#Basic things to do in Amherst this fall


Stephanie Murray, Writer

As the leaves change color and sweater weather encroaches, we welcome the most #basic season of all: Fall. It’s the season for apple picking, pumpkin-flavored treats and posting it all on Facebook and Instagram.

But what does “basic” really mean? According to Noreen Malag in an article for NYMag, a basic girl “is almost always portrayed as utterly besotted with Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spice Latte.”

Essentially, being #basic means doing the same thing everyone else is doing. But who cares? For those looking to check pumpkin carving, sipping lattes, and all other #basic activities off their fall to-do lists, look no further than Amherst. The college town is in its prime in autumn.


Of course the most typical thing of them all is the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Take a walk to Starbucks in the center of town and order this favorite. The mix of pumpkin spice and espresso will take the edge off any crisp fall morning. But the greatest part is that Starbucks’s best-selling, limited edition drink is now made with real pumpkins and without caramel coloring after customers expressed concern over ingredients.

Switch things up with Starbucks’s first new fall latte flavor in four years, the Toasted Graham, available now. Both Toasted Graham and Pumpkin Spice flavors come in a new, limited-edition fall coffee cup that features whimsical pumpkins and pinecones.

Starbucks, 71 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA.


Amherst is full of apple orchards, so take advantage!

Small Ones Farm on Bay Road is a quaint farm stand with its own apple orchard. Apples are only $1 per pound, so a bushel will not break your college-student budget. Choose between dwarf trees with easy to reach apples and standard trees that are fun to climb.

The best part about going apple picking: you won’t have to steal apples from the dining hall to keep in your dorm room.

Small Ones Farm, 416 Bay Road, Amherst, MA


For those who aren’t ready to say goodbye to summer, ease into the transition with some fall-themed ice cream. Bart’s Homemade Café in the center of town is now serving seasonal, wait for it, pumpkin ice cream! Grab a friend or bring a date downtown on a day when it’s freezing in the morning and hot by afternoon. Take a walk while you eat and enjoy the changing leaves.

Then once you’re there, be sure to hold your cone high for an Instagram picture, #nofilter.

Bart’s Ice Cream, 103 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002 


Each year, Halloween at UMass means a whole lot of interesting costumes, themed parties, free candy and… a lobster dinner?

That’s right; every Halloween, the dining commons host a lobster dinner for students on campus. Although rumors circulate about where the lobsters come from (they’re actually not a gift from Bill Cosby), this unique tradition is a must for students making the most of the season.


According to their website, the Amherst Farmer’s Market has been running for over 40 years. Every Saturday until November 21, over 30 local farms bring their goods to the center of town. With live music and vendors, it has been voted Best Farmers’ Market in the Valley by the Valley Advocate.

So, instead of complaining about the traffic next Saturday, hop out of your car and join the fun!

 Amherst Farmers’ Market, Spring St, Amherst, MA 01002


Temperatures are cooling and leaves are changing, so there’s no better time to squeeze in a nature walk. Get outside and relish in the rich colors of fall foliage.

The Robert Frost Trail is one of the longest hiking trials in Massachusetts. It crosses through Amherst and is rich in local, literary history. Find a guide here, peppered with Frost quotes to inspire you as you set out to crunch through the leaves. Maybe even use one of Frost’s quotes as a photo caption. How #basic.

Robert Frost Trail, Amherst, MA 01002


Football is a fall favorite for college students. What better way to celebrate than with a tailgate? UMass finished McGuirk Stadium renovations last year, so football games and tailgates are back in a big way.

The Minutemen will take on Kent State in the homecoming game Oct. 17. Kick-off is at 3:20 p.m and tailgating starts at 12:30 p.m. Throw on your favorite UMass T-shirt to show your support for Coach Whipple and the team. Take a Snapchat video of the huge crowd and be sure to add the football emoji as your caption.

Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Stadium Dr, Amherst, MA 01003

 Email Stephanie Murray at [email protected], fo follow her on Twitter @stephmurr_jour

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