Start the year off right: 94% of our students were accepted to their top choice schools over the last five years!

Command EducationGuide
View Contents
2
"

College Visit Recommendations

Make the most of your college visit with our personalized insights. Our guide offers tailored recommendations for specific schools, ensuring you make the most of your visit on and off campus.

Embarking on your college journey is more than just hitting the books—it’s about immersing yourself in the vibrant culture, flavors, and experiences that make each campus unique. Once you have crafted your balanced college list and decided which schools you intend to visit, it’s time for the fun to commence—creating your itinerary for your campus visits!

As you visit the colleges on your list, exploring both the college and its surrounding restaurants, sights, and culture is crucial. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with the school and its local community will help you in determining where you’ll feel most at home. As you savor local flavors, explore campus landmarks, and discover the town’s hidden gems, you’re not just creating memories—you’re gaining a deeper understanding of the environment that will shape the next four years of your educational journey.

Every college’s culture offers a unique blend of academics, student life, and local flare. Created using the first-hand knowledge of our Senior Mentors, Command Education’s Guide to College Visit Recommendations compiles the most important things to see and do both on campus and off, helping you make informed decisions about where you’ll thrive academically and personally in college.

University of Pennsylvania

Harvard University

New York University

UC Berkeley

University of Chicago

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Cornell University

Columbia University

Northwestern University

Stanford University

Yale University

Princeton University

University of North Carolina

University of Pennsylvania

Harvard University

New York University

UC Berkeley

University of Chicago

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Columbia University

Northwestern University

Stanford University

Yale University

Princeton University

University of North Carolina

University of Pennsylvania

What to See on Campus:

  • EFisher Fine Arts Library
  • ELaw School

    For students interested in Pol Sci/Pre-Law

  • EWalk down Locust St. to see on-campus housing

    Stop at Huntsman (students interested in Business/Wharton) and Van Pelt Library (main undergraduate library).

  • EVisit the Penn Museum
  • ECheck out your Freshman housing options
  • EExplore off-campus housing options by walking from campus to Clark Park.

    Note that Penn students are only permitted to live off campus during their junior and senior years, and most off-campus students live south of Market Street between 38th St. and 42nd St.

What to Eat:

  • EWhite Dog Cafe
  • EZahav
  • EGoldie at Franklin’s Table
  • EKfar Bakery
  • ESurreal Creamery
  • EFederal Donuts

What to See Around Town:

  • EPhiladelphia Museum of Art
  • EEastern State Penitentiary
  • EThe Liberty Bell

University of Pennsylvania

What to See on Campus:

  • EFisher Fine Arts Library
  • ELaw School

    For students interested in Pol Sci/Pre-Law

  • EWalk down Locust St. to see on-campus housing

    Stop at Huntsman (students interested in Business/Wharton) and Van Pelt Library (main undergraduate library).

  • EVisit the Penn Museum
  • ECheck out your Freshman housing options
  • EExplore off-campus housing options by walking from campus to Clark Park.

    Note that Penn students are only permitted to live off campus during their junior and senior years, and most off-campus students live south of Market Street between 38th St. and 42nd St.

What to Eat:

  • EWhite Dog Cafe
  • EZahav
  • EGoldie at Franklin’s Table
  • EKfar Bakery
  • ESurreal Creamery
  • EFederal Donuts

What to See Around Town:

  • EPhiladelphia Museum of Art
  • EEastern State Penitentiary
  • EThe Liberty Bell

Princeton University

What to See on Campus:

  • EPrinceton Neuroscience Institute
  • EWhig Hall
  • EChancellor Green Rotunda Library

    Outside the library is the East Pyne Courtyard, which served as a filming location for Oppenheimer.

  • EPrinceton School of Public and International Affairs

    For students interested in Pol Sci/Pre-Law

  • ECheck out the new Residential Colleges

    Yeh College and New College West

What to Eat:

  • ESmall World Coffee shop
  • ECoffee Club

    An entirely student run coffee shop

  • EOlive’s
  • EBent Spoon’s famous Banana Whip
  • EMaruichi Japanese Market
  • EJunbi
  • ELittle Chef’s Pastry Shop

What to See Around Town:

  • EWalk down Prospect Ave.
  • EVisit the small town on University Place/Witherspoon Ave.

Princeton University

What to See on Campus:

  • EPrinceton Neuroscience Institute
  • EWhig Hall
  • EChancellor Green Rotunda Library

    Outside the library is the East Pyne Courtyard, which served as a filming location for Oppenheimer.

  • EPrinceton School of Public and International Affairs

    For students interested in Pol Sci/Pre-Law

  • ECheck out the new Residential Colleges

    Yeh College and New College West

What to Eat:

  • ESmall World Coffee shop
  • ECoffee Club

    An entirely student run coffee shop

  • EOlive’s
  • EBent Spoon’s famous Banana Whip
  • EMaruichi Japanese Market
  • EJunbi
  • ELittle Chef’s Pastry Shop

What to See Around Town:

  • EWalk down Prospect Ave.
  • EVisit the small town on University Place/Witherspoon Ave.

Columbia University 

What to See on Campus:

  • EVisit the Libraries

    The Starr East Asian Library
    Butler Library
    Avery Library

  • EBroadway and Amsterdam Ave

    Where a majority of student-favorite restaurants are located.

  • EColumbia Law School

What to Eat:

  • EAbsolute Bagels
  • ESaiguette

    An entirely student run coffee shop

  • ELaSalle Dumplings
  • EFalafel on Broadway

What to See Around Town:

  • EMiriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
  • ERiverside Park

Columbia University

What to See on Campus:

  • EVisit the Libraries

    The Starr East Asian Library
    Butler Library
    Avery Library

  • EBroadway and Amsterdam Ave

    Where a majority of student-favorite restaurants are located.

  • EColumbia Law School

What to Eat:

  • EAbsolute Bagels
  • ESaiguette

    An entirely student run coffee shop

  • ELaSalle Dumplings
  • EFalafel on Broadway

What to See Around Town:

  • EMiriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
  • ERiverside Park

Yale University

What to See on Campus:

  • ERosenkranz Hall

    Political Science

  • EMurray and Franklin Dorms

    Two newest dorms at Yale

  • EYale Law

    Check out the staircase, famous for its walls covered in posters advertising events happening on campus. (It’s also reportedly where Hillary and Bill Clinton met!)

  • EBeinecke Rare Books Library

    You can find Yale’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible on display in this library, which boasts stunning architecture and a world-renowned collection.

  • ESterling Memorial Library
  • EYale University Art Gallery

    The gallery houses famous works such as The Night Cafe by Van Gogh. Admission is free.

  • EPeruse Hillhouse Avenue

    Lined with historic mansions that now house many humanities classes. The undergraduate Admissions Office can also be found on this street.

  • EOld Campus
  • EHarkness Tower

What to Eat:

  • EGrab a pizza from Sally’s, Pepe’s, or Modern
  • EArethusa Farm Dairy

    Serves farm-fresh, Connecticut made ice cream.

What to See Around Town:

  • EYale Piedmont Museum
  • ELighthouse Point Park
  • EEast Rock Park

Yale University

What to See on Campus:

  • ERosenkranz Hall

    Political Science

  • EMurray and Franklin Dorms

    Two newest dorms at Yale

  • EYale Law

    Check out the staircase, famous for its walls covered in posters advertising events happening on campus. (It’s also reportedly where Hillary and Bill Clinton met!)

  • EBeinecke Rare Books Library

    You can find Yale’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible on display in this library, which boasts stunning architecture and a world-renowned collection.

  • ESterling Memorial Library
  • EYale University Art Gallery

    The gallery houses famous works such as The Night Cafe by Van Gogh. Admission is free.

  • EPeruse Hillhouse Avenue

    Lined with historic mansions that now house many humanities classes. The undergraduate Admissions Office can also be found on this street.

  • EOld Campus
  • EHarkness Tower

What to Eat:

  • EGrab a pizza from Sally’s, Pepe’s, or Modern
  • EArethusa Farm Dairy

    Serves farm-fresh, Connecticut made ice cream.

What to See Around Town:

  • EYale Piedmont Museum
  • ELighthouse Point Park
  • EEast Rock Park

Harvard University

What to See on Campus:

  • EVisit the Law school
  • EHarvard yard

    All the freshman dorms are those buildings around the yard.

  • EThe science center

    Which is across the plaza (big white building that looks out of place from the rest of the architecture).

  • EAnnenberg hall

    The big building next to the science center; it’s where freshmen have their meals.

  • ECheck out the river houses

    Soph-Senior year you’ll be sorted into one of the 12 upperclassmen houses. The ones near H yard are Eliot House, Kirkland House, and Adams House.

  • EWalk around Harvard Square/Cambridge

    It’ll be a huge part of undergrad life.

What to Eat:

  • EFelipe's Taqueria

    Every Harvard student knows this place. Best Mexican food you’ll find in the Square.

  • ERussell House Tavern

    A popular place if you want a sit-down place serving good American food and cuts; lots of students ask their professors for meals here

  • EToscano

    Great Italian place lots of students will book to celebrate birthday dinners or special events.

  • EClover Food

    Great vegetarian option! Located inside of the science center building.

  • ETasty Burger

    Fast food burger place; quick to grab a meal before class or walking around the Square.

What to See Around Town:

  • EAnnenberg Hall
  • EBoston Museum of Fine Arts
  • EBoston Common
  • EFenway Park
  • EIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • EQuincy Market
  • EJFK Library

Harvard University

What to See on Campus:

  • EVisit the Law school
  • EHarvard yard

    All the freshman dorms are those buildings around the yard.

  • EThe science center

    Which is across the plaza (big white building that looks out of place from the rest of the architecture).

  • EAnnenberg hall

    The big building next to the science center; it’s where freshmen have their meals.

  • ECheck out the river houses

    Soph-Senior year you’ll be sorted into one of the 12 upperclassmen houses. The ones near H yard are Eliot House, Kirkland House, and Adams House.

  • EWalk around Harvard Square/Cambridge

    It’ll be a huge part of undergrad life.

What to Eat:

  • EFelipe's Taqueria

    Every Harvard student knows this place. Best Mexican food you’ll find in the Square.

  • ERussell House Tavern

    A popular place if you want a sit-down place serving good American food and cuts; lots of students ask their professors for meals here

  • EToscano

    Great Italian place lots of students will book to celebrate birthday dinners or special events.

  • EClover Food

    Great vegetarian option! Located inside of the science center building.

  • ETasty Burger

    Fast food burger place; quick to grab a meal before class or walking around the Square.

What to See Around Town:

  • EAnnenberg Hall
  • EBoston Museum of Fine Arts
  • EBoston Common
  • EFenway Park
  • EIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • EQuincy Market
  • EJFK Library

Brown University

What to See on Campus:

  • EWalk the Main Green
  • EProspect Terrace

    This location offers a particularly stunning view of the campus at night!

  • EPembroke Campus

    The original women’s college on Brown’s campus.

  • EThe Sciences Library
  • ECarrie Tower
  • EManning Chapel

What to Eat:

  • EFind great Italian food in Federal Hill
  • EAl Forno
  • EMike’s Calzones
  • EEast Side Pockets
  • EBaja’s

What to See Around Town:

  • EFederal Hill neighborhood
  • EWalk down Thayer Street
  • EWaterplace Park
  • ERoger Williams Park Botanical Center

Brown University

What to See on Campus:

  • EWalk the Main Green
  • EProspect Terrace

    This location offers a particularly stunning view of the campus at night!

  • EPembroke Campus

    The original women’s college on Brown’s campus.

  • EThe Sciences Library
  • ECarrie Tower
  • EManning Chapel

What to Eat:

  • EFind great Italian food in Federal Hill
  • EAl Forno
  • EMike’s Calzones
  • EEast Side Pockets
  • EBaja’s

What to See Around Town:

  • EFederal Hill neighborhood
  • EWalk down Thayer Street
  • EWaterplace Park
  • ERoger Williams Park Botanical Center

Northwestern University

What to See on Campus:

  • ENorris

    The student center

  • EDeering Library

What to Eat:

  • E Bat 17

What to See Around Town:

  • EWalk South on the LakeFill

    Starting at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, then walk back up Sheridan road

University of Chicago

What to See on Campus:

  • EHarper and Crerar libraries
  • EHallowed Grounds coffee shop
  • EThe Logan Center

What to Eat:

  • EMedici

    The favorite “student spot” on campus.

  • EHarold's Chicken
  • EThe many food trucks that frequent the Quad

What to See Around Town:

  • EIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • EMillennium Park

University of Chicago

What to See on Campus:

  • EHarper and Crerar libraries
  • EHallowed Grounds coffee shop
  • EThe Logan Center

What to Eat:

  • EMedici

    The favorite “student spot” on campus.

  • EHarold's Chicken
  • EThe many food trucks that frequent the Quad

What to See Around Town:

  • EIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • EMillennium Park

Stanford University

What to See on Campus:

  • EThe Dish
  • ERodin Sculpture Garden
  • EMemorial Church
  • EHoover Tower

What to Eat:

  • EEthel’s Fancy
  • EBird Dog
  • EBevri
  • EEttan

What to See Around Town:

  • EA sporting event on campus
  • EMeta Headquarters

    “Facebook Campus”

  • EPalo Alto Baylands preserve
  • EThe Hewlett Packard Garage
  • ECantor Arts Center

What to See Around Town:

  • EA sporting event on campus
  • EMeta Headquarters

    “Facebook Campus”

  • EPalo Alto Baylands preserve
  • EThe Hewlett Packard Garage
  • ECantor Arts Center

Dartmouth College

What to See on Campus:

  • ETower Room
  • ERauner Special Collections LIbrary
  • EPeriodicals Room

What to See on Campus:

  • ETower Room
  • ERauner Special Collections LIbrary
  • EPeriodicals Room

What to Eat:

  • ETuk Tuk Thai
  • ELou’s Bakery
  • EMolly’s
  • EKing Arthur Flour (KAF)
  • EDirt Cowboy Cafe
  • EUmpleby’s

What to See Around Town:

  • EGo hiking on Gile Mountain Trail (easier) or Mount Cardigan (harder)
  • EWalk around Occom Pond
  • EGet your ping pong paddles to play some Dartmouth pong
  • ESki/snowboard at the Dartmouth Skiway
  • EDrive to Ice Cream Fore-U in West Lebanon

    Ice cream and mini golf

What to See Around Town:

  • EGo hiking on Gile Mountain Trail (easier) or Mount Cardigan (harder)
  • EWalk around Occom Pond
  • EGet your ping pong paddles to play some Dartmouth pong
  • ESki/snowboard at the Dartmouth Skiway
  • EDrive to Ice Cream Fore-U in West Lebanon

    Ice cream and mini golf

New York University

What to See on Campus:

  • EKimmel Hall
  • EBobst Library
  • ESilver Center
  • EWashington Square Park

What to Eat:

  • EJoe’s Pizza
  • EGemma
  • EMeskerem
  • EMálà Project East Village

What to See Around Town:

  • EWander around the Lower East Side

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EVisit bookstores

    McNally Jackson
    The Strand
    Bluestockings

  • ESee a show at one NYC’s many concert venues or on Broadway

What to See Around Town:

  • EWander around the Lower East Side

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EVisit bookstores

    McNally Jackson
    The Strand
    Bluestockings

  • ESee a show at one NYC’s many concert venues or on Broadway

University of North Carolina 

What to See on Campus:

  • EPolk Place

    The main campus green

  • EThe Old Well
  • EThe Arboretum
  • EWilson Library

What to Eat:

  • EThe Gray Squirrel in Carrboro
  • EThe Spotted Dog
  • ECarrburito’s
  • ETRU
  • EMEantime Coffee Co.

    Student-run coffee shop on UNC’s campus.

What to Eat:

  • EThe Gray Squirrel in Carrboro
  • EThe Spotted Dog
  • ECarrburito’s
  • ETRU
  • EMEantime Coffee Co.

    Student-run coffee shop on UNC’s campus.

What to See Around Town:

  • EThe Ackland Museum

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EMorehead Planetarium

    McNally Jackson
    The Strand
    Bluestockings

  • EWalk Franklin Street

What to See Around Town:

  • EThe Ackland Museum

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EMorehead Planetarium

    McNally Jackson
    The Strand
    Bluestockings

  • EWalk Franklin Street

Cornell University

What to See on Campus:

What to Eat:

  • ECornell Dairy Bar
  • EIthaca Bakery - Meadow Street
  • EMoosewood
  • EMonk’s on the Commons
  • ERed’s Place
  • EHot trucks in Collegetown

What to See Around Town:

  • ETake a stroll on the Sagan Planet Walk

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Falls

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EMuseum of the Earth

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Commons

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Farmers Market

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

Cornell University

What to See on Campus:

What to Eat:

  • ECornell Dairy Bar
  • EIthaca Bakery - Meadow Street
  • EMoosewood
  • EMonk’s on the Commons
  • ERed’s Place
  • EHot trucks in Collegetown

What to See Around Town:

  • ETake a stroll on the Sagan Planet Walk

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Falls

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EMuseum of the Earth

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Commons

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

  • EIthaca Farmers Market

    Hop into one of its many galleries!

University of California Berkeley 

What to See on Campus:

What to Eat:

  • ETop Dog

    A Berkeley classic!

  • EGordo Taqueria
  • EGregoire
  • ECancun el Sabor
  • EChez Panisse Cafe

What to See Around Town:

  • EWatch the sunset at Indian Rock or the Lawrence Hall of Science
  • EExplore Grizzly Peak
  • EVisit Limantour or Stinson Beach in Marin
  • EGolden Gate Bridge
  • EMuir Woods
  • EAngel Island and Alcatraz

    Both of these islands in the bay are accessible from Berkeley. Angel Island has wonderful hikes and views, while the iconic Alcatraz tour is a once in a lifetime experience.

  • ENapa and Sonoma counties

    If you want to extend your trip, consider spending a weekend in Napa or Sonoma county. Aside from the renowned wineries and natural beauty, there are wonderful little towns like Sea Ranch, Occidental, and Calistoga which offer a taste of the beauty of Northern California.

What to See Around Town:

  • EWatch the sunset at Indian Rock or the Lawrence Hall of Science
  • EExplore Grizzly Peak
  • EVisit Limantour or Stinson Beach in Marin
  • EGolden Gate Bridge
  • EMuir Woods
  • EAngel Island and Alcatraz

    Both of these islands in the bay are accessible from Berkeley. Angel Island has wonderful hikes and views, while the iconic Alcatraz tour is a once in a lifetime experience.

  • ENapa and Sonoma counties

    If you want to extend your trip, consider spending a weekend in Napa or Sonoma county. Aside from the renowned wineries and natural beauty, there are wonderful little towns like Sea Ranch, Occidental, and Calistoga which offer a taste of the beauty of Northern California.

Share

Consultations

Command Education’s experts take the guesswork out of the college admissions process.

How to Create a Balanced College List

How to Create a Balanced College List

Learn to balance a college list effectively with this guide. Discover safety, reach, and match schools through clear examples, and get advice to develop your customized balanced college list.