13. Amherst, MA
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College
The entire reason much of Eastern Massachusetts has actually been to Western Mass (aside from the Basketball Hall of Fame of course), Amherst is awash in colleges both in, and surrounding the town, thanks to the Five College Consortium. And yet, aside from the many Greek-style Houses of Pizza that make Mass suburbs famous, Amherst can hold its own in drink and eats.
Drink here: The Moan & Dove is one of the best beer bars in Mass, so that’s a great place to kick things off. But don’t get tired of drinking local beer, because you need to then go to High Horse Brewing and drink their beers (oh, and eat their version of tater tots called “Spud Nuggets”). And though the cocktail game in Amherst is somewhat lacking, no one will tell if you cross over the town line to hit The Green Room in Northampton.
Eat here: Well, you’re in luck, because Amherst just happens to have the second iteration of my favorite burger joint of all time (White Hut), so that alone should take up at least four meals. But if you must go to other places, may we recommend Johnny’s Tavern (start with the beer mac & cheese), or grabbing popovers with apple butter over at Judie’s. OR if you happen to find yourself in fancy clothes, hit up 30Boltwood in the Lord Jeffery Inn (Fun fact: Amherst College’s nickname is the Lord Jeffs, which was hilarious when playing against them in college) and then dance with the house short rib pastrami to start, and mess up all those fancy clothes.