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Best College Cities

Location, Location, Location: Which College City is Right for You?

If you are looking for a great place to call home, a city with culture and activity, a place where you can meet people and advance your career, then here’s a list of 10 great potentials for your consideration:

The down-home atmosphere and reasonable cost of living keep people flocking to the state capital of Texas.

• Austin's official slogan is "The Live Music Capital of the World." The music and film showcase South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits and the bars on Sixth Street contribute to Austin’s world-famous live local music scene.
• Austin is home to almost 50,000 students, who contribute to the city’s funky personality. Speaking of funky, many Austinites strive to preserve the unique spirit of the city and support the unofficial motto, "Keep Austin Weird."
• The humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters, allow for plenty of outdoor activity. Austin is home to at least 80 miles of bike trails, plus many bike lanes on city streets. On weekends, numerous Lance Armstrong-wannabes hit the Hill Country next door.

Locals know Boston is a wicked place to live. It’s home to baked beans, the Red Sox and lots of higher-ed schools with some 300,000 students.

• Boston is a big city that manages to feel small. The “T” makes getting around a breeze, so you don’t have to worry about “pahking your cah.”
• The Charles River and Boston Common provide plenty of natural space.
• Newbury Street’s Victorian structures house some of the country’s most fashionable shops and restaurants.
• The telephone, microwave oven and e-mail are products of Boston’s genius. The city remains a high-tech hub, thanks to the brainpower at universities like MIT and Harvard.
• The adventurous student can hike or bike on the many nature trails, sail at the Boston Sailing Center or enjoy non-stop fun at Six Flags New England theme park.
• Learn more about Boston here.

The windy city may be chilly nine months out of the year, but locals say it’s the warmth of the people that makes the difference. Besides, watching “Da Bears” isn’t the same unless you’re huddled under layers of blankets.

• This city of neighborhoods is a place where you can hop on the “L” for feta in Greektown, gnocchi in Little Italy and dim sum in Chinatown.
• Young professionals tend to gravitate to the north side, but the south side is enjoying a renaissance, thanks to the White Sox.
• Chicago is a cyclist’s paradise; there are 18 miles of downtown paths, plenty of lanes and a good attitude about cycling.

Get a closer look at the mile-high city. Like many urban areas, Denver’s seen a trend of people returning to the city center from suburbia.

• The Rocky Mountains are literally in your backyard here, and every street downtown has a view. The mountain panorama visible from Denver is 120 miles long and includes nearly 200 named peaks.
• Denver is a lively city with a great love of the outdoors. Residents enjoy the snowy slopes in the winter time and the scenic hiking trails in the summer. Denver offers more than 300 days of sunshine, plus there are more than 35 ski areas and 15 million acres of national parks in the area.
• Here you'll find the nation's largest city park system, 90 golf courses and an incredible 650 miles of paved bike trails.

What could be better than working in paradise? Honolulu has fun, sun and a happenin’ city center. However, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for this slice of paradise. Living in Hawaii doesn’t come cheap.

• If you want to surf, go where surfing was invented. Honolulu also offers nearby volcanoes to explore.
• For day-to-day exercise, the city boasts 50 to 60 miles of bike trails and a growing number of bike lanes.
• Hawaii is the only state with not just a music scene but its own unique brand of music. It’s not all just mellow ukuleles, either. There’s even Hawaiian rap.

Los Angeles
People who live in L.A. almost always are connected to the entertainment industry in one way or another. This can make for plenty of camaraderie or boredom, depending on how you look at it.

• Believe it or not, movies are not the only cultural offerings. In fact, the L.A. area has 300 museums, more than any other on a per-person basis.
• L.A. offers beaches, sun and style. The downside – it also comes with smog and sprawl. Forget about venturing to Los Angeles unless you have wheels. You’ll need them if you want to get anywhere.

Hot, hot, hot. It’s no secret Miami likes to party. Miami is an excellent choice for the beach lover; there’s warm weather year-round and public beaches in the downtown area. The fabulously famous and ridiculously wealthy come here to play.

• The city consists of international stores and nightspots that stay open well into the night.
• The pleasant climate is ideal for getting some fresh air. You can swim, play volleyball, in-line skate, bike, jog, or get a tan along the seashore.
• Miami has an enormous cultural blend. The city boasts a colorful Latin culture, and many companies make their Latin American headquarters here.

New York
New York, New York, is a city so nice they named it twice. New York has something for everyone.

• There’s so much to do here that you’ll learn why it’s called the city that never sleeps. However, it’s not cheap, so be prepared to fork over plenty of moolah.
• The city has an assortment of great entertainment. Art lovers will be fascinated by the many galleries and displays at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Concerts in Central Park are ideal for the music lovers.

San Francisco
One of the best hot spots for twenty-something adults is San Francisco.

• San Francisco offers great shops and restaurants, as well as natural beauty with its Victorian-style homes and hilly streets.
• The weather is never too cold or too hot. This allows for more outdoor sports. Residents are able to bike, rollerblade and hike year-round.
• San Francisco is popular with young adults due to its diversity. The city is receptive to individuals expressing themselves and living alternative lifestyles.

Seattle is a city full of innovators. This is where alternative music was born, Microsoft techies do their thing, out-of-this-world customer service became the norm at Nordstrom, and UPS got its start.

• There’s a reason for being “Sleepless in Seattle.” This town loves its coffee and coffee shops. Starbucks is another business born in Seattle.
• The U.S. Census Bureau found Seattle to have the country’s highest percentage (52.7 percent) of residents age 25 and under with undergraduate degrees. Innovators and intellects abound!
• Although the weather is notorious for being gray and rainy, New York actually gets more rain than Seattle. It just comes down slower here.
• Seattle’s outdoor enthusiasts aren’t slowed down by a little drizzle. The Olympic and Cascade Mountains surrounding Seattle offer excursions for beginners and professionals. Snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking - the outdoor opportunities are endless!

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