When searching for the perfect campus, active students look beyond academics to consider the campus community. From pedestrian campuses to bike-friendly areas, the most active college towns have their o
When searching for the perfect campus, active students look beyond academics to consider the campus community. From pedestrian campuses to bike-friendly areas, the most active college towns have their own appeal.
College Towns that Keep Students Active
Warding off the "freshman fifteen" isn't the only reason students are drawn to high-energy college towns. The chance to meet new people, to relax outdoors, and to enjoy an active lifestyle are all attractive additions to a college scene. Each of these ten cities offers a unique setting that helps students to keep that lean waistline while having fun.
Madison, WI. This green city entices outdoor types with low ozone levels, low pedestrian accident rates, and a high level of fitness activity. Bicycles outnumber cars 3:2 in this college town, and it's not uncommon for college students to forego cars entirely.
San Francisco, CA. The parks in this city bring college students outdoors in this beautiful coastal setting. Boating, sailing, and windsurfing are popular Bay activities. Recent polls show that the outdoor-loving residents of San Francisco are among the healthiest in the nation.
Tucson, AZ. With an average February temperature of 70 degrees, it's no wonder Tucson residents love the great outdoors. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are all popular activities in this college town where the sun shines 287 days a year.
Austin, TX. This college town makes the healthiest cities list as well, ranking above the national average in the number of people participating in physical fitness and exercise. College students can be found jogging and biking around Lady Bird Lake.
Hanover, NH. This tranquil college town is home to Dartmouth College, an Ivy League institution that attracts students interested in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and canoeing.
Salt Lake City, UT. Skiing is the favored outdoor activity in this college town, which recently hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. College students often enjoy day trips to the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Portland, ME. The small-town charm isn't the only draw for students who love winter activities. Students fish and sail in Casco Bay and enjoy 100 miles of nature and walking trails in the greater Portland area.
Gainesville, FL. This vibrant city is home to the University of Florida, and Gators find themselves at home in the city's active lifestyle. Gainesville has more runners per capita than almost any other city in the nation, due in part to an extensive web of trails.
Reno, NV. Students of the University of Nevada, Reno and other Reno colleges take day trips to the Lake Tahoe area, where boating in the summer gives way to skiing and snowboarding through the winter months.
Missoula, MT. Looking for a true outdoors experience? The seclusion of millions of acres of national forest can turn a weekend trip into a true communion with nature.
Whether you're just getting into outdoor activities, or you're looking to continue old hobbies from home, these cities provide an alternative to being stuck in the dorms.