From The School
About the Region
Mount Holyoke is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in the Pioneer Valley--one of the most beautiful areas in New England and one of the most intellectually and culturally vibrant regions in the United States.
The Pioneer Valley, in western Massachusetts, is home to the Five Colleges--Mount Holyoke, Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This community of more than 30,000 students offers an extraordinary range of activities, including concerts, films, theater and dance productions, athletic activities, and museum exhibitions.
Across the street from the main campus, the Village Commons, designed by award-winning architect Graham Gund, is home to shops, restaurants, a coffeehouse, movie theater, and the renowned Odyssey Bookshop.
The nearby towns of Amherst and Northampton--both reachable by a free bus--offer a combination of cosmopolitan and small-town charm. You'll find great coffeehouses, bookstores, clubs, movie theaters, galleries, restaurants, and specialty shops. The area also offers malls, flea markets, and farm stands.
Nearby Skinner Park on Route 47 offers spectacular views of the valley and the Connecticut River's famous oxbow from atop Mount Holyoke, the mountain for which the College was named. For hikers, there are miles and miles of nearby trails. Water lovers will find opportunities to boat, swim, kayak, tube, and canoe. In the winter, you can downhill and cross-country ski. And for the truly adventurous, the region offers diversions like hang gliding, skydiving, and rock climbing.
New York City is just three hours away by car; Boston is 90 minutes.
Students here are a pretty active lot. As such, they frequently enjoy engaging in “outdoor activities like hiking and apple picking as well as a broad range of athletics.” However, if you don’t fancy yourself the sporty type, fear not. There “are also many clubs to fit nearly every hobby from singing to community service.” Certainly, students can participate in everything “from midnight howling and fandom themed groups to the Roosevelt Institute, NARAL and equestrian clubs.” And a number of students are “active in social justice [groups].” It’s also quite common for these undergrads to simply sit around and engage in “very intellectual conversations...about politics, subjects in brought up in their classes, or maybe just a lively debate about a book or a movie.” On the weekends, many students head “offcampus to nearby college towns such as Northampton and Amherst to socialize because...South Hadley is fairly quiet without many options.” Fortunately, “bars, music venues and really good restaurants” are only “a short (free) bus ride away.” And, of course, “there’s always plenty going on with...the other colleges in the Five College Consortium: from lectures to theatre to concerts to exhibits to parties.”