10 Best College Towns in Florida

Looking for the best college town in Florida? If yes, we’ve got a handy list of them below, plus some other valuable information about college life! If Florida is your State of choice for college, read on to discover its 10 finest college towns!

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

You might also end up living in your college town after graduation. According to a study by NSA, 50% of students used storage at least once during or in the 12 months after college. We theorize this is because students are using storage services to help with local moves (aka from a dorm to an apartment). In fact, 25% of respondents to that same study said that they planned on staying in the same town as their college or university post-graduation. So it’s important to put your roots down in the right spot! Check out the best college towns in Florida so you can make the right choice.

What’s So Different About Going to College in Florida?

Going to college or university is an amazing journey that everyone should have a chance to undertake. That being said, going to college or university in Florida is a whole different ballgame! That’s because, for a good portion of the school year, the weather in Florida is fantastic! 

Sunny, warm, and tropical, most days, you’ll also see a quickly-passing shower to cool things down. Plus, many of the best college towns in Florida are right on the coast! (The Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico coast, for you geography majors!) That means you can study and surf at the same time! (Figuratively, of course.) Most Florida college towns also feature fantastic nightlife, top-tier sports teams, and many more amenities! In short, Florida is a great place to go to college or university!


Best College Towns in Florida #1: Boca Raton

Major Schools in Boca Raton, FL

  • University of Miami, Coral Gables
  • Florida International University

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida

  • Diversity, nightlife, the weather, and outdoor activities all get an A grade making it one of the best college towns in Florida!
  • The beaches are stunning, and the water’s almost always warm!

Things To Do in Boca Raton FL

  • Relax on the beach.
  • Surfing, snorkeling, skiing, and other water sports.
  • Tennis and golf.
  • Clubbing!

Where To Live in Boca Raton, FL

  • Clint Moore Rd.
  • N. Ocean Blvd.
  • Highland Beach Town Center
10 Best College Towns in Florida
A boat on the shore in Boca Raton, Florida.

Best College Towns in Florida #2: Clearwater

Major Schools in Clearwater, FL:

  • St. Petersburg College
  • University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • Beautiful weather, lots of shopping, and an urban feel.
  • Clearwater Beach is considered one of the prettiest in the United States, making it one of the best college towns in Florida AND the US!

Things To Do in Clearwater, FL:

  • Beachgoing.
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Shopping!

Where To Live in Clearwater, FL:

  • Dunedin
  • Dellwood
  • Greenbriar

Best College Towns in Florida #3: Coral Gables

Major Schools in Coral Gables, FL:

  • University of Miami
  • Florida International University

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • It’s called “The Beautiful City” because it’s gorgeous!
  • The mighty University of Miami is here!

Things To Do in Coral Gables, FL:

  • Go see a Miami Gators’ football game!
  • Eat like royalty at many excellent restaurants.
  • Explore Old Cutler Trail, 10 miles of gorgeous landscapes!

Where To Live in Coral Gables, FL:

  • Gables by the Sea
  • Hammock Oaks
  • King’s bay
10 Best College Towns in Florida
Colorful floating umbrellas hang above the street in Coral Gables, Florida.

Best College Town #4: Fort Myers

Major Schools in Fort Myers, FL:

  • Hodges University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University Cohen Center
  • Kaiser University

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • Some of the best beaches in the world, making it one of the best college towns in Florida, US, and the world!
  • Nightlife that’s off the chain!
  • Beach weather year-round.

Things To Do in Fort Myers, FL:

  • Go clubbing
  • Surfing
  • Golfing
  • Study at the beach

Where To Live in Fort Myers, FL:

  • Pelican Preserve
  • Botanica Lakes
  • Arborwood

Best Storage Facility in Fort Myers, FL:

10 Best College Towns in Florida
Colorful housing and palm trees in Fort Myers, Florida.

College Town #5: Gainesville

Major Schools in Gainesville, FL:

  • University of Florida
  • Sante Fe College

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • It’s rated one of the best cities in Florida, and therefore is one of the best college towns as well.
  • The cost of living is less expensive than most.
  • Naural beauty all around.

Things To Do in Gainesville, FL:

  • Alligator watching on lake Alice!
  • The spectacular Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Where To Live in Gainesville, FL:

  • Hazel Heights
  • Highland Court manor
  • Duckpond
University of Florida Auditorium and Century Tower in Gainesville, Florida.

College Town #6: Pensacola

Major Schools in Pensacola, FL:

  • Pensacola State College
  • The University of West Florida

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • The natural wonders to find here are outstanding.
  • It’s less expensive than many other Florida cities.

Things To Do in Pensacola, FL:

  • Relax on the beach add Gulf Islands National Seashore 
  • Visit the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum 

Where To Live in Pensacola, FL:

  • East Hill
  • Cordova Park
  • Downtown!
10 Best College Towns in Florida
View of Pensacola Beach, Florida.

College Town #7: Sarasota

Major Schools in Sarasota, FL:

  • University of South Florida, Manatee Campus
  • Ringling College of Art and Design

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

Things To Do in Sarasota, FL:

  • Hit the clubs at night and the shops during the day.
  • Surfing and any other water sports you can imagine!

Where To Live in Sarasota, FL:

  • Downtown
  • Southside Village
  • Bird Key

Best Storage Facilities in Sarasota, FL:


College Town #8: St. Petersburg

Major Schools in St. Petersburg, FL:

  • University of South Florida / Main Campus
  • St. Petersburg College/Gibbs Campus

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • The city boasts some of the best beaches in the world.
  • The cost of living is on average with the rest of the U.S.

Things To Do in St. Petersburg, FL:

  • Kiteboarding!
  • Windsurfing
  • Parasailing
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding
  • Enjoying life to the max!

Where To Live in St. Petersburg, FL:

  • Historic Kenwood
  • Downtown
  • Grand Central District

Best Storage Facilities Near St. Petersburg, FL:

View of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida.

#9: Tampa

Major Schools in Tampa, FL:

  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tampa
  • St. Petersburg College

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • The weather is practically perfect as Tampa is further north.
  • Sports, especially the NFL. College and national sports make this one of the best towns to lay down roots!

Things To Do in Tampa, FL:

  • Watch Tom Brady win another Superbowl.
  • Go on a dinner cruise. (It’s so much fun!)

Where to Live in Tampa, FL:

  • South Tampa
  • Ybor City
  • Hyde park

Best Storage Facilities in Tampa, FL:

A view of the Tampa, Florida city skyline.

#10: Winter Park

Major School in Winter Park, FL:

  • University of Central Florida

Why It’s One of the Best College Towns in Florida:

  • It’s close to all the Magic! (Disney, Universal Studios, waterparks, you name it!)
  • Winter Park is close to both of Florida’s spectacular coasts!

Things To Do in Winter Park, FL

  • So much that we could fill another article! Theme parks, nature parks, museums, boutiques, dining, entertainment! The list goes on!

Where To Live in Winter Park, FL:

  • Baldwin park
  • College Park
  • Orwin Manor

What Are Your Favorite College Towns in Flordia?

What do you think of our list of the 10 Best College Towns in Florida? We hope it helps you to make the big decision on where to study! We’re Hide-Away Storage, the Florida storage unit experts. If you need storage when you move to college, we can help! We have self-storage facilities all over the beautiful state of Florida! Clean, secure, and affordable, they can be beneficial when you’re moving stuff constantly from college to home and back!

If you have questions, you can chat with a friendly manager online anytime! Until then, best of luck choosing the perfect college, and college town, in Florida! We hope it makes your college years exciting, memorable, and rewarding!