Immediately following my trip to Smith College's Botanic Garden this weekend, I went into downtown Northampton for dinner and some window shopping with friends. I had never visited before, but had been told since the start of my freshman year that it is a must-visit spot at some point in your UMass career, so I took my chance to finally go! Unfortunately, the weather was pretty dismal due to light rain, but the downtown area was still very lively.
First, we went into Urban Outfitters, where I learned that the building actually used to be a bank. It had beautiful high ceilings and was definitely the coolest Urban I've ever been into because of how unique the architecture was for a retail store! Next, we poked around some knick-knack type gift shops and checked out a cute used-book store. Then, we visited Sweeties Fine Chocolates, an adorable candy store with a decent selection. I got a roll of Giant Smarties, one of my favorite candies as a kid, which was a perfect fit for the nostalgic penny-candy feel of the shop!
Finally, we ended our trip to Northampton with the gem we had been waiting for: The Local Burger! With a wide variety of menu items at reasonable prices, and even delicious vegetarian options, eating at The Local Burger is definitely a must when visiting Northampton. I ordered a burger with their house-made chipotle ketchup (highly recommend!) and shared some fries, which were perfectly crispy and well-seasoned. Luckily we got there early enough to not have to deal with any lines or have to fight for a table, but I have been told it gets pretty crowded due to how popular it is!
If you're looking for a fun afternoon of good food and local business shopping, I highly recommend taking a trip into downtown Northampton during your time at UMass! You won't regret it!