Beautiful College Cities Worth Considering

The United State calls itself home to approximately 5,300 colleges, most of which are located in the most beautiful cities that the country has to offer. Here is a list of the top five most beautiful college towns the U.S. has to offer in no particular order that Travel Trivia has provided, and a degree is not needed to enjoy spending time in them.

Boone, North Carolina

Boone, North Carolina calls itself home to Appalachian State University. Boone is an ideal location for relaxation and also offers an incomparable dining scene. Home to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a hike is an option at a moment’s notice. Another prime hiking destination is Howard Knob directly in the center of the city. If there is a desire for something more intense, there is a semi-difficult path to Grandfather’s Bridge. Grandfather’s Bridge is a mile-high suspension bridge surrounded by gorgeous views of the mountains. For someone looking to shop, King Street is a prime shopping destination. After working up an appetite, head on over to Porper or Vidalia for a modern southern meal.

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland is a gorgeous town full of history, beautifully located on Chesapeake Bay. Home to the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis possesses a calm unmatched by most college towns. A must-do is taking a peaceful walk along the water and shopping at the boutiques nearby. For the water lovers, there are options to take a sailing cruise around the harbor or taking a water taxi. If on a walk through the Naval Academy, there might even be a wedding party outside of the chapel, swords in the air to celebrate the newly married couple. When visiting Chesapeake Bay, eating crabs is a must, and there is no shortage of options around Annapolis.

 Burlington, Vermont

Vermont is a hidden gem in terms of vacation destinations, and Burlington is no exception. Standing high and proud on the hill looking down onto the city is the University of Vermont. It is only a mile from Lake Champlain, providing an amazing view of both the city and the calmness of the lake. During the summer months, it is almost mandatory to rent a paddleboard and explore the shoreline. For the people looking for a different type of adventure, there is the option of hiking in the Green Mountains at Mount Philo. During the winter, Burlington is full of contentment and comfort. Skiing is definitely a huge option. Burlington is 25 minutes from Bolton Valley and less than an hour from Stowe. A big thing to remember is that Vermont is home to Ben and Jerry’s, and there is no inappropriate time for ice cream.

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin is not only the state capital but also the location of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The town is magnificently located between two lakes. The summer is the perfect time to rent a kayak and paddle to the waterfront restaurants. During the winter, grab a pair of snowshoes and travel along the lake for the perfect winter picnic. From April to November, locals spend time at the Dane County Farmers Market on Saturdays for local produce and flowers. For the history buffs, there are also tours are the state capitol building. For those looking for something more outdoorsy, the botanical gardens are a prime vacation destination.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is one of the blissful cities in the United States, making it a prime location for a college- the University of Colorado- Boulder. The air is clean and crisp and surrounded by mountains that create a peaceful environment that unparalleled. For an ideal college and vacation experience, a football game would be perfect as the football stadium has a breathtaking view of the Flatirons. For those looking for a nature adventure, the prime destinations are a hiking Chautauqua or a kayaking trip along Boulder Creek. Many of the college students take advantage of how easily accessible it is to ski and snowboard in the area.

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Choosing the Right College or University

Choosing a college or university to attend is a major life decision, but it’s not one that you have to make alone. U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings can take some of the stress out of the school research and selection process and help students find a college that’s a good fit.  One thing you can do to get clarity on the best fit is take one of several online personality quizzes to help you narrow down your choices.

The rankings provide a good starting point for students trying to compare schools. The four overall rankings – National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges – are based on factors that indicate academic quality, such graduation rates and faculty resources.

But the best school for each student, experts say, is one that will most completely meet his or her needs, which go beyond academics. This is why U.S. News offers dozens of more-focused rankings and lists to help prospective undergraduate students compare schools based on the qualities that matter most to them, such as ethnic diversity on campus and percent of students who live in university housing.

Chances are, there’s a ranking or list that’s relevant to you. For example, veterans can research the schools that are best-equipped to serve them; students interested in historically black colleges and universities can explore the HBCU rankings; and international students can learn which schools already have a strong non-U.S. student community on campus.

Affordability is another key consideration for students and their families, so U.S. News created lists of Best Value Schools and schools that award merit aid to the most students. The Paying for College knowledge center offers additional insights and tips about different types of education aid, including grants, loans and scholarships.

In addition to the rankings, prospective students can explore extensive statistical profiles for the more than 1,800 schools in the U.S. News Best Colleges directory. These profiles are packed with information about a school’s cost, financial aid policies, admissions requirements, student body and more. Families can see additional data points by signing up for the U.S. News College Compass.

Together, the rankings and profiles can help students learn about a range of school options – public and private, large and small – throughout the country, some of which they might not have considered before. They are valuable tools that can help you find a college or university that’s right for you.  Here are a few of the most frequently searched categories:

Category 1: National Universities

Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Columbia University (tie)
New York, NY

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
Cambridge, MA

University of Chicago (tie)
Chicago, IL

Yale University (tie)
New Haven, CT

Category 2: Liberal Arts Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.

Williams College
Williamstown, MA

Amherst College
Amherst, MA

Swarthmore College (tie)
Swarthmore, PA

Wellesley College (tie)
Wellesley, MA

Category 3: A Plus Schools for B Students

If you’re a good student with less-than-stellar test scores or a so-so GPA, these are the schools for you. These colleges, which have strong ratings in the 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, accept a significant number of students with nonstratospheric transcripts.


Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY


Pennsylvania State University–University Park
University Park, PA


American University
Washington, DC

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