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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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105 Thoughts on “Colleges With the Most Beautiful Campuses

  1. Just one genre of taste expressed here. No value to the oceanside beauty – e.g., Santa Barbara’s and San Diego’s. Alas…

  2. University of Colorado is a very beautiful campus. Buildings created of sandstone, beautiful walks through campus, backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. It belongs on lists like this.

  3. Ramee designed the first planned campus in America. Union College in Schenectady, NY was founded in 1795. Dutchman alumni include a U.S. President and both Secretaries of State during the Civil War.

  4. The University of Rhode Island (URI), nested in a country setting in Kingston RI, with old buildings of architectural value. Beautiful campus for all four seasons!

  5. Wagner College (Staten Island) is located on Grimes Hill. It offers views of both the Verrazano Narrows as well as New York Harbor allowing you to see lower Manhattan. The best time to be on campus is in the Spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.

  6. Visited Kenyon College during my college search, but was really impressed by another school in their conference, Denison University in Granville, OH. Beautiful town with the campus sitting on top of a hill. It’s even more amazing in the Fall!

  7. You might want to take a look at Webb Institute of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering on Long Island Sound in Glen Cove, NY. It has a beautiful campus overlooking the Sound and is housed in a lovely historic building on a very spacious campus. It also has its own beach and other attractions.

  8. I’m surprised that you’re still overlooking Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) in making this list. One of the oldest colleges in the U.S. Its oldest building, Old West, was designed by Washington D.C. architect Benjamin Latrobe, and developments have consistently respected its architectural past, including purchasing the quarry from which building stones for the older buildings drew their stones so that even the most recent harmonize with the existing on this compact campus. I see it frequently because it’s my alma mater and I do attend reunions and other events there. Go have a look!

  9. Smith College in Northampton MA a 7 sisters masterpiece has the most beautiful dorms I’ve ever seen. They are all old Victorian mansions and did not lose their charm when made into dorms. You cannot beat New England colleges when it comes to beauty.

  10. Most beautiful campus Salve Regina University, Newport RI. The campus is nestled among the mansions of the Gilded Age on the Atlantic Ocean. Exquisite architecture, imported trees from Europe makes this university quite a gem.

  11. Wellesley College one of the Seven Sisters in Wellesley, Massachusetts campus was designed by the same landscape architect that designed Central Park in NYC.

    1. Yes, Frederick Law Olmsted. The campus was designed specifically to be a beautiful place for the students, faculty, and staff who all originally lived on the campus. It also includes Lake Waban and a walking trail that borders the lake.

  12. The beautiful Palm tree lined street leading into the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla is stunning& very inviting!! The gorgeous weather is a plus!

  13. Dartmouth College in Hanover NH is a beautiful campus surrounded by a picturesque town and endless breathtaking views.

  14. Great article. I would add Wellesley College in Wellesley Massachusetts. Beautiful campus with both old and new buildings .

  15. Allegheny College in Meadville, PA has a ravine filled with blooming rhododendron each spring. Bentley Hall, constructed in the 1820’s, is a beautiful example of early American architecture.

  16. Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY has gorgeous stone buildings and sits right on the banks of the Hudson River. Gorgeous sunsets off the water & a campus lush with foliage

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