Hotel on North
A hotel with personality
In neighboring Pittsfield, Massachusetts, sitting gloriously on North Street is one of the coolest boutique hotels in New England. It’s named plainly Hotel on North. While located in the Berkshires where there are artisans and artists and entertainment of all kinds to enjoy, this hotel may just be reason enough on its own to take a trip to Pittsfield. It would however be a shame to miss out on a fall trip to the entire Berkshire region!
Once a home to a local department store that closed as many did years ago, this hotel with beaucoup personality, preserved and restored many of the original architectural features and blended them with native charm. With the exposed brick walls, tin ceilings, funky columns, and all the idiosyncrasies that today’s newly constructed buildings just do not have, Hotel on North is a feast of old and new.
Prowling around on a tour of the rooms that surround an atrium of sorts netted the most wonderful look at what a boutique hotel should be—comfortable and individual. Each room is different, with only perhaps three or four color lines being used throughout them all. The mixture of ironwork, woodwork and incredible decorating style choices makes this place a Feng Shui aficionado’s dream as well as just a plain feast for the eyes.
Each of the 45 rooms has the modern necessities like Wi-Fi, cable and in-room dining that appears at your door in a galvanized pail. OK, perhaps that one is not a necessity but it is a fun and charming way to experience the awesome food from Eat on North (the hotel’s aptly named restaurant) in your comfortable room.
Eat on North is a much more casual restaurant then I expected, given that the food is prepared expertly by Executive Chef Brian Alberg. Alberg is described as an enthusiastic food ambassador for the Berkshires and long-time James Beard-featured-chef. Unpretentious appears to be at the heart of the restaurant and his food. Make no mistake, the food prepared and served at Eat on North is amazing and what you would expect from a chef of his caliber but the setting is one that encourages dropping by for a cocktail with friends as well as tasting the wonderful food after work.
At Drink on North, the bar and lounge of Hotel on North, the cocktails are often mixed in chemistry beakers! There is an awesome array of craft beers, wines and, of course, the contents of the beakers. The options for sitting and enjoying your adult beverage are as vast and funky as everything else at this property. You can sit at the bar and watch the chefs. You can sit with friends on one of the comfy sofas and play a board game or, better yet, sit in the elevator/birdcage that was a part of the original building.
I know what you are thinking—all this in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts? Well, the answer is yes and it is a must-do either for dinner, cocktails after a show or a stay and, if you are really lucky, all three.
The Adirondack Region
Of all the wonderful seasons in the Adirondacks, certainly the fall with glorious colors stands supreme. It is also a time of festivals, concerts and, of course, outdoor activities. It has magical views as well as providing good healthy fun at the Adirondack coast, Adirondack lakes, Adirondack seaway, Adirondacks mountains, Adirondack Tug Hill, Lake George region and, of course, Lake Placid.
Newcomb, in Essex county in the Adirondacks is host to many climbers and hikers who want amazing views. Newcomb is the “heart of the park”, the Adirondack park.
While visiting Lake Placid, a stay at Mirror Lake Inn will make the most of everything this region has to offer—a glorious property that can serve as your home after a day of leaf peeping or hiking or any other activities.
The Berkshires of Massachusetts
The Berkshires are not only blessed with incredible beauty in the fall months but also are full of artisans and professionals determined to make the Berkshires experience memorable. One such example goes on throughout the month of October with magical weekends in the heart of the Berkshires—the Autumn Yoga and Hiking Retreat at Eastover. It’s designed to renew your passion for the outdoors, connect with like-minded people, and come away feeling spirited and fully alive. Eastover in the Berkshires is said to be the ultimate destination for leaf peepers. You can enjoy walks through raised trails in the wetlands or longer hikes. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There also is a new hotel that is out of this world in Pittsfield. Hotel on North is a great place to stop and enjoy a dinner or cocktails or better yet, make it your place to return to after your October activities come to a close for the day. www.hotelonnorth.com.
Schoharie County certainly has some incredible natural attractions and quiet country roads turn a trip into a peaceful fall experience. Howe Caverns, for example, is an amazing experience to share with your entire family and this year, there is even a new cave to explore!
The Hudson Valley Region
Like our other local jewels of autumn locally, the Hudson Valley has glorious colors to share but there are also some fun Halloween themes to explore as well. The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is just one such event with more than 7,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns in this elaborate walkthrough experience. Stroll through a historic, 18th-century riverside landscape and you can enjoy this spectacular display. www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze.
You also can take the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes by attending Horseman’s Hollow which returns to the village of Sleepy Hollow for 15 evenings. Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. www.hudsonvalley.org/events. Check out www.hauntedhistorytrail.com/region/hudson-valley for fun haunted haunts throughout NYS.
A great Hudson Valley Bed and Breakfast is in Milton, NY: The Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa. You can read a story about the Inn and Spa by accessing the archives www.crlmag.com/articleDetail.cfm?id=1006.
The Shires of Vermont
Vermont´s southwest corner geographic designation may be Bennington County but in recent years residents and visitors have branded this beautiful region as The Shires of Vermont. It has the unusual distinction of having two shire towns, historically referred to as county seats. It is moored by Bennington, as well as South Shire, and Manchester and North Shire and dotted with smaller classic Vermont towns and villages.
For leaf peeping, ride the very scenic highway known as Historic Route 7A as it is surrounded by mountains that just pop with fall foliage. People travel from all over the country to witness the color but it is right in our backyard.