Where those in the know say to go

Looking for things to do during a college visit? The best advice comes from the horse’s mouth: current students or recent grads. Here are some of their recommendations:

College of William & Mary



Lunch plans: For more than 30 years, William & Mary students have ventured to the Cheese Shop (410 W. Duke of Gloucester St.) for gourmet sandwiches slathered with a house dressing. On nice days, you can dine on the patio.

For runners, joggers and hikers: In the southwest corner of campus is the university-owned Lake Matoaka, surrounded by the College Woods and more than 10 miles of trails.

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va.


Coffee shop: Deet’s Place on the lower level of the Dietrick Dining Center is owned by the university and run by students. Coffee is roasted in-house, and the shop is nearly always packed. Deet’s Place also hosts open-mike nights, concerts and other events.

On your mobile: A group of Tech computer science students have created a few free mobile applications, including one that tracks the campus buses (VT Bus Tracker) and another that tells you which dining halls are open (Hungry Hokie).

University of Virginia



Best breakfast: At Bodo’s Bagels on the Corner (1609 University Ave.), students often line up before the doors open in hopes of getting the first receipt of the day, a feat that often appears on pre-graduation bucket lists.

Follow on Twitter: The university’s main account, @UVA. Campus newspaper, @cavalierdaily. U-Va. admissions official, @UVaDeanJ. News from the prestigious and historic student rooms along the Lawn, @LawnLife.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland

St. Mary’s City


Local cuisine: Bear Creek Open Pit BBQ in nearby Callaway (21030 Point Lookout Rd.) is one of the few places that still cooks barbecue over open flames instead of in a smoker. Sometimes the menu includes stuffed ham, a St. Mary’s County delicacy that usually involves cabbage, kale, onions and assorted seasonings.

Waterfront activities: The school is on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, so students are frequently out on the water in kayaks, sailboats and, in an annual race, canoes made of cardboard. The men’s and women’s sailing teams compete in the fall.

Penn State University

State College, Pa.


Afternoon snack: Berkey Creamery, which is part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, makes ice cream using milk from the university’s herd of more than 200 cows.

Photo op spot: The Nittany Lion shrine, a prowling lion sculpted out of limestone that is one of the most photographed icons on campus.

Princeton University

Princeton, N.J.


Classic lunch spot: Hoagie Haven (242 Nassau St.) has been around since the 1970s and serves cold-cut sandwiches or greasy hot ones.

Cultural hangout: The Lewis Center for the Arts (185 Nassau St.) has a full schedule of lectures, film showings, gallery exhibits, dance performances, recitals, glee club shows and more.