College visits are one of the best parts of the college search. Visiting colleges is a great way to see the campus, get a feel for a school’s atmosphere, and find your new home for the next four years. And campus visits are even better when you can turn them into vacations! Here are five colleges near touristy sites where you can turn a campus visit into the ultimate getaway.
University of Rhode Island—Kingston, Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island area may be overlooked as a “vacation” spot, but it’s really a hidden gem. Rhode Island itself is filled with small beach towns such as Newport and Westerly but also has city life in Providence. If you like to eat, Rhode Island is home to the Nordic Lodge restaurant, which has been featured on the New England–based restaurant review show Phantom Gourmet. At $100 per person, it’s a little pricey for a buffet, but you have choices of lobster, filet mignon, prime rib, and so many other delicious foods. Twin River Casino is also nearby in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The state’s gambling age is 18, so it’s worth a visit if you’re 18 or older. Rhode Island is also in a great location because it’s only an hour and a half away from Boston, and you can get to New York City easily by train—two cities brimming with colleges. If you’re visiting in the autumn, you’ll also get a nice view of the New England foliage, which is really hard to beat!
Related: Excellent Colleges In or Near Boston
College of Charleston—Charleston, South Carolina
For starters, the College of Charleston campus is breathtaking. Its architecture is so unique that you’ll want to commit right then and there. And Charleston, South Carolina, is an absolutely beautiful town that anyone is sure to fall in love with. History buffs will enjoy the town’s tribute to the many historical events that occurred there, as well as the many tours and museums to visit. Additionally, Charleston is right along the coast of South Carolina, so there are many beaches to see. The harbor also offers boat tours and sunset cruises, which are sure to be a great way to relax and enjoy what Charleston has to offer.
Related: South Carolina Hidden Gems
University of Central Florida—Orlando, Florida
Florida is one of the best vacation spots in the country, so visiting the University of Central Florida can easily be turned into a full-week vacation! Being in Orlando, you’ll have to visit Disney World or the other theme parks in the area. Florida also has extremely popular beaches. Orlando is in the middle of the state, so you’ll have to drive to either coast, but the beaches can’t be overlooked while visiting Florida. If you aren’t up for a drive, there are plenty of natural springs close by. You can go tubing, kayaking, and even see manatees in some of these springs! Florida has a never-ending list of activities, so if you attend college there, you’ll always have something to do in the nice weather.
University of Minnesota Duluth—Duluth, Minnesota
This may not be the most traditional travel spot, but the University of Minnesota Duluth is sure to offer a great vacation. The campus sits on a hill that overlooks Lake Superior and gives an unforgettable view. Duluth has a lot of outdoor activities to offer visitors. Lake Superior is the biggest attraction in the area. If you go in warmer months, you can go kayaking and swimming in the lake or go on a boat trip to go fishing. If you visit in the winter, you can go skiing or just take in the views Duluth has to offer. Duluth has lots of history, and many parks and museums to visit that showcase it. Minnesota may not be a first-choice vacation spot for some people, but it will be an unforgettable experience.
Related: Minnesota Hidden Gems
University of San Diego—San Diego, California
San Diego, California, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of the state, so a college visit to the University of San Diego is sure to make for a great trip that has something to offer for everyone. The beaches in San Diego are unreal and definitely worth visiting for at least a day. There are also places to go snorkeling and kayaking. If you aren’t much of a beach person, there’s the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Safari Park. If you’re into history, you can visit the USS Midway Museum or Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. If you’re up for a drive, Disneyland California is less than two hours away, and just a little further than that is Los Angeles, which you could probably spend a full week exploring too. California has so much to offer, and San Diego is just the tip of the iceberg. Visiting the University of San Diego will make you want to call it home for the next four years.
Related: California Hidden Gems
Where is your next college visit destination? Let us know in the comments!