Best Places to Live

2011 10 Best College Towns

Sure, the presence of a college gives you sports teams, arts scenes and nightlife to cheer for, but these towns offer dynamic living and a range of entertainment options to keep you busy. Take a look at our picks.


A good college town stimulates young minds. It offers a touch of the familiar while encouraging exploration and fosters a sense of pride. And even if you're not taking classes, there's just something about being near a campus that gets in your blood. You can't help but become intertwined in the history, the pageantry and the excitement that a college creates.

This list isn't a ranking of schools. It's not a roundup of party places either.'s Top 10 College Towns are cities where academic endeavors extend beyond the campus and energize the community. These places have become economic epicenters, artistic hubs, cultural cornerstones and entertainment meccas. They give the student great places to learn, grow and play, while at the same time giving residents the benefits that come with being near a vibrant educational institution. In a nutshell, they've got a lot of offer whether you're after a degree, a new career or a place to settle down.

Check out our most recent Top College Towns list here.

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Ranking Criteria

Campus offers resident enrichment.
College promotes community spirit
Great restaurants
Low unemployment rate