A city that has been around for more than 250 years has a few legends (and even some tall tales) to tell. When the city is also situated in a stunningly beautiful area, its allure is magnified. This is the case of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, settled in 1752. It is the heart of the Berkshires, a historic area that was founded in 1685.
With so many of Pittsfield’s buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the architecture is stunning. Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, the home he moved his family to in 1850, is one of Pittsfield’s historic locations. The house was built in 1783 as a farmhouse. Melville chose to move his family to this location for the inspirational beauty of the area — a quiet place to write. It was in his upstairs library that he wrote Moby-Dick and three other novels, as well as several short stories.
After you find your ideal Pittsfield apartment to rent, head toward downtown to get a true sense of the community you’ll be a part of. Beautiful Colonial architecture and historic sites add a cultural flair. The Colonial Theatre was built in 1903 and has hosted such iconic figures as John Phillips Sousa, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., John Barrymore, and the Ziegfeld Follies. Also built in 1903, the Berkshire Museum contains some amazing exhibits, such as Nathanial Hawthorne’s writing desk, items from the first successful expedition to the North Pole in 1908, and works by iconic artists such as Pierre Auguste Renoir, Rembrandt Peale, Alexander Calder, and Norman Rockwell.
Things to Do in Pittsfield:
Located in the west central portion of Massachusetts near the New York border, Pittsfield is part of the Berkshires, a historic area of western Massachusetts. This beautiful region is a popular vacation destination. Tourists enjoy hiking trails, parks such as Berkshire Botanical Garden, and natural beauty in features such as Bash Bish Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state.
Downtown Pittsfield features cafes, restaurants, shops, art galleries, and theaters in a picturesque setting that includes wide sidewalks and period lighting. Other nearby attractions include wineries and vineyards, museums, and historic sites.
The Hancock Shaker Village contains 20 historic buildings, a farm and gardens, exhibitions, a hiking trail, and demonstrations. Visitors can learn about the life and history of the Shakers, view amazing collections of furniture and textiles, see archaeological sites, and more.
Bousquet Mountain is a popular ski resort – so popular, in fact, that in 2010 it was voted the “Best Downhill Skiing in the Berkshires.” In the summer, visitors can enjoy water slides, a children’s activity pool, zip-lining, and the Berkshire Adventure Park – home to ropes, bridges, and balancing features 30 feet above the ground. There’s also a mini-golf course and a climbing wall to enjoy.
If all of that isn’t enough, Pittsfield State Park features two camping areas, Berry Pond (a popular fishing area), Berry Mountain, waterfalls, streams, 30 miles of hiking trails, and 65 acres of wild azalea fields. Visitors to the park can access the Taconic Crest Trail, a 35-mile hiking trail, from Pittsfield State Park. Balance Rock State Park, located in the northeast corner of the forest, features a 165-ton limestone boulder balanced on bedrock. The forest is also home to a ski lodge that was built in 1936. Rent a Pittsfield apartment and you’ll have access to this amazing park and all of its outdoor recreation, including mountain biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, historic sites, hiking, and snowmobiling.
What to Consider When Moving to Pittsfield:
Pittsfield is the county seat of Berkshire County. This small Massachusetts gem is packed with accolades: It was named one of the Best Small Places for Business (Forbes Magazine), one of the most secure small towns, a “green city,” one of the best places to retire, and it won the 2009 Commonwealth Award for its arts, humanities, and sciences.
The earliest written reference to baseball was discovered in Pittsfield! A bylaw prohibiting baseball within 80 feet of the meetinghouse was written in 1791. The document is located at the Berkshire Athenaeum. This was long before Abner Doubleday, in 1839, allegedly conducted the first game of baseball ever played (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica).
The Berkshires is an area in western Massachusetts that is considered one of the “200 Last Great Places” by the Nature Conservancy. The region is a very popular tourist destination, featuring part of the Appalachian Trail and other hiking trails, as well as Bash Bish Falls, Kent Falls, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden. The region is also noted for its fine arts and is home to the Clark Art Institute, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Festivals are also popular and include the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the historic dance venue Jacob’s Pillow.
Why Pittsfield Apartments Are Hot:
The “Shire City” was settled in 1752, and the evidence of its long history is everywhere! Downtown Pittsfield is not only beautiful, it is pedestrian-friendly and filled with shops, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, cafes, and the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market (May-October). Downtown even has the Downtown Loop, a walking/running/roller-skating path that encircles downtown. Once you’ve selected a Pittsfield apartment, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of festivals and events, such as the Berkshire International Film Festival, Cultural Pittsfield, the 3rd Thursday Street Festival, and more.
Hancock Shaker Village contains historic buildings and hands-on history with exhibitions and demonstrations.
The unique Berkshire Museum features art, ancient objects, fossils, an aquarium, exhibitions, and more.
The Colonial Theatre was built in 1903 and is one of the few remaining Vaudeville-era theaters.
Arrowhead, the Herman Melville House, was built in 1780 and is a US National Historic Landmark.
The Bousquet Ski Area, located on 200 acres, features a vertical, 750-foot drop and 24 trails.
Enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating in summer and ice fishing in winter on Onota Lake and Pontoosuc Lake.