College Station 101:
While Texas A&M dominates the town of 90,000, Northgate and the historic district in downtown Bryan are the area's social hubs, where students and residents head out for pizza and a night of two-stepping.
Why It Made Our List: Whether you're sipping a Lone Star at one of the 26 bars or strolling past art-and-music stores on Bryan's Main Street, it's easy to see how Aggieland's country-western heart has long inspired alums like actor Rip Torn.
Don't Miss: The wood-paneled Dixie Chicken, where a caged pet rattlesnake competes for attention with Death Burgers topped with hot sauce. You'll pledge allegiance to the Texas flag after oak-smoked brisket at Martin's Place Barbecue (979/822-2031).