Let’s face it. Shopping is fun. Finding that perfect gift or a unique treasure for yourself is exciting. If you have three hours to spend, Pittsfield is a great place to succeed in your treasure hunt. Pittsfield has many artisans and unique shops where you can find things not carried in the national chains or anywhere else in the Berkshires.
But first, coffee.
A good shopping expedition runs on top-notch food and caffeine. Hit up some great downtown cafes to get going.
Everyone in town knows Dottie’s Coffee Shop. Step through their door and you’re sure to see community leaders, students, business professionals, and elected officials picking up orders and having meetings. Dottie’s locally sources their homemade menu items and they are served all day. There are many vegan and gluten-free options. Those who have been before, quickly realize that coffee is the true passion of the cafe. The popular restaurant has a funky, hipster vibe and is usually crowded, but somehow seating always is available.
The Marketplace Café is the great go-to place on North Street near the center of town. Their focus is on inspired fresh, flavorful, and satisfying combinations from quality local ingredients and excellent bread. Try their unique breakfasts, such as Sunrise Over Quito (egg, quinoa, kale, edamame, arugula, local goat cheese, and magic sauce), sandwiches, such as Bartholomew’s Gobble (house-roasted turkey, herb stuffing, greens, tomato, and cranberry mayonnaise), and salads, such as the Naked Granny Salad (granny smith apple, goat cheese, tomato, onion, and pecans). Or, pick up a fresh pastry to go. The Marketplace is a great place to fuel up before shopping.
Not starting downtown, there are other great coffee and breakfast or lunch places.
Start your expedition to find that perfect gift.
People across the Berkshires will tell you the first stop for unique gift items is Museum Facsimiles. It is the outlet for a local manufacturer of articles for museum gift shops and high-end specialty retailers across the country as well as other specialty items. They carry high-quality leather goods, unique jewelry, cute totes, silk scarves, soft hats & socks, framed fine art, French posters, mirrors, picture frames, letterpress greeting cards, and stationery. There is also plenty of Berkshire memorabilia. It is easy to spend hours here.
Next door, the Berkshire Museum Shop offers a wide selection of toys, gifts, and mementos, often tied to exhibits at the museum. They offer many educational puzzles and games, plush animals, textiles, jewelry, and more. You will also find various items made in the Berkshires, from purses and aprons to children’s books. It is an excellent place for gifts for people of all ages.
Across the street, you’ll find Peace Train Tees. They specialize in custom printing and embroidery of shirts, sweatshirts, bags, and mugs. You won’t want to miss their tie-dye collection. In the midst of everything is an amazing stock of Berkshires items, perhaps the largest collection for sale in the county.
Dory & Ginger, located in the Hotel on North, is a great place to find housewarming, baby shower, and wedding shower gifts — as well as gifts for yourself. They carry higher-end bath and body products like Bar and Co., fun home barware and entertainment pieces, adorable items for little ones, handmade jewelry, and luxurious tunics, wraps, blankets, and pillows
If you are looking for locally made gifts, make sure to stop at the Berkshire General Store, located near the Beacon Cinema. They have a wide selection of mugs, key rings, games, beer cozies, and more that can make great small gifts. They also carry many items from the Pittsfield-based and sold around the world Blue Q brand. Locals know them for much more as a general store, including their sandwich counter and the great variety of ice cream flavors.
Find inspiration for your home.
Designer Annie Selke’s exquisite home designs are sold nationally to high-end realtors. But here in Pittsfield, where the company is based, you can find her products for a fraction of their retail price at The Outlet at Pine Cone Hill on Pecks Road. The outlet store offers classics and trendy pieces from all Annie Selke brands, including Pine Cone Hill bedding, Dash & Albert area rugs, jewelry, tabletop items, storage, robes, art, and more. It is their only outlet store in the world. Check for weekly specials on Facebook. Locals know to keep an eye out for their clearance Tent Sale, which is conducted only a few times a year. If you make the Tent Sale, get there early.
Lovers of Mid-Century and Danish Modern design will not want to miss Circa on North Street. People come from all over the Northeast to browse their carefully curated selection of vintage and antique quality items. You’ll find a great mix of furnishings, lighting, home decor, collectibles, and art. The owner’s keen eye for detail and quality keeps people coming back.
Eclectic-style, one-of-a-kind home furnishings. decor and gifts in Pittsfield may be found on North Street at The Funky Phoenix. It is the storefront for artisans who specialize in the construction and decorating of functional sculptures produced from up-cycled, reclaimed, or otherwise repurposed, less-desirable items. They call it “Salvage Art and Home Décor.” You will call it amazing. You are guaranteed to find unique items that won’t be anywhere else. They have limited hours, so you may want to call before visiting.
They say that time flies, but a wonderful clock can make time soar. The Westside Clock Shop on North Street will tempt you with its many beautiful antiques and modern clocks, including Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, musical wall clocks, and table clocks. There are also time-related items, including magnificent hourglasses, stained glass night-lights, wall art, and solar lanterns. You won’t waste time shopping here.
Find that unique light for your entryway, table, or wall. Clark Vintage Lighting sells new and vintage lamps and specializes in the restoration of lighting from the 1800s to the 1960s. They’re also the only game in town that can repair vintage lighting.
No list of home inspirations would be complete without the largest furniture store in the Berkshires, Paul Rich & Sons. Their 30,000 square foot showroom is located in a historic building in the heart of downtown Pittsfield. In addition to top-quality furniture, you can find genuine oriental rugs, one-of-a-kind accents, lamps and accessories and a handpicked collection of heirloom quality handcrafted furniture pieces.
You’ll look marvelous.
People drive for hours to get the latest styles and great advice at Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men. A fixture on North Street, Steven Valenti created an upbeat, contemporary men’s clothing store where carefully selected casual and formal menswear is offered with great personal customer service. But, what really makes the experience different is the store’s attention to detail, its always fun and entertaining windows, and its colorful clothing. If you are looking for a gift or need to upgrade your wardrobe, he can provide excellent recommendations. By the way, you can’t miss Steven. He always looks dapper and has a pocket square in his breast pocket.
A mom and her two daughters have teamed up to bring us the hippest women’s fashions from the west coast. Don’t be fooled by the size of Kissy’s Fine Apparel. The shop is loaded. You’ll have fun at their Elm Street boutique trying on the trendy and unique LA styles.
Deidre’s Special Day beckons those looking for beautiful dresses, accessories, and gifts for all special events. Find that perfect cocktail dress or gown. Deidre’s is well-known across the Berkshires for bridal and prom formal wear, the Social Butterfly department offers classic, stylish designs for today’s woman for both work or play. Come in, and you’ll find out why Deidre’s has won Best of the Berkshires every year for the past 17 years.
Gently used children’s clothes (infant to size 6), maternity clothes, toys, accessories and all of the baby/ toddler gear you could need are available at Kidding Around, located on North Street near the Berkshire Medical Center. It is a well-organized consignment store that specializes in your favorite kiddo brands. Families can relax and shop while the children can try out the toys. A win-win for all.
Gear up for the active lifestyle.
Everyone knows that the Berkshires is a great place to get outdoors, and Pittsfield has the gear and equipment needed to take advantage of all four seasons.
The Berkshire Running Center is the area’s first and only running and walking specialty store and training center. They have shoes from the top brands, clothing, and accessories that are perfect whether you are just starting out or have decades of experience. They provide customized fittings and analysis for runners and walkers alike. You can even give the gift (or a gift to yourself) of a training session. Their team of trainers are also runners and athletes themselves and offer an experience unmatched in the area. Don’t miss their top-of-the-line 16-bike Keiser indoor cycling studio.
For many people, getting outside in the Berkshires is synonymous with biking or skiing. So, it is not a surprise that Pittsfield has two great shops: Plaine’s Bike Ski Snowboard and Berkshire Bike and Board. You can buy or rent both bikes and skis. Both shops are filled with the latest gadgets, helmets, eyewear, clothing, and accessories. Season-long bike and ski rentals are an excellent idea for the kids. You won’t worry about them outgrowing their equipment!
If your passion is for standing sideways, then get all your skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and streetwear needs at The Garden on North Street. They are known for being incredibly nice, even to those who are new to boarding and biking. For a perfect gift for that boarder in your life, they can guide you to the clothing and accessories that are legit. Or, visit The Garden’s new satellite store at Pittsfield’s Bousquet Mountain Resort for cozy winter layers, goggles, and more. This is also the spot to get your new Bousquet Mountain merch.
A scuba diving shop on North Street? Even though Pittsfield is hours away from the nearest ocean, people will travel hours for Action Sports Travel (AST) Scuba. They have trained multiple generations of divers in the Berkshires and beyond. It’s a great place to start your diving journey with masks, fins, or snorkels or get a new regulator or dive computer. Or, if you are feeling dry this summer and want to do something different in the water, AST offers classes in Pittsfield’s Lake Onota for adults and children as young as eight.
Did we miss your favorite sport? Don’t forget Dick’s Sporting Goods on the city’s northeast side.
Put some sparkle in your life.
You can spend three hours looking at the wonderful jewelry at Pittsfield’s four family-owned jewelry stores. Each one reflects the vision of the owners.
From breathtaking diamonds and wedding rings to designer watches and watch accessories as well as giftware, RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry has it. Their new location on East Street is worth a visit just to browse. It may become your new go-to place for anniversaries and birthdays or when you want to give yourself a treat.
Charland Jewelers has over 200 Diamonds and 300 watches in stock and ready to go. Their inventory of jewelry and watches consists of pieces from $40 to $40,000, including some of the best names in affordable watches, including Citizen, Seiko, Reactor, and Movado.
M. Edwards Jewelers focuses on many one-of-a-kind in-stock designs from more than 20 designers and they do custom design work. Looking for something specific? They can create hand-carved wax renditions of your design as well as CAD/CAM layouts which are formed as exquisitely detailed plastic models before the final casting is done.
Crown Jewelers in Allendale repeatedly wins the Best of the Berkshires award. Established in 1977, they have served generations with special jewelry, rings, and gifts over the generations.
Celebrate your shopping victories with ice cream and frozen yogurt.
There is no better way to finish off three hours of shopping than to celebrate with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Locals argue over which is the best. Perhaps you will want to try them all and weigh in.
Ayelada is an extremely popular year-round spot for high-quality, locally crafted frozen yogurt and vegan frozen yogurt. They use dairy, flavors & toppings from local farms & artisans. Each week features a new set of seasonal flavors from local sources when possible and made in small batches.
Lakewood Creamery, featuring soft serve, hard serve, milkshakes, and banana splits, looks like a retro ice cream stand, complete with tubs of toppings, pastel colors, and a chalkboard menu listing their soft and hard ice cream flavors. Ice cream is sourced from nearby High Lawn Farms, well known in the Berkshires for its high-quality milk products.
If you love ice cream from roadside stands that have served generations of Pittsfield locals, you should seek out King Kone on First Street and Dairy Cone on Tyler Street. Each has a loyal following and lines can be long on a warm summer night. King Kone is known for offering generous portions with a lot of options. Don’t miss their candy boats. Dairy Cone offers a wide variety of flavors, with vegan, non-fat, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. Both are open only during the season.
No ice cream list would be complete without mentioning the only Ben & Jerry’s in the Berkshires. It’s open year-round and its well-known flavors have fans around the world.