A Classic Holiday in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Posted December 17, 2009 by Jamie Moore

Ma-stockbridge-horses-def This holiday season, if you stroll only one Main Street in small-town New England, let it be Stockbridge's. In December, the town decorates Main Street the way Norman Rockwell painted it at Christmastime, with antique cars parked in all the right spots. Carolers and horse-drawn rides create a magical scene. In any season, experience quintessential Stockbridge at the Norman Rockwell Museum, a historic inn, and a cozy bistro.

Norman Rockwell Museum: Time stands still in this nostalgic museum. The halls are decked with classic scenes of Americana captured by the beloved 20th-century illustrator. See Rockwell's Thanksgiving turkey dinner painting, Saturday Evening Post covers, and, of course, his Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas piece. You can check out photos and artifacts that chronicle the artist's life and career, and get a peek at his studio. Admission is $15, but Tuesdays are free from November through April. Kids are always admitted free.

Red Lion Inn: Look closely at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas painting and you'll see the Red Lion Inn. Once a stagecoach stop, the Red Lion is one of the few New England inns operating continuously since the 1700s. During the holidays, the lobby's fireplace crackles and the scent of cinnamon and cider greets travelers. The antique-filled rooms are pricey, (Presidents have slept here.) but with a little advance planning, you can nab a room from $130 per night. Stargaze from the hot tub, dine elegantly, or grab a seat in the pub.

Once Upon a Table: Hidden in a nook along a pedestrian alley, this tiny 11-table bistro is a great find. Inside, the simple decor and down-to-earth atmosphere make you feel like you've been invited over for a meal. The cuisine, always creative and seasonal, strikes the perfect balance between comfort and panache. House favorites are the steamed mussels in white wine ($11) and profiteroles topped with chocolate ganache ($8).

To search for flights and compare prices to Albany, which is home to Stockbridge’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce)

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