After coming so close to the ephemera of the author, also visit his old home on the south side of town, Arrowhead (780 Holmes Rd., 413/442-1793, www.mobydick.org , 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. with tours hourly 10 a.m.–3 p.m. daily late May–mid-Oct.; tours by appointment only mid-Oct.–late May, $12 adults, $5 students, $3 children 6–14, free children under 6), where Melville actually wrote Moby Dick. Fans will appreciate the view from the room where he completed his masterpiece about the white whale, from which the ridge of Mount Greylock  looks uncannily like the back of a sperm whale.
One of the most curious religious subcultures in America, the Shakers are known for their excellent furniture, their habit of shaking themselves into trances, and their strict separation of men and women, which probably led to their demise as a culture. The Hancock Shaker Village (1843 W. Housatonic St., Rtes. 20 & 41, 413/443-0188, www.hancockshakervillage.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr.–mid-Oct., $16.50 adults, $8 children 13–17, free children under 13) provides an eye into their lifestyle in an authentic village preserved from the mid-19th century.
Chances are you have Crane paper in your pocket. The official suppliers of paper for American currency reveals the secrets of its craft at the Crane Museum of Papermaking (30 South St., Dalton, 800/268-2281, www.crane.com , 1–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri. June–mid-Oct., free), located in a historic old stone mill.
A great rainy-day destination for families, the Berkshire Museum (39 South St., 413/443-7171, www.berkshiremuseum.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.; 12–5 p.m. Sun., $11 adults, $6 children 3–18, free children under 3) has a mummy, aquarium tanks, and children’s toys created by modern artist Alexander Calder.