The SpaceThis 2-bedroom house and separate 2-story garage sit on an acre of land with a small blueberry patch, outdoor clothesline, and fire pit in the big back yard, bordering a stream. There are two parking spaces (best for smaller/compact cars) right by the road.
Inside, you enter into the living room (with a couch, desk, DVD/BluRay player, and bookshelf), with the master and secondary bedrooms opening off of this main room. Down the hall is the small bathroom (with a shower), and kitchen. There is a sliding glass door onto the outside porch with a picnic table, and a back emergency exit through the mudroom. There's a great view of the sky at night if it's clear, without much light pollution. We've been told that the place is "quite magical, like a painting!"
We are in the process of making some light repairs to the house itself (such as repainting some areas, refinishing/repainting the second bedroom, replacing windows/blinds, etc). The windows are old, and can be tricky to keep clean, so the place can get a bit dusty. There is an air filter available if you would like to use it. Guest AccessThe garage is not available to guests, nor is the secondary bedroom at this time. Feel free to use kitchen utensils, and if you eat something out of the pantry, just leave a small donation. We prefer guests don't use the basement (including the washer/dryer) without permission. Feel free to use the entertainment center (there's no cable TV, but we have some DVDs/games, and you can also bring your own). Interaction with GuestsWe spend most of our time in Southern Vermont, and are rarely in Becket, so we would not see you during your stay unless we let you know otherwise. This means guests will have the whole place to themselves! The NeighborhoodNestled between the Berkshires & the Pioneer Valley, Becket is at the eastern edge of Berkshire County, at the border between Hampden and Hampshire Counties. This country getaway is still close to a wide variety of cultural centers and summer festivals: Jacob's Pillow Dance festival (15 minutes away), the Kushi Institute (a macrobiotic education center, 10-15 minutes), Tanglewood and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health (in Lenox and Stockbridge respectively, a 30 minute drive). The Shakespeare & Company and Berkshire Theater Festival venues are roughly 30 minutes away. There are also museums that are available: The Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge, The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown.
Becket has a Country Store and General Store (within a 10-15 minute drive, both have breakfast and lunch eat-in or take-out options), and is also 10-15 minutes from the infamous “Dream Away Lodge" – a quirky 200-year old restaurant and performance space with a changing menu and unique atmosphere (they can be found online – reserve ahead!). Lee (20-25 min), Lenox (30 min) and Stockbridge (30-35 min) offer very good eateries and entertainment venues. Lee has a mall and there are many small shops in Great Barrington (40 min drive). Northampton (45 min East) is one of the hip, bustling towns of Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley – plenty to see, do, and eat, and great places to shop. Let us know if you want recommendations.
Fall foliage is a highlight of each year in this area; and winter-weather activities are available. A cross-country ski resort is only a few miles away, and several down-hill ski places are within a half-hour's drive. There are three places where the Appalachian Trail criss-crosses roads in Becket, and the October Mountain state forest also has groomed trails for hikers. Other hiking and swimming areas, such as the Chester Arches, are within convenient driving distances. Getting AroundThe closest airports in Hartford, CT (Bradley) and Albany, NY are each about an hour away, and there is some public transportation, but it’s hard to get around without a car. Plenty of places to hike and bike, though! Other Things to NoteCell reception is spotty for most networks in the house itself, but you can drive a few minutes for better reception, or use the WiFi. We find it's a good excuse to disconnect for a while! There are a few DVDs you can watch or books you can read if you're interested in a cozy night on the couch :)
The Internet is provided through a dish, so it is slow and not good for streaming or FaceTime, (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN), etc. It is sufficient for email and short YouTube videos, but don't expect to be able to access things that require high bandwidth, such as Netflix.
The front door locks with a combination which we'll send you with the other arrival information.
The bed has a firm memory foam mattress that is quite comfortable! :)
The heat is controlled by a digital WiFi thermometer which you can control yourself (from the living room), or you can ask us to adjust it or pre-set it to certain day/night temps. Please leave the heat at 50 or so when you leave. There is no air conditioning in the summer, but there is a fan provided.
Some guests have suggested grocery shopping ahead of time if you plan to cook on site, because the remote location is not near many grocery stores.