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22 Best College Towns for Dating

Hayley Matthews • 3/30/15

Some say your college years are the best years of your life, especially for dating and relationships, and we’d have to agree.

From living on your own for the first time to meeting new people to trying different things, college is often when we grow into who we really are.

With that in mind, we’ve found the 22 Best College Towns for Dating for you single students out there!

Taking into consideration the number of students enrolled at each school, fun activities to do in each city, cool places to eat at and more, as well as referencing College Ranker and Travel and Leisure’s lists of the best college towns and College Atlas’ list of the top party schools, here are the best of the best.

Grab your #2 pencil, your notebook and your beer. Class is now in session!

1. Madison, Wisconsin

When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of cheese, the Green Bay Packers and “That ’70s Show,” which are all pretty awesome in our book, but you should also think of the great city of Madison, the unbeatable University of Wisconsin-Madison and all the dating possibilities these two places bring.

When you think of Wisconsin, think of Madison, the University of Wisconsin and the dating possibilities they bring.

“Madison is a great place to live and work, and we are lucky to have many rankings that put our city at the top of their list. This particular accolade is a great honor to have, and we are proud to be named one of the best cities for dating. Madison is a very picturesque city with lots of romantic spots, which helps to paint a perfect scene for the starry-eyed set,” said Judy Frankel, Director of PR and Communications for the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

2. Tempe, Arizona

As our #1 best college town for dating, Tempe, Arizona, as well as Arizona State University, truly does provide single students the best there is, including the Tempe Marketplace, Music in the Garden and Big Surf Waterpark.

As our #1 best college town for dating, Tempe truly does provide single students the best there is.

3. Gainesville, Florida

“Every path starts with a passion” in Gainesville, Florida, and that includes your love life. Gainesville, also known as “G-Ville” or “Gatorville,” is the largest city in North Central Florida and is home to the second largest college on our list (51,725 students at the University of Florida), so it definitely has a lot to offer.

Gainesville is home to the second largest college on our list, so it definitely has a lot to offer.

4. Ames, Iowa

Don’t count Iowa out when you’re looking at colleges to attend! Not only is Ames a “smart choice” for academics, thanks to Iowa State University, but it’s also a smart choice for dating, thanks to the countless attractions, entertainment, sporting events, parks and more.

Not only is Ames a “smart choice” for academics, but it’s also a smart choice for dating.

5. Syracuse, New York

Syracuse is in the heart of New York, and Syracuse University is in the heart of Syracuse.

No matter if you’re in the city or on campus, the electricity of the area and the exhilarating things to do will help you steal a co-ed’s heart — and vice versa.

The electricity of Syracuse and the exhilarating things to do will help you steal a co-ed’s heart.

6. Lawrence, Kansas

With the saying “From Ashes to Immortality,” your dating life will be rising from the embers like a phoenix in Lawrence, Kansas.

Catch a Jayhawk’s game at the University of Kansas, tour one of the area farms or knock a few back at Bird Dog Bar.

Your dating life will rise from the embers like a phoenix in Lawrence.

7. Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia is a classy college town with an equally classy dating scene, and that’s what we love about it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at a UGA football game or the State Botanical Garden, you’ll want to put your best single self forward — that means dresses and heels for the ladies and polos and khakis for the guys.

Athens is a classy college town with an equally classy dating scene.

8. Morgantown, West Virginia

West Virginia University came in at #4 on Princeton Review’s Top Party Schools for 2015, which is one of the reasons Morgantown came in at #8 on our list. That fun vibe, along with nearly endless date ideas, is just too hard to resist!

Morgantown’s fun vibe, along with nearly endless date ideas, is just too hard to resist!

9. Athens, Ohio

Located in the southeast corner of Ohio lies Athens, an inviting city with just as many inviting activities.

Singles will have no problem finding exciting and romantic things to do here, including the Chocolate Festival, Ohio Brew Week and Final Fridays on the Square, not to mention the possibilities Ohio University offers.

Singles will have no problem finding exciting and romantic things to do in Athens.

10. Bloomington, Indiana

Whether you call it Bloomington or B-Town, you won’t be able to get enough of this one of a kind college town thanks to its culinary reputation, its thriving nightlife and the spirited students at Indiana University.

You won’t be able to get enough Bloomington thanks to its nightlife and the spirited students at Indiana University.

11. Provo, Utah

Stats time: Provo is the third largest city in Utah, it’s located just 43 miles from Salt Lake City, Brigham Young University has 29,672 students, and you know what all that adds up to? Our #11 best college town for dating!

The Covey Center, East Bay Golf Course and Peaks Ice Arena are sure to enrich your love life in no time.

Provo’s Covey Center, East Bay Golf Course and Peaks Ice Arena are sure to enrich your love life.

12. Oxford, Mississippi

Get your tailgates ready because we’re heading to Oxford, Mississippi.

Whether you’re flirting in the square, bar hopping on a girls’ night out or searching for “The One” on Ole Miss’ beautiful campus, Oxford will make all your dating dreams come true.

Whether you’re flirting in the square or searching for “The One,” Oxford will make your dreams come true.

13. Eugene, Oregon

We’re trading in beavers for ducks in the second Oregon city to make our list — Eugene, which is also called “Emerald Valley”, “The Emerald City” and “Track Town.”

Nicknames aside, this exciting college town is home to the University of Oregon, the Cuthbert Amphitheater and Live Music @ Route 5  — just to name a few.

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, the Cuthbert Amphitheater and Live Music @ Route 5.

14. Manhattan, Kansas

Known as “The Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas has just as many fun date options as The Big Apple — we promise!

We recommend starting at Kansas State University and its 24,766 students, and then make your way downtown for the Sunset Zoo, Manhattan’s City Park and Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Manhattan has just as many fun date options as The Big Apple!

15. Corvallis, Oregon

Corvallis, Oregon lives up to its motto “Enhancing Community Livability,” but we guarantee this orange-obsessed town will also enhance your love life.

From football games in the fall (fun fact: Oregon State University’s mascot is a beaver) and bourbon tasting in the winter, to horseback riding in the spring and the Bounty of Benton County in the summer, Corvallis has your back.

Corvallis’ motto is “Enhancing Community Livability,” but it will also enhance your love life.

16. Logan, Utah

Nestled beneath the gorgeous mountains is Logan, and nestled in the center of Logan is Utah State University, which 27,812 students attend.

Other than the top-notch scenery and academics, our #16 college town offers daters top-notch dining, nightlife, recreation and the list goes on.

Other than top-notch scenery and academics, Logan offers top-notch dining, nightlife and recreation.

17. Fayetteville, Arkansas

While that “Sooie” pig call may get on some people’s nerves, we find that it reflects the contagious energy of the folks of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Besides the University of Arkansas, which boasts 25,365 students and one of the most passionate football teams in the SEC, Fayetteville is also home to the Crystal Bridges Museum, Hog Haus Brewing, the popular farmers market and so much more.

Fayetteville is home to the Crystal Bridges Museum, Hog Haus Brewing and the popular farmers market.

18. Flagstaff, Arizona

Kinłání Dookʼoʼoosłííd Biyaagi is how you say Flagstaff in Navajo, and it’s that kind of culture that makes this Arizona college town so amazing. 

When you and your new boo aren’t exploring Northern Arizona University’s breathtaking campus, take a helicopter ride, enjoy the natural beauty or go stargazing.

It’s the culture that makes Flagstaff such an amazing college town.

19. Auburn, Alabama

The city of Auburn may go by the motto “The Loveliest Village On the Plains”, but we think it should also go by “The Most Date-Worthy Village On the Plains.”

Of course, Auburn University, with its 25,912 students, is at the heart of this college town, but so is Toomer’s Corner, Mrs. Story’s, Grand National — all great places to spend a romantic day or evening!

Auburn is “The Loveliest Village On the Plains”, but it should be “The Most Date-Worthy Village On the Plains.”

20. Lincoln, Nebraska

Nicknamed “Star City,” Lincoln, Nebraska will have you seeing stars thanks to all the dating possibilities you’ll find here, including outdoor and athletic events that will satisfy any an active co-ed.

With the University of Nebraska right at your fingertips, as well as 24,207 students, you won’t be disappointed by these huskers.

Nicknamed “Star City,” Lincoln will have you seeing stars thanks to all the dating possibilities.

21. Troy, Alabama

Established in 1838, Troy, Alabama perfectly blends that charming small-town feel with the hustle and bustle of a big city, what with the awesome festivals, museums and art scene.

And with 29,689 students enrolled at Troy University, the Trojan warrior spirit and the dating spirit is strong here.

Troy blends small-town charm with big city hustle and bustle thanks to its festivals, museums and art scene.

22. Charlottesville, Virginia

Home to the University of Virginia, we kick off our list with Charlottesville. Known as “C’ville” or “Hoo-Ville”, more than 43,000 people live in Charlottesville (according to 2010 census data), almost half of those being students (21,238).

With wine excursions, historical tours and sporting events galore, you’ll never run out of date ideas in this college town.

With wine excursions, historical tours and sporting events, you’ll never run out of date ideas in Charlottesville.

Photo sources: virginia.edu, troy.edu, unl.edu, auburn.edu, nau.edu, uark.edu, usu.edu,
osubeavers.com, arborday.org, uoregon.edu, olemiss.edu, ceph.org, indiana.edu,
ohiomarketingstudents.com, wvu.edu, onlineathens.com, wellcommons.com,
syr.edu, colleges.niche.com, pixshark.com, wisc.edu, asu.edu

About The Author

As the editor-in-chief of DatingAdvice.com, I oversee content strategy, social media engagement, and media opportunities. When I'm not writing about cheese or my 19-year love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, I'm listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns (I'm a proud Slytherin!), or drinking IPAs.