Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Junior

Local Area: Although it is in the middle of nowhere there are actually a lot of things to do around campus. Lots of places to shop, including a small mall in the neighboring town, quirky shops in Norhthampton, and a large mall about 25 minutes away in Holyoke. We also are not too far away from six flags. There are a lot of bars and restaurants around, and most have something going on many nights of the week including happy hour, trivia, and karaoke.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: Amherst is a cute little town thats fun to venture into when you have homework (lots of cute little coffee shops) or on the weekend when you want to go to the bars or out with friends. North hampton is a town about 20minutes away that adorable and has lots of shopping and fun things to do as well. Great local area

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4 College Sophomore

Local Area: Amherst is a small town with it's center being the most exciting. There are many restaurants and shops. Down the road is Amherst College, whose museum is open to the public. There are festivals, parades, and races going on throughout the school year.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: When people say Local Area, I automatically think of downtown amherst which is super friendly, and has a bunch of food, and at the beginning of the fall semester they had a block party where everyone was welcome to eat and dance. It's a truly welcoming atmosphere with free bus transportation for students. There is street parking and some parking lots but most of the parking you need to pay for.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: It's a great college town. Lots of small shops and things to do, it can get a bit pricey on a college budget though.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Amherst is a lively college town that exemplifies the typical New England atmosphere, and the richness and volume of culture in Amherst and nearby Northampton contribute to a truly unique college experience. Amherst Center, which has many quality restaurants, cafés, and shops, is within walking distance of campus and is also accessible by bus. Northampton, only a short bus ride away, offers more quirky shops and lots of live music. The area is known for hosting a wide variety of concerts, where attendees often come from great distances. In recent years, artists such as Phish, Bob Dylan, and Guster have come to the area, just to name a few. Additionally many up-and-coming musicians and rap artists come through, as well as a wide variety of EDM DJs. UMass Amherst has a very prominent music club called MASS EDMC, which promotes and hosts various DJs like Tiesto. The local museums and galleries are not to be missed, and there are plenty of bars and a few clubs in the area. During the spring and fall semesters, Amherst gets crowded and takes on the likeness of a metropolis due to the presence of all the students from UMass as well as the four other local colleges. However, during summer and winter breaks, Amherst could pass for a rural farming community. In terms of outdoor activities, there are many opportunities in Berkshire County. One of the most popular spots is Puffers Pond, where students go to hang out, swim, or even jump off a cliff! Bicyclists enjoy the Norwottuck Rail Trail, a path that spans 10 miles from Belchertown to Northampton. For golfers, there are three courses, the most popular being Cherry Hill, since it is owned by the town and is therefore the most affordable. The Mt. Holyoke Range State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities from climbing Mt. Tom to snowmobiling.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Emily Dickinson, the famous poet, lived her whole life in Amherst. Most of her poems were published posthumously—only about a dozen were published while she was alive, but they were heavily edited to fit conventional taste and punctuation.
  2. In 1885, Charles King had a barbershop on the second floor of Cook's Block in Amherst. He was, however, known less for cutting hair than for his feat of eating 50 raw eggs in 15 minutes. Two hundred people gathered on Main Street as he swallowed the eggs and collected a $30 prize.
  3. The movies "In Dreams" and "Malice" were filmed in Amherst.
  4. Sylvester Graham, the Amherst native who was known as "the Philosopher of Sawdust Pudding," was an early advocate of vegetarianism and the man for whom the graham cracker was named.
  5. The town of Amherst was named after Lord Jeffery Amherst, a British Army Officer who served in three separate wars: the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War, and the French & Indian War.
Notable Natives
  • Emily Dickinson – poet
  • Robert Frost – poet
  • James Tate – poet
  • Noah Webster – dictionary author
Points of Interest
  • Downtown Amherst
  • Emily Dickinson Museum
  • Northampton
Shopping Centers
  • Hampshire Mall
  • Holyoke Mall
Movie Theaters
Amherst Cinema
28 Amity St.
(413) 253-2547
Movie Theaters
Cinemark at Hampshire Mall
367 Russell St.
(413) 586-5700
Movie Theaters
Tower Theaters
19 College St.
South Hadley
(413) 533-3456
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: NHL
  • Boston Celtics: NBA
  • Boston Red Sox: MLB
  • New England Patriots: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: : 2 hours
  • New York City: : 3 hours
Did You Know?
One way to tell a local from an outsider in Amherst is the way they pronounce Amherst. Outsiders say "Am-herst," while locals say "Am-erst."

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 176 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 176 responses

  • 3% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 72% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 18% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 3% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 3% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 176 responses

  • 74% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 24% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 1% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 176 responses

  • 15% Totally.
  • 45% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 39% No way.



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