Lenox is the quintessential small town you see in the movies
By Judy Koutsky
Lenox is the quintessential small town you see in the movies—people jogging down the street, families eating ice cream, lots of strollers and people carrying yoga mats, everyone appears friendly and says hi. It’s no wonder this town, located in the heart of the Berkshires, draws travelers each autumn (although there is plenty to do in all four seasons). For city dwellers and those living in populated areas, Lenox is the perfect respite for a long weekend away.
For couples looking for a romantic respite or solo women travelers looking to be pampered and taken care of in an upscale yet intimate environment, then 33 Main, a luxury boutique inn located in the center of Lenox is the way to go. It has eight rooms, each one meticulously designed and curated by home furnishings entrepreneur, Annie Selke. From the curtains and pillows to the bath salts and hand lotion, Selke’s goal was to create a place where guests have a pampered weekend away from their hectic lives. Selke explains that a stay here should feel like “sanding down the rough edges of life.” And it does just that. From the homemade chocolate-chip cookies on the bed to the luxurious terry-cloth bathrobe in the closet to the oversize stand-alone bathtub (you could spend hours in it!), the property is immediately welcoming, inviting, and warm.
And the many thoughtful touches make a big difference—the mattresses are Hästens, which make for a deep and luxurious sleep, Netflix and cable are included (it’s okay to binge-watch away from the kids), cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are offered each evening, and a scrumptious gourmet breakfast is presented each morning. The attention to detail—from the perfect size coffee mugs to the fluffy duvets to the cozy couches and hand-selected art that dons the walls—makes 33 Main feel like a destination in and of itself. Plus, if you like what you see, you can buy the items through Selke’s online store or visit her brick-and-mortar operation across the street, Annie Selke Lenox.
A Taste of Lenox
Lenox has a diverse array of casual and upscale dining venues. The Alta Restaurant and Wine Bar is a favorite and has been a part of Lenox for over a decade. Serving up Mediterranean fare and utilizing local and organic ingredients, the restaurant has a steady flow of both regulars and tourists. The seared duck is the restaurant’s signature dish and don’t be surprised if you finish every last bite—it’s that good. Other fan favorites include the beef tenderloin and the cod. For starters, be sure to try the Alta salad (or order this as an entrée). The lamb meatballs and the fried calamari are also good choices. Since this is also a wine bar, it’s not surprising that they offer almost two dozen wines by the glass as well as flights. They also make cocktails and have a diverse selection of beers including draft, bottles, and small-craft brewery cans.
For a casual meal, head to Olde Heritage Tavern. Don’t be surprised if there’s a line out the door at this neighborhood favorite. Don’t worry, the line moves quickly, but it’s a testament to just how loved this place is. The burgers are a fan favorite and the pulled pork is also a crowd-pleaser. For appetizers, be sure to try the wings or the quesadillas.
Whether you’re looking for something sweet after dinner or just have a craving for ice cream, The Scoop is a Lenox favorite. It’s been around for more than a dozen years and serves up blondies and homemade ice cream on-site. With a selection of over two dozen flavors, you can go each night and not get bored. Popular flavors include butter pecan, cookie dough, and mint chip as well as original delights like espresso Oreo, oats & honey, and cake batter. For those with dietary restrictions, they also have dairy-free black razz sorbet and Froconut (vegan coconut milk frozen yogurt). Their smoothies, freshly made treats, candy, and coffee (from the local Barrington Coffee Roasters) bring in both regulars and tourists.
If you don’t want to travel far, Kennedy Park is the ideal spot to go for a hike. It has over 15 miles of trails and plenty of places to stop and take in the view. Another good spot, with trails ranging from easy to strenuous, is the 1,000-acre Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s open from dusk to dawn.