Jacqueline Zuzgo
Five College REALTORS ® | 413-221-1841 | jacqui@jacquizuzgo.com
Amherst Named North America's Top College Town


For UMass students who love to live there, it's no surprise that Amherst has gone all the way to number one among college communities. Think New England natural beauty meets cosmopolitan culture and energy.  

In a story reported by MSN.com, Katherine L. Cohen, founder and CEO of two college counseling firms, ranks Amherst ahead of such famed cities as Berkeley, Calif., Montreal, Washington, D.C., and Boston. "These are college towns where students love to live and learn," she writes.

What makes Amherst stand out? Here are a few of Cohen's highlights:

UMass Amherst, a major public research university with more than 25,000 students. The Commonwealth's flagship institution offers top-rate undergraduate and graduate programs, acclaimed faculty, and competitive Division 1 athletics.

The Five College consortium makes courses available at no extra charge to UMass Amherst students at nearby member institutions Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges. Together, the diversity of students makes a lively town livelier still.

UMass Transit Services provides frequent free bus and van service to the Five Colleges and eight local communities. All the buses have bike racks.

Amherst's flourishing downtown with its galleries, boutiques, antique shops, and independent bookstores supports a vibrant social and cultural scene. Add coffee shops, clubs, and pubs featuring jazz, rock, and dance music, literary readings, and much more. Plus UMass Amherst hosts Broadway shows, dance troupes, and world music. Ten museums are within easy reach and art, craft, and food fairs abound.

Dozens of lively, affordable restaurants all over town offer authentic ethnic foods-Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, African, and many more. And it's easy to find traditional pub fare or remarkably imaginative pizza by the slice.

The picturesque Amherst area, crisscrossed by hiking and bike trails, is full of conservation areas. Take a dip in a nearby swimming hole, go leaf-peeping in fall on nearby Mt. Sugarloaf, pick strawberries at a local valley farm or paddle down the scenic Connecticut River.

To find out more about why Amherst is North America's top college town, come visit campus and see for yourself.