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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. Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA! With the lake, the ivied buildings, sculptures, and landscaping, I thought it would be selected. I do think you picked some great ones, though.

  2. It’s hard to overlook Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, which sits on the shore of the Atlantic, in a list of beautiful colleges.
    The buildings and views are stunning.

  3. You have forgotten the University of Virginia. The central grounds has one of the signature campus spaces, The Lawn. In addition to being designed by Thomas Jefferson, it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

  4. When Pres. Dwight D Eisenhower arrived at Dartmouth to deliver the commencement address in June, 1953 he remarked, “THIS is what a college should look like.” He was oh so right!

  5. Cornell University in Ithaca NY is large with innumerable gorgeous quads and sections but the views of Cayuga Lake from the the top of Libe Slope has got to be the best location in any college campus

  6. Mount Holyoke College’s campus wasn’t my main deciding factor for why I chose to go there, but it definitely reeled me in. I still love dropping by and walking the grounds when I’m in town.

  7. The University of Wisconsin is renowned for its lakes.

    Cornell University, above Lake Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes, has stunning gorges. Many silent movies were filmed there.

  8. Occidental College in Los Angeles. A beautiful campus where old and new buildings form a lovely, cohesive whole, self contains with no public roads through it. The backdrop for many movies and ads over the years.

  9. Notable colleges should also include military ones especially when a medal of honor recipient attended and graduated from one.
    Such a college is Norwich University in Northfield, VT whose campus may be small but well known individuals have walked the paths on these beautiful grounds. Edward Byers, Medal of Honor recipient is one such individual who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree
    in strategic studies and defense analysis who was awarded his medal by President Obama on February 29, 2016.
    This college is the oldest private and senior military college in the United States and that in itself is worth mentioning. More than twelve colleges should have been mentioned especially where history is involved.

  10. It is very hard to believe that University of Massachusetts Amherst was not included on your list. I’m an alum and serious supporter. Take a look at your criteria and take a look at our campus and then look again at your selections. You did chose Mt. Holyoke, which is one of our 5 College consortium co -member institutions – so you got the geo. area right. That’s all I can say.

  11. You have highlighted some great looking school, but you need to take a trip to Waterville, Maine and look at the attributes of a beautiful “small college” campus. Just view the library which is truly the highlight!!

  12. Williams College in MA. Beautiful setting in the Berkshires. Well worth a visit, the oldest liberal arts college in the country with a very strong program in The sciences

  13. You forgot C.W. Post College, now part of Long Island University. It was the original estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post who was also the owner of General Foods.

  14. Three not mentioned is the US Military Academy (off of the Hudson), the US Naval Academy (off of the Chesapeake) and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, which is the former Del Monte Hotel.

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