Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that applies to the most beautiful college campuses as well. Below is a list of the most beautiful college campuses in the US, from bustling city streets to serene waterfalls. Find a campus that is as unique as the education you strive for using this list of the most beautiful college campuses.
Choosing a College Campus
Deciding where to attend college is a very complicated and important decision. One factor to consider is the benefit of choosing a beautiful campus. This part of your decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Being able to work and study surrounded by beautiful scenery might inspire you or offer a relaxing environment amongst the chaos of attaining a college degree. The beautiful scenery may also make the campus feel more home-like and allow your transition to be easier.
Across the United States, many colleges have unique surroundings, along with excellent academic standards. There is something for everyone as these colleges may contain the bright lights of a big city, impressively large mountain ranges, or lustrous woodlands.
We have compiled a list of some of the most beautiful and serene college campuses in the United States below.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa
Of course, a university situated in Hawaii must be at the top of the list. According to College Magazine, the University of Hawaii at Manoa is listed as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.
Located in Honolulu, the University is situated on a 320-acre ground valley. As you would believe, the islands are full of natural scenery and the buildings on campus are no exception. Surrounded by clusters of palm trees, more than 4,000 to be exact, and wildlife, the university provides stunning views to both the ocean and the valley where it sits.
The university frequently offers tours for those who need to see it to believe it. A trip to Hawaii doesn’t hurt either.
Berry College is located in Mount Berry, Georgia, and is best known for being the world’s largest contiguous college campus. This campus extends over 27,000 acres and even features more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and exercising.
Surprisingly, these trails include meadows, streams, mountains, and lakes. Along with the trails, the campus architecture was inspired by the English gothic style and European charm.
You can visit the bustling city streets of New York when you attend Columbia University. The University is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Columbia doesn’t sit on rural land but instead offers the sights and sounds of a living city.
The university dates back to 1754. Back then, it was known as King’s College. It renamed itself after the Revolutionary War. This Ivy League college boasts beautiful buildings, including Butler Library, Low Memorial Library, and Earl Hall.
The Low Memorial Library was built in 1895 and has strong Parthenon references. Built in 1934, the Butler Library is best known for its stunning columns. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, among six other buildings at the University, Earl Hall was built in 1902 and is one of the oldest buildings on the campus. The hall serves as a meeting place and houses offices.
Another picturesque university in New York is Cornell University. The university is located in Ithaca, New York. The beautiful campus is situated on 745 acres of land on a hillside above Cayuga Lake.
The college campus offers natural beauty amidst historical, contemporary buildings. There are even several stunning waterfalls that can be found throughout the university.
Known as one of the best coastal towns in America, St. Augustine is home to Flagler College. The city of St. Augustine, as well as the college, is rich in both beauty and history. Previously a hotel and today a national landmark, the former Ponce de Leon Hotel is now the centerpiece of the college.
The beautiful Ponce de Leon Hotel, built by Henry Flagler, is a luxurious Spanish renaissance building that features Tiffany stained glass windows and mosaics. This campus strives to preserve the architecture of the Ponce de Leon Hotel and the history of St. Augustine.
Stanford University is a well-known university in the United States for many reasons. One of those is its beautiful campus. The 8,810-acre campus is situated in sunny Stanford, California.
The drive through Palm Drive to Stanford’s Main Quad is like a movie as you stare up at lines of trees that showcase the lush lawn and flowerbeds. At the very beginning of the quad is what Stanford considers its crown jewel, the Stanford Memorial Church. The church was finished in 1903 and contains Romanesque and byzantine details.
Another university on our list located in the beautiful state of California is Pepperdine University. Pepperdine is the place to be for anyone who loves the water.
The university, located in Malibu, California, has views that span across the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, palm trees line the main acres of the campus, adding to the tropical vibe the university prides itself on.
The buildings are Mediterranean style with white-colored stucco and red-tiled roofs. Pepperdine was founded originally in Los Angeles in 1937 but was moved to Malibu once the new campus was developed in 1972.
Mount Holyoke College
Located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is Mount Holyoke College. Centered around nature, this campus is on 2,000-acres of land containing waterfalls, lakes, woodland trails, and even a botanical garden.
The botanical garden covers the campus and includes an arboretum and a greenhouse, home to tropical and warm weather plant life. The original campus was 800-acres and was designed and developed over 26 years to become the beautiful campus it is now.
University of Chicago
Another city-based university is the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. The main University of Chicago campus is located close to Lake Michigan and also several miles from downtown.
This campus offers attractive architecture that includes collegiate gothic structures across its 211-acre grounds. If you are more into nature and natural beauty, the university offers a botanical garden with a pond that is home to ducks, dragonflies, and turtles.
The neo-gothic architectural style of Duke University brings the best of both collegiate gothic architecture and nature to Durham, North Carolina. The campus surrounds the famous Duke chapel, which was first used as a commencement location in 1932 and still stands as a gathering place for the university community to this day. The tower itself stands 210 feet tall and was the first building planned for the university and the last built.
Stunning architecture isn’t the only highlight at Duke. The university sits on 8,600 acres of land, including forests, woodlands, and memorial gardens.
University of Virginia
Travel back in time at the University of Virginia. The university, voted one of the most beautiful campuses by Best College Reviews, was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself.
With its famous roots, it should come as no surprise that several buildings on campus are on the National Register for Historic places, including the Rotunda designed after Rome’s Pantheon. The building itself was finished in 1826 and is at the end of a long stretch of green spaces known as the Lawn.
Clarke hall, Leander McCormick Observatory, and the Lawn itself are also on the National Register for Historic places list.
Named one of the most beautiful campuses in the US by Forbes, Keyon College was built in 1827. Known as a small liberal arts school, Kenyon College is located in Gambier, Ohio.
The collegiate gothic style is what Kenyon College is famous for. One of its buildings, the Old Kenyon Hall, is believed to be the oldest gothic revival building in the country. That’s not the only building that gets attention on campus, though. Many other buildings on the campus are an inspiration for designers around the US. Historic stone buildings sit amongst the campus as well as a 10-foot walking trail called the Middle Path.