The United States is home to a diverse range of college towns, some of which are excellent places to live without a car.

These towns offer convenient public transit, cycling paths, and a walkable infrastructure, making it easier to navigate your way around town. Moreover, these places usually have a vibrant community atmosphere, brimming with arts, culture, and exciting local cuisine.

Top Us College Towns to Live Without A Car

There is something quite liberating about walking to the local farmers market, biking to a concert, or taking the bus to a coffee shop.

In this article, we explore seven of the best U.S. college towns where you can enjoy a high quality of life without owning a car.

Top Us College Towns to Live Without A Car

1. Boulder, Colorado

Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. It’s a bike-friendly town with an excellent system of cycling paths, and the city’s public transportation is top-notch.

Downtown Pearl Street is a lively hub of restaurants, bookstores, and music venues.

Nearby colleges: The University of Colorado Boulder is the central academic institution in the town.

2. Cambridge, Massachusetts

With its rich history, bustling squares, and vibrant intellectual atmosphere, Cambridge is a great place to live without a car. The city’s public transit system, the MBTA, is one of the best in the country, and many parts of the city are very walkable.

Nearby colleges: Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are both located in Cambridge.

3. Davis, California

Davis is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly towns in the United States. The city has made a significant effort to provide bike paths throughout, making it easy to get around. There’s a strong sense of community, with regular farmers markets and festivals.

Nearby colleges: The University of California, Davis.

4. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill is a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly town. The public transportation system is free for all to use, and it’s a delight to stroll around the beautiful UNC campus or the local shops and restaurants on Franklin Street.

Nearby colleges: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

5. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison is surrounded by water, with five lakes that make for fantastic spots to relax. It’s very bike-friendly and has an efficient public transit system. State Street offers a pedestrian-only thoroughfare of shops, restaurants, and coffee houses.

Nearby colleges: The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

6. Ithaca, New York

With its beautiful gorges, Ithaca is both scenic and walkable. It has a reliable public transit system, and downtown Ithaca is full of eclectic shops and restaurants.

Nearby colleges: Cornell University and Ithaca College.

7. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor boasts a vibrant downtown with dozens of bookshops, restaurants, and galleries. It’s a walkable city with an extensive bus system. The University of Michigan’s campus itself is like a small city and easy to navigate on foot.

Nearby colleges: The University of Michigan.


These seven towns offer all the amenities and activities that you could wish for, and you won’t need a car to access them. The combination of lively college atmosphere, excellent public transit, and a walkable layout make them ideal places to live a car-free life. So pack your bags and your bike helmet, and get ready for a new adventure in one of these incredible college towns!

Hey there, fellow wanderers and welcome to my website! I’m Paul, but my friends affectionately call me Pablo.

My adventures are all about exploring the world without wheels and leaving a positive impact on the places I visit or write about.

Hailing from a small town in the UK with big dreams, my heart beats for the thrill of discovering new horizons and immersing myself in diverse cultures. While others might be zooming by in cars, I’ve found my joy in exploring places on foot, breathing in the soul of each city, and capturing moments that transport you through time.

Allow me to give you a glimpse into some of the footprints I’ve left across the globe.