for 48 uninterrupted hours. If you're planning your own mini-moon or anniversary getaway, consider this romantic spot in New England. To help you build your two-day itinerary, use this as your guide to staying, eating, and relaxing in one of the most scenic parts of the Northeast.

Book your stay.

We loved everything about the Red Lion Inn, an 18th-century property bursting with charm and history. You're treat to a gorgeous breakfast spread daily in their grand dining room, but you can also "take out" to your room should you want to sleep in. Even better, the inn offers pet-friendly rooms, so your well-trained dog or cat is welcome to join you for a mini getaway. The hospitality extends to four-legged friends: A red bandana and organic treats are offered to pups upon check in.

Get to know the area.

Stockbridge is the home of the Norman Rockwell Museum, so "charming" is pretty much the only adjective you can use to describe this little town. Check out the world's largest collection of Rockwell's art in the world, then browse some of the museum's latest exhibitions. It's an afternoon you won't forget. But your getaway doesn't have to begin and end here. Use Stockbridge as your home base for exploring the Berkshires. A very short distance away are towns like Lee and Lenox, where plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment await.

Eat and drink.

What vacation is complete without a few great dining experiences? Stockbridge's restaurant scene puts an emphasis on fresh and local. We were particularly wowed by the European-style fare at Once Upon a Table (order the gnocchi), the build-your-own sandwiches at Elm Street Market Deli (perfect for picnics), and the indoor-outdoor seating at nearby Prime Italian. For an afternoon pick-me-up, grab a cup of locally roasted coffee from Six Depot Café. Don't forget to grab a bag of beans to enjoy at home, too.


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