Antiquing is a great way to spend an out-of-season weekend in the Berkshires. The area just south of Great Barrington, around Sheffield, is justly famed for the quantity and quality of its shops and markets. With lots and lots of big houses around here, estate sales and tag sales also provide a fun way to spend a Saturday, racing the local dealers to get a vintage bargain; the Shoppers Guide is where everyone advertises their sales. Going to the other extreme, it's easy to stock up on favourite brands at our outlet mall in Lee - which incidentally has an elevated site, making it a great place to see the sun set over the Berkshire Hills.

Another of our favourite places is Karen Keenan Gifts in Lee, run by a true local and a great place to pick up Berkshires gifts and find a present. Hancock Shaker Museum has a really good shop for genuine Shaker made pieces, and a new shop we like in Great Barrington (at 177 Main Street) is Griffin GB, an ‘oddly beautiful general store’ with some interesting pieces of vintage homes & fashion.  Just minutes up the road is the Gift Shop at the Red Lion Inn, featuring treasures from local and regional artists, designers and entrepreneurs.

If you'd like to take home a souvenir of this wonderfully creative area then don't miss Local, whose motto is 'beautiful things handmade in the Berkshires'. Owner Michele O'Hana has wonderful taste so it's worth a visit just to gaze in admiration, and her own ceramics are the epitome of simple style. Just fifteen minutes north of us on Route 7.

Yes, we have an outlet mall... but the small towns and villages around here have many quirky one-off stores worth exploring.