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What are the best college towns to travel to?

There are lots of surveys touting the best schools to attend, and plenty about the best college towns to live in. But what about the best college towns to visit? It’s an important question: If you’ve got a loved one heading off to school, you’d prefer it being in a place you’ll enjoy traveling to. And if you’re the one selecting an institution of higher learning, remember that the more your friends and family like the town, the more they’re likely to come visit.

Bing Travel has compiled such a listing in a new photo gallery that names our picks for the best college towns in the U.S. The size of the destination didn’t matter, but it had to be someplace people would want to travel to, and it had to house a significant college or university within the town itself. We came up with some of the usual suspects (we wouldn’t even try denying Boston or Austin, for example), but we also came up with a few places that aren’t typically thought of as college towns, such as San Diego and New Orleans.

It doesn’t take a bachelor’s degree to know that not everyone’s going to agree with the lineup we came up with. Don’t see your favorite college town here? Don’t take it lying down! Tell us what you think the best college towns are — and why — in the comments section.


  • article picture is of the University of Washington quad

  • Rimouski, Québec.

  • Chico State....Chico, California.

  • THE BIG HOUSE! - University of Michigan stadium

  • I always see Boston and LA as the best college towns to visit.

  • Clemson, South Carolina- Homecoming weekend.

  • Charlottesville, Virginia - home of The University.

  • Kent State

  • Dresden - Saxony!

  • Lynchburg, Virginia.  Yes, you heard me right.  Lynchburg is a small city in Central Virginia that is home to Randolph College and Lynchburg College (both small private liberal arts and sciences colleges) and Liberty University, a large Christian affiliated school.

    Lynchburg is a beautiful town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The area offers a host of activities for the outdoor enthusiast - hiking, biking, boating, canoeing, golf, skateboard park, white water rafting, or fall leaf peeping on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    The area is replete with historical attractions including the National D-Day Memorial, Booker T Washington's birthplace, the end of the Civil War at Appomattox, and more.

    Culturally, the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College offers a world class collection of American art while the Amazement Square children's museum offers hours of educational fun for kids.  Wine enthusiasts will delight in the numerous vineyards in the area which offer regular tours, tastings, and festivals.

    Lynchburg is easy to reach via air or a pleasant non-crowded drive through the Virginia countryside.  Bed and breakfasts both in town and in the country offer a relaxing alternative to the many full service hotels in the area.

    When I think of College Towns, cities like Boston don't come to mind.  I think of "towns" small, pleasant and friendly.  I was surprised by Lynchburg, Virginia.  Give it a shot and you'll be pleasantly surprised too.

  • Athens, OH - Ohio U

    Best seven years of my life...

  • Ashland, Oregon (Southern Oregon Univ)

    Sonoma, Calif (Sonoma State Univ)

    Eugene, Ore. (U of O)

  • Wow, you missed Charleston, South Carolina...listed as "one of the top 10 destinations in America" (was that your survey?) it is an amazing home to College of Charleston, The Citadel and the Medical School of South Carolina...

  • you clearly dont' know your stuff. it's u-wisco-madison.  it's remarkably the best college town in the country and voted as one of the most beautiful cities.

  • You have not been to Bloomington, Indiana, obviously.

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