OK, the holidays are right around the corner and let's face it: You will not be spending your entire time indoors with family and friends who are visiting the beautiful Berkshires. Here is what we suggest: A "localized" road trip within the friendly confines of Great Barrington, Massachusetts and believe me, there is plenty to do. Here are my TOP 5 suggestions on how to spend some quality time in our backyard.

1) THE MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER:

 

:

I call this venue "the crown jewel" of Great Barrington. This theater located on Castle Street offers a plethora of LIVE seasonal performances in the performing arts including opera, plays, ballet and concerts. On occasion, they'll even bring a classic revival film back to the big screen as I saw Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece "Psycho" a few weeks ago and by seeing this picture in it's original form, it was more appreciated as there is no comparison to watching a movie of this caliber on TV, video or DVD.

2) MONUMENT MOUNTAIN:

haveseen

There are many local residents in our area who appreciate the great outdoors during all four seasons. Maybe those who are checking out our vicinity from out of town would like to explore the Berkshires and one of the most popular sites is ascending up the ever popular Monument Mountain located just off route 7. Bundle up accordingly, put on a pair of your best walking shoes and you are good to GO!

3) SKI BUTTERNUT:

Kesu01

Located just off route 23 in Great Barrington, it is a top choice destination for locals and visitors who par take yearly in winter sports activities. The facility is also deemed as affordable and easy to maneuver for beginners and accomplished skiers alike. if your plans include hitting the slopes, this is a must stop in the upcoming months.

4) W.E.B. Du BOIS BIRTHPLACE:

The well known sociologist, historian and civil rights activist was born and raised in Great Barrington as his place of residence located on route 23 is no longer visible, however a plaque commemorating where he spent his youth documents the vicinity that has been declared a national historic site. Upon your travels, make a stop and reflect on the contributions and accomplishments that he strived for each and very day.

5) THE GUTHRIE CENTER:

If you are a fan of folk singer Arlo Guthrie, this is a mandatory stop as the facility is dedicated to his parents, Woody and Marjorie and serves as the inspiration for a 1969 bio pic "Alice's Restaurant" which was filmed here in the beautiful Berkshires. Every Wednesday, They offer a free community lunch to all in attendance as local business provide donations for this weekly get together located at the junction of route 41 and Van Duesenville Road. For more information on upcoming events, call (413) 528-1955.

 

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.