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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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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70 Thoughts on “Colleges With the Most Beautiful Campuses”
There are so many beautiful colleges and universities in the USA. New Haven has Yale, Cambridge has Harvard. Even many of our smaller colleges and universities are quite beautiful. I went the Univ. of Connecticut, which too, is very beautiful. Article was a fine one.
Rhodes College in Memphis is gorgeous!
The University of Richmond could be the most beautiful campus in America and other publications have recognized it for its beauty. The campus consists of 350 wooded acres intersected by lake with every building – whether one of the original buildings or one built in the 21st century – a classic example of collegiate gothic architecture. The original buildings were designed by Ralph Adams Cram, one the leading architects of the collegiate gothic style who designed many of Princeton’s buildings. Take the collegiate gothic buildings shown in the pictures of Princeton and Duke and place them in a forest with sweeping lawns and beautiful lake and you have an idea of what Richmond looks like.
Hope college in Holland, Michigan! Campus landscape is beautiful.
Look at the campus of the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho…..definitely one of the most beautiful in the northwest.
Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY, is beautiful!!
It’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and partly Sheepshead Bay.
Outside the indoor cafeteria, there’s also a cement boardwalk to dine with tables and chairs.
Bucknell! In Lewisburg PA
Salve Regina in Newport, RI has a beautiful University over looking the water on Cliff Walk with Historical Mansions in walking distance to visit.
C W Post College of LIU has a BEAUTIFUL campus!
The University of New Hampshire in Durhan, NH should certainly be on your list of “Beautiful Campuses”. From historic Thompson Hall to the rolling lawns between the academic buildings that are nestled amongst well-developed trees. It’s a mixture of older, classic buildings and newer, more modern ones located on the campus of a land-grant, public university that has agricultural lands and buildings on the edges of the campus for the students in the College of Life Sciences of Agriculture. My husband and I returned to UNH a few years ago to see how much campus had changed in the 30+ years since we’d been back. We were thrilled to see that it still had the charm that we loved when we were students so long ago. Added to the beauty of the structures and the environs is the convenience and closeness to so many things. The ocean, the mountains, a major city (Boston), are all within a few hours’ drive from campus. What more could anyone ask for? Our vote is for the University of New Hampshire – UNH!
Sounds great! Thank you, Pat.
I agree. Always wonder why it doesn’t get listed on this type of survey more often.
You should look at High Point University in High Point, NC. This college is beautiful. The buildings, the campus. This college should most definitely be on this list!
I totally agree
The campus of Haverford College, to which Bryn Mawr is a sister school, is a national arboretum. It has a beautiful walking trail, and old stone buildings. The large ‘pond’, which greets you as you drive through the stone columns at the entrance, is visited by many residents of the local town of Haverford, PA.
University of Montana should be on the list.
Most Beautiful Campus: Washington & Lee University, Lexington VA – campus, town, and surrounding area
SUNY Old Westbury campus – they’ve filmed movies there. The Tina Fey “Admission” one, for example.
City College, City University of New York on Convent Ave, New York City is also an old and beautiful campus. Some new buildings today but maintains it’s Gothic structure
Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. It is nestled into a hillside of the Chenango Valley with its gold domed chapel sparkling in the sun! Many of the buildings on the Quad and original dorms are built of stone mined from a local quarry. Wiilow Path, the main entrance to the campus, is a spectacular array of weeping willows welcoming you to campus.
Colgate University, in Hamilton, NY sits perched on a hill and is literally one of the most beautiful campuses around!