Great Barrington is a pleasant town in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts.

Main Street on a spring day

Understand Edit

Great Barrington was home to 7,200 people in 2020, and it does not feel like a tiny town at all, as it has a row of buildings around a half a mile long on Main St. (US Highway 7) and a few side streets, including a couple of nice churches. Great Barrington also has a claim to fame as the childhood home of the famous civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois.

Get in Edit

Railroad St. in downtown Great Barrington

By car Edit

From points south and north, take US Route 7 North and South, respectively. For points east and west, take I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), which is a few miles north of town, and Exit 2 (from the east) or B3 (from the west).

By bus Edit

Regular service on the routes up and down Route 7 from New York City to Vermont.

By train Edit

There was once a passenger train to Great Barrington, as witness the name "Railroad St." However, it has been a long time since it was operational. The closest passenger train stops, nowadays, are in New York State and not worth going to for access to Great Barrington.

By plane Edit

Albany International Airport is a 60-minute drive away. Hartford-Springfield Bradley International Airport is an 80-minute drive away.

Get around Edit

You can get around the downtown area fairly easily on foot. To go further than that, you will need a car or at least a bicycle.

See Edit

  • 1 Bernay Fine Art, 296 Main St, +1 413 645-3421. Th-M 11AM-5PM, closed Tu W.
  • 2 First Congregational Church of Great Barrington, 241 Main St. Historic church, built in 1833 from locally quarried limestone, including limestone recovered from the previous church building that burned down a year earlier. Designed by architect William C. Brocklesby, the church building has a longitudinal nave with walls are supported by buttresses and a slate roof. On the top of the church's 116-foot (35-m) tower is a pyramidal roof. The manse and carriage barn were added in 1884.    
  • 3 W.E.B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite, 612 S Egremont Rd (State routes 23 and 41), +1 413 717-6259. Dawn-dusk. A National Historic Landmark, the homesite commemorates where civil righs activist W.E.B. Du Bois lived for his first five years of life. Du Bois was the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who advocated for full equal rights for black folks. Du Bois opposed ideas such as the Atlanta Compromise that would give partial civil rights to black individuals with the promise of more to come. Du Bois owned the house on this site between 1928 and 1954. The house was torn down afterwards. There is a self-guided tour available from dawn to dusk.    

Do Edit

  • 1 Appalachian Trail (parking area located on Lake Buel Rd). The 2,200-mile hiking trail passes near Great Barrington.    
  • 2 Monument Mountain, Route 7 (4 miles north of the center of Great Barrington), +1 413 298-3239, . This mountain, 1,739 feet (530 m) tall at its highest point, is popular with mountain-climbers of all levels of skill and experience. Parking $5.    
  • 3 River Walk, Housatonic River. A walking trail that follows the Housatonic River between Cottage Street and Bridge Street.
  • 4 Ski Butternut, 380 State Road, Route 23, +1 413 528-2000. Known ski resort. They claim on their website to be "regarded as the number one Massachusetts ski resort." Butternut Mountain may be available for climbing off season; contact them if you are interested.
View looking southeast from Devils Pulpit on Monument Mountain

Buy Edit

Great Barrington is home to a successful local currency experiment. The local currency is called BerkShares. You can use BerkShares at hundreds of stores and businesses throughout the Berkshires. Using Berkshares helps local businesses and community residents by increasing the local money supply. Visitors and shoppers benefit as Berkshares can be purchased at several local banks for 90% of face value and redeemed at full value at local merchants. Berkshares banknotes are beautiful notes featuring images of local artists and historical figures.

  • 1 The Bookloft, 332 Stockbridge Rd (Barrington Plaza), +1 413 528-1521. Local bookstore with a constantly changing selection of new books and a section for local authors.
  • 2 Mielke Chocolates, 260 Stockbridge Roa, +1 413 528-2510. For hand-dipped chocolates, it has made it the sweetest spot in the Berkshires.
  • 3 The Chef's Shop, 31 Railroad St, +1 413 528-0135. Cooking supply shop stocked with all the top brands. There is a space for demonstrations and they proudly feature the Berkshires' locally roasted coffee.
  • 4 One Mercantile, 8 Castle St, +1 413 528-1718. Artfully curated selection of gifts and home goods, many locally made. Also carries a small selection of cookbooks and local food products.
  • 5 Robin's Candy Shop, 288 Main St, +1 413 528-8477. The candy shop of your childhood dreams. Robin's is so packed full of candy and toys that it's hard to move around. There are even giant versions of some of your favorites like "the world's largest gummy worm."
  • 6 Yellow House Books, 252 Main St, +1 413 528-8227. Small used and rare book seller with an eclectic selection of books crammed into the first floor of an old house.

Eat Edit

Mason Library

Great Barrington has a wide variety of dining options despite the town's small size. Although the restaurants skew towards the pricey farm-to-table end of the spectrum, there are options to satisfy any price point.

Budget Edit

  • 1 Great Barrington Bagel Company, 777 Main St #1, +1 413 528-9055. Old standby for fresh bagels and coffee. Also offers a variety of sandwiches.
  • 2 SoCo Creamery (formerly Bev's Homemade Ice Cream), 5 Railroad St, +1 413 528-6645. Excellent ice-cream, pies and cookies. Also offers a few vegan sorbet options and some meal items like soup and sandwiches.

Mid-range Edit

  • 3 Baba Louie's Organic Sourdough Pizza Company, 286 Main St, +1 413 528-8100. Daily 11AM-3PM, 5-10PM. Very good thin-crust pizza with a wide variety of specialty toppings. Small pizzas: $11.95-15.95; large pizzas: $13.95-$21.95; extra toppings: $1.50-3.00; pasta: $12.95 half size, $17.95 full size; soup: cup $3.95, bowl $5.95; "oversized" salads: $10.50-19.95; appetizer (chicken wings): $10.95.

Splurge Edit

  • 4 Aroma, 485 Main St, +1 413-528-3116. This small restaurant serves amazing Indian Food. Try the chicken tikka masala or any of the korma dishes.
  • 5 Bizen, 17 RailRoad St, +1 413 528-4343. M-F noon-2PM, 5-10PM; Sa Su noon-3PM, 5-10PM. Japanese and vegetarian.
  • 6 Koi, 300 State Rd, +1 413 528-5330. Daily 11AM-9PM. Chinese.
Searles Castle
  • 7 Prairie Whale, 178 Main St, +1 413 528-5050. Farm-to-table restaurant with an ever changing menu. Prairie Whale is very busy on weekends so be prepared for a wait. Fortunately, the bar here has an expertly curated and has an original cocktail menu and local beers so you can always order a few drinks while you wait. The food is pricey, but you can eat here for a reasonable amount of money if you don't insist on ordering an entree for everyone.
  • 8 Shiro Sushi and Hibachi, 105 Stockbridge Rd, +1 413 528-1898. Somewhat expensive, but the food is quite good and the chefs put on a great show while preparing your meal if you order hibachi dishes. $10-25.

Drink Edit

Sleep Edit

Wainwright Inn B&B

Go next Edit

  • Lenox, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra has its summer home at Tanglewood
  • Becket, a tiny town that is home to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Routes through Great Barrington
PittsfieldStockbridge  N   S  SheffieldDanbury
Jct N    SHudson ← becomes    W   E  MontereyJct W   E

This city travel guide to Great Barrington is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.