Local Area

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Local Area


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4 College Freshman

Local Area: South Hadley, MA is a very small quiet town with not much in it. Fortunately, Mount Holyoke is part of the 5-college consortium along with Amherst College, Smith College, Hampshire College and UMass Amherst. All these colleges are connected by an easy-to-navigate bus system. It's a very vibrant cultural area and there is always something going on at one of the 5 colleges. Amherst and Umass are located in Amherst, which is a bustling little town with a lot to offer. Smith is located in Northampton, which is much the same. If South Hadley is too quiet for you it's super-easy to hop on the bus and go to one of the other towns for the day.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: South Hadley is a nice neighborhood however it lacks the convince of having more local stores nearby. It is a isolated location. We have to travel to Holyoke or to Amherst to purchase something.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Local Area: South Hadley is a small town and very rural. If you want to go out anywhere you could take the local PVTA bus but I'd recommend bringing your own car. The food in the Village Commons in town is decent but you get bored of it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: The scenery is amazing because the campus is absolutely stunning throughout the year. There is the Village Commons, which is close by campus and has a hair salon, restaurants, a movie theater, and other options. However, going to Holyoke Mall, which has a lot more variety, takes 45-60 minutes. In order to get there, you have to take a bus that is $1.50 each way, and the bus only comes a few times a day. On Saturdays, the bus running to Holyoke Mall leaves at 9:30 a.m, 11:35 a.m, 1:30 p.m, and 3:30 p.m. The bus returning to Mount Holyoke College directly leaves at 3:30 p.m. The bus drivers are extremely unhelpful, and if the last bus has already left, you have to call a cab service, which runs at least $20. There is a Domino's for late night food.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Area: Very small, but still enjoyable.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Since the College’s immediate setting is suburban, when students think of places to go and do something, they often think beyond South Hadley. As a result, the local area is not confined to a single city, but, instead, spans a section of towns in western Massachusetts known as the Pioneer Valley, which is a great area for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. The Skinner Mountain Range runs right through the Five College area and is easily accessible via the free bus. Amherst and Northampton provide pockets of culture that cater to college students, and you can always attend an event held at one of the other Five Colleges. Students tend to stay on campus and create their own fun or take advantage of the free bus known as the “PVTA” to travel between schools and find something to do in the valley.

There is certainly a rural charm in this part of the state, but for those hungry for city life, Northampton and Amherst are ready and willing to satisfy. Of course, it’s not Boston, but it is a place rich with history, a place where a drive of less than an hour will bring you to the heart of farmland. Even if you don’t develop a taste for rural life, you will develop a knack for discovering and appreciating the little things, such as a night in the Thirsty Mind, the coffeehouse across the street; dinner at Johnny’s, a restaurant in the Village Commons; or even a late-night movie with friends in the cozy and quiet Tower Theatres.


Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The Gaylord Memorial Library, across the street from the College, was constructed on the site of a former graveyard. However, the family of the first settler to be buried there, John Preston, refused to move his gravestone, and it can still be seen under an old tree behind the library.
  2. The Five College area is also known as New England's "Knowledge Corridor" because of the high concentration of prestigious liberal arts colleges.
  3. Hampshire College houses the world's largest museum of Yiddish literature and culture.
  4. The town of Northampton is supposedly home to more artists, writers, and musicians per square foot than any other community between Soho and Montreal.
  5. Both basketball and volleyball were invented here-most people know that basketball was invented in Springfield, but did you know that volleyball was invented in Holyoke?
Notable Natives
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Dr. Virginia Apgar
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Elaine Chao
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Daniel Chester French
  • Robert Frost
  • Dr. Gloria Johnson-Powell
  • Herman Melville
  • Suzan-Lori Parks
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Wendy Wasserstein
  • Edith Wharton
Points of Interest
  • Academy of Music
  • Amherst
  • Atkins Farms Country Market
  • Emily Dickinson Homestead
  • Iron Horse Music Hall
  • Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Nash Dinosaur Track
  • Northampton
  • Skinner Park
  • Summit House
  • UMass Fine Arts Center
  • Village Commons
  • Yankee Candle Factory and Candlemaking Museum
Shopping Centers
  • Hampshire Mal
  • Holyoke Mall
  • Thorne’s Marketplace
Movie Theaters
Academy of Music Theatre
274 Main St.
(413) 584-8435
Movie Theaters
Amherst Cinema
28 Amity St.
(413) 253-2547
Movie Theaters
Cinemark (at Hampshire Mall)
367 Russell St.
(413) 587-4233
Movie Theaters
Pleasant Street Theatre
27 Pleasant St.
(413) 586-0935
Movie Theaters
Tower Theatres
19 College St.
(413) 532-3456
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: hockey
  • Boston Celtics: basketball
  • Boston Red Sox: baseball
  • New England Patriots: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • New York City: NY: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 49 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 48 responses

  • 2% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 10% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 46% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 42% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 50 responses

  • 94% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 4% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 2% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 49 responses

  • 4% Totally.
  • 33% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 63% No way.


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