The Berkshires

This pastoral 122-acre plot was 'heaven' to its owner Daniel Chester French (1850–1931), the sculptor best known for his great seated statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. French's public works, mostly monumental, made him a wealthy man. His house and studio are substantially as they were when he lived and worked here, with nearly 500 pieces of sculpture, finished and unfinished, in the barnlike studio. Guided tours run at 11am, noon, 1pm and 2pm.

There are also rotating contemporary-sculpture exhibits in the grounds. A gallery building houses further pieces from the Chesterwood collection, including a study of the Concord Minute Man of 1775, French's bronze commemorating the Revolution.

To get there take MA 183 south 0.75 miles past the Norman Rockwell Museum, go right onto Mohawk Lake Rd and left onto Willow St, which becomes Williamsville Rd.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Berkshires attractions

1. Norman Rockwell Museum

0.86 MILES

Born in New York City, Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) sold his first magazine cover illustration to the Saturday Evening Post in 1916. In the following half…

2. Mission House

1.87 MILES

Swing by this classic 1739 Colonial home, a National Historic Landmark, if just to view it from the outside. It was home to John Sergeant, the first…

3. Naumkeag

1.88 MILES

Designed by the renowned architect Stanford White in 1885, this 44-room Gilded Age 'cottage' was the summer retreat of Joseph Hodges Choate, a former US…

4. Windy Hill Farm


If you hop in the car and drive, you're bound to find several farms where you can pick seasonal produce at harvest times. The setting can be…

5. Mount

4.81 MILES

Almost 50 years after Nathaniel Hawthorne left his home in Lenox, another writer found inspiration in the Berkshires. Edith Wharton (1862–1937) came to…

6. Beartown State Forest

6.55 MILES

This lovely state park is centered on Benedict Pond, a perfect spot for swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. There are miles of hiking trails,…

7. Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

7.13 MILES

This museum of railroad lore is set up in Lenox's 1903 vintage railroad station. Its model-railroad display is a favorite with kids, as is the chance to…

8. Pleasant Valley Wilderness Sanctuary


This 1300-acre wildlife sanctuary has 7 miles of pleasant walking trails through forests and meadows, as well as a challenging hike to the summit of Lenox…