Kristin Toussaint > Sophomore > Journalism > Boston University > Photo by Emlyn Stokes
Beat the end-of-semester burnout with a road trip—to another campus! Visit one of these top five college destinations to see how students on the East Coast spend their time outside of the classroom.
Stop 1: Brown University, Providence, R.I.
Vibe: Students at Brown tend to keep their nights low-key, preferring bars to clubs and house parties to off-campus outings. Everything closes at 1 a.m. in Providence, so if you’re there for a weekend, try to find one of Brown’s 6,102 undergraduates to clue you in on where to go afterhours.
Who to Bring: The laidback members of your posse—those who would rather share a few beers and good conversations than hop around clubs all night.
“Bring someone who knows people at Brown, since it’s a fairly small school,” Brown sophomore Ben Tucker said. “If you know somebody, the part of the school they show you could range very widely, from the fratty to the art-school—Rhode Island School of Design is next door.”
Eats: The area surrounding Brown is full of restaurants with good seafood and hearty meals that will heal any hangover.
“When you get up for brunch you could go to the classic greasy spoon, Louis on Brook Street, or go back to Wickenden and eat at Brickway,” Tucker said.
Treats: To get a taste of the Ivy League, visit The Wild Colonial Tavern, a bar run by Brown Professors. Wickenden Pub—which has a selection of more than 100 different kinds of beer and looks like the hull of a ship inside—is near Brown’s off-campus housing, making it a favorite drinking hole for students.
Stop 2: Boston University, Boston, Mass.
Vibe: Boston is an urban playground for students. Those who attend one of the 54 colleges and universities located in the city can enjoy its rich history, culture, sports and nightlife in between class.
“It’s a pretty urban environment since it’s not really a campus,” BU sophomore Brittney McNamara said. “Its more of an area of the city blocked off for students, so you get the experience of living in Boston but still the safety of being at a huge university.”
Who to Bring: Your friends who aren’t afraid to explore the city’s nooks and crannies, where you can find fun in unexpected places.
“I would bring someone who has lived in Boston for a while so they can show you places to go and tell you which neighborhoods are which,” McNamara said.
Eats: The Otherside Café is a Boston University favorite, located near campus.
Treats: You can drink and get your fill of music at the same time at venues such as The Paradise, Great Scott and The Middle East.
Stop 3: Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.
Vibe: With almost 45,000 students, this state school in the heart of Pennsylvania does college life big time. After a visit to the College Park campus, you may find yourself wanting to live the “Van Wilder” dream and stay in college forever.
“The coolest thing about Penn State is that it’s a huge school in the middle of the mountains,” Penn State freshman Maura Carney said. “As soon as you pull into town you can see and feel the sense of pride that we all have for the school. It’s a very welcoming feeling.”
Who to Bring: Your friends who think that “kegs and eggs” sounds like a balanced breakfast and aren’t afraid to socialize in a big crowd at parties.
“Of course it’s a party school and we’re huge on football, but there’s something to do for everyone,” Carney said. “There’s always something happening on campus.”
Eats: Carney recommends Otto’s Pub and Brewery, located on the edge of Penn State’s campus, for its quality food and on-site brewery.
Treats: Sit at Café 210’s patio in the spring when good weather arrives, and try one (or a few) of the Long Island Iced Teas. Indulge in live music and an “Original Sin” at The Darkhorse Tavern.
Stop 4: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Vibe: UNC’s southern charm and vibrant student life guarantees a fun visit for travelers. Chapel Hill is a true college town. No matter if you’re on campus or off campus, you’ll experience plenty of southern hospitality and Tar Heel pride.
“No matter who’s visiting, there’s something to do at UNC,” freshman Claire McNeill said. “Athletes and sports-lovers can tag along to the seemingly billions of games going on every day and—if they’re lucky—get a seat in the Dean Dome for a basketball game.”
Who to Bring: Anyone who doesn’t need the fast pace of a city to have fun. The college town atmosphere means leisurely days of lounging on the campus’ main quad, and nights of mingling with other students in packed bars.
“UNC is so great because people here dabble in everything,” McNeill said. “There’s a strange but so-sweet mix of Southern charm, competitive athletics and academics, urban progressivism and a liberal mindset.”
Eats: Los Potrillos is a favorite Mexican restaurant, especially when spring arrives and students can sit on the Carolina-blue porch as they share pitchers of margaritas. Different occasions call for other Chapel Hill favorites.
“Take a guest to Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe for shrimp and grits in the morning, Sutton’s for burgers at lunch, and Top of the Hill for a classy dinner and late-night drinks,” McNeill said.
Treats: Peer over the balcony at Top of the Hill as you sip on a Singleton from the brewery, or head below Franklin Street into Goodfellows Tavern for different flavors of LITs.
Stop 5: University of Miami, Miami, Fla.
Vibe: You’ll feel like you’re on vacation while you’re on campus at this tropical college road trip destination. Students at the University of Miami have constant access to South Beach, world-famous clubs and a strong Hispanic culture in the city.
“The atmosphere here is amazing: great weather, palm trees, and our huge lake in the middle of campus all make it fun to go to school,” University of Miami Sophomore Yianni Tzitzifas said.
Who to Bring: Your friends who lavish in the club scene, but still enjoy seeing daylight—you’re not going to want to stay inside during the day when you could be playing on the beach.
Eats: Try Versailles Cuban Restaurant on “Calle Ocho” to taste Miami’s Latino flavor.
Treats: Ladies get free beer at Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill on Tuesdays, and DJ Tiesto’s favorite spot in Miami is LIV Nightclub.
“If you like to party, come. If you like to chill, come. If you like to experience new things, come. Miami is the only city in the US that most resembles any Latin country. There is so much to do from museums, bars, clubs and the beach,” Tzitzifas said.