Hopefully midterm season hasn’t taken everything out of you — I know that at times like this, when we’re so overwhelmed with UMass, we forget that there’s an actual world outside of campus. When you have a day off or even just some free time, do the 15-minute walk or take the PVTA into the town of Amherst. It’s a small town, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. In fact, it was named the 4th best college town in the U.S. by College Rank. They didn’t rank us that high for no reason.
Amherst is bustling with great food, nightlife, scenery, and so, so much more. In downtown alone, there’s enough to keep one busy for days. I recently spent an entire day downtown and loved every minute of it; there’s always something that catches your eye. The first thing I did was have a sit-down breakfast at The Lone Wolf, and not only was the food delectable, the whole environment was equally as pleasing. On weekends, local musicians entertain the patrons.
Once I was done with my meal, I took a stroll down Main Street. I took in a deep breath, and took a second to fully open my eyes and observe everything around me: the smell of the rain, the barking puppy behind me, the beautiful Town Hall building across the street, and the smell of Insomnia Cookies on my right. A couple of months ago, this block was even more gorgeous, with the big tree in the town center lit up for the holidays, emitting a glow over the blanket of snow. While the light from the holidays is gone, we now have spring and summer to look forward to. Warmer days in Amherst are a blessing. On those days, sprawling out with a good book and good company are a must on the Amherst Commons.
Walking by all of these adorable eateries was tempting, so I had to choose another one to explore. Considering all of my options, I finally chose to step in to The Works. The Works, in my opinion, is a cuter, homier version of Panera. It’s cozy and friendly for all ages. And there’s free Wi-fi, which is always a plus (side note, there’s free Wi-fi for most of the town of Amherst).
Once loaded up on caffeine, I decided I need some more entertainment. So, I walked up a block to Amherst Cinema. Amherst Cinema (by Amherst Coffee and Bank of America) is an little bit different from your regular movie theater, playing contemporary independent films and seasonal classics. For entertainment later in the day, there are several awesome bars and places to dance, like Monkey Bar.
After spending a whole day just downtown, there was still so much to be heard, seen, and eaten! Instead of only frequenting the Campus Center and the Student Union, I decided I’m going to spend more time here: maybe spent feasting, watching a movie, or exploring.