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University of Virginia, Charlottesville

College Towns

Where the Learning Never Ceases



Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, designing its campus and most of its buildings. More than 200 years later, the Blue Ridge Mountain setting is still beautiful, and Charlottesville has become a renowned destination for scholars, students, and retirees. Area residents can enjoy UVA’s cultural arts performances, guest speaker programs, and many sporting events free of charge, while tuition waivers are available to seniors age 60+ for academic and continuing-education classes. Charlottesville’s pedestrian-only Downtown Mall is a hub of community activity with a variety of shopping, casual dining, and entertainment choices.


Old Well at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina


The flagship campus of the University of North Carolina is located in Chapel Hill, part of the area’s acclaimed “Research Triangle” that also includes Duke University in Durham and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The region’s unrivaled concentration of academic talent has spurred the local growth in cutting-edge technology companies and medical facilities that are world-class by any standard. In addition to the music concerts, art exhibitions, and other special events that welcome the public on all three campuses, historic downtown Chapel Hill features a walkable city center with more than 200 shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues.


Downtown of Athens, Georgia


The vibrant college town of Athens is home to the University of Georgia with its impressive array of graduate and undergraduate programs. Locals also have access to the university’s library network, plus on-campus cultural amenities like the Georgia Museum of Art, the UGA Performing Arts Center, and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. In addition, residents age 62 and older can enroll in hundreds of available UGA courses without the payment of tuition and most fees. Everyone can enjoy Athen’s in-town parks, nearby nature trails, and a local music scene that’s constantly pushing contemporary boundaries.


Paris-Yates Chapel at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) in Oxford, Mississippi


The University of Mississippi, better known as “Ole Miss” and set on a 1,200-acre campus that borders downtown Oxford, features historic buildings amid stately oaks and magnolias, plus a renowned performing arts center. In the school’s Communiversity outreach program, Mississippi residents age 65 and older can enroll in tuition-free academic courses or take non-credit classes, with a fee discount for age-55+ students. Take a short walk from the Ole Miss campus on the Bailey’s Woods Trail to William Faulkner’s home at Rowan Oak, or head over to Square Books for coffee and in-person readings by contemporary authors.


Reposted from an article in Ideal-LIVING Magazine, 2023 Summer Issue – Best Places to Live

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