Western Massachusetts is one of the most historic regions in the entire nation. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are several museums worth a spot on your Berkshires itinerary. From world renowned art collections to incredible artifacts, you’ll find it all in these fantastic Western Mass museums!
Find even more of our favorite Western Mass museums and other local attractions in our free Vacation Guide to the Berkshires! This handy planning tool provides everything you need to create the best itinerary for your next getaway.
10 Western Mass Museums You Don’t Want to Miss
Norman Rockwell Museum
Guests can tour the largest collection of art from one of the nation’s best artists in the world renowned Norman Rockwell Museum. You’ll be able to experience Norman Rockwell’s life, legacy, and New England hometown of Stockbridge, MA through these incredible works.
Arrowhead: Home of Herman Melville
This 18th-century home is where author Herman Melville wrote a famous novel by the name of Moby Dick. Now a National Historic Landmark, guests can take guided tours of Arrowhead and its grounds while also visiting the gift shop. Arrowhead is closed in the winter but will reopen for tours on Memorial Day weekend.
Clark Art Institute
The Clark Art Institute is among one of the best museums in Massachusetts. Surrounded by 140-acres of scenic woodland, guests can explore various impressionist, American, and Old Master paintings. You may also attend a variety of dynamic events and exhibitions at this popular art museum.
Rotating exhibitions, artifacts and collections, and a variety of events for all ages make a trip to the Berkshire Museum ideal for the whole family. Kids will love exploring the aquarium, participating in a dinosaur dig, and learning about ancient Egypt at this eclectic institution.
Hancock Shaker Village
The museum at The Hancock Shaker Village boasts the largest collection of Shaker artifacts available to the public at an original restored Shaker site. It is also one of the more unique museums in the Berkshires thanks to the variety of on-site tours and activities. Over 22,000 objects teach guests about the community of the Shakers, including their life, architecture, music, and religion.
Also known as the Museum of the Gilded Age, Ventfort Hall is a very popular local museum. Built in 1893 by JP Morgan’s sister, this historic Morgan Estate in Lenox, MA, offers lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances, and other events that give visitors a glimpse into American life during the nineteenth century.
Williams College Museum of Art
This department of Williams College houses over 14,000 works that span the entire history of art. The changing exhibitions include pieces of modern and contemporary artwork, photography, prints, and Indian paintings.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Known as Mass MoCA, this museum spans three 19th-century factory buildings and features large floor-to-ceiling art installations of well-known and emerging artists. It is also one of the most visited institutions dedicated to new art in the United States. It attracts over 120,000 patrons and internationally recognized contemporary artists each year! Will you be one of them?
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
Take a breathtaking ride through the Berkshires on this moving museum! The vintage train cars will take you on a scenic 20-mile trip along the river from Lenox to Stockbridge where you’ll learn all about the unique history of railroading. Be sure to check the train schedule for rides before you arrive!
Mission House Museum and Gardens
Located on Main Street in Stockbridge, this National Historic Landmark was first home to the Mohican Indians. Today, the Mission House Museum showcases a collection of 18th-century American furniture and arts, and a small Native American museum features various Mohican artifacts. The Indian Museum is open daily in the spring and fall, and guided house tours are offered in the summer.
Experience the Best Western Mass Museums During Your Stay With the Gateways Inn
Looking for the perfect accommodation near your favorite museums? Look no further than the Gateways Inn! Our historic Procter mansion turned bed & breakfast boasts vintage charm while providing its guests with all the modern amenities they desire in a comfortable stay. Enjoy your choice of 11 gorgeous guest rooms, easy access to our on-site award-winning restaurant, and the town’s best nightlife in the inviting lounge and bar. We’re the perfect alternative to the typical Berkshires hotels and provide everything you need to make lifelong memories.
Book your favorite room with us today and let’s start planning your getaway!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download your free copy of our Vacation Guide to the Berkshires! It’s a handy reference to all the best things to do during your vacation with us.