Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

The Berkshires

Few places in America combine culture and country living as deftly as the Berkshire hills, home to world-class music, dance and theater festivals – the likes of Tanglewood and Jacob's Pillow – as well as miles of hiking trails and acres of farmland.

Extending from the highest point in the state – Mt Greylock – southward to the Connecticut state line, the Berkshires have been a summer refuge for more than a century, when the rich and famous arrived to build summer 'cottages' of grand proportions. Many of these mansions survive as inns or performance venues. And still today, on summer weekends when the sidewalks are scorching in Boston and New York, crowds of city dwellers jump in their cars and head for the Berkshire breezes.