Attending college in California can be amazing. Sunshine, fair weather, and beaches are an obvious draw. As one of the largest states in the country by population and square mileage, you can find something for everyone. If you’re struggling to decide between the nearly 300 universities the Golden State has to offer, you can pair down your options by learning about the best college towns for every need.
It’s no wonder that the largest city in California has the most variety in universities. Whether you’re looking for a top community college, four-year university, or private school, the Los Angeles area offers it all. LA is known for its entertainment, nightlife, a bustling economy, ethnic diversity, dining, affluence, and beaches. As long as you can keep up, you’ll never be bored or run out of areas to explore. Luxury comes at a price, though. Living expenses are extremely high.
Best Small Town
If you want to enjoy California at a slower pace, you can head north. At a population of around just 18,000 people, Arcata is a picturesque, nature-lovers dream. It’s known for its bohemian culture and vegetarian restaurants. The Humboldt State University area has plentiful housing and quick access to the redwood forests and beaches. You shouldn’t expect to find as much sunshine and warm weather so far north. Arcata usually stays between 41 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
Best Big City
San Francisco offers many great universities alongside the bay. Extroverts will feel right at home in the extremely urban setting, which boasts many unique neighborhoods, eclectic architecture, and an assortment of incredible dining. You can play a tourist on your weekends and visit Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, or Fisherman’s Wharf. Escaping the hustle and bustle is also quite easy. Redwood trees can be found just outside the city limits. You will always need to remember a jacket because the weather often turns on a dime.
Best Beachside City
San Diego has been called America’s Coolest City. Its young population contributes to an excellent job market, biotech advances, street art, and scrumptious food. You can take in the splendor of nature or visit several tourist attractions while enjoying the nearly perfect weather. From American to Hispanic culture, historic areas to skyscrapers, and vibrant nightlife to relaxing beaches, San Diego is an eclectic city.
Best Long-term Stay
Moving can be a hassle. If you’re looking for a long-term stay after graduation, consider attending school in Chico. A mild climate, outdoor activities, urban mix, and welcoming feel will have you calling this northern townhome. You can enjoy a variety of sports with incredible biking trails, an extraordinary baseball stadium, a motor speedway, and a well-known golf course. Don’t forget to grab a beer at The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company before taking a walk through The City of Trees.
If you have your heart set on going to college in California, you have tons of great choices. Do your research to select the university and town that are best for you.