The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and there is no better place in New England this time of the year than Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This quintessential New England town, nestled in the Berkshires, is a postcard place all year-round. But what makes it a top Christmas destination? The short answer is Norman Rockwell’s “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”
The town’s association with the iconic artist, (who called Stockbridge home in his last 25 years, from 1953), is what really put this quaint, small town on the map. Its charm inspired him to paint “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas” in 1967. Every December since then the town has been paying tribute with its annual Christmas celebration – a reenactment of scenes from Rockwell’s painting.
The event, which usually takes place in the first week of December, includes activities like caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, a visit with Santa, tree lighting, and a Sunday afternoon re-creation of Rockwell’s painting. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into a real-life Rockwell painting during the holiday season in Stockbridge, boasting picturesque streets adorned with the most festive decorations. Check out Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas for more details about the event.
Stockbridge also boasts a rich cultural and artistic heritage, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, which, during the month of December, showcases Christmas-themed exhibitions, adding depth to the holiday experience.
You can enjoy shopping for unique gifts at holiday markets and craft fairs featuring local artisans and vendors. Just walk down on Main Street, (one of the most famous Main Streets there is), and check out the Country Store.
Where to stay in Stockbridge:
- Stay at the iconic Red Lion Inn if you’re looking for a place where luxury, great amenities, and history come together. This historic inn dates back to the 18th century and is a central part of Stockbridge’s charm. Whether you eat in the Dining Room or at the Tavern, both are excellent choices. Classic New England hospitality at its best! Then cozy up in the lobby, by the Christmas tree, with an after-dinner drink and some live music. The Lion’s Den is so cozy and nice, (if it’s not too cold). Extra bonus: if you get lucky, you might see their two kitties playing around (the best lobby ambassadors ever). The inn is centrally located on Main Street, so you can easily go for a stroll anytime.
- If you travel with your pets and are just looking for a warm, welcoming place for all of you, surrounded by the mountains, Briar Cliff Motel is for you. Nestled in the heart of the Berkshires, at the foot of Monument Mountain, and just a five-minute drive from the town of Great Barrington, this cozy establishment will make you wanna come back. (Shoutout to Rhonda, the innkeeper! She’s simply the best!)
Stockbridge embodies the quintessential New England town, renowned for its charm and tradition. Its blend of history, art, community spirit, and idyllic beauty make it the most magical Christmas destination in New England.