The University of Massachusetts Amherst

About Amherst

Downtown Amherst streetscape

Amherst is the quintessential college town, known for its arts and culture, local food scene, natural beauty, and outdoor recreation.

And the advantages extend beyond the town limits: Amherst is part of the Five Colleges region, a culturally diverse area known for its music venues, restaurants, theaters, independent cinema, museums, and unique retail spots. And students ride free on bus routes provided by UMass Transit, making it easy to get around.

Are you a music fan? The city of Northampton, just down the road from Amherst, is home to a lively local music scene and renowned venues including the Calvin Theater, the historic Iron Horse Music Hall, and the intimate Parlor Room. On campus, the Mullins Center and the UMass Fine Arts Center (FAC) host concerts, theater, and dance performances. You'll find a full schedule of other events, from speakers to social activities, across campus as well.

An art lover? The FAC is also home to three galleries, which highlight contemporary art and work by diverse artists, along with workshops, artist talks, and other events. Not far from campus are a number of other acclaimed museums, including the Smith College Museum of Art, the restored colonial village at Historic Deerfield, the Emily Dickinson Museum, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. In the mood for a day trip? The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), offers cutting-edge visual art and performances in a restored factory complex in nearby North Adams.

Closer to home, Amherst and Northampton are known for their lively restaurant and bar scenes, from fine dining and eclectic cuisine to brew pubs and independent coffee shops. The area's rich agricultural tradition is reflected in its popular farm-to-table restaurants and numerous farmers' markets. Shoppers will find a wide selection of one-of-a-kind stores: vintage clothing shops, used and new bookstores, artisan galleries, music stores, and much more.

Eager to get outdoors? The Amherst area is rich in hiking trails, nature preserves, rivers for rowing and kayaking, and rail trails for biking, with several ski areas an easy drive away. Or get in shape at local yoga studios, gyms, and adult sports leagues. And Amherst's central New England location makes it convenient to Boston, New York, and the Berkshires, so you can take advantage of the cultural opportunities there.

Learn more about all the region has to offer at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, the Amherst Business Improvement District, and Visit Hampshire County.