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college towns

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May 10th, 2006, 10:55 PM
  #1
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college towns

i am travelling from Australia and have always wanted to cross the mid-west to California; one of the sights i want to see is one of those typical mid-west college towns (that i have seen depicted for many decades in the movies) and perhaps stay the night.
(although the last movie i saw of this genre was actually, as i noticed in the credits, filmed in Canada!)
any thoughts? i travel across north Iowa then Nebraska.
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May 10th, 2006, 11:07 PM
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Ames, Iowa (Iowa State has a very classic, ivy-covered, columned "campus-y" campus).

Madison, Wis. - It's a party town. And then some.
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May 11th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Indiana University, Bloomington (where `Breaking Away' was filmed).
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May 11th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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GoTravel
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Notre Dome
 
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May 11th, 2006, 06:41 AM
  #5
GoTravel
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Ack!

Notre Dame!
 
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May 11th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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Notre Dome is a GREAT Name, GT.
Iowa City, Ia., Madison, Wi., and Lawrence, Ks. are always in the Top tier of "Classic" College Towns. Champaign-Urbana, Boulder and Lincoln are too big.
After that, it's the Empty Quarter til California.
Out West, Our little town of Ashland Oregon is much loved for the Same Andy Hardy Feel, Corvallis is too. Most others have gotten too big to be "Quaint".
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May 11th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Second the rec for Boulder, CO. It's a beautiful area to visit, anyway.
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May 11th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Madison, WI! It's much more than a party town. Great restaurants, beautiful lakes, WONDERFUL farmer's market on Saturday mornings (around the state Capitol builiding).
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May 11th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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You mention you are driving across northern Iowa....

a smaller university that has a nice campus is the Univ of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
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May 11th, 2006, 07:07 AM
  #10
JJ5
 
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I went to dances at Notre Dame when I was a girl, my Catholic High School (all girls) was invited to dances a couple of times a year at Notre Dame. And I also travelled through South Bend frequently in the '80's and '90's when I had a lake cottage at Koontz Lake, IN. One of the biggest travel mistakes of my life was moteling near South Bend once. Yuck!

Believe me, Go Travel, although Notre Dame has a beautiful gold domed and vintage campus, great football weekends etc., it is not the typical Midwest great college town . South Bend is not a tourist destination. It is rather or fully "depressed", depending on the current economic trend. It just doesn't have the cultural pop in the same class as maybe 15 other college towns I can think of.

Bloomington is outstanding, Champaign-Urbana is THE most typical and Midwestern IMHO (including all the stereotypes like Bonnie Blair STREET, the QUAD, and corn fest etc.) Ann Arbor is phenomenal- more than average. Madison as well. Carbondale (Southern IL. U.) is a fusion of college town meets the South, and is unparallelled for the beauty of countryside surrounding it- PLUS access to the Mississippi River and the Shawnee Nat. Forest. SIU Carbondale has a lot of buildings vintage '60's and looks a bit retro now, but gorgeous surrounding by hillocks, creeks, lakes, forests in a thousand different shapes of green.

Like Bloomington, there is a real dynamic in Carbondale between the townies and the students. But it has a much more Southern feel than Midwestern, despite where it is. The Southern accents are strongly evident.

Macomb (Western IL.) is another choice if it fits your travel pattern.

But outside of MN (which is too far North for you, I would think) I would say that Madison, Ames, Champaign/Urbana, Ann Arbor, Bloomington, Carbondale would all be good choices.
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May 11th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Are Iowa and Nebraska the only two midwestern states you'll be in? Where are you starting your trip?
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May 11th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Grinnell, Iowa, possibly. Truth be known, most college towns have a large amounts of dreadful American fast food restaurants that dominate areas adjacent to the colleges and universities.
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May 11th, 2006, 07:34 AM
  #13
JJ5
 
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But not all, GeorgeW, and even that is changing.

My daughter lived near Urbana for years after she finished school and in two other mid to South IL towns, and I'll never forget when she celebrated the first Thai restaurant. Madison, Ann Arbor, and Champaign all have much beyond the fast food- of that I am sure.
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May 11th, 2006, 12:07 PM
  #14
 
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I'm a college counselor so here are my 2 cents-if you are looking for what we call a "college town" here in the US:
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Madison, Wisconsin
Bloomington, Indiana
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Boulder, Colorado

Too bad you are not going south as I would totally recommend checking out Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Athens, Georgia, and Austin, Texas (more a city but still awesome).

Have a great trip!
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May 11th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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why don't you like larrytown, abby? It's the only place I'd ever consider moving back to, once having left.
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May 11th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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JJ5,
I was UND class of '66, but bailed in '64 - horrible place imhpo.
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May 11th, 2006, 04:59 PM
  #17
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Thanks for all that information; i seem to have started quite a discussion!
Ames is certainly en route.
It would be a pity if these college towns in America died out or got overwhelmed by modern trends.
Once again, many thanks.
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May 11th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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West Lafayette, Indiana home to Purdue University. Public university and "Big 10" school but with less students than IU, U of Michigan or Wisconsin, all of which are Big 10 Conference schools as well. Purdue is also a more closed in campus than the other schools. Madison, WI is the state capital so there goes your small town America! You can always travel south from Purdue and find IU and other small private colleges as well and then still make U of I in Champagne-Urbana as you head west. I love to see colleges too, enjoy your trip! Too bad you're not going out East; Yale, Harvard, Brown, Wellesley, etc. are beautiful too!
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May 11th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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Great...just found out our SIL, who just got his PhD, is teaching at Notre "Dome" this next year. It's a one teaching year stint, then done, so our daughter is staying back in Phoenix at her job--good salary, good benefits and insurance! I am not a happy Momma!! Crazy profession. Crazier life.
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May 11th, 2006, 06:53 PM
  #20
TheWeasel
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Where are you starting from in Iowa? And when? If this is a summer trip, any campus area will be more subdued than usual.
 
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