America’s nine most amazing college towns: The Daily Caller’s definitive list

There are lots of lists out there concerning the best college towns. This one, however, is the definitive list. From quintessential college towns with great beer specials to cities that never sleep, this list hits just the great ones—no more, no less.

The Daily Caller’s 2013 list of the best college towns takes into account affordability, availability and variety of entertainment and activities, number of students in a town, school spirit, college sports, aesthetic appeal and much more. The primary factor, though, is awesomeness.


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  • <strong>New York City</strong> is home to a large number of colleges and universities including New York University, Columbia University, Barnard College, Cooper Union, Fordham University and the Julliard School. It's not a traditional college town, of course, and it's expensive as hell. However, if you have the means, and if the energy of a very frenetic city appeals to you, it's hard to imagine a more wonderful place to spend four years coming of age. (Photo: Flickr/CocteauBoy)
  • Austin, Texas is a large, weird, quirky capital city that is also home to the flagship campus of the <strong>University of Texas</strong> (and, for the record, a couple other small colleges). Students flock to Longhorn home games, but also frequent museums, restaurants and an array of bars and clubs. Sixth Street provides endless late night entertainment in a trendy area where historical houses meet commercial buildings. (Photo: Flickr/Incase)
  • Nearby Detroit may be wheezing its last gasps as a functioning city and the entire surrounding state may be economically moribund, but <strong>Ann Arbor, Michigan</strong> remains a helluva town. The University of Michigan is, of course, the centerpiece. In the fall, the city explodes with Wolverine pride as Michigan's football team kicks off. You don't have to like football at all to find happiness here, though. The overall vibe is cool and artsy (and, in the winter, cold). (Photo: Flickr/Andrew Home)
  • Set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, <strong>Boulder, Colorado</strong> wows with winding bike trails, nearly a dozen accessible ski slopes and breathtaking views galore. The University of Colorado adds over 30,000 students to the mix, fueling the area's economy and molding it to student needs. Undergrads flock to The Hill, a neighborhood west of the university campus, for the bar scene. Oh, and recreational marijuana use is legal. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • <strong>Athens, Georgia</strong>, beloved home of the University of Georgia, combines southern charm with a lively music scene and the quirks you'd expect of any great college town. There's an arty vibe. There are over 100 bars to offer. In the fall, Bulldogs football and tailgating reign supreme. (Photo: Facebook/Downtown Athens)
  • <strong>Chapel Hill, North Carolina</strong> features brick roads, hydrangea-lined walkways and -- perhaps most importantly -- thriving nightlife on Franklin Street. There's also an intense academic and athletic rivalry with nearby Duke University, particularly in men's basketball. Compared to the other places on this list, Chapel Hill is pretty affordable as well. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • All of the <strong>Greater Boston</strong> area is just crawling with colleges. All that youthful energy combined with the amenities of a world-class, historical city (with an extreme ardor for local sports teams, no less) can only add up to greatness. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • Sure, <strong>Berkeley, California</strong> is a freaky hotbed of aging hippies and liberal activism. The University of California, Berkeley is undeniably world-class, though, and the climate is amazing. One-of-a-kind shops and boutiques, constant live music and sprawling green areas are easily accessible. San Francisco is a short drive (or train ride). Students also have an endless supply of outdoor activities at their fingertips. (Photo: Flickr/InSapphoWeTrust)
  • Located between two picturesque lakes, <strong>Madison, Wisconsin</strong> offers students at the world-famous University of Wisconsin the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in one of the nation's most beautiful capitals. Students can also enjoy a hopping downtown and a spirited, downright raucous party scene. (Photo: Flickr/Mark Sadowski)

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