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South Hadley

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South Hadley is a city in the Pioneer Valley area of Massachusetts. It is home to Mount Holyoke College.

Get in

Get around

By car

Route 116 is the central artery through most of the Pioneer Valley and the most useful for traveling between its cities. Route 47, which runs from South Hadley to Hadley, is picturesque but easy to get lost on. For travel across a broader area of Massachusetts I-91 is recommended.

By bus

Five College buses run between Mount Holyoke, Amherst, UMASS, Hampshire and Smith. While the service is nominally free only to Five College students, IDs are rarely checked and anyone who appears to be college-aged will likely be able to ride for free. If traveling to Smith you may need to change buses at Hampshire; be sure to pick up a schedule at the Mount Holyoke campus center beforehand.

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) buses provide fixed service to other areas of the Valley.

Peter Pan buses travel from South Hadley Center to most major cities, but you may need to change buses several times during your trip. Tickets can be purchased at Crazy Moon Fashions in South Hadley Center. Be advised that unlike the Five College buses, you will need to show a student ID to get the student rate on Peter Pan bus tickets.

By train

Amtrak provides train service from nearby Springfield to other major cities. Once in Springfield you can hire a taxi or catch a bus to South Hadley.

By plane

The nearest major airport is Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, CT.

See

The biggest sightseeing attraction in South Hadley is Mount Holyoke College's beautiful campus. Filled with trees and seasonal flowers, a stroll through Mount Holyoke can be a good way to kill an hour. Many of the buildings also have beautiful and unique architecture, most notably the library. Be sure to visit the art museum, which showcases the art of both current students and classical masters.

Do

  • Mount Holyoke College regularly offers plays, open lectures and art exhibitions for free or at low cost. Of particular note is Vespers, a joint concert put on by all of Mount Holyoke's music groups around Christmas time.
  • Tower Theater in the Village Commons is a small two-screen movie theater. Performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo! The Genetic Opera with shadow casts are given weekly.

Buy

Eat

South Hadley is home to a number of good restaurants, including:

  • Autentica, featuring a wide variety of Mexican dishes, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
  • Dockside Restaurant, offering excellent seafood, as well as a view of the Connecticut River.
  • Food 101, a fusion restaurant with an extensive wine list.
  • Ichiban, which features a range of Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian dishes. In-house fare includes free tempura ice cream for dessert, while deliveries come with a free drink.
  • Johnny's Bar and Grille, most famous for its make-your-own personal pizzas, with dozens of available toppings.
  • Tailgate Picnic, popular among the local college students for its inexpensive sandwiches and deli-style fare, as well as its gelato and baked goods.

For those on a tight budget, meals can be had at Mount Holyoke's Blanchard Cafe, or in any of the dining halls for guests of Mount Holyoke students. Be advised that while eating at Blanchard can be cheaper than paying $10 per meal in the dining halls, you get what you pay for. You will get better food (and as many helpings as you like) if you have a friend at Mount Holyoke who can get you into the dining halls.

Drink

  • The Thirsty Mind, offering coffee and tea as well as custom Italian sodas (soda water with any combination of flavored syrups added) and a selection of beers and wines.
  • Rao's Coffee, located inside the Mount Holyoke College library. This little shop has a huge variety of unique offerings, including loose leaf tea and, around Christmas, drinks made with eggnog.

Sleep

The only hotel in South Hadley is the Willits-Hallowell Center, operated by Mount Holyoke College; rooms are limited in number and frequently difficult to get. Staying at the Marriot Inn in Chicopee is likely a better bet, although if you are specifically visiting Mount Holyoke it is worth checking Willits-Hallowell first.

If you have a friend at Mount Holyoke who is willing to share her room with you, be aware that guests at Mount Holyoke are limited to seven consecutive days and are technically not allowed to move between floors in the dorm without a student escort. In addition, there is at least one female-only bathroom in every dorm, so male guests may need to use a bathroom on a different floor. Enforcement of these rules varies from dorm to dorm and from year to year, but as being caught could land your host in a lot of trouble, it's generally better not to risk it.

Get out

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