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Top 6 College Towns That Make Us Say “Wow!”

UC Boulder campus

Image by Hustvedt.

College towns — their size, location and atmosphere — more or less determine the fate of your social life in college. There are a lot of colleges and universities out there. So students, take note! Here’s a list of our favorite college towns in America:

6. Boulder, Colorado

Located in the foothills of the Rockies, this college town is perfect if you’re into outdoor activities. The University of Colorado is surrounded by more than 36,000 acres of recreational open space, conservation easements and nature preserves. So if you’re into rock climbing, this is the ideal spot for you!

5. Chicago, IllinoisChicago waterfront

While Chicago isn’t usually considered a college town, it sure packs a punch for students of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Loaded with extracurricular activities for all sorts of interest groups, the windy city is the place to be. With a rich variety of art museums, concert venues and restaurants, you’ll never be bored in Chicago.

4. Athens, Georgia

store front

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Nothing beats the music scene in University of Georgia’s hometown. R.E.M., the B-52s and Widespread Panic got their start here, which often makes people credit this college town as the birthplace of New Age. Also, with acres of lush gardens (for the gardener in you!), and with all the groups, clubs and sports teams life on campus has to offer, Athens has got it all.



3. Austin, Texasbusy city street

People say that everything is bigger in Texas, and perhaps this is true! The Capitol building, just a mile away from the University of Texas at Austin, is the biggest in the country. Football is bigger, too — the following of the UT Longhorns is almost a religion. Austin is also home to North America’s largest and best-known colony of urban bats, which like to hang out under the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown. Talk about a diverse college town!

2. San Diego, California

students on a beachIt’s both a blessing and a curse for students of San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego, and other colleges in the area, to be in such close proximity to the gorgeous sandy beaches in the city. But they must be doing something right — the U.S. Census Bureau ranks San Diego at No. 9 in its listing of the most educated cities. Perhaps all that sun, surfing and salty air of this college town is good for the brain!

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

Colorful New Orleans street

Image by Mitratech

It’s simple — the Big Easy is a culinary paradise. So if boiled crawfish, beignets, gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches, jambalaya, and Cajun shrimp make your mouth water, the home of Tulane University is the college town for you. And did we forget to mention Mardi Gras? In the heart of the French Quarter, you’ve never been to a party like it. With great food and great parties, New Orleans tops our charts for the best college town!

No matter which college town you decide on, it’s important to consider life off campus as one of the factors in your decision-making process. No matter what you’re into, there’s a perfect college town out there for you!

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