When someone says “college town” you probably think football games and bars. But sometimes a college presence means there’s more activities for non-students than you might think.
The first thing you want to look for is a great art museum. The Yale University Art Gallery is a really exceptional place, and it’s actually the oldest college art museum in the country.
Ann Arbor, Michigan may be known for the University of Michigan Wolverines, but it’s also got a great art museum on campus, with more than 18,000 works on display. Speaking of art, keep your eyes open for “fairy doors” in Ann Arbor. These are tiny, carved wooden doors that are appearing around cafes, bookstores and the local library—they’re a great way to create a sort of treasure hunt for kids.
And while college towns may conjure up images of pizza and bad Chinese food, the reality is they often have a really eclectic mix of food. Chapel Hill is a great example, with everything from seasonal restaurants to authentic North Carolina barbecue and biscuits.
My own college town, Madison, Wisconsin, has one of the best farmers markets in the country, and a number of restaurants that utilize those local ingredients.
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