A Visit To Jiminy Peak Outside Ski Season
The Resort: The Country Inn at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
The Berkshires Region of Massachusetts (nearest town: Lanesborough)
We know Jiminy Peak as a ski destination for both New York City and Boston, but this was our first summertime visit. With the green, forested slopes of the Berkshire Mountains all around, the Country Inn at Jiminy has an Alpine lodge feel in summer, especially at the end of August when the weather can be on the cool side. While we did see couples here and there midweek, this is overwhelmingly a family destination from springtime to fall.
In late August the resort has become a destination for Orthodox Jewish families from the New York area. They often have big families so there was a sense of kids running all over during the day. This many kids can make a hotel noisy but things were extremely quiet in the evenings.
All the rooms in the Country Inn at Jiminy are suites with small full kitchens (2-burner electric range, microwave, toaster, small refrigerator) (check *rates!). There is also a living area and separate queen bedroom with TVs in both, and a bathroom with a second sink outside the door. These suites have an older feel than others we’ve stayed in and are pretty compact, fine for a family with two kids or tweens. Wth two large teens the room might feel cramped. There are larger rooms available, too, but we didn’t see what those looked like.
The lobby is welcoming and probably very nice in winter with its slope views and large fireplace. The hotel sprawls and corridors are long. They could use some brightening up to make the journey between your room and the elevator more cheerful, but this is a very minor detail.
The reason to come to Jiminy Peak in the summer is the outdoor adventure park and aerial park which costs additional fees. We spent three hours there on the afternoon we arrived and another four hours the next day. Tiny Traveler spent most of her time on the bungee trampolines and the zip lines and rope courses, which have five levels of difficulty (and differing heights). I didn’t have closed-toed shoes for the rope courses (open sport sandals don’t pass muster) so I spent my time on the long, winding alpine slide and the shorter, faster mountain coaster. The former is on wheels and the ladder on a track; both let you control your speed with a hand break.
Rich did the rope courses, too, and was the only one of us to brave the Soaring Eagle, which looks like a downward facing, high-speed ski lift. There was also a giant swing for teens and adults, a kids’ climbing wall and a playground, inflatable mazes and 8-foot high mini rope course for smaller kids.
As with many things it’s a good idea to get an early start. At 10:00 there were no lines for anything and we did everything we wanted to several times over. Between 12:00 and 1:00 lines began to form for popular activities and after 3:00 most things took much longer, even on what was most likely a slow week.
The hotel has a small heated outdoor pool that they use nearly year-round (top), and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Despite temperatures in the 60s Tiny Traveler dove into the pool the night we were there and several other kids followed. I watched with the other parents from the hot tub.
We had lunch on the slope-side deck of Christianson’s Tavern, which had surprisingly good food. We shared crispy fried string beans, then I had fish tacos with crunchy red cabbage slaw, Rich had grilled hot dogs that came with potato salad in what looked like a parfait glass. The kids’ menu had the usual items.
Other restaurants include John Harvard’s, an outpost of a Cambridge, MA brewpub and a coffee stand. The Country Store has a good-size beer and wine section, a deli counter where we got egg sandwiches in the morning, drug store items and a few basic groceries.
There is free parking and Wi-Fi.
The Bottom Line:
The room rates for the week we stayed were below $150 for a suite with a kitchen. The hotel has a lot of onsite activities and dining, plus the Berkshires’ many museums and hiking and bike trails are nearby.
My family all agreed that from mid-spring to mid-fall it’s an easy weekend getaway for families and a good value. In the autumn when the foliage is turning colors the scenery from the ski left or tavern deck is probably spectacular. We might just come back to see it.
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*We were guests of Jiminy Peak for a one-night stay. We did not guarantee any particular coverage in exchange for the stay. Our opinions are always our own.
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