Amherst is mainly known as an academic town, but there's also beauty to go with those brains. Amherst's collegiate reputation comes from three prestigious colleges in town: Amherst College, Hampshire College, and UMass Amherst. The grand campuses and bookish feel around the place will leave you feeling inspired; soon, you'll be sitting by Puffers Pond and reciting poetry.
Amherst owes much of its academic vibe to the local heroine, Emily Dickinson, born there in 1830. Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum to learn more about her life and legacy.
Due to its large student population, Amherst boasts a youthful and lively downtown area, filled with quaint coffee shops and bookstores, as well as varied restaurants and even an independent movie theatre. Plus, Amherst hosts one of the longest-running farmer's markets in the area, where every weekend, visitors can buy various handcrafted goods and local foods.
Although yellow school buses don't transport college students into town, there are many travel options for Amherst's students and visitors seeking a Massachusetts hidden gem. Bradley Airport is only one hour away in Connecticut, and the larger Logan Airport is roughly two hours away in Boston. Amtrak trains stop in nearby Northampton and Springfield, and Peter Pan and OurBus provide frequent and budget-friendly access to Amherst by coach.