5 Top-Rated Campuses in the Country
Each year, numerous travel, college and architectural publications release their rankings of the top college towns and campuses. Here is an overview of five American campuses that tend to rank highly in the annual surveys. The campuses offer a mix of vibrant student life, inspiring outdoor landscapes and activities, and worthwhile local shops and businesses.
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia, based in Charlottesville, Va., ranks highly in many studies of the top college campuses in the country. Architectural Digest listed it first on a ranking of the 10 campuses with the best building architecture. The campus has been named a World Heritage site, which is something few campuses will ever be able to claim. Thomas Jefferson was the original architect for many of the buildings, including the famous Rotunda, and landscape layouts. His Monticello homestead isn't too far away.
Indiana University is based in Bloomington, Ind., less than a couple of hours from the major metropolitan market of Indianapolis. TheBestColleges.org ranked Bloomington, Ind. highly and called it the "ultimate college town" given its 1,200 miles of biking and running trails. Many of the buildings at Indiana University were built with Indiana limestone during the Great Depression.
University of Georgia
Athens, Ga. is the home of the University of Georgia. The town itself is probably best known for its music and famous musicians that call Athens, Ga. home, including R.E.M and the B-52's. Livability.com placed it third in a recent ranking of college towns, which was only down one slot from a No. 2 ranking the year before. There is some outdoor appeal as well, such as the State Botanical Gardens that are not too far away.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, Mich., rivals the University of Indiana as a top college campus. Another Big 10 school, the University of Michigan's appeal lies in its attractive campus and more than 150 parks and recreation areas nearby. Another stretch of vibrant shops, coffeehouses, restaurants and bars sit next to campus, with the famous football stadium of the Wolverines not too far away. Detroit is about 35 minutes from campus.
University of Colorado
A bit further west, the University of Colorado is based outside Denver in Boulder, Colo. Not many schools get to brag that they exist in the mountains and have many related hiking and biking activities. Boulder, Colo. is an avid sports city; the football team plays at Folsom Field. The town has many restaurants, microbreweries and just about any type of shopping imaginable.