10 of the America's Coolest College Towns

Last Updated on March 01, 2023 by Nikki Jain

America is a country that is filled with college towns and cities, and with the best ones residents are able to benefit in many ways from enjoying enhanced educational opportunities through to benefiting from increased economic stability. When it comes to these college towns, there are some that have a far better reputation than others for a variety of reasons. Below are ten of the best college towns across the United States.

Best College Towns in the USA

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1: Manhattan, Kansas

Manhattan, Kansas
Flickr/Kevin Zollman
Often referred to as ‘The Little Apple’ and around 1,300 miles away from ‘The Big Apple’, Manhattan in Kansas is a very popular college town. It is in this vibrant and thriving city that you will find Kansas State University and in addition to this fine educational institution the area has plenty more going for it. You can benefit from affordable housing options, which is ideal for students that will be looking for accommodation during their time at university. In addition, you can enjoy access to jobs, benefit from economic stability, and choose from a wide variety of entertainment options.

Address: Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506

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2: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Flickr/Connie Ma
Durham in North Carolina is home to the well known Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Along with Chapel Hill and Raleigh, the city is also part of the Research Triangle Park where you will find close to two hundred major organizations covering a wide range of different industries. This is a diverse city and residents here tend to be well educated as well as ambitious. You will still find plenty of affordable accommodation options here as well as some great job opportunities.

Address: Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

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3: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Flickr/Adam Procter
Columbia in Missouri is home to a number of different educational institutions, and this includes the popular University of Missouri. Known as something of a bohemian town filled with budding entrepreneurs and people with creative flair, this is a place that is not only popular amongst students but also with graduates who have now finished their studies and are looking to make their way in the world.

Address: University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211

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4: Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California
Situated on the border of San Francisco, Berkeley is home to the University of California’s oldest campus. This is a chilled out town with a cool vibe and relaxed atmosphere. Not only is this a great town for students but its wide variety of recreational and entertainment opportunities also makes it a great place for others to live in. There are some fabulous restaurants here too so those who consider themselves foodies will certainly not be short on choice.

Address: University of California, Berkeley, CA

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5: Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas
Flickr/Nicolas Henderson
Diverse, unique and attractive, Denton is a town that is both relaxed and entertaining. Here you will find the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University. You will also find one of the highest levels of horse occupation in this town, as it is part of North Texas Horse Country. Another thing that the area has become known for is its exciting and diverse musical entertainment, which means that there is plenty for people to do after a day at university or even at work.

Address: University of North Texas, 1155 Union Cir, Denton, TX 76203

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6: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
This is a very well known college town and boasts two major educational institutions, which includes Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There is a lot of employment in the educational sector in this area largely due to the number of schools that can be found here. However, there are also businesses and organizations from other sectors and this seems to be on the increase, which means greater opportunities for those graduating from the educational institutions here.

Address: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

7: Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville in Florida is home to the University of Florida, which is one of the ten largest universities in the country based on enrollment numbers. This is also where you will find the well known Florida Gators as well as a huge variety of entertainment and attractions to suit a range of different tastes. Many people love the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation in this area and there are some excellent water based activities to enjoy. Growth in terms of jobs and the economy has also been healthy over recent years.

Address: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

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8: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Flickr/Brian Cribb
Columbia is not only South Carolina’s capital but is also home to the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson. This is a very popular college town and has so much to offer that it is perfect for both students and non-students. There are plenty of recreational opportunities here in addition to educational ones with some beautiful outdoor areas to enjoy as well as plenty of fun and entertainment to suit all tastes and preferences.

Address: University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208

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9: Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
This area is home to the University of Nebraska and is also known as a wonderful place to live, ranking it amongst the top college towns in the United States. With one of the country’s lowest rates of unemployment, this is an area that is perfect not only for students but also for graduates who want to kick start their career. There is also a vibrant nightlife to enjoy here, which is another thing that makes it popular amongst students as well as those who like to socialize.

Address: University of Nebraska, 1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588

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10: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green, Kentucky
Flickr/Peter Dutton
Kentucky’s 3rd largest city, Bowling Green is also home to the state’s 2nd largest college, which is Western Kentucky University. The area has undergone a lot of regeneration over the years and is now a vibrant destination with plenty to attract students, new residents and visitors. This college town has also been dubbed amongst the top places to retire in the United States, making it a popular choice amongst all age groups and not just students.

Address: 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101

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