Williams is very isolated with an almost nonexistent town, but basic supplies are acquirable if you have a car to drive 15 minutes.
Not so. Williamstown which IS the Williams campus has everything you need (maybe not everything you want). I.e, several "student priced" restaurants, one "parents priced" restaurant, a few coffee places, a movie theater, a bar, a pharmacy, a dry cleaner, a book store, a jewelry watch repair, a stationery, a convenience store, a barber and beauty parlor and plenty of odds and ends like antique stores and galleries. It is really more like a village than a town but it offers adequate services. </p>
<p>Now, if you're hooked on malls or franchises like Gap, Star Bucks, A&F, Barnes & Noble, Pottery Barn -- then you're going to have to drive. Williamstown deliberately kept the chains out of town (except for Subway which snuck in when someone was sleeping). Same for WalMart. That's a 15 minute drive.</p>
<p>"Stuff to do" is generated by the college not the town. There are tons of events to keep you busy -- sports, arts, outdoorsy activities, performances, parties. </p>
<p>The Berkshires actually have a very sophisticated arts scene and Williams specifically has three worldclass museums on or near campus, several performing arts venue, a highly respected repertory theater and many artists, architects, writers, musicians, dancers in residence.</p>
<p>For sure Williams is "STRONG IN PHYSICS & BIOLOGY, good opps for research" moreso, I believe than many of the others on your list. </p>
<p>"Quirky and intellectual yet fun" would describe my son and his friends (2007 graduates) to a T. These are active, multifaceted, happy kids who are also exploding with intellectual curiosity. They are also either non-drinkers or light drinkers. Kids do drink at Williams (and at Pomona, Bowdoin, Amherst and plenty of others) probably moreso than at Swarthmore, but I wouldn't characterize Williams as "an overbearing drinking culture." This aspect of the culture is much exaggerated.</p>
<p>Warm (climate-wise) it is not.</p>