Top College Towns to Visit

  • Austin, TX
  • Providence, RI
  • Oxford, MS
  • Boulder, CO
  • St. Augustine, FL
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara, CA

    Santa Barbara, CA

    With five institutions of higher learning "in the neighborhood," Santa Barbara always has a lot going on. No matter what kind of vacation you have in mind, Santa Barbara is a great choice. It's a resort destination that's  also well-suited to outdoorsy types and fitness buffs. And don't forget nearby wine country . . . 

    Photo courtesy of Damian Gadal/Flickr

  • Downtown Austin during South by Southwest

    Austin, TX

    Austin is a delightful destination, with some of the best bars, live music venues, and restaurants in Texas.  It's also a high-tech center with a strong economy.   While UT-Austin is the dominant campus, there are also several other schools in the city, so the population is young, fun, and highly creative.   Look for the statue of favorite son Stevie Ray Vaughn on the shores of Town Lake.

    Photo courtesy of Davidlohr Bueso/Flickr

  • Roosevelt Lake, Providence, RI

    Providence, RI

    In 2009, Providence deliberately rebranded itself as "Creative Capital" in an attempt to underscore a new emphasis on educational resources and the arts. The rebranding was successful and justified; Providence is a more than worthy New England destination.  Home to the famed Rhode Island School of Design, it's also filled with creatives.

    Photo courtesy of Josh McGinn/Flickr

  • Tailgating at the Grove in Oxford, Mississippi

    Oxford, MS

    As the home of Ole Miss, Oxford is a top-tier college town in every sense of the term.  Ranked by USA Today as one of the top college towns in America, Oxford has a charming town square (Don't miss Square Books).  The beautiful antebellum Ole Miss campus lies adjacent to downtown.   Keep an eye peeled for local resident and best-selling author John Grisham.  

    Photo courtesy of Ken Lund/Flickr

  • Mountains behind downtown Boulder

    Boulder, CO

    Boulder is the destination for outdoorsy types.  In no small part thanks to the presence of the University of Colorado, the city's vibrant population is young, healthy and liberal.  Boulder consistently garners top marks on quality of life, and the dining options are fantastic.  Take a hike up into the Flatiron Mountains, or take your bike:  the city is completely geared for cyclists.

    Photo courtesy of Aidan Grey/Flicker

  • St. Augustine Pier

    St. Augustine, FL

    Home to three institutions of higher education, including the eye-popping and elegant Flagler Colleger - St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied European-established city in the continental US.   You can spend days leisurely wandering its historic pedestrian-only streets.   Watch out for pirates and wenches, which regularly stroll city streets.  

    Photo courtesy of John Tuggle/Flickr

  • Princeton in autumn

    Princeton, NJ

    Princeton is an historic college town, and when visiting you'll want to stroll its idyllic university grounds as much as possible.  As with many destinations in this region, fall is a spectacular time to visit.

    Photo courtesy of Joe Hall/Flickr

  • San Francisco Peaks and Snowbowl just outside of Flagstaff

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Flagstaff is a funky little mountain town that on many levels evokes the Wild West. Its downtown area is particularly alluring, with its historic hotels and former brothels, though for many the primary draw of the city is skiing and proximity to the Grand Canyon.  Northern Arizona University calls Flagstaff home.  

    Photo courtesy of Bill Morrow/Flickr


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