Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The top 10 places to visit in the Pioneer Valley

Don’t miss out on these Amherst-area picks
Neilson Library at Smith College, Daily Collegian (2022)

Feeling stuck on campus? Have you wanted to get out and explore WesternMassachusetts but you don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in luck.

Here are 10 PVTA-accessible places you can visit:

10. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Imagine it’s a cozy October evening in 2008. You just came back from school, and you’re sitting on the couch near the window. The trees are turning red and yellow and an occasional leaf flutters down onto the cold ground. You are cuddled up with a blanket, reading your favorite picture book.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, located next to Hampshire College, is the perfect place to transport yourself back into your autumnal childhood memories. The museum has a variety of exhibitions that will surely make you feel as if you are reading your first picture book again.

9. Apple picking at Kielbasa Orchards

Fall is in full swing, and we are all looking for some festive activities to partake in this season. Apple picking is one of the best ways to get into the fall spirit, and it’s a fun activity to participate in with your friends. So, get out there and pick some apples, maybe even try making some apple pie to share with your friends after your trip.

8. Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College

If you are a history buff, a geological enthusiast or even someone interested in the Earth, the Beneski Museum is the perfect place for you. Be prepared to learn all about local geological and geographical history. This three-story museum has loads of fossils that you can examine up-close. Museums are perfect rainy-day activities, and you will certainly be entertained.

7. Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College is another gem of architecture and history. Its library feels as if you stepped into Hogwarts, and if you are a fan of European architecture, you won’t want to miss out.

6. Smith College Japanese Garden

If you need a quaint spot surrounded by nature to recuperate after a long week of classes, try heading over to Smith College’s Japanese Garden in Northampton. Make your way over to the trail that lines the Mill River, and you will find yourself amidst a serene mix of architecture and nature. Stay awhile, and be sure to appreciate your surroundings.

5. University Museum of Contemporary Art

The University of Massachusetts is home to its very own contemporary art museum and if you haven’t visited it yet, you are definitely missing out on a beautiful culmination of modern art. There are various exhibitions that are featured here and their website shows when there’s showcases in the museum.

4. Neilson Library at Smith College

If you are looking for a new study spot that gets you outside campus, try crossing the Connecticut River over to Northampton to find yourself in a library with plentiful windows and books. Find yourself a nice seat by the window and spend a few hours on Friday to get your homework done for the weekend.

3. Downtown Northampton

If you have extra time after Smith College, venture downtown. Northampton is a bustling but quaint town that houses a multitude of restaurants, hole-in-the-wall shops, bookstores, art galleries and more. You will certainly find something up your alley while wandering through this historic downtown.

2. Mount Holyoke Range State Park

If you are into the outdoors or are looking for a quick getaway into the woods, this range is perfect for you. The two main hikes in this area are Bare Mountain (1.1 miles) and Mt. Norwottuck (3.4 miles). Both moderately challenging, these hikes will get you out in nature and encourage you to appreciate where we live. The views at the top are spectacular, and it’s worth the trip. You can even try spotting UMass from the summit.

1. Emily Dickinson Museum

Are you a poet? An engineering major interested in poetry? A booklover? A lover of solitude? If you are any of the above, you may enjoy visiting the Emily Dickinson

Museum in Downtown Amherst. Although you must reserve timed tickets, they are accessible and best of all, free for students. Tours are about 45 minutes, so they are perfect to stop by if  you’d like to get off campus but are limited on time

Kaviya Raja can be reached at [email protected].

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