19th-Century Bed and Breakfast Set on Rolling Meadows in the Berkshires
Set amid the rolling hills of the Berkshires on a 32-acre estate, Devonfield Inn has served as a country retreat for generations of guests and at least one ruling monarch. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands spent the summer of 1942 here. The inn's owner at the time, Mrs. Lloyd, was highly distraught when President Franklin D. Roosevelt's chauffeur drove across the front lawn during one of FDR's visits with the queen.
Today, the bed and breakfast remains an elegant hideaway with all the pastoral charm of an English country estate. Quiet meadows dotted with birch trees surround the inn, ideal for wintertime snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. A crackling fireplace keeps guests warm on chilly mornings, as does the candlelit breakfast served in the dining room. With classical music playing softly in the background, the innkeepers serve housemade concoctions such as vanilla-cinnamon crème brûlée and orange-yogurt pancakes.
The decor in the guest rooms reflects the building's 19th-century origins. Handmade quilts and porcelain lamps complement furnishings such as canopy beds, wingback chairs, and state-of-the-art butter churns. All rooms are supplied with scrumptious chocolates and cognac.
The Berkshires: Historical Highlands Region with Thriving Arts Scene and Outdoor Recreation
The western Massachusetts town of Lee is known as the Gateway to the Berkshires. It was named after Charles Lee, a general in the American Revolutionary War. Set in a quiet valley on the Housatonic River, the town lies in an area noted both for its mountainous landscape and thriving arts scene. Since the 19th century, artists as well as writers, including Herman Melville and Edith Wharton, sought solace and inspiration in the Berkshires. This dedication to literature and the visual arts continues today at a number of repertory theaters and world-class museums.
There's also plenty to keep outdoor enthusiasts busy. In fall, a leaf-peeping drive through the colorful countryside is a must. Thirteen miles from the hotel stands Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. It's crisscrossed by 70 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails. After a heavy snowfall, they're ideal for snowmobiling and backcountry skiing. The nearby Berkshire Botanical Garden, which is open until Columbus Day, encompasses 15 acres of native plants and topiaries sculpted to resemble notable transcendentalists.