6 Best College Towns In California

California not only offers fantastic beaches, unbeatable weather and some of the most majestic examples of nature, but it is also home to numerous high-ranking colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, many prospective higher education students add it to their list of potential schools. If you are one of them, it can be helpful to know where the best college towns are.

1. Davis

With a resident population of 69,413, Davis is the modern and exciting location of the University of California, Davis campus. Featuring numerous cafes, restaurants and shops, the small city is about 11 miles from Sacramento and 70 miles from San Francisco. For any college student who loves bicycles, there is also the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame and a popular farmers market for fresh produce.

2. Pasadena

If you prefer to be closer to the heart of Los Angeles, Pasadena is where you can find the California Institute of Technology, a renowned symphany and the Rose Bowl. With a population of 141,029, there is more of an urban feel than Davis, but there are still plenty of small-town vibes to go around. Art lovers should not miss the Norton Simon Museum there.

3. Claremont

For a smaller population of only 36,266, Claremont is another excellent Golden State college town to consider. Around 30 miles from Los Angeles and at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, you can find the seven Claremont Colleges including Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, and Scripps College. When you are not in class, visit multiple parks including the California Botanic Garden.

4. Arcata

As one of the smallest California college towns, Arcata only has 18,431 residents. However, that number drastically increases during the school year when the students of Humboldt State University arrive on-campus. Located on the northern California coast, redwood forests and beaches surround the Humbolt State campus. In the nearby sheltered Humboldt Bay, you can find a wildlife refuge.

5. Santa Barbara

If you want to live in a Mediterranean climate, look no further than Santa Barbara. Home to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, the city has a resident population of 91,364. In addition to wonderful weather, the landscape is awesome. With rugged beaches and the Santa Ynez Mountains, there is gorgeous scenery along with excellent outdoor recreational opportunities.

You can visit the city to get an idea of how you’ll feel about living there. You can try a Santa Barbara vacation rental which will put you in a home in a neighborhood and allow you to visit the town and soak it all in before you move there. You can do this for any city you may want to relocate to.

This gives you an opportunity to see how it will feel to live there. These rentals feel like a home away from home, so it’s a great way to dip your toe into the water without actually moving full force to the city, yet seeing it as if you did live there.

6. San Luis Obispo

If you love street food, rolling hills and sunny weather, you should add San Luis Obispo to your list of potential college town destinations. With a population of 47,459, the town is famous for having the top-ranked California Polytechnic State University and gorgeous scenery. The surrounding hills are not just pretty, either; they even offer students the chance to study winemaking and agriculture.

While this list includes six California college towns that are cool enough to make almost anyone want to pack their bags, it is not complete. The truth is that there are even more places in the state to enjoy while earning a high-quality education. If you are not sure where to start, let this list be your inspiration.

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