Special Sections » College Guide

Six of the Best Ohio College Towns



Struggling with making the college decision, or want to know the best college towns to visit? Check out these towns, each with their own perks, to help narrow the decision.


Athens fairs on the smaller side, with a population resting around 21,000. Even so, the town is bursting with thriving local businesses, tons of hiking trails and a crazy Halloween scene. This town is home to Ohio University, the oldest university in Ohio, known for its journalism and communications school.


This small, New-England style town packs significant history and is full of historic buildings. Denison University is nestled atop a hill in Granville, with about 2,000 undergraduate students.  This town is perfect for sight seeing, local shopping and an overall quiet getaway.


Located in Northeast Ohio, the city of Kent is newly renovated and packed with entertainment, with over $100 million of investment. New restaurants, bars, bakeries, yoga studios, tattoo shops and more have emerged in the past five years, creating a vibrant downtown scene. Best of all, Kent State University, known for their world-renowned fashion school, is within walking distance of all the excitement.


Berea is home to Baldwin Wallace University and the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. This small town regularly hosts festivals like Oktoberfest and a huge rib cook-off. Plus, downtown Cleveland is only 15 miles away, so access to a larger city is hardly limited.  


Like many small college towns, Oxford is built around its thriving university. Miami University attracts close to 20,000 students, who enjoy the uptown business district and historic campus buildings. This is a popular party spot due to the thriving Greek life at the university, but is also a great town for hiking, shopping and local eats.


Columbus is ideal for city-lovers, packed with bars, Easton shopping center and a school with over 65,000 students. The Ohio State University is known for their school spirit and rowdy football games. If you are looking to escape a small town for some serious shopping and Buckeye lovin,' head to Ohio's capital.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.