Smithies have the privilege of living in undoubtedly one of the coolest towns in New England: Northampton, Mass. Northampton is a cultural hub filled with artists, musicians, baristas – people from nearly all walks of life. Living in this town, it’s time that we start to explore NoHo and find all the quaint little shops and the cutest restaurants that we will reminisce about for years to come. So, without further ado, here we have it: The Smithie’s Ultimate Guide to Northampton. Breakfast and brunch is great in NoHo, but don’t forget about dinner. Paul and Elizabeth’s is definitely the place you want to take loved ones when they visit. It is a family-run, natural food restaurant specializing in vegetarian and fish dishes. The mix of flavors creates not only a great meal but also an unforgettable experience. First stop: Haymarket. It’s a small, cozy, vegan/vegetarian café with the best smoothies in town. It also supports many local farms and businesses. Be sure to try the kale smoothie and the delicious scones! Another dinner option is Mulino’s, located on Strong Avenue. This Italian resturant has a warm atmosphere and even warmer dinner rolls. You can hear the garlic sizzling in the kitchen and laughter from the nearby tables. Be sure to try the Rompi Campo: fettuccine tossed with grilled salmon, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, mesclun greens and sautéed mushrooms. Delicious! In search of the perfect iced Americano? Look no further! Head on over to Woodstar Café. Sit outside, order toasted cinnamon raisin bread with butter and quietly relax before starting your hectic day as a college student. On your way back up to Smith, stop by the State Street Fruit Store for some cheese, snacks or, as the name suggests, fruit! Looking for another possible dinner venue? Head over to Ibiza Tapas Bar, also on Strong Avenue. Try anything from octopus with potato foam to lamb over chickpea mash. Then, of course, you can’t miss The Hungry Ghost Bakery near Baldwin House, simply because it smells so divine. Your friends and your tummy will thank you for buying that $6 loaf of bread, paired perfectly with your cheese from State Street. Don’t forget the perfect college dives. Nothing is better than fries and a bacon cheeseburger from Local Burger at 11 p.m. on a Friday night. Try the Captain Crunch chicken tenders and the milkshakes – perfect for sharing! Next, the perfect weekend brunch spot: The Green Bean. The Green Bean features a wall filled with coffee mugs for you to choose from and pancakes with endless toppings. Let the creative juices flow and add anything from pumpkin purée to chocolate chips to coconut. Be sure the maple syrup is flowing too. If you are more into burritos, fear not! Head over to La Veracruzana, a great Mexican restaurant. Check out the salsa bar, grab a chicken burrito to go or take the adventurous route and order a few tongue tacos! Now for the shopping. Everybody loves a little shopping, and downtown Northampton is the perfect place for it. Check out Faces, an eclectic gift shop with two levels of fun and a café coming soon! There are also tons of boutiques where you can check out unique clothing styles. And, of course, there’s always Urban Outfitters! Cross the street and head over to Thornes Marketplace, a shopping center filled with independent shops. Head to the basement for Acme, where a dollar goes further than anywhere else in town. Then visit Cedar Chest, and pick out a new favorite pair of socks. Head upstairs to Noteworthy, and search for your favorite $4 poster. End every trip downtown (and every birthday!) with the famous Herrell’s ice cream. Like us Smithies, Herrell’s was a pioneer in the ice-cream making industry. They were the first to create “Smush-Ins” by mixing toppings straight into ice cream. It might take four years until you find your favorite flavor at Herrells, but there is always the promise of great ice cream!