The Modern Bee Guide to Great Barrington, MA

September 17, 2021 in Out in the World - No Comments
Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA

Hello, stranger. I’ve missed this community. I’ve been reluctant to show up here. I’m embarrassed to say that I was worried about showing up alone. With everything swirling around these days, would anybody care to join the circle? Would anybody care to tuck into conversations ranging from red velvet cake to ALS? This morning I decided that I want to keep showing up; I need to keep showing up, however that looks. So I’ve decided to just go with the flow. Write what feels right, share what I hope helps. In other words, keep it real. Isn’t that what a quilting bee was all about? Showing up as your authentic self, leaving the masks we often have to wear in the various rooms of our lives at the door to settle in with kindred spirits and just…create something? Share something? So here I am. Showing up today as somebody who is slightly tired, weary, but still inspired.

I have a few things up my sleeve for this community but today, I thought I’d keep things simple. One of my favorite things to do with my husband is to load the dog into the car and hit the back roads of New England for a day trip. Not too long ago, we did just that and visited Great Barrington, MA. I thought I’d share a few photos and tips from some fantastic spots we discovered. Here’s to staying curious, connected and most importantly, to showing up, however that may look for you.

Alley mural in celebration of W.E.B. Du Bois

Great Barrington is a button of a town (the population hovers just above 7000) located in Berkshire County, MA bursting with culture, history, good food, and cute shops. W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the founders of the NAACP (among many achievements) was born on the outskirts of town and while his childhood home has been lost to history, you can visit the land where it once stood. Back in town, I fell in love with this mural in an alley off of a main street that depicts his legacy in a series of vibrant murals with text.

One Merchantile

Maybe my most favorite shop in town is One Mercantile, a mecca for home goods. I’m a sucker for a shop that introduces locals and visitors alike to the work of local artists and this shop delivers on this front. It’s a treasure trove of functional and beautiful goodies.

Rubiner’s Cheesemongers

I dare anybody who isn’t a cheese fanatic to leave this place unconverted. It’s a beautiful space, located in a converted, former bank and filled to the gills with cheesy goodness, along with a treasure trove of condiments and wine, cider and beer, candy and did I see ice cream…?

Outside at One Mercantile

A few other tips for anybody local to the area (or not!) who might be headed up to Great Barrington for the first time…

GB Eats

Fantastic spot for lunch. We like to pick up sandwiches here, sit on a bench on Main Street and people watch (or if it’s cold, in the car!) I love the po’ boy crab cake sandwich or the pork schnitzel sandwich.

SoCo Creamery

Can’t not stop for ice cream! The mission fig is a delight.

Monument Mountain

Not just any trail up a mountain. Firstly, you get a glorious view, and secondly, you get to be in the spot where Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne are said to have had a conversation which inspired Melville to pen Moby Dick.

The Mount

Not in Great Barrington, but about a 20 minute drive away in Lenox is the Mount, Edith Wharton’s summer home. A stunning property, but the library and the gardens really take the cake for me.

Cheers to being back, Michaela


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