It can be so frustrating when out-of-staters think that Massachusetts is basically ONLY Boston and Eastern Mass. The fact is, some of this state’s best scenery, art, events and people live way out west. From the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the breathtaking beauty of the Mohawk Trail, and the special feeling of warmth and fun that pervades this region of the Commonwealth, there’s truly no place on earth like Western Mass.
1. Perfect early-autumn fall foliage. And the show is just getting started.
2. Western Mass. just wins at fall. Period.
3. Tanglewood is the best.
If there's one thing everyone in Western Mass. seems to be able to agree on, it's that Tanglewood rules. Catch a concert by legendary artists like James Taylor, hang out with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, or even do a bit of yoga in the sunshine. Head to Lenox and Stockbridge to get a taste of this Western Mass. tradition.
4. The Connecticut River offers views like this.
5. And this.
Running through a total of five states and home to New England's best farmland, we think the Massachusetts portion of the Connecticut River is the most stunning.
6. Small town life still exists, and people support their communities.
Pictured: Downtown Shelburne Falls
7. Real maple syrup is a thing. The Red Bucket Sugar Shack in Worthington knocks Mrs. Buttersworth out of the water.
8. So are farmers markets and farm stands. Getting to know the person who grew your produce is truly incredible.
9. And picking your own fresh, crisp apples.
10. Artists agree that Western Mass. is a source of endless inspiration.
Edith Wharton made her home at The Mount in Lenox, and plenty of other famous and aspiring writers, painters, musicians and creatives call Western Massachusetts home.
11. And Mass MoCA proves it. Having the the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the U.S. is no joke.
12. I mean, when a place inspires Norman Rockwell, you know it has to be pretty darn lovely.
13. Yankee Candle Company. Homes across New England owe their amazing scents to this South Deerfield institution.
14. The largest mountain in Massachusetts lives in Western Mass. Mount Greylock is pretty much the most stunning place ever.
15. And this region has some of the best lakes and ponds in the state.
Pictured: Pontoosuc Lake, Pittsfield.
16. Kids have space to actually get outside and run around.
17. And the opportunities for outdoor fun are pretty much endless.
Have an aerial or river adventure at Zoar, visit one of the countless amazing state parks and preserves in Western Mass., or just take a long walk through the woods.
18. Winter means sparkling forests, sleigh rides, and enchanting early morning sunrises reflecting on frosty lakes.
19. And the holidays are done right, with plenty of family, friends and cheer.
20. Western Mass. might get a bit quirky sometimes...
Check out the Fall Foliage Parade in North Adams.
21. ...but with friendly people, gorgeous scenery, and a real old-fashioned sense of community...
22. ...Western Massachusetts is simply one of the best places to live in the country.