Here Not There - UMass Edition

Once you have lived in Amherst for awhile, things can start to get routine and comfortable. We all have our favorite spots to study, hang out with friends, and grab a bite to eat. The best part about living in the Pioneer Valley is that there is so much to do and experience. Step out of your comfort zone and try one of these great Western Massachusetts experiences:

1. Hiking

Hiking by far is a favorite activity of UMass Students. One spot that is easy to get to and close by campus is Mount Sugarloaf. Once you complete the climb a few times, it does get a bit repetitive. If you’re looking for something new, try out Mount Tom! Mount Tom is located in Holyoke and has 22 miles of walking and hiking trails. It boasts picnicking, fishing in Lake Bray, and even cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter!

2. Coffee

Sick of Starbuck’s PSL? Same. If you’re in the center of town, head down to Rao’s Coffee. Rao’s is a local company with its other location in Northampton. They offer amazing coffees, lattes and a variety of sweet treats. Though Rao’s can be pretty busy at certain hours, the decor and vibe are prefect for catching up with a friends or getting some studying done. If you do go to Rao’s with homework be sure to order Ed’s study aid – a coffee with an espresso shot!

3. Classes

Sometimes classes at UMass can feel like a drag. As you get further into your major, classes get smaller and faces become more and more familiar. If you feel like you’re in a rut, sign up for a class at one of the four other schools within the five college area. Take Hip Hop Education at Hampshire College or The Global Coffee Trail at Smith College. Don’t be upset if you don’t have access to a car. The PVTA is free to all students and all five colleges are easily accessible.

4. Studying

Yes, the Dubois Library is pretty cool – at first. It is the tallest academic building in the world and has one heck of a view, (and also a pretty cool geotag). But when it’s 8:00 pm during finals week and you cannot find a study spot on any of the 26 floors, this library doesn’t seem as impressive. If you really want a quiet and scenic space take the 20 minute drive to the Montague Bookmill. The Montague Bokmill is a used bookstore located in a gristmill, circa 1842. You can can even get a bite to eat the Lady Killigrew café or at the Alvah Stone Restaurant and Bar. There is also a great view of the flowing Sawmill River.

Take a walk downtown, hop on the PVTA, or take a car somewhere new. Keep exploring, Collegietes!

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5