The Berkshires

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 ambassador to England. The estate retains so much of its original character that you might expect Choate to be sitting at the breakfast table. The influence of his travels abroad are visible not only in the home's rich and eclectic interior but also in the acres of surrounding formal gardens with their fountains, sculpture and themed plantings.

The prominent landscape architect Fletcher Steele spent some three decades laying out the gardens and establishing the plantings. Guided house tours run every hour on the half-hour; tours of the garden are also offered. To get to Naumkeag, follow Pine St from the Red Lion Inn to Prospect St.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Berkshires attractions

1. Mission House

0.44 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…

2. Norman Rockwell Museum

1.02 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…

3. Chesterwood

1.88 MILES

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…

4. Windy Hill Farm

2.45 MILES

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

3.35 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. Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

5.56 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…

7. Tyringham Gingerbread House

5.76 MILES

This architectural fantasy was designed at the beginning of the 20th century by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson, whose best-known work – a statue of Captain…

8. October Mountain State Forest

5.89 MILES

Most out-of-towners head to Mt Greylock, and leave October Mountain State Forest to the locals. This 16,500-acre state park is the largest tract of green…