South Hadley is a city in the Pioneer Valley area of Massachusetts. It is home to Mount Holyoke College.
Boston Logan Airport: Located in Boston, Massachusetts, this airport is about an hour and a half away (95 miles) depending on traffic. Most major domestic and international airlines fly into BOS.
Bradley International Airport: Located in Hartford, Connecticut, this airport is about 45 minutes away (37 miles).
Route I-90 W is the easiest and quickest way to get to South Hadley if coming from an area near Boston. If coming from Bradley International Airport, taking I-91 N and hopping onto I-391 N would be the simplest route.
- Bluebird Airport Shuttle & Car Service, ☎ +1 413 221-4512. Uses 6-passenger vans bringing people to Bradley International Airport, Boston Logan Airport and JFK. Always well-priced, friendly and reliable edit
- Seemo Shuttle, ☎ +1 800 908-2829. They provide a variety of cars and vans to service the Mount Holyoke College area as well as Bradley International Airport, Boston Logan Airport and JFK. edit
- Valley Transporter, ☎ +1 800 872-8752. Valley Transporter may be hired for day outings to a variety of destinations as well as providing transportation to Providence, Bradley International Airport, Boston Logan Airport, Springfield Amtrak, and many New York Airports edit
- Michael’s Limousine Service, ☎ +1 800 533-8470. Provides sedan’s, vans and mini buses from the two closest airports, Bradley and Boston Logan by reservation only edit
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.
If visitors do not have cars, Zip Cars are available for rent on the Mount Holyoke College campus located in front of Skinner Hall with a zip car account. You may register online and an individual password to one of the Zip Cars will be sent to you.
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.
This bus service is not provided in the summer months so alternative transportation is necessary.
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.
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.
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.
Located on Mount Holyoke’s Campus are two walking/running trails. The first is around lower lake and is about a half-mile in distance. In this lake you can see a variety of animals, such as a Mother Goose that looks over a male and female couple of ducks, a muskrat family, turtles, and a variety of fish. Around lower lake there are also picnic tables and benches to sit and enjoy the scenery. The trail around Upper Lake is a much more wooded area. The distance around the trail is 1 mile and is a perfect area for a calming walk or jog in the mid afternoon. In the early morning, or around dusk, this trail becomes extremely buggy and is not quite as pleasant as the rest of the day.
- The Notch. The Notch is part of the Mount Holyoke Range State Park and is comprised of seven sister mountains that run from east to west. There are many hiking, walking, running and biking trails. It is open from sunrise to sunset and is staffed but does not provide tour guides. There are many different trails that range from a beginner level and upwards. If going through the easier trails, sneakers are not necessary and many people have been known to wear sandals edit
- The Village Commons. The Village Commons is a cluster of stores and restaurants located across the street from Mount Holyoke College. Embedded within the levels are water fountains, benches and tables for enjoying the sunshine. This is a great place to spend a few hours just poking around. edit
- McCray’s Farm. Located at 55 Alvord Street, McCray’s Farm is the place to bring children. There is a free petting zoo with a variety of animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ponies and peacocks. There is also a farm-themed mini golf (at an additional charge). Trying their creamy homemade ice cream is a must in the summer. edit
- 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. edit
- Tower Theater. Located 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. edit
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. As the name portrays, this mexican restaurant is authentic to say the least. The cooks here truly know their Mexican food. Choices between green and red salsa on almost every meal to spice it up. Great customer service and charming decor make for an enjoyable experience.
- Dockside Restaurant, offering excellent seafood, as well as a view of the Connecticut River.
- Food 101, A high-end restaurant with the tenderest filet mignon in the five college area. Open from 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m most nights, Food 101 Bistro is the perfect place for a romantic candle-lit dinner. This is not the place for someone on a tight budget, but if travelers would like to splurge a bit, this is the place to do it. The waitstaff is attentive with a wide range of knowledge of wine and beer.
- 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. A popular bar in the area, known for its later hours in the small town of South Hadley. Johnny's has the most delicious baked brie appetizer served with italian bread and a raspberry jam. This place is always hopping and is a family friendly place for all.
- Tailgate Picnic, popular among the local college students for its inexpensive sandwiches and deli-style fare, as well as its gelato and baked goods. All food is freshly made everyday and started off as a family business. This sandwich shop also doubles as a small convenience/grocery store within easy walking distance for students or visitors without cars. In the summer, Tailgate Picnic also serves fresh ice cream and provides outside seating. They also sell a variety of wine and beer year round.
- 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. This quaint coffee house makes cold-brewed iced coffee, lattes, smoothies and more. On Saturday nights they house an open mic for local bands and other musicians to come a show off their talent's. It is filled with comfy couches and armchairs as well as always stocked with books and board games. This is a place that visitors can be alone or meet friends.
- 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.
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.
Willits-Hallowell Conference Center
Located on the Mount Holyoke College Campus, the Willits-Hallowell Conference center is a quaint hotel to enjoy the local beauty and scenery on the Mount Holyoke Campus. The rooms each include a private bath, telephone, cable television, wifi, hair dryer, ironing board and iron, and A/C. Guests also receive access to a kitchenette with a microwave, Keurig and Soda Machine, the Kendall Hall Sports and Dance Complex and a complimentary breakfast Sept-May.
The Kendall Hall Sports and Dance Complex has a variety of activities available. From basketball to squash, there are courts for anything a visitor would want. There is also weight rooms and cardio rooms as well as an indoor and outdoor track, and swimming pool.
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.