While college is a haven for education and learning, college campuses often offer the most exquisite environments to be studious in. Lush surroundings combined with beautiful architecture can make living and studying on campus a treat.
Here are, according to the Princeton Review’s 2012 college rankings, the 15 most beautiful college campuses:
1. Florida Southern College
Quick fact: Florida Southern is located in Lakeland, Fla. and the campus is the home of the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.
2. Lewis & Clark College
Quick fact: Located in Portland, Oregon, Lewis & Clark’s forested campus shares a border with the Tryon Creek State Natural Area.
3. University of California – Santa Cruz
Quick fact: Located 80 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the college whose mascot is the banana slug, lies on the rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.
4. Mount Holyoke College
Quick fact: Mount Holyoke, an all-women’s college part of the Seven Sisters, has a Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course, The Orchards, which served as host to the U.S. Women’s Open in 2004.
5. Princeton University
Quick fact: Andrew Carnegie literally built a lake near Princeton so the rowing team could have open water to practice.
6. Sweet Briar College
Quick fact: Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the all-women’s college’s architecture is dominated by the Collegiate Gothic work of Ralph Adams Cram.
7. Vassar College
Quick fact: With more than 100 buildings, Vassar’s campus includes four National Historic Landmarks, ranging in style from Collegiate Gothic to International, designed over the course of the college’s history by a range of prominent architects, includingJames Renwick Jr., Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and Cesar Pelli.
8. Colgate University
Quick fact: Colgate’s first building, West Hall, was built by students and faculty from stones from Colgate’s own rock quarry. Nearly all the buildings on campus are built of stone, and newer buildings are built with materials that fit the style.
9. Sewanee – The University of the South
Quick fact: The Sewanee campus includes many buildings constructed of various materials faced with local stone, most done in the Gothic style.
10. University of San Diego
Quick fact: The philosophy of USD’s founder was that studying in beautiful surroundings could improve the educational experience of students. So, the university’s buildings were designed in a 16th-century Spanish Renaissance architectural style, paying homage to both San Diego’s Catholic heritage and the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain.
11. Ohio University – Athens
Quick fact: Ohio University is designed around College Green, the central campus quadrangle lawn which saw the first college buildings built in the former Northwest Territory.
12. College of the Holy Cross
Quick fact: Holy Cross’ campus, a registered arboretum, has won national awards for its landscaping.
13. University of Mississippi
Quick fact: Unrelated to campus beauty, but an interesting fact, with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, classes were interrupted when the entire student body and many faculty from Ole Miss enlisted in the Confederate army.
14. University of Richmond
Quick fact: The university has, with few exceptions, remained true to the original architectural plans for the campus — red brick buildings in a collegiate gothic style set around shared open lawns.
15. Rhodes College
Quick fact: Rhodes College campus’s design is notable for its stone Gothic architecture buildings, thirteen of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Have you visited any campuses that you thought were noteworthy in architecture or natural beauty?