Pittsfield’s first boutique hotel, London family tour, and more
NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN THE BERKSHIRES
Go for a stay in Pittsfield’s first boutique hotel, a property located in two downtown buildings that date to the 1880s and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 45-room Hotel on North features a creative mix of furnishings and décor with tin ceilings, restored columns, brick walls, and eclectic items from local artisans. Some rooms have a working gas fireplace, claw-foot tub, and kitchenette, and all have high-speed Wi-Fi, a mini bar with Berkshire-made products, and smart TVs with Bluetooth-enabled audio. Step in the lobby and you’ll find an art gallery and adjoining lounge, bar, and restaurant, or go for a stroll to see the Berkshire Museum and dozens of nearby restaurants and shops. Rates start at $179. 413-358-4741, www.hotelonnorth.com.
EXPLORE THE CAPE AND ISLANDS ON TWO WHEELS
Hop on the ferry from Boston to Provincetown and then explore the Cape and islands during Great Freedom Adventures’ new Captivating Cape Cod and Islands Vacation Bike Tour. On this six-day, five-night tour, you will explore the Cape Cod National Seashore, bike the rail trail, and visit the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. (Keep an eye out for seals sunning themselves on the off-shore beach.) Then catch the ferry to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard for more two-wheeled exploration before finishing the trip in Woods Hole. Participants stay in classy lodging in Provincetown, Chatham, and Edgartown, and enjoy meals with fresh seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. Daily rides range from 8 to 53 miles a day, depending on the day. Bring your own bike or borrow one from Great Freedom Adventures at no charge. The trip runs June 14-19, July 12-17, and Sept. 13-18. Rates: $2,595 per person, double occupancy; $895 single supplement. 877-545-1864, www.greatfreedomadventures.com.
LONDON FAMILY TOUR EXPLORES ANIMALS IN ART
A new family tour of London’s National Gallery lets children discover the tradition of depicting animals in art, through creative hands-on activities. The walking tour, called London with Family Menagerie: Animals in Art, explores painted animals in portraiture and other works, and how some of
history’s greatest personalities were often linked to that of their pets. It is led by an art historian trained to engage
the interests and energy levels of young travelers. The tour aims to demystify art by
introducing children to art
historical themes through
furry creatures. The two-hour tour, offered by Philadelphia-based Context Travel, runs
daily, and costs $375.75 per family party. Groups are limited to six people. 800-691-6036, www.contexttravel.com.
IN WASHINGTON STATE
See nearly two dozen Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and 42 works by the artist’s New Mexico contemporaries during an exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum near Seattle through June 7. The show, “Eloquent Objects: Georgia O’Keeffe and Still-Life Art in New Mexico,” includes paintings of sun-bleached bones, adobe architecture, starkly beautiful landscapes, blossoms, foods, and cultural and religious objects that reveal the artists’ impressions of the Southwest from the 1920s to the 1950s. Also see works by important modernists Stuart Davis and Marsden Hartley, and artists from each of the major art centers in New Mexico, including Gustave Baumann, Catherine Critcher, and Eliseo Rodriguez. Admission: $14 adults, $12 students/seniors, kids 5 and under free; third Thursday 5-8 p.m. free. Beginning March 25, purchase a Tacoma Museum District Pass for entry to multiple area museums within a 7-day period for $35-$45. 253-272-4258, www.tacomaartmuseum.org.
LUGGAGE THAT PACKS
Eagle Creek’s new collapsible wheeled luggage sports one of the most revolutionary designs in travel gear. The series includes 20- and 22-inch roll-boards, a 26-inch wheeled bag, and a cavernous 29-inch wheeled suitcase, all of which have aluminum frames that break down so you can easily store the luggage in the included stuff sack. Quickly assemble the frame and retractable handle when it’s time to travel, following the easy directions and numbered straps, buckles, and bars. Though lightweight (the 22-inch carry-on weighs 4 pounds 9 ounces), the bags prove super durable and can withstand the rigors of airline travel. Even better, the 29-inch bag transforms to a handy duffle, while the 20-, 22-, and 26-inch versions convert to backpacks with comfortable shoulder and sternum straps. Price: $254.95-$299.95 at REI.com. 888-824-9460. www.eaglecreek.com.
STYLISH AND POWERFUL HEADPHONES FOR TRAVELERS
Slip on the new Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones during your next flight and enjoy an enhanced concert-like audio experience and a significant absence of airplane noise and chatter. These stylish Philippe Starke-designed headphones are one of the best engineered noise-cancelling devices on the market. The touchpad on the over-the-ear pieces makes it a breeze to adjust the volume and skip to the next or the previous song with the swipe of a finger. You can also answer calls when the Bluetooth-compatible device is synced with your phone. The Zik 2.0s lay flat for easy packing in your travel bag, and can be used wirelessly or with an audio cord. This model weighs about 2 ounces less than the original Ziks; comes in blue, white, mocha, yellow, and orange; and has an improved app that lets you view battery power,
see song information, and control audio settings and noise reduction levels. $399. 877-972-7768, www.parrot.com.