Smith College founded in 1871, is a private, independent women’s liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. One of the largest women’s colleges in the country, the beautiful 125-acre campus is home to about 2500 undergraduates. Northampton is a lively town with an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, and shops about two hours from Boston and three hours from New York City. Smith is part of the Five College Consortium comprised of nearby Amherst, UMass, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire.
Transportation: The closest airport is Bradley International, served by most major airlines, and is located about 35 miles south of Northampton near Hartford, Connecticut. Many people also fly in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport, 90 miles from Smith. Amtrak's Vermonter stops in Northampton. Smith is a short taxi ride from the station. Traveling by bus? Peter Pan, Greyhound and Vermont Translines serve the area. Most routes go to the main bus terminal in Springfield, where you can catch another bus to Northampton.
Stay: Within walking distance of campus and in the heart of downtown, check into the historic, red brick Hotel Northampton. Alums steered us towards the Fairfield Inn and Suites. For a unique stay reserve the Sticks and Bricks House, a 2-bedroom Airbnb designed by Liz Karney, whose furniture shop, Stick and Bricks is mentioned below.
Coffee: Start your day at Woodstar Café, a family-owned bakery shop, and full- service espresso bar. The Roost, also downtown is a rustic, neighborhood spot serving Gimmie coffee from Ithaca and tasty breakfast sandwiches. Northampton Coffee and their sister shop, Tart Baking Company, open bright and early to bring residents and students the best sweet treats made from scratch served alongside coffee sourced from local farms and coops.
Breakfast: One parent and alum, told us it’s been 20 plus years since graduation and Sylvester’s is still a mandatory stop during her visits; “Sylvester’s is a favorite amongst locals and a legend on the Smith campus. “ The line out the door at Jake’s speaks to their popularity; we hear that Jake’s grits with two over easy eggs can make any morning bearable.
Lunch: Feeling quasi-fancy? Paul and Elizabeth’s in Thornes Marketplace specializes in fresh fish and tempura. Try the tempura lunch or noodle special, or a more traditional salad, sandwich or wrap, many with a creative flair. Prefer something more casual? Filo’s Greek tavern, right down the hill from Smith, has a vast menu, but one student says that even so she still always orders the gyro or chicken souvlaki—it’s just that good. Viva Fresh Pasta is warm and inviting. In the colder months warm up with the excellent French onion soup or their delicious shrimp scampi.
Casual: In search of that hidden local gem? Joe’s Café is your place. It has been a neighborhood fixture forever –there’s no pretense, and always a bit of a wait for good old-fashioned Italian red sauce cuisine. Order the house salad and Joe’s special pizza; the crust is thin and cracker-like—some of the best pizza in town. Families love Northampton Brewery for a burger and an easy bite—one mom raves about the blackened blue burger.
A Step Up: East Side Grill is where students bring their parents when they’re in town. It’s the place in Northampton for special occasions, date nights, birthday celebrations—everyone’s longtime local favorite. One parent suggests the butternut squash ravioli, blackened steak tips and for sure an order of garlic bread. Spoleto’s, an upscale Italian is another popular choice, with an outstanding wine list.
Worth The Drive: The Alvah Stone is a special place, and if you have time worth the 20-minute trip. Set on the banks of the Sawmill River in a 1834 grist mill adjacent to the Montague Bookmill, a used bookshop and art gallery whose charming motto states “ Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” In nice weather dine on the lovely outdoor deck overlooking the river.
Local Attractions: Northampton located in one of the Northeast’s most scenic regions has plenty to offer a traveler. On campus, the Smith College Museum of Art and The Botanic Gardens are both worth a visit. Enjoy a wander downtown, Northampton’s stores are an eclectic mix with something for everyone. Be sure to stop at Thornes Marketplace, a 100-year-old department store that has morphed into a 30-store indoor shopping arcade. The local music scene is impressive. Check the calendar to see who’s playing at the historic Calvin Theatre, an old school small theater that attracts prestigious music acts and comedians. Other venues include the Academy of Music, the Iron Horse, Pearl Street and the Parlor Room. Tour Hampshire Farm, located on the northeast edge of Hampshire College. Download the self-guided walking tour map and wander the fields, pastures, greenhouses, and barns. The walking tour covers approximately one mile of rough terrain so dress accordingly. Pulaski Park is a gem of a green space; on a beautiful day it’s a perfect spot for an alfresco lunch.
Views From a College Counselor: Stuart Nachbar of Educated Quest remarks on his recent visit to Smith College: " Smith College is one of America’s Five Sisters. Like its peers (Wellesley, Barnard, Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke) Smith is a highly selective women’s college and students have access to an impressive treasure trove of resources academic, social and career related.Smith has an “open curriculum.” With the exception of one “writing-intensive” course in any subject, students may choose any course they want from the more than 1,000 in the college catalog, though many advanced courses will require introductory work. Smith College also has a residence life system unlike most other colleges. Incoming students are assigned to houses, residences that have between eight and 100 people. Some have their own dining facilities—there are 13 dining halls on campus. Smithies will typically live in the residences for all four years, but most will not live in the same one over the duration." To see Stuart’s full profile of Smith click here. Be sure to click on the extended profile link at the bottom of the page to see a comprehensive guide that includes facts on SAT and ACT mid ranges, comparable colleges, curriculum, the alumni network, safety on campus and costs—just to name a few.
— Quotes From Campus —
SMITH FAST FACTS
White and Gold
10 Elm Street
Northampton, MA 01063
(p) (413) 585-2500
(f) (413) 585-2123
Deb Shaver, Dean of Admission
NCAA Division III
+ SMITH CHEAT SHEET +
Tart Baking Company
Paul and Elizabeth’s
Filo’s Greek tavern
Viva Fresh Pasta
East Side Grill
The Alvah Stone
+ LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
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