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Written by Alessandra Hickson
Since the College’s immediate setting is suburban, when students think of places to go and do something, they often think beyond South Hadley. As a result, the local area is not confined to a single city, but, instead, spans a section of towns in western Massachusetts known as the Pioneer Valley, which is a great area for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. The Skinner Mountain Range runs right through the Five College area and is easily accessible via the free bus. Amherst and Northampton provide pockets of culture that cater to college students, and you can always attend an event held at one of the other Five Colleges. Students tend to stay on campus and create their own fun or take advantage of the free bus known as the “PVTA” to travel between schools and find something to do in the valley.
There is certainly a rural charm in this part of the state, but for those hungry for city life, Northampton and Amherst are ready and willing to satisfy. Of course, it’s not Boston, but it is a place rich with history, a place where a drive of less than an hour will bring you to the heart of farmland. Even if you don’t develop a taste for rural life, you will develop a knack for discovering and appreciating the little things, such as a night in the Thirsty Mind, the coffeehouse across the street; dinner at Johnny’s, a restaurant in the Village Commons; or even a late-night movie with friends in the cozy and quiet Tower Theatres.
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