Road Scholar 20402

Meet in Boston to embark on a journey of discovery through the Berkshire Hills and the Hudson River Valley. Meander through the Connecticut River Valley past mountains, meadows and idyllic villages to Stockbridge, one of the oldest settlements in the Berkshires. Experience natural beauty that inspired Melville, Wharton and Rockwell, and examine how the utopian ideals of the Shakers shaped the community. Then, like the early settlers, turn westward along the Hudson River to learn this route’s role in the history of the nation and New York City. Absorb the mood of the river valley that inspired the first regional art movement in America and examine the historic and cultural treasures that line its banks.

• Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum to see the largest collection of the artist’s original pieces and learn about the depiction of American culture Rockwell reflected in his work with a museum expert.
• A lecture on Shaker settlements explains what sets them apart from traditional New England settlements.
• Enjoy expert-led visits to President Franklin Roosevelt’s home, Val-Kill, the Rockefeller estate Kykuit and artist Frederic Church’s home.

Itinerary Summary: Arrival Boston, Mass, 1 night; coach to Stockbridge, 3 nights; coach to Central Hudson Valley, N.Y., 2 nights; coach to Housatonic River Valley, Conn., 1 night; coach to Boston.

Day 1, Sunday, Registration / Orientation / Dinner
4 p.m.: Hotel Rooms are available for check-in. After checking in at the hotel front desk, check in at the Road Scholar program desk to receive your Welcome Packet. Welcome Dinner. Meet your fellow Road Scholars during a welcome dinner while you hear more about the day to day itinerary of the program. Lodging: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Day 2, Monday, Historic & Scenic Berkshires
Depart Boston to Stockbridge, MA via scenic New England highways and historic trails. En route, program orientation and participant introductions. Lunch is at a local restaurant in the heart of the charming Berkshires. FIELD TRIP: There are many hidden treasures amidst the small towns and charming countryside of Western Massachusetts. Explore at least one of these uniquely New England gems before arriving at your overnight destination. Continue to Stockbridge and check in at the historic Red Lion Inn on Stockbridge’s picturesque Main Street. Dinner is in a local restaurant. Relax in the rocking chairs on the inn’s front porch or stroll this quaint New England village. Lodging: Red Lion Inn (3 nights)

Day 3, Tuesday, Berkshires & Famous Residents
FIELD TRIP: Missionaries and Mohicans and the settlement of Stockbridge: Begin your understanding of the Berkshires at Mission House to learn about the attempts between Mohicans and the English Missionaries to work together. FIELD TRIP: To the Norman Rockwell Museum complex. During an exclusive Road Scholar program, step behind the scenes with curators to discover the art and creative process of this influential visual communicator of the American 20th century. Explore the original paintings and enjoy a private look at Rockwell’s personal archive, from carefully directed photographic references to rarely-seen props, art supplies, and correspondence which will offer fresh insights into the world of this renowned artist. This interactive program will explore the deep links between imagery, culture, and history, inspiring consideration of the unique power of the artist as a commentator in his or her time.

We have a Box lunch at the museum. Enjoy some time to examine the galleries at leisure. FIELD TRIP: Examine the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton at her home, The Mount. Designed and built by Edith Wharton in 1902, the house embodies her interests in the literary arts, interior design and decoration, garden and landscape design and the art of living outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). Explore the house and its beautiful formal gardens. One of America’s greatest writers. Wharton, (1862-1937) is the author of The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth. She wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel. Wharton was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and an honorary Doctorate from Yale University. Return to Stockbridge. Dinner is on our own.

Day 4, Wednesday, Hancock Shaker Village
FIELD TRIP ON FOOT: At Hancock Shaker Village, explore the 1830 Brick Dwelling, the 1826 Round Stone Barn and other highlights with a docent, prior to its public opening hours. A LECTURE with an expert explains how Shaker communities “gathered”, their unique social structure and architecture, and how they differ from traditional New England settlements and villages.

Lunch is at leisure in the museum café, with included voucher. After some time to explore more of the Hancock Shaker village at leisure, return to Stockbridge for some free time to stroll the historic Main Street or relax on the inn’s front porch. Dinner is in the Red Lion Inn Main Dining Room, enjoy contemporary cuisine rooted in region’s history.

Day 5, Thursday, From the Berkshires to the Hudson Valley
In the same manner of the early settlers, turn westward to journey along Hudson River, the route that played a major role in the history of the nation and the trade empire that is New York today. FIELD TRIP: Discover Olana, the Moorish-style home Frederic Church, a landscape artist of major importance to the Hudson River School movement. The villa offers commanding views of the Hudson Valley, inspiration for the work of one of America’s foremost painters. Lunch is in a local restaurant. FIELD TRIP ON FOOT: Explore the early colonial history of the Hudson Valley on Historic Huguenot Street. Discover seven original stone houses dating to 1705, the colonial-era burial ground and a reconstructed 1705 French church, on a docent-led visit. Continue to Poughkeepsie. Dinner in the hotel. Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn Newburgh (2 nights)

Day 6, Friday, FDR House & Presidential Library / Vassar College
FIELD TRIP: On a docent-led exploration of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Home, experience the home where the 32nd president lived for the majority of his life. Walk the grounds were he was laid to rest, visit the Presidential Library and Museum.

Lunch is at the FDR Museum cafe. At Vassar College’s art gallery, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, examine Hudson River School paintings, Old Master prints and a wide range of works by major European and American twentieth century painters. Stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson, a walkway spanning the Hudson River. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, it is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Dinner is on our own.

Day 7, Saturday, The Lower Hudson Valley’s Great Houses
Depart Poughkeepsie and travel to the Lower Hudson Valley. FIELD TRIP: Situated on a bluff overlooking the Hudson Valley sits the grand riverfront mansion of Boscobel. Explore the sumptuous interior, one of the finest collections of elegant Federal-period furnishings. Learn its history and how it came to its present location, history of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and of the lives of the Dyckman family on a docent-led visit.

Enjoy some free time for lunch on your own in the pretty village of Cold Spring, situated on the banks of the Hudson River. The historic Main Street preserves much of its 19th century character. FIELD TRIP: At the Union Church of Pontico Hills, marvel at the colorful rose window created for the church by Henri Matisse. The design for the window was his last work of art before his death in 1954. Nine windows by Marc Chagall memorialize members of the Rockefeller family. Continue to Kykuit, the hilltop home to four generations of the Rockefeller family, beginning with the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His business acumen made him, in his day, the richest man in America. FIELD TRIP: A docent-led visit explores the main house and the lovely Inner Garden and West Terrace, with its splendid Hudson River views. Continue to the hotel for check-in. We have our Farewell “Last Meal.” Lodging: TBD Connecticut

Day 8, Sunday, Departure
Motorcoach transfer from the Connecticut hotel to Logan International Airport - arriving approximately at 1:00 PM.