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Planning your trip to literary Northeast

Planning your trip to literary Northeast
Wharton patterned parts of the Mount's extensive gardens on the landscapes of landmark Italian villas that she had toured and written about. (Susan Spano / For The Times)

THE BEST WAY TO BOSTON

From LAX,

American, United,

JetBlue

and

Virgin America

offer nonstop service to Boston. American and Southwest offer direct service (stop, no change of plane), and

AirTran

, United, Southwest, American,

US Airways

, Continental, JetBlue and Delta offer connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $378. Massachusetts' Berkshire Hills are a three- to four-hour drive from

Boston

or

New York City

.

WHERE TO STAY

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Near Steepletop:

Inn at Green River,

9 Nobletown Road, Hillsdale, N.Y.; (518) 325-7248,

, is a beautifully decorated farmhouse in a valley. Doubles from $149 in September and October, including breakfast.

Inn at Richmond,

802 Route 41, Richmond, Mass.; (413) 698-2566,

, is a graceful 18th century country house surrounded by a horse farm. Doubles from $210 during the week, $250 on weekends, May to October, including breakfast.

Shaker Mill Inn,

2 Oak St., West Stockbridge, Mass.; (877) 385-2484,

, is a charming lodging place near Shaker Mill Tavern. Large rooms, from $99 to $249, depending on the season.

Near The Mount:

Brook Farm,

15 Hawthorne St., Lenox; (800) 285-7638,

, and

Birchwood

, 7 Hubbard St., Lenox; (800) 524-1646,

, are charming, more modestly priced B&B inns. Birchwood, from $175; Brook Farm, from $149; both include breakfast.

Emily Dickson Museum

Amherst Inn,

257 Main St., (413) 253-5000,

, is a nine-bedroom Victorian B&B across the street from the Dickinson Homestead. Doubles from about $115, including breakfast.

Lord Jeffery Inn,

30 Boltwood Ave., (800) 742-0358,

, is a handsome, old-fashioned hotel run by Amherst College, scheduled to re-open this fall after a three-year renovation.

WHERE TO EAT

A few miles east of Millay's Steepletop, miniscule West Stockbridge, Mass., has excellent dining choices, including the casual

Shaker Mill Tavern,

5 Albany Road, (413) 232-8565; French gourmet

Rouge,

3 Center St., (413) 232-4111;

Caffe Pomo d'Oro,

6 Deport St., (413) 232-4616, for breakfast and lunch; and

Truc Orient Express,

1 Harris St., (413) 232-4202, for Vietnamese.

Lenox has some of the best restaurants in western Massachusetts, including

Nudel,

37 Church St., (413) 551-7183, a small spot with an open kitchen serving inventive seasonal cuisine, especially pasta; and

Zinc,

56 Church St., (413) 637-8800, for stylish ambience and French bistro fare.

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