While students have their own individual tastes and temperaments, there are five great college towns enjoyed by a diversity of collegians. Most towns and cities that encompass colleges and universities have their own unique attractions. These five are stellar.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Home to Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau hosts a wide variety of attractions that welcome the students in residence. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Cape Girardeau offers restaurants of every cuisine, from fast food to fine dining, from chain franchises to independent establishments like Farradays Steakhouse. Students can also enjoy a large number of festivals throughout the year, including the outdoor concert series “Tunes at Twilight” and the “Race of the Century” motorcycle race. Visiting families have their choice of accommodations from traditional hotels to RV parks.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
An incoming freshman at the University of Michigan might think Ann Arbor is simply the home to the football Wolverines. Yet cultural outlets abound in the form of art galleries, museums, concert venues and a plethora of bookstores. Zingerman’s Deli is one place to eat that is known far beyond Ann Arbor, which also has numerous trendy indoor/outdoor bistros. In addition, night owls can enjoy the many jazz and dance clubs in the area. The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair has nearly as many fans as Michigan football. For the outdoorsy, the Huron River encompasses some of the best canoeing and kayaking in the U.S. Is it any wonder why Ann Arbor is one of five great college towns?
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
The Pocono Mountains are a beautiful setting for East Stroudsburg University, and an exciting place to go to school. East Stroudsburg, PA provides myriad opportunities for outdoor recreation. Pocono Tree Ventures offers five courses of varying challenge where visitors can climb trees, zip line and traverse aerial tightropes. Of course, the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area is nearby for winter sports enthusiasts. The Frazetta Art Museum is well-known in the world of fantasy art. For night-time fun, the Main St. Jukebox is the very popular karaoke bar. For restless collegians, East Stroudsburg earns its place among the five great college towns.
Gainesville, Florida is also a natural fit for outdoor lovers. They can take a break from cheering on the University Florida Gators to watch some real alligators from stand-up paddleboats operated by Drift SUP. Gum Root Park is another venue to get a close look at wildlife amidst the gum and cypress trees. Great food can be enjoyed at such restaurants as 101 Downtown and the Haile Village Bistro, a must for those who love Mediterranean food. Collegiate speed demons can find their gratification at the Gainesville Raceway. All these attractions, and more, are why Gainesville ranks as one of five great college towns.
Conway, South Carolina
Located just 15 miles from Myrtle Beach, Conway, South Carolina is home to Coastal Carolina University. Conway boasts a strong local community with an independent identity. Residents eat at Crady’s Eclectic Cuisine on Main, a restaurant whose name says it all. They also take in live performances at the Theater of the Republic. Capping an evening off with a stroll along the Riverwalk—a popular path along the Waccamaw River—is a perfect way for students to wind down in this one of five great college towns.
Choosing a college involves multiple factors – academic reputation, programs, curricula etc. Still, prospective freshmen do well to remember the environment and its attractions, such as those found in these five great college towns.