If you are Visiting the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts you are in for a treat. Just a couple of hours drive from New York City you get to experience a beautiful landscape, friendly people and a delightful culinary adventure. Here are must-visit places that promise to tantalize your taste buds.

Canyon Ranch Lenox 

As a renowned wellness resort, Canyon Ranch goes above and beyond the traditional dining experience to offer guests nourishing and nutritious meals that promote health and vitality. The menu features an array of wholesome dishes made with fresh and organic ingredients, including vibrant salads, nourishing soups, and flavorful entrees designed to energize the body and delight the senses. If you are unable to go and stay for a few days, I highly recommend opting for the spa day experience. You will have access to all the guest amenities, spa menu, lectures and activities. Do not miss lunch at their must-see beautiful dining room inside the Gilded Age Bellefontaine mansion. Afterwards take a moment to get cozy next to a fireplace in their gorgeous library. The day pass is valid from 8am to 5pm, Sundays through Thursdays.

Canyon Ranch is an alcohol-free establishment, but confectionery enthusiasts will be more than satisfied with the dessert selection. I would go back for their soft serve alone. Each meal offers a different flavor. Mango and raspberry were the winners.

Canyon Ranch, 165 Kemble St, Lenox, MA 01240

Wheatleigh Hotel

The historic Wheatleigh Hotel is an exceptional property. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Nestled in the heart of the Berkshires, The Wheatleigh offers a sophisticated dining experience with a focus on innovation, using locally sourced ingredients. From a delectable pre-fix menu with exquisite main courses to a delicious breakfast, Wheatley hotel showcases the region’s finest flavors. At the helm is James Beard awarded Chef RJ Cooper. The chef’s creativity and personable approach can be seen in all his dishes. The Wheatleigh Hotel offers guests two restaurants, Sage and Sparrow and Hawthorne.

Great for a special occasion, Sage and Sparrow is the place to experience if you like to experiment with your taste buds. We tried the splurge-worthy pre-fix menu, which featured 14 dishes. Ingredients rotate with seasons and they offer vegetarian option. Among our first courses was an avocado and crab waffle and a macaron with foie gras. I am a fan of classic recipes so I enjoy crab and avocado or foie gras, but the chef adding a sweet element to it was a little bit of a pleasant surprise. With a menu as extensive as this there were a lot more surprises to come! Caviar and ice cream, squab and many more sweet and salty combos. Each dish was beautifully presented and prepared with care. Although I am not a fan of apple pie, I was surprised when “Oooops!! I dropped the apple pie” was among my favorite items on the menu. After dinner the chef came to present us with a sealed menu describing each dish. For their last surprise, we were treated with handmade chocolates.

For a more laid-back and modern experience try Hawthorne. Hawthorne focuses on an American cuisine infused with global influences. This time we opted for an la carte menu. My Portuguese dining companion was impressed with their fish dish. While all the dishes here are excellent, bread was the real winner. When combined with ricotta we could not get enough.

Do not skip the breakfast. Our absolute favorite was the breakfast basket full of delicious pastries. The sugared donut-like delight, with cheese-like starchy filling just won us over. The bread and pastries are paired with homemade strawberry jam, with pepper. An unusual combination that happened to work and showcases Cher RJ Cooper creativity. He truly made us feel at home.

* Wheatleigh is currently for sale and reservations will be honored until the end of summer.

Wheatleigh, Hawthorne Rd, Lenox, MA 01240

Tiffany’s Cafe and the Elm Street Market 

Tiffany’s Cafe is a local place in the heart of Stockbridge. From hearty breakfast platters to indulgent pastas and desserts, Tiffany’s Cafe offers a diverse, yet casual menu, and items that cater to everyone’s taste. Whether you’re craving a classic egg sandwich or biscuits and gravy, Tiffany’s Cafe promises a memorable meal, filled with warmth and flavor. I found Tiffany’s while searching for gumbo! The owner of Tiffany’s Cafe, Tiffany Greendale, is originally from New Orleans and she only makes this dish on specific days. She makes different variations of this authentic Louisiana dish. I had the pleasure of indulging in shrimp and andouille gumbo over rice with a scoop of yellow mustard potato salad! This is a divine dish you want to savor and share with someone special.

Before or after your meal I recommend you explore Elm Street Market for their gourmet specialties. The charming market showcases an impressive selection of locally sourced cheeses, fresh produce, and gourmet pantry staples. This is the place to stock up on picnic or gift giving items. They truly have everything to satisfy your culinary cravings.

Tiffany’s Cafe & Market, 4 Elm Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262

The Old Inn On The Green

Walking in to The Old Inn On The Green I knew this would be a great experience but I did not know I was stepping into a world of culinary excellence. The Old Inn On The Green is where timeless elegance meets contemporary cuisine. The menu features a three course pre-fix menu in a candle lit dining room with a fireplace. The decor and the ambiance is truly special and this fine-dining experience celebrates the culinary scene of the Berkshires. The menu is prepared by owner and Chef, Peter Platt. Come here to indulge in their expertly crafted cocktails, artisanal appetizers, and sumptuous entrees made with the finest local ingredients. They have a wonderful wine list and great champagne by the glass. We were impressed by the service, especially by our server Jessica, who took excellent care of us. This is yet another local place where you get to meet the locals and regulars. A friend treated me for my birthday and I was surprised with a delicious dessert. If you come in the summer you get to enjoy their garden terrace.

The Old Inn On The Green, 134 Hartsville – New Marlborough Rd. New Marlborough, MA 01230

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum

While you are in Lenox, once the most popular Gilded Age village, you must stop by the Ventfort Hall. The Jacobean Revival-style mansion was built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. P. Morgan. This “Berkshire Cottage” is one of approximately seventy five and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was declared an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Millennium program of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ventfort Hall is the home of The Museum of the Gilded Age.

Before you make plans check their calendar for lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances, tea or a ghost tour.

Venfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, 104 Walker St Lenox, MA 01240