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Fun things to do in the Berkshires

It's National Plan for Vacation Day. Where in the Berkshires should you visit this year?

One study found American workers left an average of more than four days or 29 percent of their paid time off on the table in 2020. Make 2022 better -- don't do that!

January 2022 has felt like a tough month for many of us, but we’re almost at the end. 

Sure the temperature is below freezing, and there is more snow on the way to keep us homebound on the weekends. But each day, the commute home from work gets a little brighter. Warmer days are coming. What better day to make plans for the upcoming year than today, National Plan for Vacation Day?

According to the U.S. Travel Association, National Plan for Vacation Day is celebrated on the last Tuesday in January. It’s a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the year ahead.

Ramble on: Community warms up for annual Mount Greylock trek with fun, festivities in Adams

Suzy Helme and Tim Martin serve up craft beer from Bright Ideas Brewing.

Since 2015, the travel industry and partners began tracking vacation usage through surveys and found many Americans are not using their earned vacation time off, which they say can negatively affect mental health, personal relationships and job performance. The most recent survey data from Destination Analyst 2021 found more than 68 percent of American workers felt at least moderately burned out. Avoiding burnout was the top-rated motivator to book a trip in the next six months.

From these surveys, they have found that those who take time to plan out their vacations are more likely to use their days, while workers who do not premeditate these plans are likely to let these days go unused altogether. Destination Analysist 2021 found American workers left an average of more than four days or 29 percent of their paid time off on the table in 2020. Don’t do that!

“National Plan for Vacation Day helps highlight the importance of taking time off to travel — both for our personal health and wellbeing and for the overall economic prosperity of our nation,” the NPVD mission webpage reads. "Together, using #PlanForVacation, we will remind Americans to commit — and take — their days off.”

So now that we agree we’re going to use our time, where are we going and what are we going to do? Whether you're planning single days off or longer, check out our list of links below for some inspiration right in our own backyard — no airfare required. 

Visit a museum

ROCKWELLSCULPTURE-1.jpg

Adam Suska assembles a sculpture by Harold Grinspoon called Effervescent at the Norman Rockwell Museum near the entrance. The sculpture is part of a show to support the summer theme of Fantasy Illustration. Tuesday, July 6, 2021. (Ben Garver, The Berkshire Eagle)

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

The Berkshire Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum

Herman Melville at Arrowhead Museum 

The Mount, Edith Wharton's Mansion

Chesterwood

Williams College Museum of Art

Hancock Shaker Village

Berkshire Art Museum

Freylinghuysen Morris House in Lenox

Live music

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Tanglewood recently announced their summer lineup.

Wilco Solid Sound Festival plans to return to North Adams May 27-29.

Fresh Grass will make it's way to Mass MoCA stages on Sept. 23-25. The festival celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2021. 

Get outside

Mount Greylock

The Cobbles in Cheshire

Monument Mountain in Great Barrington

Onota Lake in Pittsfield

Cheshire Reservoir in Cheshire

Bash Bish Falls

Mass Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Berkshire Botanical Gardens

Nuamkeag in Stockbridge

Pack up the beach toys, swim trunks and lunch! Summer is finally here and it’s time to take advantage by spending some time in the sun at one of Berkshire County’s many beaches. These local treasures are dispersed throughout the county with each offering its own unique atmosphere and amenities. Not sure where the nearest beach to you is located? Looking for a large swimming area? Hoping to explore new places? Not to worry. This comprehensive guide to every public beach in the Berkshires will help answer all of your questions. Use this guide as a place to start, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite spot!

Jess Gamari can be reached at jgamari@berkshireeagle.com.

Digital content creator

Jess Gamari has worked at The Berkshire Eagle since 2016. She was previously a Berkshires Week intern in 2013 and a North Adams Transcript summer intern in 2009.

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