As I mentioned the other day, I have been bitten by the travel bug or perhaps I was born with it (the more likely story). In any case, I love Fall in New England so I don’t like to travel too far and one of my favourite places to go when there is a chill in the air is The Porches Inn at Mass MoCA. We have been going for about six years now (I think I counted the years correctly)! The first time we went, my husband had been traveling a lot and we just needed some family time away. We planned a spontaneous one night stay in North Adams and have been going back ever since.
The chill in the air and a heated outdoor pool is the perfect way to transition from summer to winter, but then again we like to swim outside at The Porches Inn in the middle of winter too. North Adams is a small city with just a few culinary offerings, but you are also near other parts of the Berkshires more well known for the food and Southern Vermont as well. The front desk keeps take-out menus on hand as well in case you want to order in.
We like to stay close by and enjoy the hotel, the pool, some games by the fireplace and s’mores at the fire pit. At the front desk, there is also an extensive list of movies that you can bring back to your room towatch, and the staff will pop popcorn for you to enjoy while you watch your movie. If it’s the fire pit you are heading to, be sure to ask for a s’mores kit to bring along with you.
I love the design of The Porches Inn. Every detail speaks to me. As a city dweller, I also appreciate the spacious rooms and bathrooms. When you’re a city-living family, sometimes just the ability to have a little extra time for a nice long shower or bath in a bathroom that is 5 x bigger than your closet-sized one at home in peace and quiet is just as good as a day at the spa.
Our go-to spot for dinner is Public Eat + Drink. We also enjoy newcomer Bright Ideas Brewing Company but you need to time it right (they have trickier hours). For lunch we often dine at the café in Mass MoCA. We usually plan at least one movie night + takeout from The Sushi House. Last time, we had the grandparents with us so they did movie night and sushi with the kids while we went out for dinner. What a novel idea!
The rest of my family is not as interested in art as I am, but there are always at least a few exhibits at Mass MoCA that draws each of us in making our annual visits to the museum enjoyable for all and not just for some. Mass MoCA has a children’s space for creating, playing and exploring although really that’s what the children are doing throughout the entire museum.
We enjoy breakfast at The Porches Inn and spending time on the rocking chairs on the porches or settling into a cozy chair in the living room by the fire. The children have been known to leave the breakfast table early and will be found chatting with other guests, playing a game with some new found friends, or sitting quietly with Sabine, the cat. Breakfast in the dining room is something I look forward to each morning but then again, breakfast delivered comes in a metal lunchbox with a thermos of coffee, or hot chocolate (or whatever you checked off on the breakfast request tag).
There are chocolates on the pillow, fluffy comforters, usually a copy of Edible Berkshires, and waffle weave robes, but don’t forget to bring your flip flops or pool shoes. Whoever designed the space knows just how to balance the old and the new. We swim in the early morning after breakfast and at night under the stars. Then warm up after by the fire with a cocktail made with a local Berkshire Mountain Distillers Bourbon or Gin when the front desk bar opens in the early evening. I like to pick up some nut mixes from home at Fastachi to enjoy with our cocktails.
Now let me look at the calendar again and figure out when those early release and school holidays are this fall because I might not be able to wait until winter before going again.