Staying Cool this Summer

With stunning natural beauty, sunny weather, and creative adventure outfitters and guides, North Adams is the ultimate summer destination for adventure seekers. Nestled in the Berkshires, Porches Inn at MASS MoCA offers an ideal base for summer water adventures like hikes to waterfalls, days on a lake, or skipping rocks across still ponds. Known for its unique and comfortable rooms and suites—and its own luxurious pool and hot tub—Porches promises a comfortable stay and easy access to some of the coolest adventure spots in the region. 

One of the highlights of staying at Porches Inn is its proximity to MASS MoCA, the renowned contemporary art museum. But beyond the arts, the area around North Adams is brimming with natural wonders including picturesque lakes and stunning waterfalls. A short drive from the hotel are the pristine waters of Windsor Lake, offering swimming, boating, and fishing. The nearby Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is perfect for a scenic bike ride or leisurely walk around the lake’s perimeter.

Further afield, but well worth the trip, is Bash Bish Falls. The highest waterfall in Massachusetts, Bash Bish Falls is an awe-inspiring sight and has a refreshing plunge pool at its base. Local tour guides, such as those from Berkshire Camino, can provide guided hikes to the falls.

Another must-visit waterfall near North Adams is Tannery Falls in the Savoy Mountain State Forest. Located just a short drive from Porches Inn, these falls cascade over 80 feet into a serene pool below. The waterfall is set within a picturesque gorge, surrounded by lush, old-growth forest that adds to the enchanting, fairy tale–like atmosphere. The hike to Tannery Falls is moderately challenging and weaves through verdant woodland but once there, the soothing sound of cascading water and the cool mist from the falls makes it all worthwhile. 

Also located in the secluded Savoy Mountain State Forest, the North and South Ponds offer peaceful swimming in a lush forest setting. The state forest also features well-marked trails leading to scenic overlooks and other natural wonders.

The tranquil Fish Pond at Clarksburg State Park is another great spot for swimming and kayaking. Pro tip: Pack and picnic and make a day out of it—the park’s picnic areas and trails are lovely. For guests looking to explore the water with expert guidance, local businesses such as Zoar Outdoor provide guided kayaking and canoeing tours. (For more about hiking in the North Adams area read Hiking in the Berkshires.)

Whether you’re diving into the hotel’s own pool or venturing out to nearby lakes, waterfalls, and ponds, you’re sure to find refreshing ways to beat the heat. And after a day of outdoor adventures, return to the comfort of your suite at Porches Inn. The inn’s eclectic decor, inspired by its industrial heritage, offers a comfy retreat in North Adams. Book your stay!