Hampshire County, Massachusetts

Hampshire County serves as the northern tip of the Hartford Springfield Knowledge Corridor, and the represents the middle section of the Pioneer Valley.

The Five Colleges is one of the most distinguishing features of Hampshire County because four well-known private colleges and the University of Massachusetts flagship campus are all found within Hampshire County. Those schools include Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, Amherst College and University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Hampshire County does have the distinction of being an educational center, but the area also has plenty of opportunities for things to do, many people enjoy:

  • the Smith College Botanic Garden
  • the Emily Dickinson Museum located in Amherst
  • the Amherst College Museum of Natural History
  • the Smith College Museum of Art
  • the Yiddish Book Center
  • Mount Tom State Reservation
  • and visiting historic North Hampton

You’ll also find plenty of outdoor opportunities!  You can even tap into maple trees while on a bird walk. The Eastern Meadowlark is one of the most common birds spotted throughout the area, and this makes Hampshire County a popular place to turn to.

The farmland of Goshen, Hagley and Williamsburg is another popular location for tourists.

Throughout Hampshire County, there are plenty of different opportunities to take in the sites, whether it’s a family event, a romantic evening out, antiquing, adventures, bike trails, beer trails or more.

The Connecticut River, the amazing hill towns, the great fall foliage and more, bring plenty of tourists to the locations on a regular basis.

With the Emily Dickinson Museum as a popular guided tour location, Emily’s real childhood home is being fully restored by the new owner, Amherst College. Tours are available every half hour.

Just a short walk from the Emily Dickinson Museum, you’ll find Amherst College with the Mead Art Museum and the Museum of Natural History. This is one of the biggest natural history museums found throughout New England, with more than 1,700 specimens available.

The art collection located inside the Amherst College Museum spans more than 5,000 years.

Other world class museums can be found throughout Hampshire County, including historic Deerfield and the University Museum of Contemporary Art. Together, those museums host more than 100 exhibitions and 500 programs every single year, and more than 1.3 million objects are up for visitor’s eyes.

Popular restaurants include The Lord Jeffrey inside the 30Boltwood Restaurant, with historic views of the beautiful downtown area.

The Amherst Cinema is an independant movie location that serves as an education and non-profit art center. More than 240 films every year are shown on the four different screens and in 20 different languages.

The Amherst Coffee and Whisky Bar also provides a broad range of selections of whiskeys, wines and spirits, opening everyday at 3:00pm.

A popular location for people to visit during the months just before summer is the Smith College Spring Bold Show.

Other opportunities to take in the sights of Hampshire County include Silverscape Designs, provisions for food craft beer and wine, Polaski Park which is adjacent to the Academy of Music, and the Don Muller Gallery. With so many different things to do historically, art-wise or related to culture, Hampshire County is a popular destination across the board.

If you’re into food, you can make a great weekend out of Hampshire County. If you’re a new resident, you’ll be right at home with great restaurants to choose from. There are plenty of places to eat and get some great variety in Hampshire County.

Looking for outdoor seating with delicious Italian food? Viva Fresh Pasta is for you.

Smart and luxurious shopping is right at home in the downtown areas of Hampshire County so you can take in the sites and get done everything you need to while kicking back.

There are many different sites for residents and tourists alike to take in, and the unique hill towns and downtowns make it a popular location.

There are busy and bustling locations like Amherst, East Hampton and North Hampton, but there are more than 20 towns located throughout Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

Filled with small town charm, more people are loving to step into this area and enjoy all that it has to offer. There are so many amenities afforded in what others might consider a smaller area throughout Massachusetts, but given the variety, it’s no surprise that Hampshire has gotten more popular in recent years.

Hampshire County Demographics, Geography & Government

Hampshire County, Massachusetts is a judicial and historical county that is located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

There is no county government appointed in Hampshire County, instead the Hampshire Council of Governments is responsible for many of the administrative issues.

The traditional county seat is North Hampton. It was originally constituted in 1662 from an unorganized territory that made up the western portion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The population of Hampshire County was over 158,000 people, according to the results of the 2010 census. The most populated municipality throughout Hampshire County is Amherst.

Hampshire County today exists as both a judicial district and a historical geographic region. Many of the former functions managed by the county were assumed by state agencies in 1999.

The total area of Hampshire County, Massachusetts is 545 square miles, and 18 square miles of that is water.

It is the only county located throughout Massachusetts that is completely surrounded by other Massachusetts counties.