Last year, I was introduced to the annual abomination that is Travel + Leisure’s best college towns in America list. I mean, it’s so freaking bad.
For 2013, they named Burlington, Vermont the best college town in America. Not that Burlington, Vermont is all that bad. I’m sure it’s fine. It’s just that their reasoning was that Phish was founded there and the artisan coffee bean roasting scene was unparalleled.
That was their fucking reason. For best college town. Worse, the fourth-best college town in America was Colonial Williamsburg. COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG. The fourth. Best college town. In America. The town where people dress up as characters from the 1700s. That’s what I want in a college town. Blacksmiths bellowing about.
But enough about the past. This year’s best college town is the beautiful city photographed above.
It is… Syracuse, New York. GUH?
Syracuse earned top marks for things that fuel your typical university student. It was voted No. 1 for both pizza and hamburgers (sharing the latter honor with Lafayette, LA), No. 2 for coffee, and No. 4 for both food trucks and craft beer—apparently consumed by an abundance of hip locals.
Huh? Cool locals makes a great college town? Uh, what? And you are going to keep talking about them?
You’re likely to find aforementioned hipsters at Faegan’s Pub on Tuesday nights, when patrons earn their name on a plaque after completing a “tour” of some of the 44 brews on tap.
Okay. Best college town in America has craft beer and people. Word. Number two? Is it Austin or Boulder? NEP. It’s Lafayette, Louisiana. A town I and you and 100 percent of college students have NEVER heard of. What’s so great about La. Fay. Ette. Louisiana?
Music has deep roots in the heart of Cajun Country; tap into it with some “swamp pop” at the Blue Dog Café, a zydeco dance party at Vermilionville, or a Creole jam at the Blue Moon Saloon. When you’re done dancing, curl up with a good book—Lafayette was voted second best for bookstores like husband-and-wife-run Alexander Books.
Does Travel + Leisure even know what a college is? Or a person in their 20s? READING?
Fifth is Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth.
Today the waterfront Canal Park is Duluth’s most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike, who grab a seat on the deck at Grandma’s Saloon & Grill to sip one of the dozen or so local microbrews and watch the Aerial Lift Bridge rise to let ships through, just like it has for nearly 110 years.
Seriously, what the fuck, Travel + Leisure?
Feel free to read the whole thing here, but also feel free not to.