Strategies

Where to Stay & Eat During Your College Visits With Your Kids

For teenagers, heading off to college means freedom and fun and all the glory that entails (e.g., sleeping on dorm room futons and eating dining hall rations). But on college visits—and later, when visiting collegiate children—parents need not accept sub-par lodging and dining. Read on for an insider cheat sheet with the best hotels, as well as dinner and brunch/lunch options for many college towns throughout the country, including several Ivy League schools, and even some schools abroad in the U.K.  Contact the Bookings Team for help planning your college tours.

Do you have suggestions for additional towns or recommendations for not-to-be-missed spots and sites around a campus listed below? We'd love to hear from you. Please contact Indagare to share your favorite picks.

New England College Visits

BROWN UNIVERSITY 

(Providence, Rhode Island)

Stay:Graduate Providence

 (11 Dorrance Street; 401-421-0700) is Brown’s landmark hotel but some argue it is in need of a sprucing-up. Equally close to campus but more updated and comfortable is the Omni Providence Hotel (1 West Exchange Street; 401-598-8000) or the boutiquey Hotel Providence (139 Mathewson St, 401-861-8000). The sleek and trendy new hotel, The Dean, is also a 10-minute drive from campus (122 Fountain Street, 401-455-3326). Eat Lunch: Across the river but less than a mile from campus, Circe (50 Weybosset St.; 401-437-8991) offers American-infused Mediterranean dishes, serving burgers and fries and Rhode Island mussels—and everything in between. The bistro-style Parkside’s (76 S Main St.; 401-331-0003) staying power attests to its consistently good meals. Stop in Venda Ravioli (265 Atwells Ave.; 401-421-9105), a gourmet Italian market in Providence’s Little Italy, for prepared foods and specialty groceries. Eat Dinner: Providence's most famous restaurant is Al Forno (577 South Water Street, 401-273-9760), located a 5-minute drive from campus and serving spectacular pizzas and Italian cuisineClassic, old-school pan-European cuisine with a formal flair (think tuxedoed waiters and tableside flambés) can be found at Capriccio (2 Pine St.; 401-421-1320), just a five- or 10-minute walk from the Biltmore or Omni hotels. Sitting between campus and the recommended hotels, Mills Tavern (101 N. Main St.; 401-272-3331) embodies the rustic, New England sense of an old lodge and features a stunning raw bar. Persimmon (99 Hope Street, 401-432-7422) offers a menu of elevated American cuisine and includes a chef’s counter. Across the river from the university and close to the performing arts center, Oberlin (186 Union St.; 401-588-8755) is a lively neighborhood spot serving creative pastas and seafood. New Rivers (7 Steeple St.; 401-751-0350), is a charming bistro known for its locally sourced American cuisine and a global selection of wines.

DARTMOUTH (Hanover, New Hampshire)

Stay:

 The tiny town of Hanover is so synonymous with Dartmouth, it comes as no surprise that students and locals wear t-shirts not with the university’s name but merely the word, “college.” The Hanover Inn (2 South Main Street; 603-643-4300) is the classic place to stay but spartan in a charming, New England way. Alternately, Six South Street Hotel (6 South Street; 603-643-0600) is the sleek spot on campus. Eat Breakfast: For warm donuts, look no further than Lou’s (30 S Main St.; 603-643-3321) and head to Dirt Cowboy (7 S Main St.; 603-643-1323) for coffee. Eat Lunch: Molly’s (43 S Main St.; 603-643-2570) is the classic restaurant and bar serving casual food. A meal here gives Dartmouth applicants a great sense of the town’s atmosphere. Eat DinnerCanoe Club (27 S Main St.; 603-643-9660) offers casual dining with a sophisticated menu and regularly features live music. For creative American fare and impressive wine offerings, Simon Pearce Restaurant is a 15-minute drive from Hanover in Quechee, Vermont (1760 Quechee Main St, 802-295-1470).

HARVARD (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cabot House at sunset at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts Courtesy Sam Lipoff[/caption]

Stay: Located on Harvard Square, The Charles (1 Bennett Street; 800-882-1818) is the place to stay on campus. Its rooms feature a mix of classic New England and modern styles. For visitors looking to stay in Boston proper, the Mandarin Oriental (776 Boylston St, 617-535-8888) offers luxury and relaxation within walking distance to many of the city’s attractions. Eat Lunch: Darwin’s (1629 Cambridge St.; 617-491-2999) makes delicious sandwiches that Harvard kids swear by. Afternoon Break: Cambridge gem L. A. Burdick (52 Brattle St.; 617-491-4340) makes a delicious hot chocolate. Eat Dinner: The elegant Craigie on Main (853 Main St.; 617-497-5511) combines local and seasonal ingredients with French-inspired refined rusticity. Giulia (1682 Massachusetts Ave; 617-441-2800) sits between Harvard and Porter Squares and is beloved for its Italian cuisine, particularly handcrafted pastas. Tucked away in the heart of Harvard Square, the sophisticated (and delicious) Harvest is a great option for a lunch or dinner (44 Brattle St. on the walkway, 617-868-2255). Read the Indagare destination report on Boston for many more suggestions.

MIDDLEBURY (Middlebury, Vermont)

Stay:

 In town, the small and cozy Swift House Inn (25 Stewart Lane; 866-388-9925) is the best choice, followed by the classic Middlebury Inn (14 Court Square; 802-388-4961). Both have unique rooms and a traditional b&b vibe. If you don’t mind a drive, Basin Harbour Club (4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT; 800-622-4000), open only for the summer season, is 30 minutes from campus on Lake Champlain and Mountain Top Inn (195 Mountain Top Road, Chittenden, VT; 802-483-2311) is an hour away. Eat Lunch: Housed in a beautiful stone building by a river, Storm Café (3 Mill St.; 802-388-1063) is particularly ideal in the summer when outdoor seating is available, but the food is consistently delicious year-round. For delicious pastries and coffee, visitors should stop by Vergennes Laundry (247 Main Street; 802-870-7157) or  Otter Creek Bakery (14 College Street; 802-388-3371). Costello's (99 Maple St. Suite 13A; 802-388-3385) and Noonie's Deli (137 Maple Street; 802-388-0014) are great options for a quick sandwich stop. Eat Dinner: Two Brothers Tavern (86 Main St.; 802-388-0002) has a lively bar area and a quieter, casual restaurant that both feature great bar-style food. Fire & Ice (26 Seymour St.; 802-388-7166) is filled with quirky Americana and knick-knacks and serves classic comfort foods. Tourterelle offers delicious French cuisine in a romantic atmosphere less than 15 minutes from campus (3629 Ethan Allen Hwy; 802-453-6309) and for elegant American fare, The Lobby is located in downtown Middlebury (7 Bakery Ln; 802-989-7463).

VASSAR (Poughkeepsie, New York)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vassar College building in New York Courtesy Jim Mills[/caption]

Stay: Short of Vassar’s Alumni House, where rooms are basic but comfortable and right across from campus, there are not many options in Poughkeepsie. Troutbeck (515 Leedsville Road, Amenia, NY; 845-373-9681) is a historic inn nestled in some 40 acres and is a 40-minute drive from Vassar. Rhinebeck’s Beekman Arms Hotel (6387 Mill Street; 845-876-7077) is about a 30-minute drive from campus and is America’s oldest hotel. Eat Lunch: Eveready Diner (4184 Rt. 9 N; 845-229-8100) is your classic American diner in the town of Hyde Park (home of the former Franklin D. Roosevelt estate), a 15-minute drive to campus. Closer to campus is The Artist’s Palate (307 Main St.; 845-483-8074), offering creative American fare in a unique environment—the historic building has been refurbished as a restaurant and art gallery. Eat Dinner: The Tavern at The Beekman Arms (6387 Mill Street; 845-876-1766) is a beautiful, serene restaurant in Rhinebeck’s Beekman Arms Hotel that books way in advance during graduation time. If Time Allows: Visit the nearby Dia: Beacon (3 Beekman St.; 845-440-0100).

WILLIAMS (Williamstown, Massachusetts)

Stay:

 Well-liked by Williams parents and alumni, the peaceful and pleasant Orchards Hotel (222 Adams Road; 413-458-9611) is located blocks from the Williams College Quad. Eat Lunch: Pappa Charlie’s (28 Spring St.; 413-458-5969) is an old-fashioned deli in the middle of town where all of the sandwiches on the menu are named for the celebrities (some more illustrious than others), who created them. The warm and welcoming atmosphere at Hops and Vines Beer Garden and Brasserie (16 Water St.; 413-884-1372) pairs well with the quality new American food on its menu. Eat Dinner: The menu at Williamstown’s beloved Mezze Bistro (777 Cold Spring Rd.; 413-458-0123), just outside of town, changes daily based on arrivals from independent farmers and local food artisans. Chef Joji Sumi’s intimate knowledge of French and Asian cooking artfully informs his creative New American cuisine. The Gala Restaurant and Bar (222 Adams Rd.; 413-458-9611) features seasonal New England comfort food and has a lovely garden courtyard.

YALE (New Haven, Connecticut)

Stay:

 The Study at Yale (1157 Chapel Street; 203-503-3900), centrally located on Chapel Street, is a minimalist but comfortable hotel. Eat Lunch: Atticus Bookstore and Cafe (1082 Chapel St.; 203-776-4040) is a casual and charming place that allows diners to eat while surrounded by books. Bar (254 Crown St.; 203-495-1111) serves great and convenient pizza (it can get crowded—and loud—at night). Louis’ Lunch (261-263 Crown St.; 203-562-5507) claims to be the birthplace of the hamburger and theirs are exceptional—and still served on toast. A healthier option frequented by students is Claire’s Corner Copia (1000 Chapel St.; 203-562-3888) with its extensive vegetarian menu. Eat Dinner: Union League (1032 Chapel St.; 203-562-4299) is the classic, fancy dinner spot in New Haven, Barcelona (155 Temple St.; 203-848-3000) serves delicious Spanish tapas in a hip atmosphere and Caseus (93 Whitney Ave.; 203-624-3373) is a delightful fromagerie and bistro centrally located on the corner of Whitney and Trumbull. Many claim that the pizza served at Pepe’s (157 Wooster St.; 203-865-5762) is the best in the U.S.

Mid-Atlantic College Visits

GEORGETOWN 

(Washington, DC)

Stay:

 The Rosewood Washington, D.C., formerly the Capella, (1050 31st St NW; 202-617-2400) is located on the historic C&O Canal in the heart of Georgetown. The family-friendly Four Seasons is only a few blocks further down the road (2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; 202-342-0444). The stylish Jefferson (1200 16th St NW; 202-448-2300), set in a 1926 beaux arts building near the White House, is the best option for those hoping to parlay their Georgetown visit into some cultural exposure in greater D.C. Eat Lunch: The Peacock Café (3251 Prospect St. NW; 202-625-2740) is definitely Georgetown’s favorite brunch venue, and in sunny weather, swarms of students hover on the sidewalk in hopes of scoring a spot on the patio. The sweet and savory menu and European vibe at Leopold’s Kafe (3315 M St. NW; 202-965-6005) make it a perennial favorite for brunch, lunch and dessert. Eat Dinner: Solid Italian food can be found at Café Milano (3251 Prospect St. NW; 202-333-6183), which has a reputation as a dinner destination for powerful politicos and D.C. socialites. Those not interested in rubbing shoulders with the elite set can try kitschy Filomena’s (1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-338-8800), where the portions are overwhelmingly generous and Italian grannies can be seen cutting homemade pasta in the window. At historic Martin’s Tavern (1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-7370), which opened the day after Prohibition ended in 1933, dinner tastes better when enjoyed in the booth where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie. Clyde’s (3236 M St. NW; 202-333-9180) is yet another Georgetown institution; the popular saloon chain’s M Street location is the distinguished original.

Related: The Evolution of Family TravelMother-Daughter Trips

PRINCETON (Princeton, New Jersey)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Exterior of Nassau Hall at Princeton University in New Jersey Courtesy John Phelan[/caption]

Stay: The hotel with the best location in town is The Nassau Inn (10 Palmer Square East; 609-921-7500), which is centrally located in Palmer Square, within steps of campus. While the rooms are not as ideal as the location, it is where everyone stays. An appealing alternative is the boutique Peacock Inn (20 Bayard Lane, 609-924-1707), which is charming and well appointed, but books up quickly. Eat Lunch: Teresa Caffe (23 Palmer Square E; 609-921-1974) is a lively Princeton classic serving sophisticated, Italian comfort food. Afternoon Break: Ice cream lovers can choose between the old-fashioned favorite Halo Pub (9 Hulfish St.; 609-921-1710), which uses milk from its own dairy, and the innovative Bent Spoon (35 Palmer Square W; 609-924-2368), where seasonal flavors such as meyer lemon, caramel apple and pumpkin are made with local ingredients. Eat Dinner: The outdoor patio at Mediterra (29 Hulfish St.; 609-252-9680) is delightful for a spot-on Mediterranean meal. Witherspoon Grill (57 Witherspoon St.; 609-924-6011), a contemporary steakhouse—also with a patio—serves a satisfying burger with delicious, sharable sides.

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial view of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Courtesy Scott Spitzer[/caption]

Stay: Just a quick taxi ride across the bridge from University City, the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 West Rittenhouse Square; 205-546-9000) is located on one of Center City Philadelphia’s loveliest urban parks. Eat Lunch: White Dog Café (3420 Sansom St.; 215-386-9224), which has been open for almost 30 years, is located in the heart of University City. The cuisine is contemporary American, and the sustainable ingredients are sourced from local farms. The Dandelion (124 S 18th St.; 215-558-2500), located a couple of blocks from Rittenhouse Park, offers a seasonal and updated take on British food in an Old World-style gastropub. Eat Dinner: Audrey Claire (276 S 20th St.; 215-731-1222), a darling BYOB serving Mediterranean mezze and flatbreads, is located on one of the neighborhood’s prettiest corners (20th and Spruce). If there’s a long wait, Twenty Manning Grill (261 S 20th St.; 215-731-0900), one block to the north, is just as enchanting. For al fresco dining on the square, Stephen Starr’s breezy French bistro, Parc (227 S 18th St.; 215-545-2262), is ideal.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND (Richmond, Virginia)

Stay:

 The historical and unique Jefferson Hotel (101 West Franklin Street; 804-649-4750) is a 20-minute drive from campus. Closer to the college but with less local charm is The Westin (6631 West Broad Street; 804-282-8444). Eat Brunch: The Hill Café (2800 E Broad St.; 804-648-0360) in Church Hill and LuLu’s (21 N 17th St.; 804-343-9771) and Millie’s (2603 E Main St.; 804-643-5512) in Shockoe Bottom are contenders for best brunch in the city. Eat Lunch: Casual fine dining is on offer at The Tobacco Company. Restaurant (1201 E Cary St.; 804-782-9555), a three-story, antique-filled spot in Shockoe Slip. Café Caturra (5811 Grove Ave.; 804-285-0690) on Grove Avenue is about five minutes from campus and is a great spot for pizza, salads, soups and small plates. Eat Dinner: Can Can Brasserie (3120 W Cary St.; 804-358-7274) offers delicious French brasserie food in a fun and elegant setting and is just 10 minutes from campus.

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA (Charlottesville, Virginia)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Lawn at the University of Virginia Courtesy Karen Blaha[/caption]

Stay: Approximately five minutes west of town is the serene and genteel Boar’s Head Inn (200 Ednam Drive; 855-452-2295). Time between campus tours is best spent getting a massage at the hotel’s gracious spa or with a round of golf at the Birdwood golf course. Weekend visitors should be sure to brunch at the Old Mill Room. About 20 minutes outside of town is the stunningly beautiful and peaceful Keswick Hall and Golf Club (701 Club Drive, Keswick; 434-979-3440), which provides a welcome respite for weary parents. Eat Lunch: Feast! (416 W Main St.; 434-244-7800), a seasonal market and café between “grounds” (as Wahoos call UVA’s campus) and the Downtown Mall, is a friendly haven for local food fiends. The old-school White Spot (1407 University Ave.; 434-295-9899) serves greasy diner food but (or maybe as a result) is highly popular with students, particularly late at night. Eat Dinner: C&O (515 E Water St.; 434-971-7044), inconspicuously situated on an un-trafficked corner of the Downtown Mall, is an excellent choice for dinner, especially if there’s a slight chill in the air. The restaurant’s rooms are warm and dark and full of character.

Southern College Visits

DUKE 

(Durham, North Carolina) and UNC-CHAPEL-HILL (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Exterior of chapel at Duke University in North Carolina Courtesy Jim Wallace[/caption]

Stay: Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill’s campuses are so close (a 20-minute drive), prospective students looking for a southern college experience might as well see both schools. The Washington Duke Inn (3001 Cameron Boulevard, Durham; 919-490-0999), situated on beautiful Duke grounds and boasting southern charm in both its décor and service, is a solid choice for a hub. Those preferring to stay on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus should look to the historic Carolina Inn (211 Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill; 919-933-2001), which dates to 1924 and is a seven-minute walk from downtown Chapel Hill. Also nearby UNC is The Franklin, an elegant and modern hotel in downtown Chapel Hill (311 W Franklin St; 919-442-9000). For a resort-like experience, the Umstead Hotel and Spa, a 15-minute drive from Durham, offers a serene lakefront setting and sophisticated accommodations, with a highly acclaimed restaurant (100 Woodland Pond Dr., Cary, 919-448-4000). In downtown Durham, 21c is a boutique museum-hotel  which displays rotating art exhibitions (111 Corcoran Street, Durham, 919-956-6700). Eat Lunch: The Bull Durham Bar (3001 Cameron Blvd.; 919-490-0999) at Washington Duke Inn (known to students as WaDuke) is comfortable, and the location and views can’t be beat. The Original Q Shack (2510 University Dr.; 919-402-4227) in Durham is the place for Carolina bar-b-que, and fantastic Southern fare can be found at Acme in downtown Carrboro, which serves mouth-watering brunch specials (110 E. Main St; 919-929-2263). For a classic southern brunch, Foster's Market, part café, part gourmet food market, serves up a paralleled spread of homestyle favorites and stocks fine Southern delicacies (2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, 919-489-3944). Eat Dinner: A constantly evolving farm-to-table experience can be found at Piedmont Restaurant (401 Foster St.; 919-683-1213) in Durham. Four Square (2701 Chapel Hill Rd.; 919-401-9877), located in a Victorian house in town and serving seasonal ingredient-driven meals is delightful, particularly on the screened-in porch. In Chapel Hill, Lantern (423 W Franklin St.; 919-969-8846) is run by a James Beard Award-winning chef and offers modern Asian-inspired cuisine in a chic and contemporary setting. Talullas (456 W. Franklin Street; 919-933-1177) serves delicious Turkish fare in a cozy dining room, and 411 West offers award-winning Italian specialties in the center of Chapel Hill (411 W. Franklin Street; 919-967-2782). For innovative Spanish tapas with Southern flair, Mateo's (109 W Chapel Hill St, 919-530-8700) is a sophisticated favorite in Durham as is Juju (737 W 9th St, 919-286-3555) for creative cocktails and Asian fusion small plates. For upscale Americana fare, Nana's (2514 University Drive, 919-493-8545) has been a Durham classic for its seasonal and locally sourced cuisine.

EMORY (Atlanta, GA)

Stay:

 About 15 minutes north of downtown Atlanta in Buckhead—known as the Beverly Hills of the South—is the lovely and luxurious St. Regis (88 W. Paces Ferry Rd.; 404-563-7900), considered the nicest five-star hotel in the city. Eat Lunch: Traditional deli favorites as well one of Atlanta’s favorite burgers are on offer at The General Muir (1540 Avenue Pl.; 678-927-9131). Inspired by the classic New York-style deli, the restaurant cures and smokes its own pastrami, boils and hand-rolls its bagels and makes its bread in-house (at the adjacent TGM Bakery). Eat Dinner: Located in a renovated warehouse that has a cozy yet chic vibe, Floataway Café (1123 Zonolite Rd.; 404-892-1414) offers a diverse menu made from seasonal ingredients with a French/Italian twist. The charming patio is a great spot to dine when the weather is nice. The eclectic Gunshow (925 Garrett St.; 404-380-1886) offers dim-sum style bites rolled out on carts by staff—instead of ordering from a menu, diners choose their meal as items pass through the dining room.

VANDERBILT (Nashville, Tennessee)

Stay:

 The Hutton Hotel (1808 West End Avenue; 615-340-9333) used to be the top choice in Nashville but has had some negative feedback of late. Other options include the historic Hermitage (231 Sixth Ave.; 888-888-9414) and five-room 404 Hotel (404 12th Ave. S; 615-242-7404). Eat Lunch: Drive to the 12 South neighborhood (five minutes away by car) for lunch at Burger Up (2901 12th Ave. S; 615-279-3767), followed by shopping and ice cream at Jeni's (1819 21st Ave. S; 615-292-8636), a few blocks down the road from the restaurant. To experience a bit of student life, pop into the Vanderbilt's vegetarian café, Grins (2421 Vanderbilt Pl.; 615-322-8571), for casual fare and student-watching. Eat Dinner: Drive to the up-and-coming Germantown neighborhood (10 minutes from campus) for a foodie meal (think scrapple with pepper sauce and thin-crust pizza with corn, ricotta and garlic) at the beloved City House. Can't get a reservation? Try 5th & Taylor, which is just a few blocks away.

Mid-Western College Visits

NORTHWESTERN (Evanston, Illinois)

Stay:

 Campus is only a 20-minute drive from the Peninsula (108 East Superior Street; 312-337-2888) in downtown Chicago. Eat Lunch: La Macchina Café (1620 Orrington Ave.; 847-425-1080), a quirky bistro decorated with old Italian motorcycles, serves house-made pasta and roasts its own coffee. Eat Dinner: Between Evanston and downtown Chicago in Lincoln Park sits the North Pond Restaurant (2610 N Cannon Dr.; 773-477-5845), a beautiful institution with spectacular views and enjoyable fare.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-ANN ARBOR (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Stay:

  The Inn at the Michigan League (911 N. University Ave.; 734-764-3177) is most convenient as it is located on campus, but with only 21 rooms, it fills up fast. Also located in the center of campus is The Bell Tower Hotel (300 S. Thayer St.; 734-769-3010), which could use some refreshing but offers friendly service. Further out—about a 10-minute drive—is Weber’s Inn (3050 Jackson Rd; 734-769-2500), a hotel and conference facility. Eat Lunch: Zingerman’s Delicatessen (422 Detroit St.; 734-663-3354) is so famously delicious, people ship the food (including meats, cheeses and their famous sour cream coffeecake) all over the world. Eat Dinner: Chop House (322 S Main St.; 734-769-5960) is your classic Midwestern steakhouse. Gandy Dancer (401 Depot St.; 734-769-0592) is located in a 19th-century train depot and is the first choice for post-graduation dinners.

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS (St. Louis, Missouri)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rainbow cloud over Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis Courtesy James Byard/WUSTL Photos[/caption]

Stay: The Ritz-Carlton (100 Carondelet Place; 314-426-2585) is the nicest hotel available and is just 10 minutes from the airport and campus. Eat Lunch: Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar in the Loop; 314-727-4444), near The Loop, is a casual eatery decorated with kitschy Americana décor. Eat Dinner: The Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney St.; 314-771-5777) serves seasonal locally sourced food (much of it coming from their own on-property garden) in a casual but rustic setting. Niche (7734 Forsyth Blvd.; 314-773-7755) offers unique and exciting New American food in the Clayton section of St. Louis.

West Coast College Visits

STANFORD 

(Stanford, California)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]People on grounds at Stanford University in California Courtesy the Stanford Sun[/caption]

Stay: The contemporary and minimalist Four Seasons Silicon Valley (2050 University Avenue; 650-566-1200), caters to tech executives and is about a 15-minute drive from campus. Rosewood Sand Hill (2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park; 650-561-1500) sits just a short drive away from Stanford and features stunning views of the bay area. Eat Lunch: Pluto’s (428 University Ave.; 650-853-1556) in Palo Alto serves delicious and healthy sandwiches and salads. Creamery (566 Emerson St.; 650-323-3131) is a timeless diner that serves delicious comfort food throughout the day. Eat Dinner:  Tamarine (546 University Ave.; 650-325-8500), located in downtown Palo Alto, serves modern Vietnamese cuisine, and Fuki Sushi (4119 El Camino Real; 650-494-9383) is an easy choice for a light meal. Sundance Steakhouse (1921 El Camino Real; 650-321-6798) and Flemings Steakhouse (180 El Camino Real; 650-329-8457) never fail to please those looking for a heartier dinner. Pizzeria Delfina (651 Emerson St.; 650-353-2208)—an offshoot of the San Francisco Delfina—features Neapolitan-style pizza and antipasti.

UC-BERKELEY (Berkeley, California)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clock tower at University of California Berkeley Courtesy Keegan Houser[/caption]

Stay: The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa (41 Tunnel Road; 800-551-7266) is just eight minutes from campus and offers a relaxing oasis in the city. Eat Lunch: Locavores flock to Gather (2200 Oxford St.; 510-809-0400), whose daily changing menu is sourced solely from sustainable ingredients. Eat Dinner: Alice Waters’ acclaimed formal restaurant Chez Panisse (1517 Shattuck Ave.; 510-548-5525) serves an incredible and different price-fixed dinner menu Monday through Saturday nights.

UCLA (Los Angeles, California)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Building exterior at University of California Los Angeles Courtesy Josh Lee[/caption]

Stay: Located right in Westwood, UCLA’s Los Angeles neighborhood, the W Los Angeles-West Beverly Hills (930 Hilgard Avenue; 310-208-8765) is most convenient option. A short distance away is the Kimpton Palomar (10740 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-475-8711). Alternately, the famous Spanish mission-style luxurious Hotel Bel-Air (701 Stone Canyon Road; 310-472-1211) is about a seven-minute drive from campus. Eat Lunch: Napa Valley Grille (1100 Glendon Ave.; 310-824-3322) serves fresh California cuisine and is located close to campus and across the street from the Hammer Museum. For a fast-food option, you can’t go wrong with a double-double “animal style” at In-N-Out Burger (922 Gayley; 800-786-1000). Eat Dinner: A local favorite, Toscana (11633 San Vicente Blvd.; 310-820-2448) offers traditional Italian fare with stellar service. Local sushi chain Sugarfish (11640 San Vicente Blvd.; 310-820-4477) serves traditional rolls in nearby Brentwood.

UK University Visits

OXFORD UNIVERSITY 

(Oxford, England)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Interior of Divinity School at Oxford University in England Courtesy David Iliff[/caption]

Stay: In the heart of Oxford is the Old Bank Hotel (92-94 High Street; 44-1865-799-599), which has superb service. Eat Lunch: The Quod (92-94 High Street; 44-1865-202-505), a former banking hall—it is part of the Old Bank Hotel—serves an all-day brasserie menu and is best in colder weather. The Turf Tavern (4-5 Bath Pl.; 44-1865-243-235), ideal in spring and summer with a beautiful outdoor seating area, is set in a 13th-century ale house with great pub food and a fun vibe. The Trout Inn (195 Godstow Rd.; 44-1865-510-930) is a 20-minute walk from town through parks and beautiful countryside and has great drinks and fish and chips in a pretty riverside setting. Vaults & Garden Café (University Church, High St.; 44-1865-279-112), housed inside the university church, offers lots of healthy options made from fresh, organic ingredients. Eat Dinner: Meals at The Old Parsonage (1 Banubury Rd.; 44-1865-310-210) are created using the best seasonal food and served by friendly, informed staff. The bright and airy Ashmolean Dining Room (Beaumont St.; 44-1865-553-823), located on the roof of the Ashmolean Museum, offers delicious European cuisine amid the stunning views of Oxford’s spires.

UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS (St. Andrews, Scotland)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial view of University at St Andrews in Scotland Courtesy Spencer Bentley[/caption]

Stay: The elegant mainstay in town is the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel (Pilmour Links, 44-1334-474-321), but a 10-minute walk from town is the more contemporary Old Course Hotel (Old Station Road; 44-1334-474-371), which most notably caters to visiting golfers. Hotel du Vin (40 The Scores; 44-1334-845-313) is located on the loveliest street in town and is situated between the golf course and the center of town. Eat Lunch: The cozy North Point Café (24 North St.; 44-1334-473-997) is the best spot for lunch, serving soups, sandwiches and scones. Eat Dinner: Arguably the best restaurant in Scotland, The Peat Inn (Near St Andrews; 44-1334-840-206) occupies a farmhouse about 20-minutes from town, but the ambience and incredible food make it worth the trip. Overlooking—and overhanging—the sea, sits The Seafood Restaurant (Bruce Embankment; 44-1334-479-475), one of St. Andrews’ best eateries. On the top floor of The Old Course Hotel sits the elegant and formal Road Hole Bar (Old Station Rd.; 44-1334-474-371). The adjoining bar serves an impressive menu of whiskey in a room that looks and feels like a grandfather’s den.

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