Oh, to live in a college town! The atmosphere is always great and fun fueled by the still fresh spirit of youth. There will be never-ending parties and drinking and there will most likely be a sports culture, regardless whether the schools in the area are for jocks or for the smart ones. If you want to stay forever young, try living in one of these top 10 college towns.
10. Amherst, Massachusetts
It is the home of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Amherst College and Hampshire College. Also nearby are Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. Together, they make up the so-called Five College Consortium. It is one of the most progressive and liberal regions in the entire United States. It is also known as Happy Valley, what with its diverse art and music communities and young population. The population is known to be politically active, owing to the large number of liberal students in the area.
9. Ann Arbor, Michigan
It is a town that is pleasing to the eye and it is not just because of the pretty young things from the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, or A-two, is also known as Tree Town. The school employs 30,000 people, with almost 12,000 in its medical center. This makes it one of the most important cogs of the local economy. Which is probably why support for its teams can be loud and boisterous as the entire town gets behind the Wolverines. Try going there in an Ohio State jersey during football season and you will get to taste how rabid Ann Arbor residents are.
8. Athens, Georgia
This is the home of the University of Georgia and the school is responsible for the growth of the city. What’s great about this is that the school has more than just one hated rival. They have historic tiffs with Georgia Tech, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. That presents more opportunities for fun tailgating during the college football season. The town also has a great music scene. Bands like B-52s and R.E.M. had their start in Athens in a place called 40 Watt Club.
7. Austin, Texas
It is the home of both the University of Texas and St. Edwards University. Austin has a lot to celebrate about aside from its perennially strong football team. The city has a lively music scene, making it “The Live Music Capital of the World.” The PBS network has a long running show based in the city called “Austin City Limits.” The city prides itself in being eclectic, giving rise to the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” They possess Texas-style independence with a population that leads a liberal lifestyle. Unique local businesses are protected. It also has a strict no-smoking policy in all public places.
6. Berkeley, California
It is the home of the University of California’s main campus. When one says college town, Berkeley is one of the first places that come to mind. It is one of the most politically liberal areas in the country. The city’s art and music scene are always alive and kicking. It also has a lively film center. Berkeley is also in the forefront of a lot of political activities, with one study naming it the third most liberal city in the country.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Now, this is a college town. It is where you can find Boston University, Boston College, Boston Conservatory, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Emmanuel College, Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, Suffolk University and Simmons College. And that list is still far from complete. It is estimated that there are more than 250,000 college students in this college town. The only problem here is if you can find enough time to do all the activities available in the area, be it sports, arts, music, bars and historical places.
4. Boulder, Colorado
It is the home of the University of Colorado. The community atmosphere in this town is fun and far from intimidating. The city is blessed with an amazing view of the Rocky Mountain, so it should come as no surprise that people in this place enjoy the great outdoors. Several film festivals are held here each year. The city has also been ranked as one of the 10 best cities to live in and watch out for in the next few years.
3. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
This is a charming little town that is home to the University of North Carolina. The town makes up one of the Research Triangle, along with Raleigh and Durham, home of the hated Duke University. Just imagine that Michael Jordan once spent a lot of time roaming the same streets of this municipality. Surely, he would have spent time along Franklin Street, which is one of the most famous college town thoroughfares in the country. The street epitomizes Chapel Hill’s vibrant night life, with its bars, museums and countless coffee shops.
2. Charlottesville, Virginia
The pretty town of Charlottesville boasts of the University of Virginia, a couple of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and three ex-presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison all came from here or from the nearby town of Orange. Jefferson’s home on top of the mountain attracts half a million tourists each year. That and the University of Virginia itself are considered as World Heritage Sites. The city has a lot of attractions and offer a lot of hiking opportunities. It is also where the musician Dave Matthews comes from. It makes this college town one place you want to crash into.
1. Madison, Wisconsin
It is the capital of the state of Wisconsin and it has been consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live in. It boasts of the University of Wisconsin, a school that serves as an important part of the city as it plays a significant role in the city’s economy and cultural scene. Madison has also been ranked as one of the top places for a college graduate to go to.