In this last of a four-part series, we will continue to explore some of the best sites worth a visit in Western Massachusetts.
Built in 1893 for J.P. Morgan’s sister, the Jacobean Revival-style mansion Ventfort Hall was once a popular resort destination in Lenox. Today, the home serves as a Museum of the Gilded Age. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ventfort Hall is still undergoing restoration. Much of the first and second floors, however, are open to the public.
In addition to serving as a beautiful reminder of the lives and lifestyles of the very rich during the Gilded Age, Ventfort Hall is also notable for its numerous events throughout the year. Among these include lectures, a reading series and even Murder Mystery Dinner Theater events. Ventfort Hall is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.
Located in the town of Springfield, the aptly-named Springfield Museum provides access to five unique institutions. These include the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the History Museum, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss and the Science Museum and planetarium, which contains the oldest operating star projector in the country. At the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, you can explore the author’s Springfield roots while also viewing many of his personal belongings. It also features a sculpture garden inspired by his books. The Sprinfield Museum is located at 21 Edwards Street.
Yankee Candle Village
Serving as the flagship store for Yankee Candle, South Deerfield’s Yankee Candle Village is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Massachusetts. In fact, the village receives more than 3 million visitors every year. In addition to its candlemaking museum and numerous exhibits, Yankee Candle Village is also home to the Bavarian Village where Christmas is celebrated year-round. Here, kids can visit Santa’s workshop in the Nutcracker Castle, where snow falls every day. Visitors can also make their own jar candles at Wax Works while the store itself is home to all of the current scents, including discontinued items that you may be missing. Yankee Candle Village is located at 25 Greenfield Road.
Once the home of author Edith Wharton, The Mount currently serves as a National Historic Landmark as well as a museum and culture center. Tours include spending time in the main house and gardens, while private tours for two can also be booked to explore the library containing Wharton’s personal book collection and her original annotations. Ghost tours are also available at night. The Mount is located at 2704 , 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox.
The Montague Book Mill
Located on the Sawmill River in Montague, the Montague Book Mill is a converted old mill that draws book lovers from throughout Massachusetts. Claiming to be home to 40,000 books, the store’s tongue-in-cheek slogan of “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find” is sure to speak to any booklover. With its homey feel and comfortable chairs and couches, you could spend an entire day browsing through the store’s collection. Meanwhile, the adjoining Lady Killigrew Café offers light snacks with a waterfall view. The Montague Book Mill is located at 440 Greenfield Road.