Williamstown MA is a college town in the Berkshires where the mountains meet art and academia!
Bordered by the Green Mountains in the north and the Taconic Range in the west, this small town is often overshadowed by its neighbor, North Adams.
However, there are so many things to do in Williamstown MA that would leave you delighted and surprised!
Whether you love hiking, exploring forests and preserves, prefer to see a fabulous theatre performance, or enjoy strolling through a lively downtown – Williamstown provides all the elements for a lovely getaway in New England.
Use this list below as a guide, and start plotting your trip.
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Things to do in Williamstown MA
Plan a picnic on top of Mt. Greylock
Mt. Greylock is the highest point in all of Massachusetts and southern New England.
Located near the border of North Adams and Williamstown, at 3,491 feet, it is one of the most breathtaking places in the Berkshires.
Between May-November, you can drive up on the 16-mile paved auto road to the peak.
Or, if you’re adventurous, opt for a 2-3 hour hike to the top of Mt. Greylock.
Enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the top and see the Veterans War Memorial Tower. You could even climb up atop the tower.
There are several scenic viewing areas and picnic tables once you make your way to the top.
For an offbeat experience, stay or eat a nice meal at Bascom Lodge, nestled on the summit. The lodge is operational seasonally each year and has been in existence since 1937.
If you enjoy the outdoors, consider camping at Mt. Greylock Campside Park in the summers.
In the winters, plan a snowmobile ride on one of the trails leading to the summit.
Parking is $5 for MA residents and $20 for non-residents.
Enjoy an afternoon of art and outdoors at the Clark Art Institute
The Clark Art Institute is an excellent museum located in Williamstown.
Here, you will find a fabulous collection of art made by 16th-19th century painters and sculptors.
Some of the notable painters whose works you would find inside the museum include Renoir, Gauguin, and John Singer Sargent.
Aside from the great works of art by impressionist painters, the Clark Institute has acres of trails offering supreme views. Walk around to see outdoor works of art, along with cow pastures.
The grounds also have beautiful areas for picnics and peaceful walks.
Guests at the museum have particularly liked the food at the on-site cafe.
Admission to the museum is $20 for adults. See admission hours and buy tickets here.
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catch a play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Established in 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival brings innovative, fresh, and bold plays, musicals, and cultural events to the Williamstown community and visitors alike.
Held on the campus of Williams College, the festival productions are of the highest quality. In fact, some of the plays end up being on Broadway.
In 2002, the American Theater Wing awarded the theatre America’s highest theatrical honor, the Antoinette Perry Award or the “Tony Award” for Excellence in Theater.
Many known Hollywood actors have performed at the festival.
Some of the known names include Gwyneth Paltrow, Christopher Walken, Nathan Lane, Richard Chamberlain, Kate Burton, Olympia Dukakis, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Cooper, Calista Flockhart, Matthew Broderick, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Uma Thurman.
Take a look at the current lineup of shows and events and plan a pleasant evening out in Williamstown. You surely won’t be disappointed.
Admire art & sculptures at the Williams College Museum of Art
Berkshires has some of the best museums in New England and often, it can be challenging to choose which ones to visit.
Being close to the Clark Art Institute and Mass MoCA, the Williams College Museum of Art is a small but a great addition to the museum scene in the area.
Over 15,000 pieces of artwork are present in this free museum.
The works include contemporary art, ancient objects, photography, prints, and Indian painting.
Some of the highlights include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Nigerian, and Mayan artifacts.
The WALLS (Williams Art Loan for Living Spaces) collection, designed by students, is a set of 128 works of art that are placed in student dorm rooms each year.
Since the museum is located within the Williams College campus, collaboration, and student and faculty involvement is the driving force behind new initiatives.
Williams College Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is free.
spot wildflowers in Mountain Meadow Preserve
Owned by the Trustees Reservation of Massachusetts, the Mountain Meadow Preserve is a tranquil natural habitat in Williamstown.
Surround yourself with panoramic views of mountains, and a variety of flora and fauna inside the preserve, which was once the home of Native Americans, who relied on the area for livelihood.
Beautiful views inside Mountain Meadow Preserve begin from the parking lot itself!
See the Hoosac Valley and Mount Greylock, a few hundred yards from the parking lot.
You could also make your way half a mile away to a hilltop for scenic views.
For a flat hike, enter the reservation from the Vermont side, in Pownal, and follow the network of trails that lead to a scenic overlook, at the ruins of Mausert’s Camp which used to be a 1970’s rustic family getaway.
Entry to the preserve is free for all. Here is a handy trail map if you do decide to meander.
Planning to drive around in the Berkshires? Find the best car rental deals on Discover Cars!
head out on a scenic hike at Taconic Trail State Park
Spanning the states of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut, the Taconic Mountains include some of the region’s highest summits, including Mt. Equinox in Vermont and Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts.
Located a short drive away from the town center, the Taconic Trail State Park offers beautiful scenery, well-maintained trails, and some breathtaking hikes for outdoor lovers.
There are several trails inside Taconic Trail State Park, ranging from easy to moderate.
The 2.2-mile Birch Hill loop is a pleasant trail with an elevation gain of 259 feet.
From the parking lot, it starts on an old wood road and quickly reaches the fields. Following this, you will see fine views over a small hill. Walk over Bob’s Ski Loop and further along to Birch Hill.
From here, you could return or continue to the Hunter Family Trail that connects with the Sara Tenney Trail and back to the parking lot.
The 4.9-mile-long out and back RRR Brooks Trail is another fantastic hike that provides sweeping views of Mt. Greylock and Williamstown.
Other trails for hiking include the Fitch Trail, and the Sara Tenney Trail, which overlaps with the Brooks Trail.
Here is a complete map of the trails inside Taconic Trail State Park.
Enjoy breathtaking views of mt. greylock at Sheep Hill
Located on Cold Spring Road, 1.2 miles from the town center of Williamstown, Sheep Hill is a former dairy farm that is now a picturesque area for walks and leisure.
In this 50-acre space, you will find open, expansive grounds with breathtaking views of Mt. Greylock, Mt. Williams, and surrounding panoramas.
Sheep Hill is home to Williamstown Rural Lands, a non-profit committed to the conservation of natural habitats.
The non-profit organizes public lectures and seasonal nature programs for kids. They also have a ton of material available on-site for individual exploration.
There are plenty of birds in Sheep Hill, a tiny pond, and old barns with exhibits inside. Throw in some fall foliage and you’ve got yourself an irresistible New England sight!
In the summer, an interpretative naturalist is around to assist visitors too.
In the winter, the place is an ideal spot for sledding.
While the drive to Sheep Hill is on a dirt road, the charm of the place is unmatched.
The farmhouse and grounds are open to the public all year round.
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leaf through the Chapin Library’s impressive collection of Rare Books
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in history than through books!
If you’re a bibliophile, the Chapin Library of Rare Books located in the Sawyer Building of the Williams College campus would interest you.
History buffs will enjoy the extensive collection of rare books, and manuscripts, medieval maps that are hundreds of years old.
The library contains a final copy of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, which is fascinating to look at.
The library also displays Audubon‘s Birds of America in its original elephant folio.
The Chapin Library is open to all, free of charge. What’s more, you can also enjoy lovely views of the surroundings from their Reading Room.
Watch a movie in the 100+ year old Images Cinema
Images Cinema is one of the few old-school independent single-screen theaters remaining in the country!
It has been a Berkshire tradition for over a hundred years now.
Established in 1916, it used to be a Williams College fraternity house before it was converted into a movie theatre.
From silent films to contemporary movies and foreign cinema, the theatre has attempted to keep up with the changes in time.
Images Cinema serves a variety of food and also hosts community events and free screenings.
In recent times, the theatre has taken measures to keep guests safe, running shows at 50% capacity and requiring masks and proof of vaccination.
Have a look at their ongoing movie screenings and events and book your tickets now.
stroll through Downtown Williamstown
Despite being a small town, Williamstown has a thriving downtown scene and a friendly, welcoming community.
Looking to go shopping in Williamstown MA?
Whether you’re looking to visit galleries, shop for antiques, jewelry, or clothing, visit a local park, see a stage performance or eat at a nice restaurant or bar, the town center is buzzing with things to do!
Many of the popular places are centered in and around Williams College.
The museums, including Clark Art Institute, and the starting point for several outdoorsy hiking trails, are not too far away either.
Spring St. and Water St. have a bunch of restaurants you could choose from!
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enjoy a leisurely morning at the Williamstown Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday starting in mid-May, the Williamstown Farmer’s Market, the Williamstown Cultural District, located in the town center, is bustling with activity!
The market features all local vendors offering farm-fresh produce, flowers, baked goodies, pottery, gifts, jewelry, sustainable products, and much more.
Many local farms partake in the market as well.
The entire atmosphere is vibrant and people of all age groups come together to enjoy the live music and friendly atmosphere.
There are picnic tables present and you could easily spend all morning here!
Take a look at a list of this season’s vendors.
HOTELS in Williamstown MA
Whether you’re looking to stay for a couple of days, an entire week, or more, these inns and hotels in Williamstown MA offer a delightful combination of a natural setting and comfortable amenities.
First built in 1896, this Inn used to be a milk barn, complete with a bullpen! It was later converted into a restaurant and a hotel.
The Inn has 36 rooms, including luxury suites, featuring country decor and pine wood walls.
A daily fresh breakfast is included in the tariff. The Inn also has a ‘6-House Pub serving classic pub fare and hearty American cuisine.
The 1896 House Country also has an outdoor heated pool, and a lovely setting beside a brook.
Guests particularly the charming, New England vibe of the property. It is also pet-friendly!
Modern Rustic B&B: Guesthouse at Field Farm
One of the best bed & breakfasts in Williamstown, the Guesthouse at Field Farm is set on 300-acres of open fields, woods, and wetlands and offers impressive views of Mt. Greylock.
All rooms are designed keeping modern sensibilities in mind. Every room features artwork, WiFi, and an oversized shower.
Breakfast is included and is made with local ingredients!
There are four miles of trails in Field Farm and a seasonal pool.
Guests particularly love the comfortable rooms and the exceptional outdoor setting.
Budget: Maple Terrace Motel
This 3-acre property is less than a half-mile away from Williams College and within easy driving distance to the most popular Williamstown attractions.
The queen or double queen rooms feature all amenities including a tv, writing desk, and fridge.
A continental breakfast is available at the reception, and the property is immaculately maintained.
Guests, in particular, have enjoyed the graciousness of the hosts, the landscaped areas, and the quaint vibe of the motel.
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Featured Photo: Peter Rintel