Naumkeag was the summer retreat for NYC lawyer and diplomat Joseph Hodges Choate and his family. This property is a National Historic Landmark for its designed landscape created by Architect Fletcher Steele. The famous Blue Steps have been photographed thousands of times I’m sure but the property in any season is magnificent.

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The mansion was designed in 1885 by Stanford White and became the property of The Trustees in 1959 allowing visitors a glimpse into the past. In 1929, Mabel Choate inherited the property and oversaw a redesign of the gardens. The house has outstanding views of the Berkshires to the west and also towards Monument Mountain.

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Top Lawn and Tree Peony Terrace

A greenhouse, dairy, and farm produced all of the food for Naumkeag.

The Rose Garden could be seen from the bedroom windows and really needs to be seen from above.  The serpentine paths of gravel wind through beds of floribunda roses.  The railings are painted purple. I love that!!


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The Linden Walk is all dressed up now for Halloween.  It leads into the spruce forest.  There is a statue of Diana at the focal point.

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The Blue Steps are a set of concrete steps that wind their way down to the lower garden and allowed Miss Choate to make a gradual descent to her cutting gardens. The Art-Deco design is considered one of the most famous landscapes in our country.

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The Water Runnel links the fountains for the Afternoon Garden with those in the Blue Steps.  What a delightful feature that attracts wildlife and has a lovely sound.


The Afternoon Garden was the first garden designed by architect Fletcher Steele. There are brightly painted Venetian gondola poles that frame the views of the hilss and enclose this outdoor room.

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The Chinese Garden, a walled garden, can be entered and exited through the Moon Gate.  There is a Chinese style temple, oriental plants and trees including a group of nine ginkgo trees and statues.

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Moon Gate

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Chinese style temple

The Pagoda is constructed of cast-iron on a marble base and framed by Japanese red maples.

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The Evergreen Garden has a circular pool and is a lovely spot for reflection and is surrounded by boxwood hedges. This garden is surrounded by an Allee of Arborvitae that has 24 clipped arborvitaes.

Worth a trip especially during the fall! Enjoy!

Guided tours of the house are available from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. The property is located just out of the center of Stockbridge, MA.

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