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America's Coolest College Towns

Sidewalk cafe, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Todd Bannor/Alamy

Ann Arbor, MI (University of Michigan)

If a town’s name references trees, it’s a good bet nature will figure prominently. At the lush, 123-acre Nichols Arboretum, gravel paths wind past blazes of yellow, pink, and white peonies and the occasional reclining student. The “Arb” is also frequently the setting for Shakespeare stagings. Slake your thirst amid more flora at Dominick’s, whose garden is ideal for enjoying any of the 10 local microbrews on tap.

Local Taste: Apart from the various Wolverines sports teams, the pride of Ann Arbor is Zingerman’s Roadhouse, where the rooftop vintage neon sign reads “Really Good American Food.” And that’s what you’ll get, of every type, from New Mexican chiles to oysters from Apalachicola, FL.


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