Top 6 destinations in your college town


By: Elana Goodwin, Uloop

While college campuses will pretty much provide their students with everything they could want — from entertainment to dining and more — negating the need to venture away from its grounds, sometimes it's nice to get off campus.

College towns are usually full of interesting or worthwhile things to do and places to see. If you haven't really explored the college town near your school or need more ideas on what to do in your college town, here's a list of some of the top destinations to check out in your local college town.

1. Restaurants

You may love eating at the various dining options on campus (or at least love how convenient they are and/or that you can eat there for "free" if you're on a meal plan) but variety is the spice of life, and your college town is sure to be plenty flavorful. Arrange with friends to head into town on a weekend and spend the day checking out the local scene and grab lunch or dinner at a local establishment while you're out and about.

If you want to be more spontaneous, just stop in whatever eatery you see that strikes your fancy and whets your appetite. If you're more of a foodie and like to do your research before dining, look up the different college town restaurants online before you go into town and see what sort of menus they have and what kind of reviews they've gotten.

2. Museums

The types and number of museums in the college town that's outside your university will vary but there's sure to be some museums nearby. Look up what kinds of museums there are in town and then schedule a time to check them out.

Some museums will even give students a discounted price or have days of the month that are free to the public so you'll want to take note of that in your research as well.

3. Shopping

While there's bound to be bookstores near campus and shops selling university apparel, if you venture a bit further from your school you'll find more shopping destinations. The size of your college and the population of your college town may influence how close the nearest shopping center, mall, or strip mall is, but there's almost always one fairly close by.

Look up your favorite stores online to find a location that's near your school or go into town and explore the various shops there — you never know what you may find!

4. Concerts

Many colleges and universities host free concerts on campus a few times throughout the year but nearby concert venues may also attract popular artists, so it's worth checking out and keeping track of the lineups of nearby concert locales.

Some venues that are off-campus but nearby may even give students a discount or your student union may have discounted tickets available. Bigger stadiums may be more likely to book bigger talent but will also typically charge a steeper ticket price while smaller clubs' concerts will vary in act size.

Smaller venues also often charge a general admission fee, meaning the ticket price is cheaper but you won't have an actual seat. Check out local concert venues' websites for up-to-date information on what acts will be playing there and when.

5. Bars

A college town wouldn't be complete without a plethora of bar offerings throughout the burg. From breweries to Irish pubs to college bars to sports bars to dive bars to nightclubs, there's sure to be at least a few different types of bars in your college town you can head to for a drink and to hang with friends.

Different bars will have different atmospheres and feature varied drinks and prices so you may have to try out a couple to find the bar you're most comfortable in or like the most. If the bar you're headed to is further away from campus, make sure to go with friends and be smart about transportation and safety. Even if the bar you're headed to is right off-campus, you'll still want to be aware of your surroundings and go with a buddy.

6. Parks

Your school may or may not have an actual campus or quad area but even if it does (and especially if it doesn't), there may be some parks in your college town worth checking out and taking advantage of. You can typically go on a town's website to find out all about the town and its various features, including parks, or look at the town on a map to find green areas you can go to for a chill day.

Sometimes it's simply nice to get off campus and read or relax and do homework somewhere new or less crowded with college students. If you've got less of a homework load, grab some friends, a picnic, and a Frisbee and head to a nearby park for a fun day.

Explore the college town near your school to discover some of the different top destinations the town offers that you can take advantage of when you want to get off campus.

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