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College Towns of the South: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

When most people think of Tuscaloosa, they think of the Crimson Tide. But those who know this city well think of: fishermen reeling in bluegill on Lake Tuscaloosa; students jogging along the town’s Riverwalk; kids filling up on biscuits at Rama Jama’s across from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

College Towns of the South: Knoxville, Tennessee

Although Knoxville retains its Southern grit, the east Tennessee city has put on some polish in the last three decades. The downtown is home to the bustling University of Tennessee campus, as well as a vibrant urban center offering a blend of old and new, rustic and refined.

College Towns of the South: Clemson, South Carolina

Nestled in the backwoods of Upstate South Carolina, Clemson is home to a vibrant college community and storied football program; it’s also an outstanding example of a small town done right.

College Towns of the South: Columbia, South Carolina

The state capital and home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia encapsulates classic Southern charm and the vigor of USC students. And the city’s evolving landscape still manages to cling to its historical roots.

College Towns of the South: Athens, Georgia

Known for its music, football, and vibrant culture, Athens in northeast Georgia is both sophisticated and sweet. The Victorian-era downtown is filled with galleries and boutiques, while its concert venues lure international acts and its restaurants earn raves from Food & Wine.

College Towns of the South: Oxford, Mississippi

Named after the university town of Oxford, England, this north-central Mississippi town was founded in 1837 by three men who wanted to establish a site for the state’s first higher-learning institution. Now, more than 175 years later, Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi (colloquially known as Ole Miss), as well as a rich cultural and literary history.

College Towns of the South: Auburn, Alabama

In the sea of blue, orange, and white, people hug each other as they celebrate another win by the Tigers. But the Auburn family spirit doesn’t stop with football; it can be seen all over town throughout the year.

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