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Where are the best trips to be booking right now? Our monthly Where to Go column tells you the smartest places to go each month for savings, special events, and all around great experiences. Here’s what’s hot for July.
For the Arts: Berkshires, MA
Summer in the Berkshires is never cheap, but the classic experience doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. New Englanders flock to this part of Western Massachusetts for cultural enlightenment, whether it’s with a candlelit picnic under the stars as the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays at Tanglewood; with a day admiring the impressive forward-thinking pieces at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; or with catching a performance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival or Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The one upside to inches and inches of snow this time of the year? Great skiing, of course. That’s why we’re happy to report that there’s finally an affordable solution to get to the ski slopes of New York State: a comfortable bus ride that starts from just $89 roundtrip.
Combine the “oohs” of fall foliage with the “aahs” of some well-deserved R&R at a duo of Northeast wellness retreats, set up in the optimum fall foliage meccas of New York’s Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, Massachusetts – each primed for a perfect Spa Weekend getaway from NYC or Boston. Opt for the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York (just over a 2-hour drive from NYC, or 3.5 hours from Boston), or the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts (about 2.5 hours from Boston or 3 hours from NYC) – both centers offer wellness “R&R” retreats or more specialized, educational and experiential workshops (led by notable spiritualists, authors, etc.), not to mention a peak fall foliage spectacle set to burst forth on the scene in the coming weeks.
As New England’s blazing fall foliage season kicks into high gear, leaf peepers, culture seekers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike will find their paths converging in the leafy cultural hideaway of the Berkshires, a 945-square-mile rustic-chic retreat in western Massachusetts. This pastoral playground has long reeled visitors in (particularly from Boston and New York, at just about a 2.5-hour drive away from each), without ever managing to feel overrun, thanks to the expansive area’s winning trifecta of pristine natural beauty (low-lying mountains, secluded lakes, flourishing forests), picturesque main street towns defined by mom-and-pop establishments and extravagant Gilded Age “cottages” (Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, and North Adams rank supreme as tourist hubs), and heady mix of museums and festivals showcasing the region’s longstanding artistic and cultural activity (familiar names like Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Norman Rockwell all found creative inspiration here). Read more
The Tour de France, the top cycling event of the year, recently rolled over the finish line, and the collective reaction from viewers elicited barely more than a ho-hum. Even so, it’s hard to deny the draw of the saddle while you’re watching riders cruise through enchanting French towns and flower-filled countryside.
To that end, here are several bike-centric getaways for travelers who prefer sightseeing on two wheels, whether your desired exertion level is straight up a ski resort in Utah or a simple cruise through the rolling hills of New England.
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