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Colleges With the Most Beautiful Campuses

colleges with the most beautiful campuses

College campuses are places for learning and growing, but they’re also the backdrop for innumerable photos and cherished memories. When you’re touring a college, looks aren’t everything – but they sure do matter. From stunning natural landscapes to amazing architecture, here are 12 of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S.

colleges with the most beautiful campuses

Berry College

This college sure is sweet! Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga., is the largest contiguous college campus in the world. With all that space, you can fit a lot of beautiful sights. The castle-like Ford Campus features grand English Gothic style buildings and reflecting pools. Students can also explore the on-campus Lavender Mountain, home to the historical House o’ Dreams, Old Mill and Possum Trot School.

colleges with the most beautiful campuses

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college in Bryn Mawr, Pa., is often considered one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. The campus has been designated as an arboretum, and there are beautiful trees like Weeping Higan Cherry, Maidenhair and Star Magnolia throughout. Visitors can even pick up a tree tour brochure to help guide them through the college’s natural beauty. In addition to the trees, the buildings at Bryn Mawr feature Collegiate Gothic architecture, some dating back to the late 1800s.

colleges with the most beautiful campuses

The College of William & Mary

The College of William & Mary in Virginia is the second oldest college in the country, behind Harvard. Established in 1693, this historic college is home to the 1695 Sir Christopher Wren building (the oldest college building in the country), the picturesque Sunken Garden and the idyllic Lake Matoaka. William & Mary is also right next to Colonial Williamsburg, a gorgeous living history museum – and two lucky students get to live there each year.

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Georgetown University

Nestled in the picturesque Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Georgetown University overlooks the Potomac River. With a mix of Collegiate Gothic and Georgian styles, the architecture definitely makes the grade. Healy Hall, designed by the architects who built the Library of Congress, is a National Historic Landmark.

most beautiful college campuses in the US

Kenyon College

Whether it’s sporting autumn leaves or beneath a blanket of crisp, white snow, Kenyon College in Ohio is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Students and visitors alike will enjoy the 10-foot wide Middle Path, which runs through the length of the campus, framed by benches and towering sugar maples. Want to study? Head to Chalmers Library, a stately building filled with natural light.

most beautiful college campuses in the US

Lewis & Clark College

Lewis & Clark College is right in the middle of nature, sitting atop Palatine Hill and right next to the Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, Ore. This forested campus is a blend of old and new, with old manor buildings standing right alongside newer, environmentally friendly construction.

beautiful college campuses

Mount Holyoke College

This women’s college in South Hadley, Mass., was founded in 1837 and is the oldest member of the Seven Sisters. The Mount Holyoke campus features a lush botanic garden and many historic red brick buildings, like Mary Lyon Hall. Students will enjoy the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the Village Commons.

beautiful college campuses

Princeton University

You might have heard that Princeton is a pretty good school. But along with its academic rigor, it also offers a beautiful campus. This Ivy Leaguer in New Jersey features a variety of buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style, as well as some older buildings in the High Victorian Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles. The oldest building on campus, Nassau Hall, was constructed in 1756 and briefly served as the capitol of the United States in 1783.

beautiful college campuses

Sewanee: The University of the South

Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., is filled with Collegiate Gothic style buildings constructed from local stone. The All Saints’ Chapel features massive stained glass windows, including a rose window inspired by Notre Dame (the French cathedral, not the college). Students will enjoy a campus filled with forests, lakes, trails and a burbling natural creek.

stanford university

Stanford University

Stanford University in California is one of the largest college campuses in the country, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. Its architectural identity, filled with red-roofed Spanish Colonial buildings, purposefully separates it from the colleges and universities on the East Coast. One of the most notable Stanford landmarks is the Hoover Tower, which is a bell tower and the tallest building on campus.

suny geneseo

SUNY Geneseo

This tiny public school in Western New York makes the list partially due to its natural beauty. The SUNY Geneseo campus sits on the edge of the picturesque Genesee Valley, and the views to the west are breathtaking at any time of day. However, Geneseo is most beautiful when it is bathed in its signature fiery sunsets over the valley. In addition to the lovely landscape, Geneseo has many attractive buildings, like the ivy-draped Welles Hall, the stately clock tower on Sturges Hall and even the sleek Integrated Science Facility.

university of washington

The University of Washington

The University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. Nestled in the bustling city of Seattle, the University of Washington still feels a world away, featuring priceless views of Mount Rainier, cherry blossoms blooming in the quad and grand, Collegiate Gothic style academic buildings. Look familiar to some other colleges on the list? The same architects, Cope and Stewardson, designed many of the buildings at the University of Washington, Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College at the turn of the century.

Was your college beautiful or historic? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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108 Thoughts on “Colleges With the Most Beautiful Campuses

  1. Emory University located in the historically important Atlanta suburb of Druid Hills is a stunning oasis with an enclosed quad of architecturally consistent buildings constructed with full-slab White Georga marble facades and red tile roofs. Invigerating contemporary acedemic and research sturchtures are adjacent and seemlessly integrate into the campus of old-growth oaks, towering pines, and specimen magnolias that extend to the gracious serenity of Lullwater lake and mansion-a former estate of the founder of the Coca-Cola empire and benefactor of the University.

  2. Wellesley College, just 17 miles outside Boston, has a gorgeous landscaped campus and arboretum on a lake. The campus is especially dramatic in springtime when the rhododenrons are in bloom, but lovely in any season.

  3. Endicott College, in Beverly MA is located on one of the most beautiful coastlines in New England.
    It is within bicycling distance of beautiful towns and gorgeous architechture culminating in “Motif #1 in
    the historic town of Rockport.

  4. How could you not list Cornell, which many experts consider to be THE most beautiful campus? “Far above Cayuga’s waters….. with the hills, gorges and waterfalls surrounding the several campuses. I’ve been to most of the colleges on the list and there is absolutely no comparison. I can’t imagine what characteristics were considered for the rankings. E.g., do you really believe that Stanford is more beautiful? I suspect that you haven’t visited Cornell or have an unusual standard of what is considered to be beautiful, ignoring the landscapes in favor of the buildings but even if that was so, Cornell should be high on the list.

  5. As a high school counselor for 40 years, the last 30 of which I spent at a prestigious college preparatory high school, I was expected to visit multiple college campuses each year. While your list did, indeed, include some beautiful campuses, you left out what to me is the most beautiful of all: The University of Chicago.

  6. This article really missed by excluding one of the most beautiful campuses in America: The University of Richmond. The school is carved out of small forest of southern loblolly pines that that shade the sweeping lawns that separate its beautiful collegiate gothic buildings. The original campus buildings were designed by Ralph Adams Cram, a leading architect of the collegiate gothic style who also designed many of the buildings at Princeton. In fact, I found your description of Princeton, which I have visited many times, would apply to Richmond but but even more so because over the years Richmond has maintained the collegiate gothic style of its original buildings with every new addition to the campus. Thus it too has a uniformity of beauty rarely found on most campuses, which is why it has been used as a location in movies and television shows to create the atmosphere of an elite college. Richmond has also been ranked the most beautiful college campus by the Princeton Review. Have a look –

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