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Best college town in every state

Fansided logo Fansided 10/27/2021 Nick Villano
© Provided by Fansided

Highlighting the best college towns in every state. From Austin to Athens to Oxford and everywhere in between. These are the best college towns in America.

There's nothing like college football. Truly, going out on the town or the tailgate at 7 a.m, getting together with the usual crew or going out to meet new people, the atmosphere has this crispness from the second the sun rises.

These college towns eat and breathe college football. It's the driver of their economy, the leader in their happiness, and the drive to make the community better.

Without college football, a lot of these small towns might have much bigger issues, but because of the money this drives in, they are able to build a metropolis.

This list isn't looking at who has the best college football team, or who's stadium has the most money infused into it. We're looking at the communities that are built around these teams. That is what is great about college football.

It's not focusing on New York City or Los Angeles only like the professional teams. It focuses on Morgantown, West Virginia or Madison, Wisconsin. Every state is represented, even if it's not by a Power 5 powerhouse. There are close to 900 college football teams across the country spanning five different leagues. They all have a dedicated fanbase whether it's a big one or a small one.

These college towns sometimes have just 10,000 residents when the students aren't considered. Those towns are the heart of America. And they are the heart of the NCAA. Let's take a look at some of the best college towns across America.

Best college towns in America: Auburn, Alabama (Home of Auburn University)

Let's start with one of the hardest choices on the list. Alabama is at the heart of college football mostly because Tuscaloosa has been the epicenter of great football since Nick Saban got there. He's the catalyst when it comes to on-field greatness, but Tuscaloosa itself is not the best college football town.

The campus at Auburn University is absolutely gorgeous. The giant clock tower on Sanford Hall overlooks everything, so if a walk through campus pregame is part of your routine, it's a treat to behold. Then, there's the Toomer's Lemonade. There's nothing like a tried and true recipe for one of the country's favorite drinks. This particular lemonade, which people can buy at Toomer's Drugs, has been around for 125 years.

One thing that makes Auburn famous is how nice people are. Holding doors open for people who are still absurdly far away, saying thank you for everything, and just generally making people feel good about being there.

Even on a non-game day, there's plenty of things to do in Auburn. The Lovelace Museum is a fun walk-through on any day. The main downtown area is right down the street from campus, so everything is within walking distance. The bars and restaurants are right there for anyone who needs a break from the routine.

The game-day traditions are unlike anything. There's nothing like the original Tiger Walk, where thousands of fans get together to follow the team to Jordan-Hare Stadium. The tailgates are fun and more lowkey than some of the more traditional party schools, so you can enjoy your time without having too many students crashing the party.

Best college towns in America: Juneau, Alaska (Home of University of Alaska Southeast)

Alaska is unlike any other state in the nation. They don't have college football. That doesn't mean they don't have sports. The Seattle Kraken actually just helped one Alaska college get hockey back on campus. However, that's not the deal in Juneau. It's still an interesting city that people have to visit once in their lives.

The campus for the University of Alaska Southeast is right on the Auke Bay. The harbor is so peaceful, unlike many other college campuses in the country. The bay is in the eastern panhandle, so it's not dreadfully cold like other parts of Alaska. Its climate is more like Washington State than traditional Alaska. Over the bay, you see mountains clear as day. They are so clear, you can see the snow on top. These are the types of mountains artists use for paintings.

Despite not being terribly cold, that doesn't mean there aren't exclusively winter things to do in Juneau. You can visit Mendenhall Glacier, which is about 12 miles from the area. It's a literal glacier. There's a tramway that takes you 1,800 feet in the air to a restaurant in the sky overlooking the cruise ship docks.

The best part about Juneau is the whale watching. Everyone who goes whale watching says it's the experience of a lifetime. Sure, there are no college football tailgates, but there is a whale jumping ten feet in the air before splashing down back into the waters of the Inside Passage.

Best college towns in America: Tempe, Arizona (Home of Arizona State University)

Speaking of mountains, the mountains that overlook Tempe Butte overlooks the stadium on the Arizona State University campus are just amazing. Back in 1918, students put a giant letter on the mountain. Over the years, as the school changed its name so did the letter on the mountain. A bomb once blasted the "A", but the school built one made of concrete and steel. This one isn't going anywhere. Try and hike up to the A before the team takes the field.

Tempe is positioned right smack dab in the middle of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Mesa, so there is a ton to do within driving distance. This gives people access to more than a dozen museums, parks, and botanical gardens to spend their time. Plus there's South Mountain Park, the world's largest municipal park.

They hold yoga classes in the football stadium. There's lots of music everywhere you go, and then there's the dance. The Desert Dance Theater boasts the longest established dance group in the history of the state. It might not be something people think of when they consider a place to visit, but it's something that definitely deserves time.

One might not think of cactuses when they think of golf courses, but the Rolling Hills Golf Course brings a certain desert feel to the course. The entire city has a boutique feel to is, from the street art to the hotels, there's a little bit of luxury feel outside the university.

Best college towns in America: Fayetteville, Arkansas (Home of University of Arkansas)

Arkansas isn't considered a top priority for visitors, but there's a reason why the stadium on the University of Arkansas campus can regularly fill an 80,000 person stadium. It's because people in the area fall in love with Fayetteville. Maybe it's not the most famous city in the state (that would be Little Rock), but it's a city that is bustling with pride.

The farmer's market is legendary. It's been around for 40 years, and it brings you to Historic Downtown Fayetteville. It's a win-win situation there. Get some of the freshest veggies while also getting a hot plate of food, and then drive down to the Freckled Hen Cottage. Yes, that's a real thing. It's right near all the downtown districts, but it gives you a feel of a simpler life with a garden out front and a comfy bed inside.

The 23-acre Wilson Park has everything. It's conveniently located in the middle of everything, and it has areas for sports (including a public football field), swimming pools, a ton of picnic areas, and then a walking trail that finishes with the castle sculpture. Almost all parts have walking trails, but this one actually gives you something for finishing it.

On game day, head to Road Hog Park. This is where all the RVs park, and that's where the real fun happens. After the game, there are multiple BBQ places that should fill those cravings. Arkansas is an SEC school that makes sure they act like it when a football game is going on.

Best college towns in America: Berkeley, California (Home of UC Berkeley)

This one might come as a surprise. UCLA and USC are literally in Los Angeles, one of the biggest tourist cities in the United State, but there is something about the feel of Berkeley, California that feels more like home. The city is still on the West Coast, so beaches and the Pacific Ocean are still a factor, but there's so much more to this city than a sandy day in saltwater.

The stadium for the Cal Golden Bears is right in the middle of the city. That gives Saturdays a buzz that hits just about everyone. Tailgate Town sounds like just the most fun for families, students, and tourists alike. There are games, beer tents, prizes, and even pregame concerts. It's taking tailgating to another level, especially for those who don't have the RV packed every weekend.

Sproul Plaza is bumping on game day. The school band and the cheerleaders put on a show before kickoff, and then you can walk with the team to the stadium.

There is plenty of art around Berkeley. The artisan nature of the area helps keep creativity alive. Some of it can be seen at the Berkeley Marina, which has a little something for everyone. The Marina is home to the Adventure Playground, which is an oasis of fun where kids can do everything from ziplining to building crafts. People may be distracted by San Francisco just down the street from here, but Berkeley is the real gem of California.

Best college towns in America: Boulder, Colorado (Home of University of Colorado)

It wouldn't be a true Colorado campus without mountains surrounding students, but the University of Colorado takes it one step further. The woods also surround the campus, giving this one of the best aesthetics of any university in the country. No matter how stressed finals or midterms have students, the calming nature of the campus helps ease those feelings.

Pearl Street is considered the heart and soul of this city. All the storefronts come with a historic feel, and the colors in this neighborhood give it a vibrant style that's hard to ignore. Besides the great shopping, Pearl Street provides, on the day before every home game, Colorado fans storm down the street in what's called the "Pearl Street Stampedes". Pearl Street is even better during Christmas time when they have multiple events to celebrate the holidays.

Hiking the Flatirons is a must for anyone visiting Boulder. Chautauqua is a local park that really brings out the beauty in this mountain range. There's also a great dining hall here, so it's a great place if you want to spend the whole day in one place.

If you have time to take a trip, the Red Rock Amphitheater is one of the most underrated attractions in America. It's literally as if someone built a concert hall with a chisel and used the side of a mountain.

Best college towns in America: Middletown, Connecticut (Home of Wesleyan University)

Wesleyan University's football field is the longest continually used football field in the history of the U.S. That alone should be a reason to put Middletown, Connecticut on your list of places to visit during the football season. The field is also right in the middle of campus. There is no stadium or really much for stands. It has this high school feel to it, with metal bleachers on each side. However, all of the campus' buildings can be seen from the field, so classes could be going on during a game, and they can get a view of the action during statistics class.

Wadsworth Falls State Park lets you bike or walk the trails to see waterfalls. Those are always breathtaking, as the sound of the constantly falling water brings a calming effect to your day. Beyond just the waterfall, the state put in a designated beach area to take a dip in the water, but it might be getting a little cold to do all that.

Harbor Park is another fun place to spend an hour or two. Walk the boardwalks along the water, and try some of the great restaurants nearby. We're a big fan of the Celtic Cavern which is just a couple of blocks away.

There's a ton of history in this town, including the General Mansfield House, which preserved the home of a Union soldier who died in the Civil War. There's also the Van Vleck Observatory right on Wesleyan's campus. This is a must-see for people into astronomy. This might not be a city most even considered checking out, but there is a lot to do for nature and history lovers alike. And the football field just adds another fun element to the trip.

Best college towns in America: Newark, Delaware (Home of University of Delaware)

There are some college campuses that feel like a city or town itself, but Newark has been adopted by students as a city amongst the university. When looking around the internet, many University of Delaware students say the surrounding city is one of, if not their favorite part about attending the University of Delaware.

New Castle County has a ton of parks. It might be surprising for such a small state like Delaware, but there is vast greenery despite being so close to the city. White Clay Creek State Park is 3,300 acres alone. The 18.5-mile creek runs all the way to Pennsylvania, and everything you might love about the outdoors can be found here. There are animal sightings, hiking trails, insane views, and even bird watching.

Aunt Margaret's Antique Mall is something you won't see everywhere else. They turned a historic church and police station into a massive mall full of items you can't buy in your local Walmart. You can find everything from Civil War-era furniture to lava lamps here.

The famous Midnight Oil Brewing Company also calls Newark home. Many beer lovers have likely tried the Midnight Porter since they sell it across the country, but the Insomnia Chocolate Stout is great for those looking for a little sweetness in their dark beer.

The Delaware Blue Hens are a powerhouse outside of the top conferences in college football. All that winning comes with some fun tailgates. Unlike some campuses, Blue Hens fans are still eating and drinking for hours after the game ends in the parking lot. They don't need to find an afterparty because the original party is still going.

Best college towns in America: Gainesville, Florida (Home of University of Florida)

Gainesville is sitting in the middle of the state of Florida. While many of the Sunshine State's biggest metropolitan areas surround either beaches or Disney World, Gainesville is basically swampland transitioned to be a college campus. Doesn't sound appealing, right? Well, it's one of the best experiences a college campus can provide.

Gainesville might be known as a party town, but it provides so much more to visitors than that. The Florida Museum of Natural History is at the top of every chart for tourists. There's a living butterfly rainforest inside along with natural dinosaur bones. There are even some mimicked caves and bogs to walk through.

Devil's Millhopper State Park is located in a sinkhole. You're intrigued, aren't you? You can walk down the steps into the sinkhole to see one of the most curious natural happenings. It's got a doomsday field to the whole park, which feels right for Florida.

There's nothing like game day at The Swamp. The Chomp. I Won't Back Down. Humming the fight song. All this, while spending time away from the frigid cold of some football stadiums. Sure, things might feel too hot during the early parts of the season, but it's well worth it when the bulk of the SEC schedule comes in 60 and 70-degree weather.

Best college towns in America: Athens, Georgia (Home of University of Georgia)

Athens has a ton for the generic college football fan, even though everyone talks about the hedges, the rest of the experience is great. There are dozens of bars and music venues to indulge your senses. It really gives every tourist something to look forward to. If you want a great place to have a variety of cocktails, then Trapeze Pub is your best bet. If you want three floors with different drinks on each, including a bloody mary bar, try Allgood Lounge. There's even the Wonderbar, where you can play Rock Em Sock Em Robots with your beer.

However, Athens is so much more than the bar scene. The 40 Watt Club is one of the best indie music venues in the country. People say it helped launch the punk rock scene across the country. Now, it showcases local bands and some tribute bands with some familiar sounds. This is a must for all music fans.

Athens has everything else that some of the other college towns have. They have hiking trails, museums to explore, and great places to eat. However, it is and always will be the music that makes Athens a great place. There are dozens of places to listen to live bands outside the 40 Watt Club. The Georgia Theater is also historic and considered one of the best places to watch a show of many kinds. Come to Athens a football fan but leave a music lover.

Best college towns in America: Honolulu, Hawaii (Home of University of Hawaii)

This is Hawaii we're talking about. It's hard not to love any of the towns, but near the campus of the University of Hawaii might be overlooked by tourists, but it very much should not be.

The nature near campus is second to none. Sure, there are cool foliage or some mountain ranges at other colleges, but this is Hawaii. This takes nature to another level. Manoa Falls allows you to take in multiple waterfalls with trails from beginner to expert. Koko Head Stairs is one of the crazier hikes you can do on the island. However, once it ends, it's one of the best views in Hawaii.

The football experience got a little complicated last year when officials condemned Aloha Stadium. Then, with the pandemic, new traditions haven't been able to come up, but students and fans have shown in the past that this stadium can rock when it needs to, so the future is bright.

Then, there are all of the normal Hawaii traditions. The food and entertainment of a luau is an experience everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. There are the lesser-known Aloha and Hula Festivals, which are also worth a tourist's time. It will take some time to do all these, but if someone is splurging to go all the way to Hawaii, then there will likely be time to get it all done.

Best college towns in America: Boise, Idaho (Home of Boise State University)

When college football fans think of Boise State, they think of a blue field first and foremost. Others might remember Ian Johnson's proposal after beating Oklahoma, but the majority of the experiences involve football outside of campus. A trip to Boise can be so much more than football.

The Boise Greenbelt brings a trail right through the city and Boise State University campus. That is extremely unique as most trails in college towns take some effort to get to. It's a great place for walkers and joggers alike, and it has awesome views of the Boise River.

Table Rock is also super cool. The rock formation overlooks the city of Boise to give you the best views of everything. For those into ghosts, tourists have to go past the Old Idaho Penitentiary just to get to the trailhead. People can either drive or hike to the top, where the views of the range are second to none.

Like many cities, beer and breweries have taken over Boise. There are more than a dozen breweries to try, and it really gives you a feel of the city outside the football games. Now, football is still something everyone should experience. It's what this city does best. The team is usually pretty good, and the fans are always welcoming of a new face.

Best college towns in America: Champaign, Illinois (Home of University of Illinois)

Champaign, Illinois might not be on everyone's "places to go" list today, but the city is growing quickly and people are making it a place to live. That could lead to an explosion of the population over the next decade, so before it loses a little bit of that "small town" college feel, take a trip to Champaign.

The campus of the University of Illinois has defined this city for years. The campus seems to keep the community feeling young, with trends across the community making sure everything stays up to date.

Crystal Lake Park is an "all in one" access point to Illinois nature. There's are trails and animal encounters on the north side of the park, and then the actual Crystal Lake on the south side of the park. The lake itself is the main event, with swimming and pedal boats helping you get around. No, this is not the same Crystal Lake as the Friday the 13th movies, but it can be just as entertaining, especially as the sequels.

The downtown area has plenty of eclectic stores and even a children's museum. Urbana's Market at the Square takes place every Saturday morning, and it's perfect to have some fresh eats before the massive intake of hot dogs that will come at the Fighting Illini tailgate.

Best college towns in America: West Lafayette, Indiana (Home of Purdue University)

There are a lot of contenders for Indiana's best campus living, and South Bend was a hard one to beat, but the surprising nature of Purdue University and the atmosphere around it is hard to ignore. Purdue fans are surprisingly passionate about their football team despite its results historically. Fans and alumni actually wear costumes to the tailgate which brings a different experience than other tailgates. There are too many losses inside the stadium, but there aren't too many happening before kickoff.

The Celery Bog Nature Area lets you see a bog up close. There are over 120 species that live within the bog, so walking around could allow you to see animals and other creatures that don't come up anywhere else. The Prophetstown State Park and the Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial are both very interesting locations with plenty to do.

The city actually allows people to spray paint on the side of buildings which makes the art there feel very original. Other cities seem to have pieces that can be copied from one city to the next, but this is a little different in West Lafayette. The downtown area also constantly holds festivals and celebrations downtown to keep the mood vibrant.

Best college towns in America: Ames, Iowa (Home of Iowa State University)

The Iowa State campus has been recognized by some internationally recognized publications for its beauty in architecture. Several of the buildings on campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cyclones students get to walk through campus with a central lawn that was honored alongside Harvard and UVa as the best in the country. There are 13,000 trees on campus, which makes the view so much better.

Everything around campus is nature-driven as well. In the fall, in typical Iowa fashion, the foliage takes the spotlight. People from around the state will come to Ames to see the beauty of green, red, yellow, and orange leaves before everything turns brown.

The iconic image of Iowa State is the Campanile, a 110-foot tall building that stands just 16×16 at its base. Couples meet underneath the building every night to share a kiss at midnight, one of the many traditions for Cyclones students. The tradition is if you haven't shared a kiss under the tower, you're not a true Iowa State student.

Unlike other cities on the list, the campus is the true gem of this city. The work people put into this to make it a premiere college and one of the most beautiful campuses in the country is phenomenal.

Best college towns in America: Manhattan, Kansas (Home of Kansas State University)

Manhattan, Kansas is much, much different than the other Manhattan that might be a little more famous. This Kansas city is surrounded by the remnants of the tallgrass prairie. There's a lot to love about this middle-American city. It has a cute downtown district, and the student population keeps things alive all school year.

The Beach Museum of Fine Arts and the Flint Hills Discovery Center make sure the art scene stays up to date. Right now, there's a dinosaur exhibit at the discovery center, which is awesome! They also have the Kansas State Insect Zoo which sounds… intriguing. 1,100 square feet of insects sounds like a nightmare to some, but since they can't get out, it's definitely something that's piquing curiosity. Speaking of zoos, Kansas State is home to one of the oldest zoos in the country, the Sunset Zoo with more than 100 species of animals.

Tourists into classic cars need to go to Manhattan. The Midwest Dream Car Collection has dozens of antique and classic cars dating all the way back to 1907. It's a hidden gem inside this college town.

Manhattan's prairies are still its bread and butter. They provide so much between walks along with something much different than the mountains the other campuses boast. The bike trails sound great, too.

Best college towns in America: Lexington, Kentucky (Home of University of Kentucky)

Did you know that Lexington, Kentucky is the horse capital of the world? Despite being the other horse racing city in Kentucky (the Kentucky Derby takes place in Louisville), Lexington is home to a plethora of horse-related activities. It starts with the Kentucky Horse Park, which is home to some of the best equestrian events in the country. They also let you get up close and personal with the horses. There are even horse-themed escape rooms in Lexington.

But when people aren't coming for the horses, they are coming for Kentucky Wildcats sports. People might associate Kentucky with its basketball team, but the football tailgates do their best to keep up with the SEC tradition. The Gluck Equine Center is the center of the party on game day.

On the fringes of the city is the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. It's more than 700 acres of forests and streams.

There are multiple historical sites that people can tour in the city of Lexington. That includes the Mary Todd Lincoln House, which was the childhood home of the 16th first lady in U.S. history. There's also the Waveland State Historic Site and Hunt-Morgan House. The university also owns the arboretum, which gives you a special look at the trees of the area as they change with the seasons.

Best college towns in America: Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Home of Louisiana State University)

LSU is the best experience in college football. The tailgates are amazing, with the kind of food rich people would pay thousands of dollars for. It's not just gumbo and crawfish either, although those are really, really good. These fans really know how to make a great burger and brat. Some. of the tailgates even give out free drinks just to get the advertising out there. That's worth the trip to Baton Rouge on its own.

One might not think of art and history when thinking of Louisiana, but the LSU Museum of Art is amazing. 15-foot high ceilings give the school plenty of room to show just about every era of artistry.

The Louisiana Old State Capitol literally looks like a castle. This is also a museum on the inside, showing the political history of Louisiana, but the outside of the building has that gothic style that people love.

Back on campus, many like to go see Mike, the LSU Tigers mascot. He has a 15,000-foot enclosure with a waterfall to give him much better housing than most freshmen. And if you have time, take a look at the USS Kidd along River Road. It was named after Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd who died in Pearl Harbor. This ship saw action in World War II and the Korean War before it was decommissioned. Like many things in Baton Rouge, it is now a memorial/museum of sorts.

Best college towns in America: Orono, Maine (Home of University of Maine)

Orono, Maine might be the least known town on this list. About 11,000 people attend the University of Maine. Orono doesn't even have that many people living in the town. However, it's still the premier university for the northernmost state in New England. Maine is becoming a popular vacation destination, so it might soon also become a popular university destination.

Most people in Orono would like to keep the small-town feel they have currently. It was once the center of the lumber industry, as people used flowing rivers to run the saws, but obviously, we are past that and now it's known for the university.

The university itself has everything one might want from the state of Maine. Amazing architecture, billowing forests, and bubbling brooks, this has everything all the other great universities have, but this one actually has majors that focus on nature.

Autumn at the University of Maine might be the best place to see the leaves change. There are so many trees right on campus that the leaves changing changes the way the campus looks entirely. That's what makes football season so great at the University of Maine. Walking through campus when it's this pretty is one heck of a home-field advantage.

Best college towns in America: Annapolis, Maryland (Home of Naval Academy)

Honestly, most people should check out the campuses of all the armed forces. West Point is just special. There's so much history there. The Air Force Academy in Colorado is wonderful. Then, there's the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Main Chapel on campus is an architectural superstar. It's one of the most breathtaking buildings in the state. It was built in 1908, and it's built into history. The stained glass windows tell stories of the Navy's history. The organ is one of the biggest in the country. This is something people should check out even beyond the religious implications it holds. Underneath the chapel is the final resting place of John Paul Jones, the man who made the phrase "I have not yet begun to fight" famous.

The Daily Noon Brigade Formation doesn't sound very entertaining on the surface, but in person, it's just amazing. Seeing these thousands of Naval recruits stand in position for role calls outside of Bancroft Hall is just impressive.

One might not think of tailgating when they think of the Armed Forces universities, but it's definitely something that happens in Annapolis, and it's a lot of fun. There are multiple tailgates, including one run by the alumni association. It did have a little controversy as of late because of the change in price, but it's still a place where Navy men and women young and old come together before the Midshipmen's home games.

Best college towns in America: Amherst, Massachusetts (Home of UMass)

Amherst is the home of three major colleges. UMass is the most famous, but Amherst College and Hampshire College bring a big student body to this wonderful New England town. The art scene is one of the best in the Northeast. They do a really good job of showcasing the artists of western Massachusetts while also bringing well-known names to the area.

Emily Dickinson wrote a lot of her work in Amherst, and it's not a surprise how. The beautiful scenery of New England is everywhere. The city preserved the home in which she wrote a lot of that poetry, and it's available for tours. Dickinson's grandparents were one of the founders of Amherst College, and she lived in the first brick house in the city. She is steeped within the history of this city.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is much different than most museums in that it celebrates the art of the children's book. It's a fun take on the history of something most adults no longer think about, but this will have you changing that thought process.

The Amherst Farm Winery provides tastings every weekend. It's a lovely cottage that is in the heart of the Pioneer Valley. There are 19 different wine varieties available, including an apple and a peach wine.

Best college towns in America: Ann Arbor, Michigan (Home of University of Michigan)

Ann Arbor just feels like the quintessential college town. Everyone who lives in Ann Arbor went to the University of Michigan. The town is basically painted in Maize and Blue. Gameday basically shuts down the whole city. This is what happens when the university accounts for 30,000 employees.

The tailgates outside the Big House are legendary. One of the best tailgating spots is right on a golf course. The UM Golf Course holds a tailgate every weekend, but that's just one of the amenities. Any tailgate you go to will have bundled-up Michigan fans who are ready to celebrate the team.

Ann Arbor boasts a ton of restaurants. bars, and a bustling nightlife scene. Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger is something everyone has to try once. It's a build-your-own burger joint that everyone on campus knows. The city is often named one of the best places to live in the country, and that brings a lot of things to do for everyone else. There are people moving here and bringing their businesses to the city in southern Michigan.

There are other non-football attractions to love about Ann Arbor. There's the Hands-On Museum where you not only can touch everything but you are encouraged to. Kerrytown brings a farmer's market and artisan shops.

Best college towns in America: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Home of University of Minnesota)

One of the biggest cities on the list, Minneapolis might not have the "college town" feel that some others on the list have because there is so much else going on, but that doesn't take away the greatness from this city. Minnesota Golden Gophers fans go hard for this team on game day. The entire city loves this team.

Since the team stopped sharing the Metrodome, TCF Bank Stadium has given the fans a place of their own. Some people tailgate in the parking lot, but if you're willing to take a walk before the game, about a mile away people will start tailgating at the East River Flats Park. It allows you to celebrate the football games on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The cool thing about the UofM campus is that the Mississippi River runs right through the middle of it. There's an East River campus and a West River campus. There's plenty of places to blow off steam like the Burrito Loco where you can get a fishbowl margarita. Surly Brewing also brings together two college favorites; a vast beer menu and bonfires.

The Guthrie Theater is known by theater lovers nationwide. There are great works and some local pieces as well. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the best urban sculpture parks in the country. There are literally dozens of sculptures outside to see all while enjoying the fall weather here.

Best college towns in America: Oxford, Mississippi (Home of Ole Miss University)

Ole Miss University has been through a lot, as the city was burned to the ground during the Civil War. However, it's still here more than 150 years later and it's thriving today. Like most colleges that are as old as Ole Miss, there is amazing architecture, great culture, and huge green spaces on the campus. However, it's not just the campus that puts Oxford, Mississippi on the map.

The Town Square really gives you an idea of what the city is all about. It includes the oldest department store in the South and clothing boutiques for people of all interests. It's an experience that is a must for people visiting Oxford.

The University of Mississippi Museum holds more than 20,000 items on display. The Greek and Roman artifacts are especially impressive, including pottery dated as far back as 1500 BC. Also, the Roman surgical tools show an inside look at the medical field from back then, and it definitely provides insight into how far we've come.

For tailgating, go to The Grove. There aren't separated areas at Ole Miss, the place you need to go for a football game is The Grove. It's 10 acres of land right in the middle of campus. There might not be a better location for a tailgate in the country. It is almost like someone built this stretch of land to celebrate with friends before going to the football game.

Best college towns in America: Columbia, Missouri (Home of University of Missouri)

The University of Missouri is right in the middle of Missouri's rolling hills. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park brings a ton of amenities to anyone looking to unwind in nature. Inside is the Gabs Creek Wild Area, which is home to some of the more isolated trails in the state. Some of the other trails there are definitely at a level for all hikers. There's a large cave system and even a rock bridge in the park.

If you're looking to check out a movie you haven't seen the preview to yet, check out the Ragtag Cinema. It has a series of couches and chairs to share for some of the great local indie movies that make Missouri great.

Dance is a huge part of Columbia, Missouri. The ballet company is one of the few professional ones in the area. The Missouri Contemporary Ballet boasts more than 60 original works alone. There's also the award-winning competitive dance team at Dancearts, both of which you can see play shows multiple times a year.

Like many other schools in the country, Missouri needs a good football team to have a good tailgate, but when the Tigers are rolling, the parking lots of Faurot Field are electric. If not, maybe check out the game and the insane food and drink specials at Campus Bar & Grill on Saturdays. It might be packed, but it will be worth it.

Best college towns in America: Missoula, Montana (Home of University of Montana)

Missoula, Montana is a really fun college town. It is most well known for the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Trail, but this town still loves its football. When the team plays on Saturday afternoons, Washington-Grizzly Stadium is as big as the sixth-largest town in the entire state. People are wearing maroon across the campus and throughout the town. It's a real small-town experience but one that feels like some of the biggest football schools because of the passion for the team.

The Mobash Skate Park will have tourists thinking they are watching the X Games. It's rated as one of the best skate parks in the country, with over 15,000 square feet of ollies and heelflips. Even if you're not a skateboarder yourself, just watching what everyone can do on the different ramps and trick makers is impressive and fun.

Fishing and fly fishing are two very important activities to people in this area. People walk right from downtown to the banks of the rivers with a pole in hand to try to bring a trout in from the three main rivers flowing around Missoula.

Breweries are becoming big business in Missoula. There are at least ten breweries in the area, and Big Sky Brewery is starting to get national recognition. Heading to these areas will give you a different taste for what beer is built to be. People are traveling to this Montana city just to try all the different brews.

Best college towns in America: Lincoln, Nebraska (Home of University of Nebraska)

Lincoln, Nebraska used to hold football games of the top team in college sports. However, things haven't gone as well as of late. The football team has struggled, but the city itself has thrived. Lincoln is the capital city, so there is a plethora of culture, museums, and a vibrant atmosphere that streams beyond the university.

The Historic Haymarket District is the first stop on almost everyone's list of places to see. There are restored brick houses to match the brick streets and a giant water tower in the middle. Lincoln Station, the former railway station, now houses the visitors center and a fun little restaurant. There are also often festivals held in the district.

The University of Nebraska State Museum is an affiliate of the famous Smithsonian museum.  It has the nation's largest artificial mammoth, and a few fossilized elephants.

Football is still the main attraction in Nebraska. Memorial Stadium is still packed despite years of mediocrity. The Hall of Fame walk outside the stadium is one of the best collections of statues in college football. The roar of the home fans can feel like a lion's roar (or an elephant's). The tailgates before and after the game are worth the price of admission alone.

Best college towns in America: Las Vegas, Nevada (Home of UNLV)

It's Vegas, so how much selling do you need here? We'll try to ignore the obvious, which is the casinos, events, concerts (most of which exclusive to Sin City), festivals, and everything else that comes as a perk to living in Las Vegas. UNLV is just off the path of the Vegas strip, but it has some exclusive fun itself.

Vegas is so much more than the strip. There's the Hoover Dam and hiking at Red Rock. Red Rock is honestly one of the most underrated hikes in the country. Everyone gets distracted by the pretty lights of the strip, but the rocks are the best parts of Vegas for the general public. Also, it's much harder to get in trouble there (unless you do some ill-advised climbing).

UNLV gets to play in Allegiant Stadium, the giant dome that looks like a Death Star right outside the strip. That means Rebels fans get all the amenities of the Raiders games, which includes a brand new beer garden and the tried and true alumni tailgate.

Of course, there are the many museums, shows, and amenities of Vegas. Honestly, walking around the strip at night has a bunch of entertainment for free, and we're not talking about watching people. There's water, fire, and light shows outside just about every casino. Going to school in Vegas might be scary for parents, but it's a great experience for alumni.

Best college towns in America: Durham, New Hampshire (Home of University of New Hampshire)

New England towns are perfect backdrops for football weather. It's the changing of the foliage, the crisp change in the weather, and the people who are just yearning for fall. Durham, New Hampshire is no different. The town itself has 800 acres of conservation land, so these nature preserves are safe from outside elements. There are a ton of swimming holes surrounding the University of New Hampshire.

Then, there's the Wagon Hill Farm. The iconic wooden wagon sits at the top of the hill, and the activities on the property include anything from biking and hiking to skiing and snowshoeing. There's even a sledding hill to spend the first fresh snow of the season. If you want to see animals on farms, UNH's campus actually has horses on it if you know where to look.

If you're looking for an amazing place to stay, the Three Chimney's Inn is a must. It has everything tourists want from the New Hampshire experience short of skiing. They have craft beers, farm-to-table dinners, and it all happens in a home that was originally built in 1649. The historic charm comes all the way to the outside, which is surrounded by amazing greenery.

Like any New England trip, a trip to Durham, New Hampshire needs to include wine. Whether it's checking out the Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar or heading to the Honeygirl Meadery for an experience that is one-of-a-kind.

Best college towns in America: Princeton, New Jersey (Home of Princeton University)

New Jersey gets a terrible reputation from the rest of the country, but it's somewhere everyone needs to visit properly. The beaches not seen on MTV are great, the mountains are big enough to ski on, and there's more green than anyone would think possible in such a small state with so many people. In the Princeton area, it's been built around the university for close to 300 years. It started as a flatland with barely anything to a lush green space that helps its students excel.

Princeton's arboretum puts a lot of other universities' collections of trees to shame, especially during the fall. That doesn't even count the 60-foot elm trees that line Washington Road, the street that leads people to Princeton University.

With a university that has been around since the 1740s, there will obviously be some very old buildings on campus. Princeton's campus is 9.5 million square feet in size and houses 200 different buildings from every era of the university. When stopping by an Ivy League school, one must check out the library. The Chancellor Green library is marvelous in structure and abundant in content.

One of the fiercest battles of the Revolutionary War happened in Princeton. General George Washington led his troops against the British Redcoats in what is now considered Battlefield State Park. There is the single oak tree that bears witness to the battle and the Clarke house which held the heavily wounded General Hugh Mercer until he died nine days later. There's history for miles at this property.

Best college towns in America: Albuquerque, New Mexico (Home of University of New Mexico)

New Mexico is steeped in traditions and cultures from many different facets of America. There are the Native American pueblos, the art of the Hispanic community, a plethora of Asian restaurants, and the history of the African American community, that has been in Albuquerque for more than five centuries. That makes the University of New Mexico a great place to visit for culture and history, whether it's on game day or in the offseason.

The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is considered one of the best in the southwest. It celebrates a lot of the diversity that this city touts. Unlike other museums, this one has an amphitheater for live performances. There's also the balloon museum since this is one of the best locations in the world to take a hot air balloon ride.

Let's hit that for a second. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes over the city for nine days. It's the best balloon festival in the country, and it's nationally renowned for its greatness. It's also the largest hot air balloon race in the world. Imagine seeing hundreds of balloons take flight at once, each with a different design looking to stand out? It's remarkable.

Albuquerque Old Town is the epitome of historic Spanish culture. The adobe architecture is hard to replicate, and it's just not repeated today. Also, the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is a must. It takes you hundreds of feet in the air from the edge of the city to the Sandia Mountains. The views are insane.

Best college towns in America: Syracuse, New York (Home of Syracuse University)

Those reading this probably know Syracuse most for the Newhouse School that has created some of the greatest sports-media minds in the game today. That is a huge part of the campus, but there's so much more to love about Syracuse than its media doings. Obviously, the Carrier Dome is a legendary sports venue, and football is a big part of that, but Syracuse is a lovely town filled with lots of amenities.

There are so many different things to spend time on in Syracuse, New York. The Destiny USA is massive. It has six stories of shopping and entertainment. Syracuse doesn't seem like the type of town that should have a mega mall, but until the mall industry disappears completely, it's here for the long haul.

The architecture of the Niagara Mohawk Building is like nothing people have seen before. They literally built it to shine. It makes sense since it is the home of the electric company.

Like other college towns, there are a ton of museums and a great zoo in Syracuse. The Salt Museum, Erie Canal Museum, Everson Museum of Art, and Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology will keep anyone busy before game day approaches, whether that's for football or basketball. Of course, there's Dinosaur BBQ. No, it's not Memphis or Kansas City, but this BBQ joint is a place you have to eat if you come to Syracuse.

Best college towns in America: Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Home of University of North Carolina)

Chapel Hill is the former home of Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and Bob McAdoo. Basketball is big business at the University of North Carolina, but football has its place as well. The team often has stars on the roster, and they have top coaches in place as well. However, neither are the gem of North Carolina. That would actually be Chapel Hill itself. This city is one of the most beautiful college towns in America.

The campus has a botanical garden that stretches for hundreds of acres with 14 collections of plant life. The Ackland Art Museum has been around for more than 60 years, so it has plenty of experience getting the best works of art for Tar Heel students young and old. Morehead Planetarium is one of the largest in the country. At the center of it all is the Coker Arboretum, which sits in the middle of UNC's campus.

The mystery of Gimghoul Castle is enough to keep tourists thinking well after they've left Chapel Hill. There are rumors that it is haunted by ghosts, and specifically by the ghost of Peter Dromgoole who died in a duel trying to win over a local girl's heart. There's a secret society called the Order of the Gimghoul that has been around for more than 130 years. It's invitation-only, and there are no real known aspects of their doings. Head over to the castle to see if there are any answers.

Of course, many plan to come to some of the late-season football games so they can also check out an early-season basketball game. That is the bread and butter to Chapel Hill.

Best college towns in America: Fargo, North Dakota (Home of North Dakota State University)

It's North Dakota, so most would assume the things to do start and finish with "nature", but Fargo has a surprisingly entertaining district that will keep tourists busy for days. The Plains Art Museum has permanent works by Andy Warhol and George Morrison. It also highlights works of art from local artists. The pioneer village called Bonanzaville really takes you back to the late 19th century. There are 400,000 artifacts in this area, including 40 buildings built to take you back in time.

Former home run king Roger Maris grew up in parts of Fargo, and now there is a museum dedicated to his contributions to the game of baseball. It includes inscriptions on some of the baseballs he hit during that magical 61-dinger season back in 1961.

Of course, there are some instances where the famous movie and ensuing television series are mentioned throughout Fargo. One of the major props, the woodchipper, can be seen inside the visitor's center. You can also see the wood chipper's stunt double of sorts.

Bison football is still king of Fargo, North Dakota. They have been a dominant football team, including winning five straight national championships last decade. It doesn't matter that this is a second-division team, everyone loves North Dakota State in Fargo. Winning will do that. The atmosphere before the game shows of a team that's used to winning, and every week fans and students are ready to celebrate.

Best college towns in America: Oxford, Ohio (Home of Miami University (of Ohio)

Oxford has been named on the "top" lists for many things, including top places to live and top places to find love. That's not expected from a city that isn't necessarily known throughout the country. Most people know this as the "other" Miami University or the place that started Ben Roethlisberger's career. There's so much more to this town than that.

Walking through campus during football season, and it's the best of Ohio Autumns. There are walking tours to sign up for to find the best-hidden gems of the university. Many of the buildings used yellow bricks with forest green shutters, giving it a unique uniform look. Usually, campus buildings try to be different, but here in Oxford, it's good to be like everyone else.

The museums are abundant, which is surprising for a small town like this. There's the Miami Art Museum, the William Holmes McGuffey Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Geology Museum. It gives everyone a little different experience with each learning experience.

There are plenty of parks and walking areas across Oxford. One of which is the Black Covered Bridge, which was built in the 1860s and is still standing tall today. You can also go fossil hunting at Hueston Woods State Park. It's one thing to see fossils at a museum, but finding them yourself is another experience.

Best college towns in America: Stillwater, Oklahoma (Home of Oklahoma State University)

Surprised this isn't Norman? Well, that city is a little too into Oklahoma football, while Stillwater is a lot more welcoming to tourists who want to find just about everything on campus. Also, Norman doesn't allow you to cuddle a baby kangaroo. You can do that at the Lost Creek Safari in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State football is still a budding event, so it doesn't have the tailgating atmosphere like other huge schools do, however, they are making up for the lost time. There are people redoing busses to paint them in Cowboys' colors. It's still a very fun atmosphere now that the team is finally winning on a consistent basis.

The Iron Monk Brewery is considered the top brewery in the area, with a taproom that offers small-batch beers that can't be found anywhere else. There are also constant food trucks outside the brewery to bring a taste of Oklahoma to anyone enjoying a brew.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is right on campus, showcasing some of the greats to ever hit the mat. It celebrates some of the greatest wrestlers ever, but the most interesting exhibit is celebrating the greatest Americans who were once wrestlers. It includes Joshua Harris, the owner of the 76ers and Devils, former U.S. Presidents William Taft, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, and actor Kirk Douglas. It shows the eclectic range of people who once called wrestling their sport of passion.

Best college towns in America: Eugene, Oregon (Home of University of Oregon)

Who doesn't love the Pacific Northwest? Add in the beauty that comes in the fall and winter across Oregon with a fanatic fanbase that is led by the guy who runs Nike, and that leads to a lot to do in what was once the small town of Eugene, Oregon. Now, it's a little metropolis.

Eugene is not too far from the Mackenzie River, Cascade Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. So, students and tourists alike can get a feel of many different types of nature. The Skinner Butte Park is a small park but provides some interesting nature to take in. At just 100 acres, it's likely one of the smallest parks mentioned on this list, but the 682-foot hill is one of the more impressive landmarks.

The Cascades Raptor Center is one of the premier centers for taking care of animals in the area. No, it doesn't take care of raptors like on Jurassic Park, this is looking at birds like owls and hawks. It has become one of the best tourist attractions in Eugene as they can have 200 birds in their care at one time.

Of course, you want to see a football game in Eugene, but you also want to check out a track and field match at the university. Hayward Field is one of the best track and field stadiums in the world. It often holds Olympic trials for Team USA or championships for USA athletes, and the Prefontaine Classic every year is one of the top events in the sport.

Best college towns in America: State College, Pennsylvania (Home of Penn State University)

Happy Valley is a place that one might have to check out at least once, even if it's as a fan of one of the Nittany Lions' rivals. The town is built around Penn State. It's unlike anything else in the country. This is a town that was built for the university. The area got its name because it evaded the Great Depression back in the 1930s thanks mostly in part due to the jobs provided by the university.

The arboretum is amazing at State College. It's 395 acres of greenery, plants, a conservatory, and even a planetarium. It's a wonderful space that really gives some peace and tranquility, which might be needed if a Big Ten rival is there that week.

Even if you are in Happy Valley for a football game, head to the Pegula Ice Arena. It's one of the best buildings for college hockey in the nation. It came thanks to a massive donation a few years ago, and it was money well spent. Try to get there for a weekend when the Nittany Lions play the Michigan Wolverines, who are expected to have multiple NHLers on their roster.

The best part of Happy Valley is hanging out with the people there. Obviously, they are a little too into Penn State and everything Nittany Lions, but it's still a great time for fans and opponents alike.

Best college towns in America: South Kingstown, Rhode Island (Home of University of Rhode Island)

The coolest thing to do near the University of Rhode Island only works at the very beginning of the football season. It's the beach. There are gorgeous beaches in Rhode Island that are only a short drive away from here. However, if you're coming to South Kingston later in the season, it's time to find things in the smallest American state that comes with bundling up.

Greek Life is very popular at the University of Rhode Island, and they are always holding events across campus. Look up which events might work best.

The campus at the University of Rhode Island is lovely. They have ivy-covered buildings along the 1,200-acre campus. The contemporary architecture makes a statement when looking at the campus as a whole. The core of the campus is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Finally, this sport called oozeball is extremely popular at the University of Rhode Island. It's basically taking a volleyball net and putting it in eight inches of mud. Maybe this doesn't happen too often during the winter, but there is definitely lots of practice for the spring tournament. This sounds like the greatest spectator sport, even better than football.

Best college towns in America: Clemson, South Carolina (Home of Clemson University)

Clemson University is set at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It literally has a mountain range to look at on any part of the campus. It holds a great relationship with the city of Clemson, so there are a ton of events within the campus grounds. For how beautiful it is, it makes a lot of sense the city would take advantage of what they have.

"Death Valley" is one of the best places to watch a football game. Clemson has been at the top of the rankings most years as of late (2021 notwithstanding). This leads to eyes on the university from a national stage, and it brings some amazing events to build around the football games.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden has one of the largest collections of nature-based sculptures in the nation. There are multiple nature walks and streams within the gardens. The discovery center within the gardens has a bunch of local artists' work. There's also the Hanover House, which was relocated to the gardens. It's a house built way back in 1716 and has moved several times to save its historical and cultural significance.

Everyone who goes to Clemson University has to try the Esso Bar at least once. They turned a 1920's gas station into a classic dive bar. It's a great place to sit after a Clemson win and the iconic tailgates. That's what happens when a 17,000 person town is able to fit more than 100,000 people into Memorial Stadium. There are a lot of people that use this as their outing for the month, and it shows how wild people get.

Best college towns in America: Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Home of University of Sioux Falls)

When the town is named after a waterfall, tourists need to go see the waterfall. That's exactly the case in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Big Sioux River falls over a wide rock formation making it one of the coolest sights in South Dakota. The falls are along a trail that goes right through the town.

How about checking out some ships in the middle of South Dakota? Confused? Despite not having any big bodies of water, Sioux Falls is home to the Battleship Memorial. It was built to commemorate the U.S.S. South Dakota. It was the most decorated battleship of World War II.

The Sertoma Butterfly House will allow you to be surrounded by 800 butterflies, but make sure to keep the jacket in the car. To make the conditions ideal for the butterflies, they keep it a balmy 80 degrees at all times. Still, it's worth it to see butterflies from five different continents, and they have a touch tank for a bamboo shark and a stingray.

The Old Courthouse Museum is the epitome of ancient infrastructure. This is something you need to see up close, especially in front of the clock tower. The Cathedral of St. Joseph is another piece of infrastructure that's hard to believe until it's seen up close. Both can be toured on your own.

Best college towns in America: Knoxville, Tennessee (Home of University of Tennessee)

There are three major cities in Tennessee. Everyone knows about the musical history of Memphis and Nashville, however, Knoxville has its own take on music. In fact, the city's website claims they appreciate music "maybe more than any other city in America." That's a lofty claim, but with a city that has a music festival nearly every weekend and a real focus on local music not only in the venues but on the radio stations, the city backs up those lofty claims.

The city is still most known for Tennessee, and Volunteers football especially. No matter the status of the team on the field, the fans off the field are just as excited for "Rocky Top" every Saturday. Being right on the Tennessee River brings an extra element to football season. The party isn't just in the parking lots, it's in the water as well. The tailgates are must-see TV and the best place to people-watch in the entire state.

Market Square has the best shopping in Knoxville. They have everything from artisan markets to boutiques where they will pamper you. They even have winter and holiday markets to get those one-of-a-kind gifts.

Tennessee is a lovely state, and Knoxville is a special place. One of the places you won't stop talking about is the World's Fair Park. It was the site of the 1982 World's Fair, and it's now a green space perfect for picnics and concerts.

Best college towns in America: Austin, Texas (Home of University of Texas)

Austin, Texas. Where do we start? This is famously one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It's very different than other parts of Texas, as it boasts a progressive nature and is home to the South-by-Southwest festival. Despite being relatively new on the "must-visit" list of young people, it's been home to the University of Texas for 140 years. It started with one building and 221 students. Today, the student population is north of 50,000.

Despite being a growing metropolis, the city of Austin is still bleeding burnt orange every Saturday. Horns Up and Hook Em Horns is just something that's said constantly across the city. The tailgates are big business, and they are usually sponsored. That means there is free food and drinks for students and visitors alike. Free beer usually leads to a raucous crowd.

Rainey Street is where the party happens in Austin. It has themed bars along what looks like a neighborhood. There are some bars that look like they are walking into a home and then there's another bar that is literally made up of storage containers. Every bar has dancing and drinks, so wherever you end up the times will be good.

The Barton Springs Pool is one of the most interesting things about Austin, Texas. Most of the time, we want to steer clear of the public pool, but this is honestly the best spot for people-watching in Texas. It's a three-acre-sized pool that runs on natural spring water and doesn't get closer than 68 degrees all year. That will do just fine in the Texas heat.

Best college towns in America: Provo, Utah (Home of Brigham Young University)

Utah itself is an underrated state to visit. Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon alone are reasons to take a trip, but Salt Lake City is a great city in itself. Then, there is Provo, Utah, the home to BYU. The school is famous for what it's been able to do on Saturdays. They have Zach Wilson and Tayson Hill in the NFL now. This town has so much more than great quarterback play.

Bridal Veil Falls is something everyone needs to see once in their life. It's a 600-foot tall waterfall right on the side of Provo Canyon. It used to be the home of "the world's steepest tramway", but that was destroyed by an avalanche back in the 90s and was never rebuilt (probably for the best). The canyon itself is also a great place to hike or bring a picnic lunch.

There are a ton of museums on and off-campus, including the local Museum of Art and the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. The latter teaches students about other cultures to bring a diverse feel to the city of Provo. There's also the Museum of Paleontology, which collects the best rocks and dinosaur fossils from the surrounding states.

Provo Beach is an indoor park that has its own wave pool. That's not something one would expect from this town, but expect the unexpected from this great Utah area.

Best college towns in America: Burlington, Vermont (Home of University of Vermont)

Vermont is known for skiing and those amazing New England Autumns. Skiing and snowboarding are the number one activity for UVM students. It makes Vermont actually busier in the winter, something more northern states actually can't claim. The most popular mountain to hit the slopes in this area is the Green Mountains. If you're not skiing in Burlington, Vermont, then you didn't do Burlington, Vermont correctly.

Since there are so many people coming for the skiing and the autumn breeze, that means the events come around the same time. And that is the same time that football season comes about. It brings a different vibe than other stadiums, but it's going to turn an experience at a football game into a whole vacation.

Burlington, Vermont is more than just skiing and leaves. The downtown area is doing very well with more lowkey pubs and restaurants. There are also some music venues on top of those.

The University of Vermont has everything one would expect from a New England fall or winter. Might as well spend it on the campus of a university while also catching a football game.

Best college towns in America: Charlottesville, Virginia (Home of University of Virginia)

This was a close race between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech University. Right now, UVa is inching ahead as the best campus experience. Virginia has been ranked as the most beautiful campus in America by multiple lists. It's near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail, so there is obviously ample nature in the area.

UNESCO named this a World Heritage Site back in the 80s, the only university on the list. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson designed the campus, and it's been copied by campuses nationwide as they try to mimic his ability with the design. Like many other sequels, the sequels are never as good as the original.

During football season, the 8.000 trees on campus change colors and making it yet another reason why the campus is one of the most beautiful in the world.

The Historic Downtown Mall is an experience in itself. This pedestrian mall boasts shops, restaurants, and bars amongst its 150-plus businesses. It covers seven blocks of pedestrian-only traffic. It's a place to spend an entire day if you can get away from the campus for that long.

Best college towns in America: Seattle, Washington (Home of University of Washington)

Seattle is one of the few cities on this list that is considered one of the biggest in the country. The biggest team in the city is not the college team. That would go to the Seattle Seahawks. There's also the Mariners, Sounders, and now the Seattle Kraken in the NHL.

However, the University of Washington still holds a special place in Seattle. The campus is amazing. There's a giant lake right outside the stadium which really makes the ambiance of the football game so much better. Win or lose, Husky fans are getting the best experience inside the stadium because of the amazing views from the seats.

One of the best experiences on the Washington campus is heading up to the stadium on game day by boat. People just dock up and do the tailgate right on the boat. It's an amazing experience. If you are spending one weekend in the Pacific Northwest, make sure you get to the game by boat.

The big place right off campus to spend time as a tourist is going to "The Ave". This is where all the big bars and restaurants reside. There are also multiple thrift stores to check and see what second-hand items can come home with you. There are multiple museums to check out, including the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Best college towns in America: Morgantown, West Virginia (Home of West Virginia University)

Morgantown, West Virginia is just amazing. The city lies within the Appalachian Mountain trail, and it has a campus that is more prideful in its university than almost any college in the country. The Flying WV is seen across campus, and blue and gold seem to cover every inch of this town. It still has some of the roots from the coal miners that came before the students of today, but it has some newness that one might not expect from West Virginia.

Milan Puskar Stadium and its pregame tailgate are an experience every college football fan has to do at least once. It's the one stadium that players actually say can change the outcome of a game. It feels more like a European soccer stadium than anything.

The rest of Morgantown is a ton of fun. West Virginia's stadium is gorgeous, especially during the fall when the leaves are changing. Walking up to the Mountainlair on gameday shows the excitement. The only thing wrong with WVU is the fact that the stadium is on the "other" campus, so transportation is a little bit of a problem.

The bar scene is famous. Fat Daddy's, Joe Mama's, Bent Willy's, and Mario's Fishbowl are known nationwide. High Street is always going crazy on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. It can be a little over the top, so maybe stick to the mountains if fans are looking for a simple weekend away.

Best college towns in America: Madison, Wisconsin (Home of University of Wisconsin)

Madison, Wisconsin is actually home to more than a dozen higher education institutions. Obviously, it's most well known for the University of Wisconsin, where the Badgers play high-level football every season. However, the student body of this city reaches well beyond just Badgers football. It gives the entire town a diverse feel.

The University of Wisconsin itself is sitting on the edge of Lake Mendota. The lake brings so much for students to learn. Ever try ice fishing? They can on Lake Mendota. Haven't heard of snowkiting? The lake provides that as well. There are ice skating and ice hockey games going on in the winter as well. During the warmer months, it provides awesome scenery to the campus.

Since this is also the state capital, there are a plethora of museums and other historic landmarks to tour around the city. There's also the biggest producers-only farmer's market in the country. Get a taste of Wisconsin farms here.

Madison hires the graduates of the University of Wisconsin at an insane rate. This campus and this city are so great, people never want to leave.

Best college towns in America: Laramie, Wyoming (Home of University of Wyoming)

The former home of NFL star Josh Allen is well worth the time to visit despite being in the middle of Wyoming. The tailgate experience here is definitely unique. Some games come with a horse and buggy, people riding horses through the parking lot, and of course the marching band which goes to get the team from the hotel before the game. Everyone has to go through Tailgate Alley to get to the game, and if you're lucky, you'll get offered some of their best dishes before the game.

Laramie is home to the only university in Wyoming. That's an interesting note and brings people from across the state to Laramie. There is a lot to do in Laramie compared to other parts of the state, and history buffs will love to hit the historic state prison. It was once home to Butch Cassidy, the famous western outlaw.

The fishing on Lake Hattie is great for beginners and experts, as the water level can bring some big fish out to eat. Go in the morning though because the notorious Laramie winds might be a problem otherwise.

Take a night to see the sunset at Vedauwoo, the park steeped with Native American tradition. Watching the sun go down through the rock formations is impossible to explain in print. It's something people must see.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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