There Are Plenty of Things To Do In College Towns

There Are Plenty of Things To Do In College Towns

Most people look back on their college years as some of the most fun and energetic years of their lives. College students go to class and parties and bars. But what is there to do for those of us who are a few, or more than a few, years older than the average co-ed? Many of the nation’s best colleges are located in small cities and towns, and while it may seem that these less metropolitan areas have little to offer, college towns have lots of things to do.


This one is a bit obvious. College sports fans are rabid, and big football and basketball games can draw crowds that rival professional games. What many visitors do not realize is that sports stadiums are also an attraction. Often these historical buildings also house museums commemorating famous players and legendary contests.


Sure, college students may not be known for being picky. Cheap and fast certainly sell well in the food world surrounding campuses. But the influx of new students, visiting parents, and rival teams, coupled with the older, sophisticated population of professors and administrators, attracts new and trend-setting chefs and restaurateurs. It’s no wonder why college towns are featured locations on food-related television shows frequently.


Speaking of that older population, the saturation of highly educated people creates an environment primed for professional theater, music, and speaking engagements. Even educational presentations fill large houses in college towns because professors incentivize students with things to do that can offer them extra credit. Some of these professors are academic celebrities themselves and offer open lectures outside of their regular teaching commitments. Also, colleges host national conferences on a variety topics, bringing scores of experts to campuses across the country.


College towns have always been a hotbed for emerging and just-under-the radar stars. Plenty of successful bands have formed while the members were attending class together. Some of the nation’s most prolific small to mid-size record labels have addresses within a few miles of a university. Music clubs situated near campuses often host secret shows and showcases for these labels to scout or promote new talent. It is common practice to spot huge music legends popping into local dives after shows.

Emerging Talent

Complementing all the music, arts, and culture that visit college towns, another exciting thing to do when visiting these areas is to check out student performances and presentations. Plenty of college campuses have a campus improv troupe looking for an audience. They also feature visual artists on display in a student gallery, an a capella group practicing for competitions, and even debate societies priming young minds for future political careers.


While skating rinks and bowling alleys faded into the deepest recesses of the American suburbs in recent years, these types of businesses are still thriving in college towns, where young people have plenty of free time and disposable income.

College towns offer so many things to do and offer a diverse population. Consider spending some time getting to know a smaller city or neighborhood located near an institution of higher learning.