Charlottesville 101: Rolling vineyards, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the redbrick Downtown Mall-it's easy to see why so many students graduate from the University of Virginia and stay put.
Why It Made Our List: iPads and laptops have replaced satchels and quills, but students still sign honor codes, dress up for football games and vie for coveted spots in secret societies at the university Thomas Jefferson founded in 1819.
Don't Miss: Jefferson's contributions, such as The Lawn, where 54 peer-selected students forgo modern conveniences for the honor of living in 18th-century buildings. From town, walk the wooded two-mile Saunders-Monticello Trail to Monticello.Extra Credit: Book a table at The Local in the Belmont quarter. Order comfort foods like dry-rubbed pork chops with crispy sweet-potato fries.
Sure Beats the Dorm: Students check their parents into The Boar's Head Inn (pictured) in hopes they'll pick up the tab for bottles of Virginia wines served on the outdoor patio overlooking the property's lake.
If You Do Go for a Game: There's an unofficial dress code. Women don dresses from shops like Eloise; guys pick up blazers and those classic orange-and-navy bowties at Eljos.
Coach's Report: "Students shake off finals with comfort foods like grilled cheese on sourdough at The Virginian restaurant (434/984-4667)"-Coach Mike London