The nation's oldest women's college, founded in 1837, is in the center of South Hadley, the southernmost and sleepiest of the Five College towns. The great American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted laid out the center of the park-like 800-acre campus and it is often listed as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Bucolic and small, Mount Holyoke College has an enrollment of just 2200 students.
Among Mount Holyoke's 19th-century legacies is a hand-crafted organ in the chapel, one of the last built by New England's master organ maker, Charles B Fisk. The campus maintains a half-dozen gardens, as well as the glass Talcott Greenhouse, dating back to 1898. To reach South Hadley, head south from Amherst on MA 116. Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (www.pvta.com) routes 38, 39 and B43 run between all five colleges, including Mount Holyoke.