Shop Therapy, Main St., Northampton, Ma.
Pinch Goods, Main St., Northampton, Ma.
Happy Valley, Main St., Northampton, Ma.
Raven Used Books, Old South St. off Main St., Northampton, Ma.

Northampton Massachusetts Shopping Goes With Fall Foliage

Northampton, also known as Noho, is a small town with an artsy, off beat atmosphere. September and October bring crisp air and glorious autumn colors to the streets and surrounding peaks. Nestled in the Pioneer Valley, this town has a busy Main Street catering to year round residents as well as tourists and college students. With five colleges in the area, there are several new and used book stores downtown. Also, there are many shops with local artists' paintings, crafts and jewelry, such as The Artisan Gallery and Pinch Goods. Several restaurants, cafes, pizzerias and sandwich shops accommodate the tastes of locals, visitors and students. There are clothing boutiques, outdoor apparel stores and restaurants. For extra chilly days, there is a three level indoor shopping complex called Thornes Marketplace on Main St. The bike trail bridge going over Main St. is adorned with (More)

Pioneer Valley views, Amherst, Ma.

metal sculptures by Sam Ostroff of Salmon Studios in nearby Florence, Massachusetts. This bridge is part of the ten mile Norwottuck Rail Trail, a walking and bike path built where the Boston and Maine Railroad operated. The trail connects Northampton, Amherst and Belchertown.


More shops can be found on Pleasant Street and several other sides streets off of Main. Turn it Up! (there is also one in Brattleboro, Vermont) sells vinyl records. Downtown Sounds is a full service musical instrument shop offering a variety of instruments, as well as lessons. Happy Valley has a fun selection of unique locally made products, art works and crafts. Boutiques offer casual and dressy cloths, warm sweaters and boots, so you can add to your fall wardrobe this year. Sylvester's Restaurant serves a hearty breakfast and is worth the wait.


The Five Colleges Consortium in this region includes Amherst College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and in downtown Northampton, Smith College. Smith is located at the west end of Main Street. The Smith College Museum of Art, the Lyman Plant House and the Botanic Garden are open to the public (check college websites for details, flower shows and admission details.)


Other points of interest in downtown Northampton include the Historic Northampton Museum, the Forbes Libray, the Calvin Theatre, the Iron Horse Music Hall and the Academy of Music Theatre. The historic brick Hotel Northampton built in 1927 is located close to the Calvin Theatre on King Street. There are lots of opportunities to explore the area and enjoy hiking, biking and kayaking. The friendly staff at the Chamber of Commerce on Pleasant Street offers plenty of brochures and information about enjoying Northampton and the surrounding area.


Thornes Marketplace is a shopping complex with three levels of shops, restaurants and cafes located downtown in a restored 1800's department store. There are a variety of clothing and accessory shops, such as 25 Central, Footbeats for Women and Little Blue. Noteworthy has stationery and cards. Jewelry and gifts are available at Cedar Chest, Rebekah Brooks, Blue Marble and Glimpse of Tibet. Restaurants in the marketplace include Paul and Elizabeth's, and Share Coffee & Cafe. Also, there is Herrell's Ice Cream, Heavenly Chocolate and Captain Candy. Find books and coffee on two levels at Booklink Booksellers. The E.J. Gare Parking Garage is next to the marketplace. Also, there are many long term parking lots on downtown streets, such as Hampton Ave., Old South St. and Railroad Avenue.


Nearby Amherst, home to Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has restaurants and a handful of shops also. Amherst College's Mead Art Museum is open to the public. Student docents lead tours. There is the Emily Dickinson Museum on Main Street, a short walk from the town common (check museum websites for hours.) The Inn on Boltwood (formerly the Lord Jeffrey Inn), Allen House Victorian Inn and Amherst Inn provide charming in-town lodging. This picturesque downtown is especially beautiful during foliage season.


Artsy, creative and fun Northampton has many shops to explore. Get a start on holiday shopping, see the fall foliage and enjoy the restaurants here and in Amherst. For more information and helpful links for Northampton and Amherst shops, restaurants, hotels, activities and events, see our Northampton and Amherst page.


-M.A. Barrett (October 2015, updated October, 2019)



King and Main Streets, Northampton, Ma.
Sam Ostroff's metal sculpture on the bike path bridge over Main St., Northampton, Ma.
Thornes Marketplace, Northampton, Ma.
Northampton Wools, Pleasant St., Northampton, Ma.
Shop Therapy, Main St., Northampton, Ma.
Main St. and King St., Northampton, Ma.