Visit the Amherst Area
Hampshire & Franklin County in the Pioneer Valley
Arts, Culture, & Entertainment
Hub of leading research, innovation, and scholarship
Agriculture & Food Culture
Deep Roots, Farm Fresh Food with Global Flavor
Feeling bookish? Looking for intellectual stimulation? You came to the right place. Home to poets Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, Amherst has a long literary history, only enriched by the colleges and University in the region. A history buff? Explore The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley, dive into the tale of the Quabbin Reservoir in Pelham and Belchertown, discover the past in the special collection archives at the Jones Library, or channel the spirit of Mabel Loomis Todd at the Amherst History Museum.
Looking for a night on the town? Enjoy live music, a film at the Amherst Cinema, a performance at the UMass Fine Arts Center, or spend the evening touring restaurants, libraries, galleries, and museums as part of our monthly Arts Night Plus.
A Few of the Highlights
Amherst Center Cultural District
The Amherst Center Cultural District occupies much of downtown, including the town Common, museums, independent bookstores, a fine arts cinema, art galleries, parks, multiple venues for musical performances, many unique restaurants, and outdoor murals. The Massachusetts Cultural Council designated Amherst's town center as a Cultural District in 2016 in recognition of the concentration and vitality of its artistic and cultural resources.
The Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. Here is an introduction to the "other side" of Massachusetts:
Why all the love for Hampshire County? We'll show you.
Hampshire county in Western Massachusetts is city living meets homesteading, where you can sip a cosmo, dine on creative cuisine, and see a cow or two. In one weekend, you can explore our world-class museums, our rocking music scene, our bustling downtowns, and hike to the peak of a mountain or snowshoe our iconic rail trails.
We're not shy in saying: Hampshire County has got it going on!
We invite you to be yourself —whether you're marching in our Pride Parade in a rainbow tutu or you're holed up in a library reading about our history with buttons. Hampshire county is one of the most inclusive places in the nation, and we embrace residents and visitors just the way they are. Use this visitors' guide to find favorite hotspots in and around Amherst, Easthampton, Northampton, South Hadley, and hidden gems in the hilltowns.
Learn more about our region at Visit Hampshire County.
The Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council (HCRTC) is a partnership of the Amherst Area, Greater Easthampton, and Greater Northampton Chambers of Commerce in Western Massachusetts. Since its launch in August 2010, its work has focused on planning how to successfully promote the area, while building industry support for its efforts. One of 16 Regional Tourism Councils in Massachusetts, the HCRTC receives a portion of its funding from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The RTCs develop regional advertising, public relations, brochures, and other marketing initiatives throughout the year. The RTCs are an invaluable resource for learning about attractions, accommodations, events, restaurants, retail, networking, and other tourism businesses.
In the Neighborhood...
Amherst is a private, not-for-profit college that for almost two centuries has prepared students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. At Amherst, you are part of a lively, inquisitive, devoted community of students, faculty, staff and alumni who find inspiration in one another and in the process of learning.
UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts, the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.
Five Colleges, Incorporated, sustains and enriches the excellence of its members -- Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst -- through academic and administrative collaboration. The consortium facilitates intellectual communities and broad curricular and cocurricular offerings; affording learning, research, performance and social opportunities that complement the distinctive qualities of each institution.
Deep Roots, Farm Fresh, & Global Gastronomy
From its deep agricultural roots to its sophisticated culinary and cocktail culture, the Amherst area is a must place to visit. The options are as rich as the soil here. Hadley, regarded as the "Asparagus Capital of the World," hosts the annual Asparagus Festival on its historic New England Town Common. The book and the plow —Amherst's official seal—reflects the town's roots as an agricultural and educational community.
From farm to table. The fertile soil yields the delicious ingredients featured on kitchen tables throughout the Valley and in our local restaurants. These fresh and healthy ingredients are combined with global flavors to create a worldly dining experience in the Amherst area. Taste Downtown Amherst's Culinary Culture or view the Chamber's Restaurant, Food & Beverage Member Directory.
Planning the perfect adventure to the Other Side of Massachusetts just got easier!
Check out the new trip planning tool on Visit Hampshire County which enables you to build a custom itinerary of sites and attractions and find places to eat, shop, and play along the way.