It’s no secret that getting litty at townhouse/frat darties is a popular activity when the temperature in Amherst reaches anywhere above 60 degrees. But let’s face it— it’s finals season and day drinking sometimes isn’t an option and you just really don’t have the energy to go out. Plus, to be honest, darties get pretty gnarly after a few hours and people get increasingly gross after their eighth strawberry lemonade Natty Light. Have no fear, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the warm weather with your friends or on your own!
Located throughout campus are a bunch of green spaces perfect for working on your summer tan. My personal favorite place to find some peace and quiet outside is on the Central residential area hill. It’s a bit of a hike for anyone that doesn’t live in Central or Orchard Hill but it’s so worth it if you want a lot of room to lay down a towel and soak up the sun. If you stay there long enough or go at just the right time, you can catch an incredible sunset (a perfect place for an inexpensive date hint hint). If the hill is simply too far from you, there’s a great place outside of the Pierpont and Moore dorms in Southwest. It’s a little smaller and not as great of a view but still awesome for catching some rays. This is also a perfect spot to play some Kan Jam or Spike Ball because the ground is relatively flat.
Okay, this one is definitely not a super appealing option but grades are coming to a close and it’s make it or break it time to get that A you’ve been striving for all semester. Wifi is available all over campus so working on that final paper or project is totally doable while sprawled out on one of the lawns mentioned above. There are also outdoor tables scattered all throughout campus that make ideal work spots if lying down is going to tempt you take a nap in the sun. A great place to catch up on assignments is right above Campus Center. It’s usually pretty quiet and you can reward yourself after you’re done studying with a milkshake from The Grill in Blue Wall Cafe.
If sunbathing is a little too boring for your liking then jazz it up by grabbing some friends, food, and a blanket to camp out and have a classic picnic in the warm weather. Drinking outdoors on campus at any age is against the law in Amherst but if you live in a house off UMass property then it’s a great opportunity to crack open a Mike’s while chowing down on a few slices of pizza from Antonio’s and listening to the latest Jonas Brothers hit. If you plan on drinking outside, double check the rules and regulations about alcohol consumption in Amherst, MA at this link.
Warm sunshine plus cool breezes equals perfect hiking weather. Not too far from UMass are some great places to get your cardio on. Located in South Deerfield, Mount Sugarloaf is a moderately easy hike and has a gorgeous view once you reach the top. UMass’ own Outing Club often takes group trips to this location and leads you through the trails so if you want a guide to help you up the mountain then you can sign up online (for free!) and travel with them.
If by chance the weather gets super warm and you’re feeling particularly brave, you can take a short bus ride over to Puffer’s Pond for a dip in the water. Granted, the pond will probably be pretty chilly (take it from someone who jumped in in the middle of April) but it’s a beautiful place to relax and explore. This location is super popular with the surrounding colleges but it’s also a place where parents take their children so keep this in mind if you plan on coming here. Let’s be respectful of the kiddos that are playing on the beach (we don’t want the treasure that they’re digging for in the sand to be an empty beer bottle). This spot is also great for taking a run/casual stroll and there’s a gorgeous waterfall along the walking trail.
If parting in the middle of the day isn’t really your thing or you’re saving your energy to go out at night, then these activities are definitely a must. Nearly all of them are free or extremely budget-friendly so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. You’ll get all the pleasure of staying in the sun with zero worrying about hangovers or getting busted by the cops. Happy sun bathing, y’all!