The former industrial town of North Adams in far northwestern Massachusetts rivals Marfa, Texas as an incubator for avant-garde art. With long-term installations by the artists Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson and light magician James Turrell, MASS MoCA is the largest contemporary art museum in the country. Music icon Annie Lennox will share stories and perform songs to kick off a day-long celebration of MASS MoCA’s 20-year anniversary on May 25.
Former roadside motel Tourists has been reborn as a chic bolthole catering to those making the art pilgrimage. Located on the banks of the Hoosic River, landscape architecture firm Reed Hildebrand has filled the grounds with apple trees, sugar maples, and sumac, and built a wooden suspension bridge that crosses the river. It snowed when I stayed in early April, but I imagine the pool comes into its own in the summer months.
My room ('Ramble') had an outdoor deck and a window nook daybed for tree gazing. I loved the stylish knickknacks and being able to place your breakfast order by text was a nice touch. Tourists is dog-friendly, and only a three-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC through the pines and elms of Upstate New York and Massachusetts.