Williamstown is a town in the Berkshire Hills at the northwest corner of Massachusetts. It shares a border with New York and Vermont. It is a true college town, having hosted Williams College since 1793.
Williamstown is a lovely historic town that's well worth a visit. There are quite a few tasteful 18th, 19th and early 20th-century buildings, on and off campus.
- From the South or West: From I-87, take Exit 6; drive 45 minutes east on NY/MA Rt. 2 into Williamstown.
- From Taconic Parkway: Take NY Rt. 295 East to NY Rt. 22 North to NY Rt. 43 East (which becomes MA Rt. 43 North) to US Rt. 7 North into Williamstown.
- From the North (Vermont): Follow US Rt. 7 South to Williamstown.
- From the East (Boston): Take Mass. Pike (I-90) to Exit 2 (Lee); US Rt. 20 West. This will merge with US Rt. 7 North, which you follow into Williamstown.
There is a bus direct from Port Authority (New York City) that takes about 5 hours. Check Peter Pan Bus lines.
Williamstown is a small town, and most locations are reachable on foot. For further trips to Vermont or neighboring North Adams, you're best off with a car, although local public transportation can get you around too. Buses run infrequently, so plan well. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority webpage, with schedules, is at this link.
Aside from the following museums, you can enjoy walking around downtown Williamstown, looking at the outsides of buildings and walking into some of them, such as churches, if you visit when they are open.
- Williams College Museum of Art, 15 Lawrence Hall Dr, ☎ , fax: +1 413 458-9017. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Sunday 1PM-5PM. Ste 2. One of the finest college art museums in the country with over 10,000 pieces, including a significant collection of Prendergast paintings, a Sol De Witt installation, and paintings by Hopper and Warhol in the permanent collection. WCMA's building was once the Williams College library and features a unique octagonal rotunda. Free.
- Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street, ☎ . An excellent museum with over 30 paintings by Renoir and canvases by Monet and Pissarro in their collection. In 1950 Sterling and Francine Clark chartered the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a home for their extensive art collection. Opened to public in 1955, the Institute has built upon this extraordinary group of works to become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. One of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a complement of research and academic programs, including a major art history library, the Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history. Building upon the founders' legacy, the Institute has recently unveiled its master plan for the twenty-first century, including its new wing, to be designed by Tadao Ando, which fosters the Clark's commitment to providing space for its expanding research and museum programs while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting.
- Hiking: Pine Cobble There are countless hikes in the Williamstown area, but one of the most popular is certainly Pine Cobble. The Williams Outing Club publishes the North Berkshire Trails guide, available at Water Street Books (26 Water Street, +1 413'458-8071), the local bookstore, for $12. A trail description of Pine Cobble is available here. The trail (estimated time: 1 hour) climbs a hill north of Williamstown overlooking the Purple Valley and arrives at an expanse of quartzite rock exposed by glaciers long ago.
- Lansing Chapman Skating Rink at Williams College, ☎ . Latham Street. Call for hours.
- Williams College Tennis Courts, ☎ . Lynde Lane. Call for reservations.
- Williamstown Theatre Festival, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. (or +1 413 458-3200 Sep-May). Late Jun-Aug. The Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) is a renowned festival that presents around two hundred plays, both classic and new productions, every summer on its stages, in addition to readings, workshops, and other special events. The festival was founded in 1954 and since then, a number of productions have gone to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and to theatres around the US. Roger Rees is WTF's artistic director, whom some television viewers may know as Lord John Marbury, the British Ambassador on the television show "The West Wing." Notable actors who have acted at WTF include Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Reeve, Marisa Tomei, Ron Rifkin, Richard Chamberlain, and Chris O'Donnell.
- Taconic Golf Club, 19 Meacham St, ☎ . Apr 15-Nov 15. Semi-private, 18 holes. A beautiful golf course, particularly in autumn when the leaves change. Trivia: Jack Nicklaus shot his first hole-in-one at the national junior championships on the Taconic's 14th hole (a small stone marker indicates the spot). In winter, the golf course is a favorite local cross-country skiing location.
- Waubeeka Golf Links, ☎ . Route 7. Public, 18 holes. Apr 1-Dec 1. Make reservations:.
- Chef's Hat Restaurant, 905 Simonds Road, ☎ . Tu-F 6:30AM-2PM, Sa 6:30AM-3PM, Su 7AM-3PM. Great breakfast place.
- Chopstick's Restaurant, 412 Main Street, ☎ . M-Th 10:30AM-10:30PM; F,Sa 10:30AM-11PM; Su 11AM-10:30PM. Fine Japanese, Korean, Chinese.
- Colonial Pizza, 243 Main St, ☎ . Su-W 11AM-1AM, F-Sa 11AM-2AM. $$.
- Coyote Flaco, 505 Cold Spring Road, ☎ . Tu-Th 4PM-10PM; F,Sa 4PM-11PM. Mexican/Spanish. Margaritas!
- Cozy Corner Restaurant, 850 Simonds Road, ☎ . M-F 11AM-9PM; Sa 11:30AM-9PM; Su Noon-9PM. (Rte. 7). Seafood, Italian.
- Dining Halls, Williams College (Williams College Campus). The dining halls at Williams College seem to be open to everybody. There are three dining halls: Driscoll, Whitmans (Paresky), and Mission. Follow the link for menus and hours. All except Whitmans are all-you-can-eat buffets. These cost $12 for dinner and $7 for lunch. At Whitmans you can buy different courses separately, but the most expensive will only be $12 as well. At night, there is a snackbar in Paresky, and every night except Sunday and Monday there is pizza in the basement for $7 (really good). 3-12.
- Gala (formerly Yasmin's Restaurant), 222 Adams Road, ☎ . Breakfast: 7AM-10AM; Lunch: 12PM-2PM; Dinner: 5:30PM-9PM; Su Brunch: 10AM-2PM. Beautiful courtyard/garden setting. Gourmet cuisine and great wine list. $$$$
- Happy Star Chinese Restaurant, 240A Main St., M-Th 10:30AM-10:30PM; F,Sa 10:30AM-11PM; Su 11AM-10:30PM.
- Hobson's Choice, 159 Water Street, ☎ . Daily 5-9:30PM.
- Jae's Inn, 1111 South State Street, ☎ . Lunch M-Sat 11:30am-4pm, Sun 12-4pm. Dinner Su-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat 5-10pm. Korean. Japanese.
- Leo's Luncheonette (Closed/For Sale), 248 Cole Avenue, ☎ . M-F 6AM-2PM, Su 7AM-Noon. Home-style and inexpensive.
- Mezze Bistro & Bar, 16 Water Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner daily 5PM. Excellent choice with imaginative offerings. $19-$24.
- Michael's Restaurant, 460 Main Street, ☎ . Tu-Su 4PM-9PM. (Route 2). Homemade Italian and Greek.
- Moonlight Diner & Grille, 408 Main Street, ☎ . (Route 2). Su-W 7AM-10PM; Th until 11PM; F-Sat until 12AM. Breakfast all day.
- Pappa Charlie's Deli, 28 Spring Street, ☎ . M-Sa 8AM-8PM; Su 8AM-7PM. Best sandwich place.
- Pera Mediterranean Bistro, 60 Spring St, ☎ . Sun-Wed: 11AM-9PM; Thu-Sat: 11AM-10PM. This place provides excellent food made from fresh ingredients in generous portions, with good service, and refills tea without charge. The menu is really not as expensive as these prices make it seem, because main dishes include soup or a side salad and the separate salad plates are big for one person. The wine list also is quite inexpensive, with bottles between $19.50 and $49.00, quite a few of which are toward the low end of that range. Apps: $6.95-$13.95; salad plates: $8.95-$12.95; pasta: $13.95-$19.95; sandwiches and wraps: $9.95-$14.95; entrees: $16.95-$27.50; dessert: $5.95-$7.95.
- Spice Root Modern Indian Cuisine, 23 Spring Street, ☎ . Lunch: Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, Su 12PM-3PM; Dinner: Su,Tu.-Th 5-10PM, F,Sa 5-11PM. Fine Indian. Vegetarian available.
- Sushi Thai Garden, 27 Spring Street, ☎ . Lunch daily 11:30AM-10PM, Dinner daily 5PM-10PM. Thai/Japanese.
- The Water Street Grill, 123 Water Street, ☎ . M-Th 11:30AM-12AM; F.-Su 11:30AM-1AM. (Route 43).
- The Williams Inn, ☎ . On the Green, Jct. Routes 2 & 7. Daily 7AM to 10PM; Su Brunch 11:30AM - 2PM. A la carte. Also a Tavern with casual food. Has the Sunday brunch.
- The Red Herring, 46 Spring Street, ☎ . Open every day. Located underneath the movie theater in town, its a cozy location to grab a beer after class. Dancing usually occurs on Thursdays, upstairs.
- Waterstreet Grill. see above under food. Much classier (and expensive) than the Red Herring
- Howard Johnson Express Inn, 213 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 US, ☎ . Check-in: 3 pm, check-out: 11 am. Jacuzzi Rooms, Business Center, Free wireless Internet Access, Free Breakfast, Outside Pool, Free Parking, TV with cable HBO, Near to Williams College.
- The Orchards Hotel, 222 Adams Road, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. $170-$325.
- The Williams Inn, On the Green, Jct. Rtes. 2 & 7, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $140-$280.
- Howard Johnson Express Inn, 213 Main Street, ☎ . Check-in: 3 pm, check-out: 11 am. Jacuzzi rooms, business center, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, outside pool, free parking, TV with cable HBO. 37 rooms. $49-$225.
- 1896 House - Brookside and Pondside (Route 7), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. 30 rooms. $69-$219.
- Berkshire Hills Motel, 1146 Cold Spring Road (Route 7), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 21 rooms. $69-$159.
- Cozy Corner Motel, 284 Sand Springs Road, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. (Route 7). 12 rooms. $50-$125.
- Green Valley Motel, 1214 Simonds Road (Route 7), ☎ , e-mail: GreenValleyMTL@aol.com. 10 rooms. $40-85.
- The Stratton Inn of Williamstown, 62 Stratton Road, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 Suites. $179-$229.
There is a Peter Pan bus to New York City on Sundays that costs $45. Buy tickets at the Williams Inn. Leaves at 4 pm.
You can take the Berkshire Transport to Pittsfield (about 20 minutes south) for many more transportation options, including a train. The bus to New York City also stops in Pittsfield.
If you are a student at Williams then log onto WSO and check out the rideboard.
|Routes through Williamstown|
|Rutland ← Bennington ←||N S||→ Lanesborough → Pittsfield|
|Troy ← Becomes ←||W E||→ North Adams → Greenfield|