When you are living in Amherst, voted one of the best college towns in the U.S., you are surrounded by intellectual, cultural, and outdoor opportunities.
A quintessential New England town, Amherst has a thriving arts and music scene, great places to eat and hang out, extensive biking and hiking trails, independent bookstores, farmer’s markets and maker spaces.
Amherst, Best College Town
Watch our video to learn more about why Amherst has been named one of the top college towns in the U.S.
Meet Your Neighbors
Amherst is home to more than 30,000 college students, two colleges (Amherst and Hampshire), and a community in which 40 percent of year-round residents have graduate degrees. The Five College Consortium, which also includes nearby Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges, offers free course exchange opportunities. A free bus system connects UMass Amherst throughout the region.
Drop into Amherst’s independent bookstore, galleries, and museums for poetry readings, art exhibits, and live music. The Amherst Cinema Arts Center features current art-house features, classic films, live performance broadcasts, and documentaries, as well as live discussions with film artists. Arts festivals crowd the area calendar.
With so many coffee shops to choose from, you can always find the ideal spot to hang out with friends, focus on your work, debate your philosophy of life, or just relax with the perfect latte or pot of tea.
Amherst’s extensive and inexpensive restaurant scene offers an international feast. The award-winning Antonio’s Pizza is the go-to place for a slice, but you’ll never be bored choosing between Tibetan or Thai, Salvadoran or Mexican, Vietnamese or Persian, Italian or Japanese. You’ll just have to try them all!
Nestled in Connecticut River Valley and surrounded by the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Amherst’s natural beauty is everywhere. Hiking trails, bike paths, swimming holes, river runs, and nature preserves are minutes away from campus.
Five College Consortium
UMass Amherst connects with Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges to form the Five College Consortium, which sponsors cooperative programs. Take advantage of the Five College cross-registration system, which enables you to take classes at the other campuses at no additional cost as well as attend events and concerts, use the libraries, join a club, audition for a play, and grab a meal using your meal card. Bus service between the campuses is free.
UMass Transit Services provides free and frequent bus service on campus, to downtown Amherst and nearby towns, and to the Five College campuses. All buses have bike racks.
Location, Location, Location
Amherst is a two-hour drive from Boston and a three-hour drive from New York City.
There are a variety of guest accommodations in Amherst and the surrounding area, ranging from quaint bed-and-breakfast establishments to larger hotels. Consult the Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors for lodging options.