Mass. destination ranks among best small-town arts scenes nationally

"This small New England town is big on artistic opportunities."

Chesterwood in Stockbridge, the former home of American sculptor Daniel Chester French. It opens for tours on May 15. flickr / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

When it comes to the arts, there’s a small town in western Mass. that leaves a big impression, according to USA Today readers.

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Stockbridge ranked No. 10 on USA Today’s list of 10 best small town arts scenes, part of its 2021 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards. The towns on the list all have a population of fewer than 30,000 people as of the last census and are full of museums, art galleries, and performing arts.

Here’s what the publication wrote about Stockbridge:

“Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum to see works from the iconic American artist who lived in Stockbridge for many years, or visit the former summer home of sculptor Daniel Chester French. Other arts highlights include Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, the Berkshire Theatre Group and Tanglewood (the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra).”

The No. 1 small town arts scene in the country is in Tubac, Arizona.

West Rutland, Vermont, “best known for its magnificent works of sculptural art, particularly at the West Rutland Art Park,” according to the publication, also made the list at No. 8.


A Massachusetts park made the publication’s list of 10 best sculpture parks in America: deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln ranked No. 5. Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park in  University Park, Illinois ranked No. 1 on that list.

For the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards lists, USA Today travel experts select 20 nominees in topics from food to lodging, destinations to things to do. Then the publication asks readers to cast votes to determine the top 10.

View all the USA Today winners for best of the 2021 arts scene.

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