Have you heard about Jacob's Pillow yet? This dance-centric attraction tucked away in Becket, MA is a must-visit spot for anyone planning a vacation to the Berkshires! Keep reading to learn why The New York Times views this hidden treasure as the dance center of the nation. You'll also see why Jacob's Pillow is about so much more than dance.
Welcome to the Dance Capital of America
"The Pillow" is a 220-acre National Historic Landmark that attracts visitors from around the globe. It is also home to the nation's longest-running international dance festival. Featuring workshops, exhibits, and performances, the 2023 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival runs from June 28 through Aug. 27. The festival attracts more than 50 dance companies from around the world annually. Moreover, attendees can look forward to more than 500 free performances and talks during the month-long event.
Planning Your Visit
While festival time is the best time to visit this extraordinary jewel of New England, visitors are welcomed whenever they are able to get to the area for a little exploration. A self-guided tour of this landmark provides the easiest way to get around. Pillow Rock is the primary attraction that visitors look for when touring the grounds. A nod to Jacob resting his head on a stone in Genesis, this pillow-shaped boulder was seen as an important landmark to Christian settlers who arrived during the 18th century via a stagecoach road. It's a tradition for visiting artists to have their pictures taken atop the rock!
Hunter House is another popular attraction at this venue. Built-in 1790 by the Carter family, this cozy residence was once a home for the local dance company. It is used today to house year-round offices for venue staff.
The Stone Dining Room was built in 1937. While it serves today as a private area for artists, dancers, and staff to gather, visitors can admire the building's historic architecture from the outside. The Harriet Freed Tea Garden is another highlight of a self-guided tour. Walk through stunning gardens designed by horticulturist Valerie Locher.
Of course, the Ted Shawn Theatre is considered the crown of this attraction. Constructed in 1942, this 620-seat venue was the first dance-centric structure in North America. Made from hand-hewn native pine, the building speaks to the wartime sensibilities of its era. Other must-see spots to hit while enjoying the natural beauty of this artsy campus include the Warren Davis Welcome Center, the Norton Owen Reading Room, the Eastern Woodlands Homesite, Blake's Barn, and the Box Office.
Dance Your Way Through Nature and History in the Berkshires
If a trip to this historic attraction sounds like music to your ears, it's time to start planning a getaway to the Berkshires. While Becket is full of quaint treasures, it's not the only town in the area offering things to see and do while on vacation. Map out your full trip using inspiration from this list of cool Massachusetts towns to visit.