#9. Greenville NC

Why It’s a Great Place to Go to College: Greenville is home to East Carolina University, which serves more than 28,000 students with high-caliber programs in nursing, business, medicine and more. The school was “built by the people, for the people, and may it ever remain with the people, as a servant of the people,” according to its first president Robert Wright, and those values continue to guide the university today. You’ll get a healthy dose of Southern charm and hospitality, as well as the chance to cheer on the school’s athletic teams — Go Pirates!

“Greenville is a great place to go to college because of the great community, how nice and supportive everyone is and the fact that Greenville is growing and getting better every year,” says Grady Dillon, an ECU senior studying communication.

Why You Should Put Down Roots Here (Even After Graduation): With 90,000 residents, this vibrant hub in eastern North Carolina is just the right size. Greenville is affordable and you’ll be able to find a job here thanks to strong healthcare and manufacturing industries. On the weekends, you’ll have a hard time choosing between this community’s many museums, historic sites, entertainment venues and outdoor recreation options (including tons of waterways for fishing, kayaking and boating).

Coolest Campus Tradition: Barefoot on the Mall, an annual end-of-the-year event featuring live music, inflatables, food trucks, activities and more.

Best Place to Get Out and About: The greenway that winds along the Tar River through the city. It’s the perfect spot to ride a bike or take a refreshing walk.

Best Fourth Meal: Christy’s Euro Pub

Place to Be on a Saturday Night: Dickinson Avenue arts and entertainment district, home to tons of shops, restaurants, breweries and activities, many of which are owned by ECU alums (Go Pirates!)

Beloved Brewery: Pitt Street Brewing Company

Best Bookstore (for non-textbooks): David’s Used Books

Favorite Coffee Shop Study Spot: Buzz Coffee House or Blackbeard Coffee Roasters

Local Dream Job: New flavor tester at Simply Natural Creamery, which has the creamiest ice cream around

What Keeps Alumni Coming Back: Tailgating and watching the Pirates play in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, as well as a visit to Sup Dogs, a beloved local restaurant that specializes in tasty hot dogs.

Read More About Living in Greenville, NC:

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