Boulder Named Best College Town in America

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 3:25pm.

Two Colorado towns are among the 50 Best College Towns nationwide: Boulder claimed the No. 1 spot and Fort Collins was named No. 14 by Best College Reviews.

And when it comes to college towns, the competition for “best” is among the toughest there is.

According to the report, "much" has to click to make a town truly great for college living – ranging from the “palpable vibe of an alma mater,” to offering lots of activities and being an inviting place to stay post-graduation. To be at the top of the list – and in Boulder’s case the very top – all of the key attributes have to exist in abundance to make a town a truly rich and memorable part of college experience.

Factors considered by the reviewers are:

  • Livability
  • Student-to-resident ratio
  • Cultural Offerings
  • School Presence
  • Large Employers

Boulder’s mix of rich student life and post graduation livability made it “an easy selection as our best college town in America,” the report says.

Known nationwide as a “hip and healthy town with a hippy past and great views of the Flatirons,” Boulder is noted for its citywide walkability, hundreds of miles of bicycle paths, and excellent public transportation.

The list of "muchness" that gives Boulder an edge over other towns include the abundance of nature and access to trailheads that lead into the Rocky Mountains,  green open space surrounding the city, and building height limitations that preserve mountain views. Pearl Street Mall and the abundance of excellent food, book stores, art galleries and coffee shops, and numerous science institutes and tech companies cap off the first-place ranking.

Fort Collins, home to Colorado State University, garnered a healthy ranking as the No. 14 best college town in America. Fort Collins is noted for its local music, microbreweries, and New Belgium Brewery’s “Tour de Fat” with its attendance of over 20,000 costumed bike riders -- all of which enrich the college scene. Also, Fort Collin's Front Range location and proximity to Boulder and Denver helped put the Northern Colorado city near the top of the list. 

Following Boulder, the list from No. 2-5 includes Ann Arbor, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; Ithaca, New York and Ames, Iowa.

Boulder also trumped the lovely, hip and happening towns of Berkeley, California (6), Chapel Hill, North Carolina (7), Eugene, Oregon (42), Bozeman, Montana (46), and Tacoma, Washington (50).

Now that's saying something -- Boulder has "much" to be proud of.

Best College Reviews was started with the explicit goal of competing with US News & World Report as an authoritative, objective and editorially independent college review journal. Best College Reviews is committed to providing students with the best, most trustworthy guidance for making what may be the biggest decision of their lives. 

For the full report visit .

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

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