Lenox : Massachusetts

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What it's Like to Retire in Lenox

Lenox is a small, seasonal town in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. The official population is about 5,000 but it swells to many times that in the summer. Over the years many famous wealthy people made this their summer home; it also became known for its many cultural activities. The biggest thing going on here is Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), in a huge outdoor setting. The BSO puts on major concerts every Saturday night in season, with lesser programs going throughout the week. Music fans come here from all over the world to breathe in the music and the mountain air.  James Taylor usually kicks off the season. Other attractions include The Mount (pictured at bottom right),  the beautiful mansion built by early 20th Century novelist Edith Wharton (who wrote The House of Mirth, Ethan Fromme, and many other best-sellers).

The downtown is quite attractive New England with outdoor seating at cafes and restaurants. Ventfort Hall is another mansion with a museum of the "Gilded Age" that is open to the public - it was the former home of one of JP Morgan's sisters. Nearby Pittsfield has better shopping, while Stockbridge and Williamstown provide additional culture.

 

Where to Retire in Lenox and Home Prices

There are some active communities, CCRCs, and assisted living facilities that might interest baby boomers in Lenox, with more in the area.  In the heart of the downtown there is a large brick retirement home - it looks great with a fabulous location. There are resorts like Canyon Ranch and Cranwell, as well as the world famous yoga and retreat center Kripalu. The median price of a home in Lenox has increased rapidly in the last few years, and was upwards of $350,000 in late 2013-2104.

 

What is special about Lenox

There is a lot special about Lenox, starting with the amazing music programs at Tanglewood. Shakespeare & Co., Cranwell, Canyon Ranch, Kripalu, the Edith Wharton House, and Ventfort Hall are all interesting and special. Add to that a nice downtown with some good restaurants and the beauty of the Berkshires - it's pretty nice! Kennedy Park is very large and has hiking trails.

 

What is not special about Lenox

The biggest drawbacks to Lenox are the price of real estate and the fact that it is very quiet in the winter. It is also a bit remote.

 

Who will like retirement in Lenox

People who love music and culture will adore living in Lenox. The outdoors is also beautiful.

 

Local economy is driven by

Tourism and summer people are the main industries in Lenox.

 

Climate and Physical Environment

Lenox is in western Massachusetts in the Berkshire Mountains.  Pittsfield, Lee, Stockbridge, and Williamstown are not far. Vermont and New York states are close. The average Jan temp is in the low 20s and the average July temp is about 70.

 

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are numerous nice restaurants in the compact downtown, most with outdoor seating. Many of them provide box lunches for Tanglewood picnics.  Tanglewood itself has a new restaurant that is on the expensive side but the food is good. The Tanglewood music scene is one of the top programs in the country. Many of the concerts are put on by the "Fellows", elite students who have come here to study and be mentored. For live jazz music and cocktails, visit the Gateways Inn & Restaurant lounge at 51 Walker St. Shakespeare & Co. puts on plenty of plays. The library is well-funded.  The Mount and Ventfort Hall have interesting exhibits.  Nearby Williamsburg has 2 fabulous art museums.

 

Crime

The crime rate is low.

 

Medical facilities

Pittsfield offers the nearest medical facilities. Albany (NY) and Hartford/Springfield are the closest bigger hospitals.

 

Transportation

Albany (NY) and Hartford/Springfield are the closest big airports. The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in nearby Pittsfield is fun for running/walking/biking.

 

Valuable Links

Tanglewood Music Center

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

The Mount - Edith Wharton's Home

 

What people are saying about Lenox

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Facts about LENOX
  • State: MA
  • Environment: Mountain,Small Town,Cultural Center,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Culture Index: 121+ (very high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

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