The 10 Best College Towns in the US

3. College Station, TX

photo by Aggie0083 via Wikimedia Commons

Rated by Money Magazine in the mid-2000s as the most-educated city in Texas, College Station is home to Texas A&M, one of the nation’s finest public universities.

In 1982, College Station initiated The Big Event, the largest one-day community service event nationwide; it has been an ongoing tradition continuing to the present. Each year, thousands of A&M students and community members give thanks to their local community, offering to do yard-work, house painting, and more for free.

This event summarizes the feeling of Texas A&M succinctly, which can be described as giving big for themselves and others.

Perhaps the area that best exemplifies what College Station has to offer is the city’s Northgate district, a mixed-use area with restaurants, churches, and businesses alike. Live music and nightlife are the major draws to this area, providing a substantial economic boost to this special part of Texas.

Colleges in College Station: Texas A&M University


2. Waltham, MA

photo by Leo Felici via Wikimedia Commons

Home to two of America’s great universities, Brandeis and Bentley, Waltham is an amazing college town.

The pulse of this college town is perhaps best summarized by Moody Street, Waltham’s nightlife epicenter comprising many of Massachusetts’ finest eateries, music venues, and even a famous comic book store. Moody Street is often referred to as “restaurant row.”

Brandeis and Bentley are Waltham’s two universities; Bentley is widely regarded among the top business specialty schools in the east coast, while Brandeis is a world-class research university ranked in the top 40 schools nationwide according to US News.

Nicknamed “watch city,” Waltham has historically been associated with the watch industry, having been home in the early 20th-century to the Waltham Watch Company. 

Located just 10 miles from Boston, Waltham is home to just two of Greater Boston’s 60+ higher education institutions. 

Colleges in Waltham: Brandeis University, Bentley University


1. Madison, WI

photo by Jordan Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

Madison is among the fastest-growing cities in the midwest with a burgeoning entrepreneurship community, having been recently ranked the #1 city in the country for tech growth

Additionally, it is home to one of America’s top 10 public universities, the University of Wisconsin at Madison. With a strong economy combined with an active performing arts scene & highly-rated nightlife, Madison is the #1 college town in the country.

Madison has been historically associated with liberal politics, having once earned the nickname “The Berkeley of the midwest.” In recent years, the city continues to generally vote democrat and take a progressive stance on modern-day social issues.

Madison is perhaps the midwest’s finest city for food; it is home to a number of restaurants that have won one of American’s top culinary accolades, the James Beard award, including farm-to-table concept L’Etoile.

The music scene in Madison is nothing short of incredible, with dozens of venues housing musical acts on a weekly or nightly basis, including High Noon Saloon, Mickey’s Tavern, Crystal Corner Bar, Majestic Theatre, the Wisco, the Great Dane, and more.

Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a highly-rated top-10 public university considered the finest in all of Wisconsin.

Colleges in Madison: University of Wisconsin, Madison, Edgewood College, Madison Area Technical College


Research for this article includes town & county websites, Wikipedia, and College Values Online

Featured image by Jordan Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

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