Great place for students and families
College Station is really in the center of one of the most beautiful parts of the state of Texas, the Brazos Valley. The whole landscape is green meadows, post oak trees and small creeks and streams. There is abundant wildlife not seen in most other parts of the country that I've lived in (the western U.S.) such as armadillos, cardinals, gulf coast toads and dozens of breeds of birds for bird watchers. The winters are generally mild and the humidity is much lower than east Texas areas such as Houston, about an hour away. But the humidity is present enough to keep the landscape green nearly year round.
College Station is ideally located close to Houston, about two hours from Austin, and three from Dallas; and the drive to each destination is easy and scenic.
The city of Bryan borders just north of University Drive, and it definitely feels like the wrong side of the tracks. While College Station feels newer, cleaner and better designed, Bryan seems neglected and decaying. Most of the rents are very close in price between the two towns, so a decent place to live in College Station is not out of the question.
As for rentals, CS is very affordable, even for newer, nicer apartments that college students can afford. The home prices, however, are higher than one would expect; they seem above that of Dallas, closer to those of Austin. But I guess this is because the town has very little traffic, country views from all sides, and low crime.
The centerpiece of the town is Texas A&M University. The campus is huge and spectacular; with beautiful buildings, lots of green space and walking and biking routes. The university also runs a shuttle service for its students, which seems to go into the late evening hours.
And for younger guys interested in Texas A&M, the college girls here are the most beautiful I've ever seen, and they are everywhere.
Unlike many college towns, this one doesn't seem to attract as much of the "screw off" students who are only in school to party.
The people of this area don't feel as classically Texan as Amarillo or other parts of Texas I've been to, but they reflect the tradition of being unfailingly polite and friendly, unlike most of the people in Austin.
The city itself has many small, though underwhelming public parks. Short walking trails or small activity areas, combined with little garbage cleanup (most of the local waterways are choked with garbage and litter) make you seek out parks outside of town.
There is little work here beyond service industries, so CS may not be great for long term living. But it's great for college students.
frank | Grass Valley, CA