Top 5 Coastal College Towns for Weekend Beach Retreats

Come explore the vibrant energy and endless opportunities awaiting you in college beach towns! Dive into the sun-soaked shores, take a stroll along the boardwalk, sample treats from beachside cafes and soak in the lively atmosphere. Whether you’re visiting the nearby college or just looking for a fun weekend getaway, these hot spots offer something for every visitor including thrilling water sports, captivating cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing day under the sun.

San Diego, California – University of San Diego, San Diego State

San Diego, California includes two great beach town colleges including the University of San Diego and San Diego State. San Diego is “Cali cool” and is known for its coastal views and rich activities. San Diego’s popular activities include surfing, outstanding local Mexican and seafood restaurants and the always hopping Gaslamp Quarter.

The Horizon Project - University of San Diego

The city’s diverse, vibrant life encompasses many unique and charming communities, and is also known for its long miles of beaches and family attractions including Legoland California and the San Diego Zoo.

Located just a short drive to the North, one of the most popular nearby rentals on CollegeWeekends is located in Oceanside. This condo has a 3-bedroom apartment and 2 patios with gorgeous views of the beach. The apartment includes cable TV, beach access, two heated pools, and a fitness center.

Savannah-Tybee Island, Georgia – Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah and Tybee Island is an area known for its historic district, the Savannah River, good southern cuisine, and haunting ghost history. Savannah is a vibrant and charming Southern town with a rich history and includes Savannah College of Art and Design and Savannah State University. Savannah and its nearby beaches (including Tybee Island) also provide a ton of great things to do while visiting including ghost haunting tours, lighthouse tours, and swimming with dolphins.

SCAD Savannah |

CollegeWeekends has a number of great listings near Savannah and Tybee Island, including the popular Palm Terrace. This location is a four-bedroom, five-bathroom house with a modernized kitchen, an open-concept dining room, and a sunroom with outdoor dining by the pool.

The backyard of this gem is particular nice for families as it has a great screening area to watch the big game or have a movie night by the pool. 

Kingston, Rhode Island – University of Rhode Island

We would be remiss to exclude the Northeast on our list, as the University of Rhode Island is a must visit for great coastal views and nature walks. Kingston is a cozy New England town that has a variety of activities including the amazing Kinney Azalea Gardens. This public garden was launched to educate the public about the value of the environment and to appreciate the beauty of small things. 

Welcome Back! – Rhody Today

Another popular attraction is the beach and marine life in nearby North Kingston Beach or East Matunuck State Beach, which provides a relaxing getaway with incredible views year-round.

CollegeWeekends has a wide selection of rentals in Kingston, Rhode Island and near the University of Rhode Island. The Fresh Pond Chateau is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin that sleeps six. The home sits on a private road with easy access to the beach and shopping at Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and Edgartown. 

Corpus-Cristi, Texas – Texas A&M University 

Corpus-Cristi, Texas, is a fantastic college town on the Gulf of Mexico and is also a great coastal getaway for any tourist. Corpus Christi is the heart of a one-stop location for sailing, shopping, and dining – and includes other great attractions like its amazing aquarium, boat tours, and sandy beaches.

Life at Texas A&M University | Texas A&M University Engineering

The Corpus-Cristi area is well known for its beach life, with miles of beaches and restaurants. When visiting, be sure to check out the variety of fun tours as well as great seafood and Tex-Mex restaurants in the area.

CollegeWeekends has over 150 listings including the Corpus Christi are including can’t miss, Vitamin Sea. Vitamin Sea is a 2-bedroom townhouse with a resort-style pool, playground, and a giant pirate ship for your kids. Located in the heart of Corpus-Cristi, this rental can sleep up to 8 people and is located conveniently to many nearby attractions.  

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Coastal Carolina University 

One of the most popular beaches in South Carolina is Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is home to Coastal Carolina University and a hub for great beaches, youth tournaments and vacationers from up and down the East Coast. You will definitely not be bored during your visit, as Myrtle Beach has great golf courses, watersports like jet skis, waterboarding, and boating and amazing nearby beaches!

Apply to Coastal Carolina University

The Myrtle Beach area and nearby beaches also have great nightlife filled with fine dining, casual restaurants and great bars that often have live music!

Myrtle Beach is a CollegeWeekends favorite and featured destination and is loaded with great rental options. The Tropical Oasis is a one-bedroom, one-bath condo perfect for parents visiting their child at Coast Carolina University or for those who just need some R&R. This condo is located in the highly desirable Palms Resort, and the interior includes a screen TV, a bar and dining area with views of the Atlantic Ocean, and an upgraded, high-end luxury kitchen.  

These five college towns offer a great combination of history, charm and amazing beaches perfect for a weekend getaway. Check out more great college town destinations on CollegeWeekends.