5. Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is sandwiched between the Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the most scenic college towns in the States. The Channel Islands beckon off the coast, and Los Padres National Forest is not too far away. The mission architecture is gorgeous, and the Mediterranean climate is hard to beat. Five higher learning institutions are situated here: the University of California Santa Barbara, Westmont College, Antioch University, Santa Barbara City College and the Brooks Institute of Photography. Students have to be self-disciplined, though. The SoCal setting is so stunning you might find it challenging to hit the books.