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Living a College Town Lifestyle in Northampton, Massachusetts

In the lovely foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Northhampton is a classic college town in western Massachusetts. It is a sought after community among its graduates and many literary types. Northampton boasts a very rich cultural environment, significantly heightened by the presence of Smith College. Several famous movies have been shot here including parts of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “Cider House Rules,” and “Sylvia”.

The town itself has everything one would expect from a town which is host to a leading small liberal arts college. Beautiful homes are set on treed streets. Tourists and students roam the downtown. There are a number of good restaurants that both tourists and residents enjoy. There are a number of parks. The town is known for having a large lesbian community, as well as for being very liberal politically.

Where to Retire in Northampton and Home Prices

The median home value in Northampton was $364,285 in late 2021. There are some active communities in the region.

What Is Special about Northampton

Charming downtown with shopping and restaurants; Biannual Paradise City Arts Festival; Smith College, one of the nation's most selective small colleges; the Botanic Garden of Smith College; parks; open space covers 15% of the city; Rail trail hub; Northampton Independent Film Festival; Thornes Marketplace with shops, gallery, and performing space; Tracy Kidder's "Home Town"

What Is Not Special about Northampton

Winters are cold here and it is a bit remote, and expensive to live here. 

Winters are very cold, snowy and icy.  However having lived there for fourty-five+years Its not by my standards remote. It is only 90 miles (1.50 hours) from Boston, 120 miles (2 hours) from NYC, less than 50 miles (45 minutes) from Hartford CT (major airport) and 25 miles (20 minutes) from Springfield MA

Climate and Physical Environment

Northampton is located in the western part of Massachusetts along the Connecticut River Valley. It borders on New York and just south of Vermont so it has cold winters and magnificent summers, falls, and springs. View Google Map for Northampton

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Northampton has long been known for its art and music. The New Century Theatre is on the campus of Smith College. The Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the arts and crafts fairs in America. The Northampton Independent Film Festival. The Academy of Music is municipally owned and built in 1890. The Forbes Library is the public library.


Crime rate is well below average.

Medical Facilities

Cooley Dickinson Hospital; Holyoke Hospital is 9 Miles; Berkshire Medical Center is 19 miles away in Pittsfield


Pioneer Valley Transit Authority operates buses to neighboring towns. Neighboring Springfield offers AMTRAK service. Hartford/Springfield's Bradley International Airport is 28 miles away. Northampton is average in walkability when compared to other communities.  Use this link for a page that explains the various types of retirement communities .

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Northampton MA

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