The Ultimate College Town

Big State Universities in the United States are kind of an institution. Many are located in little podunk towns and basically make the town’s population and certainly its notoriety such as College Park, Maryland where I went to school. However, this past weekend I was in Gainesville, Florida which is home to the the University of Florida, which was recently voted the number one party school in America and most likely has the best big time athletic program in the country. In my book that’s a pretty good combo and wouldn’t be a bad place to spend four years.

Gainesville itself is a typical college town, especially by SEC standards: it’s in the middle of nowhere, the campus is very nice and revolves around the football stadium; there are several bars and tons of little local restaurants. The difference is Gainesville has a really cool attitude about it and a ton of school spirit. Everybody cares about the football and basketball teams which have won 3 national championships in the past three years combined-including the first ever football/basketball double championship. The sports teams really make up the soul of school, not to mention UF has the hottest dance team around as well.

I have been to many college towns and campuses around the country and Florida is certainly up there at the top. The only place I may put ahead of it for all around college atmosphere would be the University of Texas at Austin which may be the best town in America but with Florida’s recent championships; Gainesville being a real college town as opposed to a real city like Austin; a huge Greek System; the great weather, party school title, and all around fun energy-Gainesville would probably be at the top.

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  1. I’ll take Penn State or Wisconsin anyday

  2. I couldn’t agree more! Go Gators!

  3. Madison, Wisconsin is an awesome town I agree and UW would probably be in my top 5 but not at the top and in no way shape or form would Happy Valley be up there. The football is only good again this year, basketball is nonexistent and PSU just isn’t that nice although Joe Pa is an institution and that gets them some points but not nearly a top 25er.

  4. U of Iowa –football season makes this place one of the most fun tailgating spots in the big ten.

  5. Since you are in Arizona, what about ASU or how about UCLA-those schools are pretty awesome.

  6. What’s up Brie…I haven’t been to U Iowa but their hoops program is down bigtime and football hasn’t been up in a few years although I am sure it is fun-all big ten schools are pretty fun-except of course for Ohio State-possibly the worst school in America.

  7. Since I’ve gotten a few emails about what my top all around sports/fun schools/towns would be they’d have to be as follows(these are only based on the ones I’ve been to):
    1. Gainesville, Florida (UF)
    2. Austin, Texas (UT)
    3. Madison, Wisconsin (UW)
    4. Tuscaloosa, Alabama (UA)
    5. College Park, MD (UM)-maybe a little biased

    Honorable mentions:
    Los Angeles (USC, UCLA)
    Athens, Georgia (UGA)
    Tempe, Arizona (ASU)

  8. Penn State is awful at everything, I went to Michigan which was cool but not nearly as good as Madison. I also went to a game at Iowa and that place was pretty good too, although I wouldn’t want to be there on non game days.

  9. Cool post-I vote for Texas bc Austin rules.

    1.Gainesville was voted best party school.
    2.Gainesville was voted best town to live in the US.
    3.Gainesville has perfect weather.
    4.Gainesville is dominant in nearly every sport.
    5.Gainesville has a strong academic program.

  11. I can’t imagine Gainesville is the best town to live in the US-thats pushing it a little I think. I can think of 20 other places I’d rather live although the weather is great.

  12. Gainesville was voted best city to live in the US and Canada by USATODAY and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC in a choice of over 400 cities in 2007. Google it. I didn’t pick it, so, nice try, jen.

  13. Sad but true Lee, however I said best TAILGATING ­čÖé

  14. I think Boulder, CO deserves some recognition as well. I lived there for 13 months in 2000-2001 and everyone there seemed very happy and on the weekends there was a street called Araphoe which was all frat houses for about 5-6 blocks and you could just walk from house to house partying and drinking free beer from the kegs and sociazing with tons of cool people – you didn’t even need to be invited in the houses it was a free for all. Not to mention Boulder has some awesome shopping, hiking, mountain biking trails and is only a short drive to the bustle of Denver.


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