College Visits

Destinations: Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle

Activities: Arts and Entertainment, Eat, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing, Sleep

College can consume four years of a student's life and tens of thousands of dollars of the family's hard-earned money, so finding the right fit for your child is key. Prospective college students and their parents spend countless hours flipping through brochures and pondering their social and academic wants and needs. But if the gown is important, so is the town. The only way to really get a sense of a school is by visiting it in person.

These college visits need not be dry affairs. They offer the whole family an opportunity to visit and explore wonderful cities. After all, some of the most popular large college towns—Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta—are also full of attractions for everyone from parents to the littlest brothers and sisters. And there are plenty of smaller college towns with a lot to offer as well. State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State), Bloomington, Indiana (Indiana University), Champaign-Urbana, Illinois (University of Illinois), Iowa City, Iowa (University of Iowa) and College Station, Texas (Texas A&M) are all vibrant towns worth a visit in their own right.

Articles About College Visits

College Visit Guide: Atlanta

See numerous schools and take in some local culture during a long weekend college visit to Atlanta.

College Visit Guide: Baltimore

Explore the neighborhoods and opportunities for family fun while visiting colleges in Baltimore.

College Visit Guide: Boston

Tips for families to maximize their college visit to Boston, which is the college-visit capital of the country.

College Visit Guide: Chicago

Stroll some of the best campuses in the Midwest when you taste a deep-dish bite of Chicago.

College Visits as Family Weekend Getaways

Campus visits allow families to get a feel for the future while providing an excuse for a long weekend vacation.

College Visit Guide: New Orleans

It’s been said that New Orleans is a drinking town with a college problem, but there’s a lot more educational learning to be had in the city than its reputation implies.

New York City: College Visit Guide

Learn how to get the most out of your New York City campus visit with a suggested itinerary to cover the major schools in the city, along with recommended attractions and restaurants.

College Visit Guide: Philadelphia

Enjoy Philly’s myriad college campuses while taking in some historican sights, terrific art and a requisite cheesesteak.

Rural vs. Urban College Campus Visits

A College Visit to a small-town, rural campus should focus on different factors than visiting a bustling city campus. Here’s what to know for both.

College Visit Guide: San Francisco Bay Area

Tips for families to maximize a college visit to the Bay Area—exploring San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto.

College Visit Guide: Seattle

Get familiar with colleges and activities in favorite Seattle neighborhoods.

College Visit Guide: California’s South Bay

Maximize your college visit to the Bay Area with info on campuses near San Jose and Santa Cruz.

College Visit Pointers for Families

Tips for families to help them determine whether a college town or city is the right fit.

Washington, D.C., College Visit Guide

Explore the diverse neighborhoods of D.C. during your college visit.