America's 10 Most Scenic College Towns

You may have guessed from the elaborate store displays of papasan chairs and Ramen Noodles that it’s college time again. And if you have a child who is attending college this year, you know there will likely be more than one road trip or flight to his or her school. Are you headed to one of these 10 gorgeous college towns this season?

Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Colleges: Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, Emerson College, etc.
George Washington Statue, Public Garden [Boston, Massachusetts]

With more than 25 secondary education institutions, Boston ranks as one of the U.S.’s most academic New England cities, as well as one of the oldest (founded in 1630). Boston offers visitors a well-preserved peak into the nation’s beginnings on a journey along the Freedom Trail – a pathway through the city that highlights historic landmarks like Paul Revere’s house.

Place: Boulder, Colorado
Colleges: University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University
University of Colorado [Boulder, Colorado]

Crouched at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is Boulder. It was rated No. 1 in the list of America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well, and it’s no surprise, considering its ample space to play and gorgeous mountain setting just west of the Flatirons.

Place: Eugene, Oregon
Colleges: University of Oregon
Univeristy of Oregon [Eugene, Oregon]

Blanketed by forests of pines and thick woodlands, it’s easy to understand how Eugene, Oregon, earned the nickname, “Emerald City.” Spencer Butte rises over Oregon’s second largest city and can be seen from the city’s many hiking trails, biking paths and parks – like Hendricks Park – scattered throughout the area.

Place: Seattle, Washington
Colleges: University of Washington, Seattle University, Bellevue College, etc.
Pike Place Market [Seattle, Washington]

The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle sits between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, not far from the Canadian border. Capture breathtaking shots of the shoreline from the iconic Space Needle or the Seattle Great Wheel, or stay on ground-level and explore the Pike Place Market.

Place: Duluth, Minnesota
Colleges: University of Minnesota Duluth, The College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, etc.
Aerial Lift Bridge  [Duluth, Minnesota]

Minnesota’s beloved North Shore city is situated on the southern tip of Lake Superior. The area is especially popular in autumn, when the shoreline is set ablaze in red, orange and golden hues. Canal Park and the famous Aerial Lift Bridge are popular attractions.

Place: Charlottesville, Virginia
Colleges: University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Hereford College, etc.
University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Hereford College [Charlottesville, Virginia]

U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe once called Charlottesville, Virginia home. The junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive is a short drive from downtown Charlottesville – a perfect place to capture sweeping mountain views after a stroll along the downtown mall.

Place: San Luis Obispo, California
Colleges: California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), Cuesta College, etc.
California Polytechnic State Univeristy, Cuesta College [San Luis Obispo, California]

Not far from the Santa Lucia Mountains, set among the rolling hills of California’s Central Coast is San Luis Obispo. This college town many not be very large, but what it lacks in people it makes up in natural beauty. Depending on the time of year, the surrounding slopes are either a lush green or golden hue

Place: New Orleans, Louisiana
Colleges: Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane University, Dillard University, etc.
Loyola University, Tuland University, Dillard University [New Orleans, Louisiana]

Lafayette Square, Canal Street the French Quarter – these are only a few areas to explore in New Orleans to get a true feel for the city’s historical origins and multicultural heritage. Foodies love the signature beignets as well as crawfish boils, jambalaya and other Creole dishes that can be found here.

Place: Nashville, Tennessee
Colleges: Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Tennessee State University, etc.
Vanderbilt University, Belmont Univeristy, Tennessee State University [Nashville, Tennessee]

Coined the “Music City,” Nashville serves not only as a college town, but as a mecca for country music fans. Vanderbilt University’s proximity to Music Row means students and visitors can literally walk to some of the biggest attractions in the city, including the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Place: Chicago, Illinois
Colleges: University of Chicago, DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago, etc.
University of Chicago, DePaul University, Columbia College [Chicago, Illinois]

Chicago holds the position as the third most populated U.S. city, with more than 2.5 million residents. The impressive cityscape includes Willis Tower and the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Many of the colleges here have been ranked among the top national universities, including the University of Chicago.

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Lauren Elizondo

Autumn foliage, architectural decay, that feeling you get in your stomach when you speed over a dip in the road – these are just a few of Lauren Elizondo’s favorite things she’s had the chance to experience while traveling. When Lauren’s not writing abo