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Williamstown (Massachusetts)

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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.

Get in[edit]

  • 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.

Get around[edit]

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. Be advised that buses run infrequently, so plan well. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority webpage, with schedules, is available at: [1]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Williamstown Theatre Festival, Phone: +1 413 597-3400 (or +1 413 458-3200 Sep-May), wtfinfo@wtfestival.org, [2]. 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.
  • Williams College Museum of Art, 15 Lawrence Hall Dr., Ste 2, Phone: +1 413 597-2429 fax: +1 413 458-9017, [3]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Sunday 1PM-5PM. 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, Phone: +1 413 458-2303, [4]. 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.
  • Williamstown House of Local History, 1095 Main Street Williamstown, MA 01267, (413) 458-2160, [5]. Monday-Friday, 10 AM – 3 PM and the second Saturday of each month from 10am – 12pm. The WIlliamstown House of Local History, founded in 1941 and currently located in the Milne Public Library building, catalogues the history of the area now known as Williamstown, MA from the time when it was known only as a stopping point along the Mohawk Trail to Lake Champlain through the present. In addition to permanent exhibits tracing the history of the town, there is a rotating exhibit which changes twice annually. Permanent exhibits include From Wilderness to Williamstown, The College: A Defining Presence, Growth of a Summer Resort, and The Twentieth Century: Continuity and Change, among others. An interactive Children's Discovery Room provides children with the opportunity to dress up in historically accurate clothing, play with toys from another time, and read books from the 1800s in order to discover by doing. The Museum also provides genealogy research at affordable rates as well as events and lectures throughout the year. Free.  edit


Do[edit][add listing]

  • Lansing Chapman Skating Rink at Williams College, Latham Street, Phone: +1 413 597-2433. Call for hours.
  • Williams College Tennis Courts, Lynde Lane, Phone: +1 413 597-3151. Call for reservations.
  • 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 at [6]. 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.

Golf[edit]

  • Taconic Golf Club, 19 Meacham St., Phone: +1 413 458-3997, 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, Phone: +1 413 458-8355, [7]. Public, 18 holes. Apr 1-Dec 1. Make reservations: Phone: +1 413 458-8355.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • 1896 House Pub, Rt. 7, Phone: +1 413 458-1896, Email: celebrate@1896house.com, [8]. Daily 5PM to Close. Pub food.
  • Chef's Hat Restaurant, 905 Simonds Road, Phone: +1 413 458-5120. Tu-F 6:30AM-2PM, Sa 6:30AM-3PM, Su 7AM-3PM. Great breakfast place.
  • Chopstick's Restaurant, 412 Main Street, Phone: +1 413 458-5750. M-Th 10:30AM-10:30PM; F,Sa 10:30AM-11PM; Su 11AM-10:30PM. Fine Japanese, Korean, Chinese.
  • Coyote Flaco, 505 Cold Spring Road, Phone: +1 413 458-4240, [9]. Tu-Th 4PM-10PM; F,Sa 4PM-11PM. Mexican/Spanish. Margaritas!
  • Cozy Corner Restaurant, 850 Simonds Road, (Rte. 7), Phone: +1 413 458-3854. M-F 11AM-9PM; Sa 11:30AM-9PM; Su Noon-9PM. Seafood, Italian.
  • 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, Phone: +1 413 458-9101. Daily 5-9:30PM.
  • Leo's Luncheonette (Closed/For Sale), 248 Cole Avenue, Phone: +1 413 458-8098. M-F 6AM-2PM, Su 7AM-Noon. Home-style and inexpensive.
  • Mezze Bistro & Bar, 16 Water Street, +1 413 458-0123, Email: nancy@mezzeinc.com, [10]. Dinner daily 5PM. Excellent choice with imaginative offerings. $19-$24.
  • Michael's Restaurant, 460 Main Street (Route 2), Phone: +1 413 458-2114, [11]. Tu-Su 4PM-9PM. Homemade Italian and Greek.
  • Moonlight Diner & Grille, 408 Main Street (Route 2), Phone: +1 413 458-3305, [12]. Su-W 7AM-10PM; Th until 11PM; F-Sat until 12AM. Breakfast all day.
  • Pappa Charlie's Deli, 28 Spring Street, Phone: +1 413 458-5969. M-Sa 8AM-8PM; Su 8AM-7PM. Best sandwich place.
  • Spice Root Modern Indian Cuisine, 23 Spring Street, Phone: +1 413 458-5200. 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, Phone: +1 413 458-0004. Lunch daily 11:30AM-10PM, Dinner daily 5PM-10PM. Thai/Japanese.
  • The Water Street Grill, 123 Water Street (Route 43), Phone: +1 413 458-2175. M-Th 11:30AM-12AM; F.-Su 11:30AM-1AM.
  • The Williams Inn, On the Green, Jct. Routes 2 & 7, Phone: +1 413 458-9371, [13]. Daily 7AM to 10PM; Su Brunch 11:30AM - 2PM. A la carte. Also a Tavern with casual food. Has the Sunday brunch.
  • Gala (formerly Yasmin's Restaurant), 222 Adams Road, Phone: +1 413 458-9611, [14]. Breakfast: 7AM-10AM; Lunch: 12PM-2PM; Dinner: 5:30PM-9PM; Su Brunch: 10AM-2PM. Beautiful courtyard/garden setting. Gourmet cuisine and great wine list. $$$$
  • Dining Halls, Williams College (Williams College Campus), [15]. The dining halls at Williams College are open to anybody as far as I can tell. There are four dining halls, Greylock, Driscoll, Whitmans (Paresky), and Mission. Follow the link for menus and hours. All except Whitmans are all-you-can-eat buffets. These cost $12 for dinner and $7 for lunch. At Whitmans you can buy different courses separately, but the most expensive will only be $12 as well. At night, there is a snackbar in Paresky, and every night except Sunday and Monday there is pizza in the basement for $7 (really good). 3-12.  edit
  • Colonial Pizza, 243 Main St, +1 413 458-4009, [16]. Su-W 11AM-1AM, F-Sa 11AM-2AM. $$.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Red Herring, 46 Spring Street Phone: 413-458-2808. 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  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Hotels[edit]

  • Howard Johnson Express Inn, 213 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 US, 413-458-8158 (), [17]. checkin: 3 pm. Jacuzzi Rooms, Business Center, Free wireless Internet Access, Free Breakfast, Outside Pool, Free Parking, TV with cable HBO, Near to Williams College.  edit
  • The Orchards Hotel, 222 Adams Road, Phone: +1 413 458-9611, +1 800-225-1517, Email: hoteladmin@orchardshotel.com, [18]. $170-$325.
  • The Williams Inn, On the Green, Jct. Rtes. 2 & 7, Phone: +1 413 458-9371, +1 800-828-0133, Email: innkeeper@williamsinn.com, [19]. $140-$280.

Motels[edit]

  • Howard Johnson Express Inn, 213 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 US, 413-458-8158 (), [20]. checkin: 3 pm. Jacuzzi Rooms, Business Center, Free wireless Internet Access, Free Breakfast, Outside Pool, Free Parking, TV with cable HBO, Near to Williamstown College.37 rooms. $49-$225.  edit
  • 1896 House - Brookside and Pondside, Route 7, Phone: +1 413 458-1896 or 888-999-1896, Email: celebrate@1896house.com, [21]. 30 rooms. $69-$219.
  • Berkshire Hills Motel, 1146 Cold Spring Road (Route 7), Phone: +1 413 458-3950 or 800-388-9677, Email: info@berkshirehillsmotel.com, [22]. 21 rooms. $69-$159.
  • Cozy Corner Motel, 284 Sand Springs Road (Route 7), Phone: +1 413 458-8006, Email: ccmotel@aol.com, [23]. 12 rooms. $50-$125
  • Green Valley Motel, 1214 Simonds Road (Route 7), Phone: +1 413 458-3864, Email: GreenValleyMTL@aol.com, 10 rooms. $40-85.
  • Maple Terrace Motel, 555 Main Street, Phone: +1 413 458-9677, Email: stay@mapleterrace.com, [24]. 17 rooms. $55-$145.
  • Northside Motel, 45 North Street, Phone: +1 413 458-8107, Email: northside@bcn.net, [25]. 33 rooms. $49-$139.
  • The Stratton Inn of Williamstown, 62 Stratton Road, Phone: +1 843 270-6157, Email: strattoninn@gmail.com, [26]. 2 Suites. $179-$229.
  • Villager Motel, 953 Simonds Road (Route 7), Phone: +1 413 458-4046 or 877-98-MOTEL, Email: vivek@berkshire.net, [27]. $46-$135.

Get out[edit]

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
RutlandBennington  N noframe S  LanesboroughPittsfield
TroyBecomes NY-2.png  W noframe E  North AdamsGreenfield




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