college campuses

Top 10 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America

college campusesThere are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right college for you. You want the best education, unforgettable experiences, and lifelong friends, but you also want the best quality of life and a high-quality learning environment.

The campus setting plays a vital role in how you spend and perceive your time away at college. When it comes to context and learning environment, beautiful college campuses rule the day.

Several colleges across America boast perfect scenery from snow-capped mountains to sparkling coastlines. You can find campuses not far from cities and landmarks, and campuses with historically important and stunning architecture, but it can be hard to tell the best of the best from the rest.

This compilation of the top ten most beautiful college campuses in America may help you narrow down your choices and make your decision.

1. Princeton University, Princeton New Jersey

If you spent your childhood waiting for your Hogwarts letter, Princeton University is the next best school for you, and from lounging next to the lake to wandering the stone buildings, it’s not too far from the fantasy.

As one of the oldest campuses in America, with one of the most iconic campus buildings, it’s no wonder that Princeton makes the list of most beautiful college campuses in America.

It’s landmark Nassau Hall, famous for its gray stone. It was built in 1754 and can be found in just about every publication featuring Princeton University from postcards and pamphlets to blog posts and Wikipedia.

The campus is nestled next to Lake Carnegie which has become a university gathering place formerly designated for rowing practice and competition, and George Washington himself resided in the famed Maclean hall residence during the Revolutionary War.

The picturesque landscape and iconic architecture paired with the University’s historic significance and feel make Princeton one of the most beautiful and iconic campuses in America.

2. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Indiana

Indiana boasts one of the most famous, renowned, and respected Ivy League universities in the United States. Not only will you be getting one of the highest quality educations money can buy, but you’ll be stunned by the gorgeous campus structures and scenery.

With multiple stunning architectural feats including the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (the iconic campus chapel) and surrounding wooded areas chock full of walking trails, this secluded campus is high on the list of America’s most beautiful college campuses.

The entire campus is idyllic and relatively small, making it a perfect pedestrian setting for strolling in nature or studying on the pristine, grassy grounds.

3. University of Mississippi, Oxford Mississippi

Fondly known as ‘Ole Miss, which is the name of the school’s legendary football team, the University of Mississippi is the quintessential Southern University campus.

It features beautiful college buildings, a host of tradition, and an unmissable air of Southern charm. Several campus buildings are even complete with plantation style white columns.

The famous grove is populated with tall, old trees of oak, magnolia, and elm, and the beautiful school of medicine building served as a civil war hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers.

The campus is historic, well-maintained, and educationally respected. Don’t miss Oxford’s music scene and embrace the campus drenched in tradition.

4. Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois

Students at Northwestern University’s beautiful Evanston, Illinois campus will tell you time and again that the university’s historical significance only adds to its charm.

From Deering Library to the University Hall, the historic and visually stunning buildings have an air of higher learning sure to spark your curiosity and creativity.

Spring and summer breezes provided by the nearby Lake Michigan also offer a fleet of lake-effect snow in the winter, and the cold doesn’t diminish the flurry of activity.

The famous Arch as you enter campus will introduce you to the stunning late 1800’s architecture of one of the most elite schools in the United States.

5. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Located in Boulder, a long up and coming hot spot for the young and adventurous, the University of Colorado boasts one of the most desirable settings out of any college campus in the united states.

Surrounded by the breathtaking rocky mountain range, the university boasts magnificent gothic architecture with stunning views of the mountains.

Quaint mountain towns by summer and bustling ski spots by winter will keep you active and fulfilled outside of classes all year.

Don’t let the hip area make you forget that the University of Colorado is one of the top public universities in the country.

6. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

The main campus is located in between two lakes, Mendota and Monona, so it’s no wonder that the university of Wisconsin is one of the most active college campuses all year long, and the student body offers outdoor extra-curricular activities throughout the year.

The university’s famed Bascom Hall is a national landmark and a popular student hub. Located at the top of Bascom hill, your calves will be sculpted like a Greek God’s after four years walking up and down nearly every day.

Don’t miss the nearby capitol building and it’s world famous Saturday morning farmer’s market.

7. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

Nestled between lakeshore and mountainside, the university of Vermont boasts not only beautiful scenery all around but some of the most consistently stunning campus buildings in the country.

It’s the official state of Vermont agricultural college, a public research facility, and one of the oldest universities in the united states.

Experience some of the most beautiful fall foliage, the best maple syrup, and the widest variety of local breweries out of any state here, and you might even have too much going on to focus on your studies!

The citizens of Burlington helped fund the university’s first edifice, the “old mill”, which remains one of the campuses most well known and utilized buildings.

8. University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii

With hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to the Hawaiian islands each year, it stands to reason that the University of Hawaii’s campus is one of the most desirable campus locations in America.

Surrounded by city, jungle, and surf (all easily accessible), it’s no concern that the architecture is nothing to write home about.

This stunning campus places you firmly in the middle of the Hawaiian outdoors, and that’s a learning environment that can’t be beaten.

With highly renowned science and research programs nestled in the heart of tropical paradise, don’t let the commute back to the mainland deter you from considering the University of Hawaii’s beautiful Manoa campus.

9. University of California, Berkeley, California

Of course, the University of California has a clear advantage in terms of location, with pristine weather all year ‘round and iconic California sights a bus ride away.

Featuring famous neoclassical architecture, and its signature landmark, the century-old Sather clock tower, one of America’s most iconic campus structures, it’s no wonder University of California’s Berkeley campus is on the list.

Strawberry creek flows through the environmentally friendly campus from two directions, and you’ll find some of the area’s oldest trees from as far back as the 1870’s right on campus.

Don’t miss the museums on campus and “the big C”, a marker of tradition and an emblem of school spirit.

10. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Exploring the beautiful campus in Tallahassee, Florida, might be the best way to spend a Saturday (if you’re not too busy cramming for exam season, that is).

Not only is Florida State one of the most highly respected research facilities in the United States, it has one of the most highly desirable settings for prospective students.

Dotted with iconic libraries and residencies, and surrounded by walking trails and green space, those that live and work at Florida State work hard to maintain it’s pristine condition and idyllic setting.

Don’t miss the famous Westcott Fountain, a perfect place to sit and enjoy an afternoon or to partake in the long-standing tradition of dunking your friends on their 21st birthday.

Wrapping Up

In closing, while you shouldn’t neglect your prospective college’s reputation and course offerings, it’s important to consider the environment you’ll be living and learning in, as well.

Always do your research before you visit a college campus for a tour so you don’t miss the iconic structures and hot spots, and consider every aspect before making a commitment. Remember, you’ll be spending at least four years walking these grounds!

The majority of these top 10 most beautiful colleges in America are not only beautiful in terms of scenery and architecture, but are renowned for their educational standards and reputation.

For more beautiful college campuses not limited to the United States, check out

Let us know in the comments below why your overlooked College Campus should be on this list next time!