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Lexington named the 5th best college town in America


With four weeks left until kickoff, college football previews roll on, with the media ranking everything from logos to uniforms. Livability, a website which ranks “America’s best places to live and visit,” jumped in on the preseason fun with this list of America’s Top 10 College Towns. Our very own Lexington, Kentucky comes in at number five:

1. Boulder, CO
2. Ann Arbor, MI
3. Gainseville, FL (really?)
4. Columbia, MO
5. Lexington, KY
6. Iowa City, IA
7. Missoula, MT
8. Madison, WI
9. Fayetteville, AR
10. College Station, TX

Here’s part of what Livability has to say about Lexington:

Strengthening the already tight bond between Lexington, KY, and the University of Kentucky, state and city officials recently announced the decision to use Rupp Arena (home court of UK’s basketball teams) as the focal point of plans to reinvent downtown by creating a new arts and entertainment district. The university continues to be the driving economic force in Lexington, where residents enjoy an eclectic mix of shops, Southern-style cooking and rolling hills graced with thoroughbreds.

Lexington’s moderate climate and rich grasses make it the ideal setting to raise horses, while its school system and family-friendly culture make it a great place for kids. The city’s central location within the United States, a highly educated population and affordable housing costs provide an attractive setting for businesses. Well-maintained sidewalks, a growing network of bike paths and excellent bus service allows residents to get around without having to drive. Streets are laid out like a wheel with spokes, with main arterial roads running from downtown out into horse country. Downtown Lexington offers a casually cosmopolitan ambience with fine restaurants and specialty shops, art galleries, and historic buildings.

Their “Don’t Miss” Lexington hotspot? Natasha’s.

Agree or Disagree?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

55 Comments for Lexington named the 5th best college town in America

  1. RD
    1:08 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    So Loserville, with the greatest sports program in college sports didn’t make the list?!? Imagine that. LOL!!

  2. Boris
    1:08 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Natasha’s is Lexington’s hotspot? Lol, what?? Really goofy list. The “livability factors” listed have no real connection to UK. Climate, grasses, school system, sidewalks, bus service, bike paths”. Whatever. I live in Lex and love the town, but this is just dumb. Natasha’s is fine, but it is no hotspot.

  3. UKClay
    1:09 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    No Athens, GA?

  4. trey
    1:11 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I recently went on a trip to FLorida’s campus. I know there wasn’t anybody there for me to truly experience it, but the surroundings of the university seemed about like Bowling Green. Not at all what i expected.

  5. Not Dan Issel
    1:13 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    No Chapel Hill !!!

  6. Bojangles
    1:16 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @RD: Probably because Louisville isn’t really a “College Town”. At all. It’s more of a, y’ know, city.

  7. UKClay
    1:21 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @4 I’ve been to Gainesville twice. Place is a run down dump

  8. jvice
    1:25 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    The omission of Athens, GA and the mention of Natasha’s as a “hotspot” pretty much negates this list.

  9. Slam
    1:28 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Im from GA and love Athens. It has the best downtown, but it is also in the middle of the poorest county in the US. I think this list is going more off where to raise a family.

  10. CPACAT
    1:32 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Agree w #8) Anybody who includes Gainesville and not Athens, GA is sadly delusional. Although they did get Boulder pretty much right!

  11. You're Kidding, Right?
    1:35 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    6 I hope that’s a joke. You do know that there are cities on that list, right? Please tell me you’re kidding. If not, please tell me you’re a Louisville fan.

  12. UK Terry
    1:42 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Tom Jurich will have the Emergency Broadcast Systems air horns blasting through the halls of Livability all day.

  13. 44 Stitches
    1:43 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Agree with #8. How is Athens, Ga left of the list. I’ve lived in Georgia for over 20 years and going to Athens is always a good time. #9 Clarke Co is poor but far from the poorest county in the country. It’s not even the poorest here in Georgia.

  14. kentapolis
    1:44 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Boulder makes sense, ann arbor is great, here now, glad to see Lex on the list. Madison seems low and Athens should be on there.

  15. Richard Girth
    1:47 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Not sure how Athens and Charlottesville didn’t make the list. Auburn is a great place, too.

  16. Honky Kong
    1:48 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Surprised Auburn didn’t make the top 10.

  17. Slam
    1:51 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @13- sorry “highest poverty rate in the United States for a county with more than 100,000 people,” according to the 2010 census.

  18. Wheels
    2:00 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I hate IU with a passion, but Bloomington is an amazing college town.

  19. Rise
    2:02 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Is there any update on why the Harrison’s and James Young haven’t enrolled for the fall semester yet? Should we be worried?

  20. inlinefor9
    2:03 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    #18 Totally agree with you. If it weren’t for the hoosiers being intolerable, I would have went to college there. Great college town.

    Also, no Oxford, MS? I guess after the campus, there’s nothing there.

  21. Wheels
    2:08 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    A lot of the Big 10 schools are in great college towns.

  22. 44 Stitches
    2:10 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @13 No biggie… That makes a lot more sense to me and could see that as being very true. Clarke Co looks like Beverly Hills compared to some counties down here haha.

    Surprised some people think Auburn should of made the list. I’ve spent more time in Auburn than Tuscaloosa but I like Tuscaloosa better than Auburn.

  23. Ole Miss
    2:12 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    List is sh*t without Oxford.

  24. Cats
    2:19 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    11… If you look a little closer, you’ll see that all of the “cities” on the list aren’t very big at all. Not to mention, those cities are probably kept alive by their area university or universities. In Louisville, the difference is they don’t depend on UL to survive as much as a place like lex needs uk. Also, a big chuck of the population in lex is either a uk student or graduate. It’s things like these and more that constitutes a “college town”.

  25. Laker Cat 18
    2:19 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t believe there are no negative comments on Missoula, Montana. Does that not stand out to anyone else?

  26. Catfanbalue
    2:29 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Rolling hills, really…where??? pray tell!!

  27. Mr.Perryville-Huh
    2:32 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    “Highly educated population” these list are just crappy! I would love too see the people who, do these. I’m sorry this is not a highly educated community.

  28. Teachable Mo'
    2:35 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know what the criteria for a “hot spot” are, but Natasha’s has good food, is usually full, and has interesting music. When they book it. It’s aimed a bit older than the college crowd and is about 1/2 mile north of campus. College kids don’t actually venture much beyond their immediate surroundings: dorm, frat/sorority house, street. College-age kids, unless they grew up in their college town or unless the town is tiny, are usually terrible judges of what it has to offer. And college age kids don’t have that much money to spend, and if they do they’re usually out making it rather than fooling around. Then, when they do spend it, their scope of what to spend it on is teeny.

  29. BigBlueNationBigRedMachine
    2:36 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Didnt expect U of Montana to be on there.

  30. Wildcat Johnny
    2:38 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Excellent bus service? And those of you who think Auburn is a good college town must not have ever been there.

  31. Mr.Perryville_Huh
    2:40 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @11 maybe you are the one educated person they talking about lol. Seems too be the truth what you say.

  32. Mr.Perryville_Huh
    2:41 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Oops ny fault that was for #24.

  33. Mr.Perryville_Huh
    2:44 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I personally like John Shorts Kroger as the hot spot.

  34. sheesh
    2:49 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Did anyone actually take the time to read the criteria for the study or just start complaining about the selections? By the looks of your comments, you skipped the first part and went straight to the second. Haters gonna hate.

  35. You're Kidding, Right?
    2:57 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    24 “In the best relationships, universities invest their intellectual resources to address city or neighborhood concerns, students work to better the surrounding community, and residents benefit from improved infrastructure when city and college leaders determine cooperatively how services should be offered.” This is why Louisville didn’t make the list, not just bc its a big city. It’s dirty and most of the people are stupid, deal with it.

  36. Richard Girth
    2:59 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    #22, I’ve spent plenty of time in Tuscaloosa and Auburn. Tuscaloosa is bigger and more ghetto. Auburn, after all, is “the loveliest little village on the Plains.”

  37. Chicago Chris
    3:01 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m fond of Lexington and grew up there, but I don’t think it’s top ten as a college town.

  38. Teachable Mo'
    3:07 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    #35 Louisville’s a nicer place to live than Lexington.

    UK regularly just ignores the rest of the city, and has a terrible relationship with its immediate surroundings. As for vice versa, if you’ve got a STEM degree, you leave.

  39. Mr.Perryville-Huh is SO highly educated
    3:09 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    That he writes “these list” instead of these lists. These indicates plural. He also writes: “I would love too see the people who, do these.” He makes improper use of the word too, it should be to. He also puts a comma after who which is improper use of a comma. In a separate post he writes “they talking” instead of they are talking. He follows that with an incomplete sentence which once again makes improper use of the word too indicating that it was not just a typo but that he really doesn’t know the proper use of the words to and too. His further posts continue with grammar mistakes yet he considers Lexington to not be a highly educated community as if he would even be capable of recognizing whether or not that is the case.

  40. Bojangles
    3:50 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    @ You’re Kidding, Right?: Just stop.

  41. Bojangles
    3:57 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I mean if you’re allegiance to a team of late-teen/early twenty yr old kids playing games has you calling an entire city “dirty” and most of its population stupid, I think this “argument” was over before it began.

  42. Steve Fitts
    4:03 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I used to live in Boulder, CO, so I agree totally about it being the #1 college town. Plus, it’s just 30 minutes to Denver, so you have big-town conveniences nearby. (By contrast, Lexington is 90 minutes from a big city.) So I’d say they have it about right!

  43. Uk student
    4:05 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m sorry, but as a senior at UK who has many friends attending college out of state, I’ve been to many, many college towns around the country. Lexington is one of the worst. Complete police state, and a sub-par bar scene. The ONLY thing UK has going for it is the women…and basketball.

  44. dcgirl
    4:14 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Read the criteria people — they weren’t ranking the prettiest campuses or best place to get drunk at a football game. Maybe Ole Miss’ campus is prettier than Lexington, but where would you rather start a tech company? buy a house? raise kids, etc?

  45. Boris
    4:38 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Natasha’s eez hot spot

  46. Joshua D.
    4:54 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m kind of surprised Austin, Texas didn’t make the list.

  47. Just sh**ting you
    5:28 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Why not Indianapolis? They have IUPUI…lmao!

  48. No
    5:56 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Fayetteville is a dump. List lost credibility right there. A few minutes of pig sooie and the smell of fried mayo balls and I’m looking for the first plane, train, or car out of that Deliverance-eque hellhole of a city…

  49. L1C4 is LAME
    7:41 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    This has 2 b a mistake. Loserville claims 2 b the best college city… but then again what do those idiots know?

  50. Harvey
    10:55 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    as an incoming freshman at UK, I have to say, this is awesome!!! going to the best school here in KY in one of our best cities!

  51. T.J Harrel
    11:22 pm August 2, 2013 Permalink

    Copied directly from house of blue forum

  52. YSR2KSR
    12:10 am August 3, 2013 Permalink

    auburn, chapel hill and athens r dumps, folks need to get out more. charlottesville, lexington (va) and sewanee r much more deserving than any of the places listed.

  53. Yourmyteamblue
    2:14 am August 3, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone knows that Yamamoto is the ideal hot spot of lex. And if dat city Louisville be on hur den porcinis wood be dat spot. Ya feel me famo

  54. matt
    9:08 am August 3, 2013 Permalink

    Lexington is a terrible town to live in, Louisville is a lot nicer! Lexington has a bunch of hicks there!!!

  55. schmowzow
    1:01 pm August 4, 2013 Permalink

    Wow nice list, really important. Now somebody should make a list counting down what cities single handedly keep an entire state afloat. Try and debut but you know it’s true. Horses don’t cut it.