I tend to fall in love with a place based on photos alone without really doing much exploration of the area ahead of arrival. This trip falls under that category. I knew I had to check out the Porches Inn before I really knew anything about the town it was built in. From their website alone, you are drawn in by a modest, old fashioned allure that ,upon showing up, you are not disappointed. From the antique furniture to the claw foot bathtub; I was in nostalgia heaven. The property was once a block of seriously dilapidated yet beautifully detailed Victorian row houses set right across the street from what was then a textile mill. These days, the old textile mill is now MASS MoCA’s vast splendid exhibition space while Porches Inn is, as their website puts it: “47 rooms of retro-edgy, industrial granny chic ambiance”.
So we packed a weekend bag and headed in the direction of North Adams, Massachussetts. We first stepped out in nearby Williamstown for the Williams burger at The Purple Pub and then coffee at Tunnel City Coffee. Williamstown is a quaint college town with a lot of beautiful century-old buildings. We then headed into North Adams to explore Mass Moca as we quickly realized it closes at 5. The feeling is very raw at MOCA. As we were so late, we had the whole facility to ourselves. We didn’t miss the lines and congestion of Moma and the Guggenheim. We learned about a great Sound festival that will be happening here next month that might just be worth a return trip. Over the weekend of June 24-26, there's going to be a music and arts festival curated by Wilco who will also headline the festival both days. The Levon Helm Band, Pajama Party and Thurston Moore will also be performing. Check out the entire line up here.
The next day, we left our humble abode but not before we had the most adorable breakfast delivered to our room complete with lunch pail and thermos! Although we didn’t find a lot to do in North Adams outside of good art; we would come back just for the ambiance of Porches alone. I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay. The things we did not get to take advantage of: the fitness room, sauna, outdoor Jacuzzi/ pool and bonfire hangout. We headed south down rte 7 since it’s the easiest way to drive through many small towns plus there's plenty of antique shops along the way. One of our favorite towns was Lenox which seemed to have a hamptons vibe on this beautiful May day. I was disappointed to find that Nudel does not serve lunch and we couldn't stick around for dinner. This restaurant comes recommended by the Design Sponge Berkshires guide which was how I came upon Porches. We did have a nice lunch in town at Olde Heritage Tavern where we could atleast sit outside. We stopped off at a garden shop to pick up some more plants for the backyard and spotted an adorable antique shop. If you are ever in the berkshires, you will not want to miss this one. It's called The Little Store Antiques on Main St in Great Barrington. An entire house with each room full of antiques. This is not to be confused with a house of "junk"; these pieces are unique, meticulous and so reasonably priced! I walked away with an early century penny rug that I love. We finally had to begin our trek back NY side. We decided to take the Taconic Parkway which is incredibly more beautiful than the NYS Thruway. The drive was breathtaking as usual and always leaves us wondering why we want to live in such close proximity to millions of people! We stopped off in Cold Spring for ice cream and enjoyed the view from the edge of town.