We're Number 1!
Amherst named top college town in North America
UMass Amherst students have known it for years: Amherst is the top college town in North America, offering the perfect blend of New England natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture and energy.
In a story featured on MSN.com in 2009, Katherine L. Cohen, founder and CEO of two college counseling firms, ranked Amherst number one, ahead of Berkeley, Calif., Montreal, Washington, D.C., and Boston. “These are towns where college students love to live and learn,” wrote Cohen. U.S. News and World Report also includes Amherst among its 10 Great College Towns.
What makes Amherst shine? Here are some of the highlights:
UMass Amherst: A major research university in a historic New England town. With more than 27,000 students, the commonwealth’s flagship institution offers top-rate undergraduate and graduate programs, top-notch faculty, and competitive NCAA Division I athletics, including an FBS football program beginning in 2012.
Five College Consortium: UMass Amherst students may take courses at nearby Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, or Smith colleges. The diversity of students from the five local colleges makes energetic Amherst even livelier.
Great Transportation: UMass Transit Services provides free bus and van service to eight local communities and the Five Colleges. And all the buses have bike racks.
Vibrant social and cultural environment: Stroll Amherst’s flourishing downtown with galleries, boutiques, antique shops, and bookstores. The area has 10 museums as well as art, craft, and food fairs. Amherst is chock-full of coffeeshops, clubs, and pubs featuring jazz, rock, and dance music, literary readings, and more. UMass Amherst hosts Broadway shows, dance troupes, and world music.
Fun, affordable restaurants: Amherst has dozens. In the mood for authentic Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, or African food? Affordable pub fare? How about a slice of spinach Portobello pesto pizza? Meet friends for popovers. Or sample something different, like a basil tea roll.
Beautiful natural setting: The picturesque Amherst area is laced with hiking trails, swimming holes, and bike trails to explore. Check out the fall foliage from Mt. Sugarloaf, pick your own strawberries at one of the fertile valley’s many farms, or cruise down the Connecticut River.
To find out more about why Amherst is the number-one college town in North America, visit campus and come see for yourself.