6 of the Best College Towns in America

As high school seniors put the final touches on their college apps, they may be imagining all of the different lives they might begin in the coming fall. Will they spend their afternoons wandering the brick lined streets of a quaint New England town? Or look out of their dorm window onto the rolling Ohio countryside? Maybe they will spend their Friday nights going to underground music shows in Los Angeles, or will spend their weekends on ski trips with their floormates. Every college experience is unique to its location. Below, we round up six of the greatest college towns in the country.


1. Boulder, Colorado

Home to the University of Colorado, Boulder is a spunky town perfect for young people. The surrounding mountains provide plenty of opportunity for extracurricular hiking or snowboarding. Boulder is awesome for undergrads, but many U of Colorado graduates love the town so much that they choose to stick around after they finish with school.

Boulder has a fairly expensive housing market. The average rent in the city is $2016 per month, with one bedrooms costing $1798 on average and two bedrooms averaging $2901 per month.


2. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Boston has been dubbed America's college town for its high concentration of universities, and no part of Boston does "college town" better than Cambridge. With both MIT and Harvard campuses located here, Cambridge is chock full of brilliant young adults. The historic brick buildings, lovely tree lined streets and New England charm all create a collegiate vibe that seems straight out of the movies. Harvard Square has plenty of options for both food and nightlife, so there is never a dull moment.

Cambridge is not a cheap place to live however. The average rent in Cambridge is $3002 per month, with one bedrooms going for $2595 per month and two bedrooms costing $3328.


3. Berkeley, California

Arguably one of the most iconic college towns in the country, Berkeley is a haven for student activists and hippies. The backdrop for the counterculture movement of the 60s and 70s, Berkeley has long embraced its radical image. Primarily populated by University of California Berkeley students, the Bay Area city has a super fun, offbeat vibe. If you are vegan, an environmentalist and/or an activist, you will feel right at home in Berkeley.

All this quirky local culture comes at a steep price however. Living off campus in Berkeley means paying Bay Area prices. The average rent in Berkeley is $2906 per month with one bedrooms costing $2523 and two bedrooms averaging $3382.


4. Ames, Iowa

There isn't much happening in Ames besides Iowa State University, but that is part of its charm. Surrounded by cornfields, 30 miles outside of Des Moines, Ames is a cozy Midwestern town with a lot of local color. Going to school in Ames is like living in a comfortable bubble. The town's social calendar primarily revolves around Iowa State Cyclone games and an array of cute seasonal festivals.

Living in Ames is also dirt cheap. Rent in the town averages $937 per month with one bedrooms going for $768 per month and two bedrooms costing $923 per month.


5. Athens, Georgia

This sleepy Southern town is one of the most alluring spots in Georgia. With plenty of neoclassical architecture and Spanish moss, Athens is a postcard come to life. For such a small city, Athens has an impressive music scene, producing famous bands such as REM, the B-52s and Neutral Milk Hotel. With plenty of options for dining and nightlife, University of Georgia students love living in Athens.

Living off campus in Athens is relatively affordable. The average rent in the southern town is $953 per month. One bedrooms cost $781 on average and two bedrooms go for $888 per month.


6. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Everyone who visits Ann Arbor falls in love with it. This city is home to the University of Michigan, a prestigious state school known for their football. One of the Big 10, University of Michigan loves their sports. The whole city rallies together on game day to cheer on the home team. Outside of sports, Ann Arbor is an inviting, walkable city with beautiful architecture and plenty of green spaces.

The rent isn't too bad either. The average rent for an apartment in Ann Arbor is $1985 per month. One bedrooms cost $1204 per month on average, and two bedrooms average $1563 per month.

Do you prefer the historic charms of Cambridge, or the cozy Midwest feel of Ames, Iowa? Are you a counterculture hippie ready to make a home in Berkley, or would you prefer to spend your weekends cheering from the stands in Ann Arbor? Whatever you choose, the place you choose to spend the next four years is sure to make a lasting impact. Check out our rental listings for every college town in America to learn more.

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