Going to college provides you with an education, of course, but the experience also introduces you to new friends and new adventures. The time that you spend at college is a transitional and transformational one. And it can also put a person in one of the prettiest places in the entire nation.
Below, you'll find 10 of the prettiest college campuses in the United States. These schools offer different courses, are located in various places, and may be known for winning sports teams (or they might not). Regardless, they all feature amazing architecture and vivid views, which surely help inspire the students that attend, as well as those who just get the chance to glance at these campuses.
10 University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia
The University of Richmond was established in 1830 in Richmond, Virginia. This private liberal arts school sits on 350 acres and features gothic architecture and open lawns. Surrounding the campus, there are trees, hills, and water that add to the attractiveness of the place. Architect Ralph Adams Cram designed many of the original buildings, as well as buildings at colleges such as Princeton, Rice and Cornell.
Three buildings (the Henry Mansfield Cannon Memorial Chapel, Ryland Hall and North Court) are all on the National Register of Historic Places. The University of Richmond has also been seen in TV shows such as Commander in Chief and Dawson's Creek.
9 Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee
Established in 1890, Belmont University of Nashville, Tennessee, is the next featured campus. It's a private Christian liberal arts university, and there are three notable buildings at this locale. The Curb Event Center is an arena that is utilized for sporting events, concerts and events such as the CMT Awards and the 2008 Presidential Debate.
Belmont Mansion was the first building on this campus, and it was originally owned by Joseph and Adelicia Acklen, a couple who built it as their summer estate, complete with gardens and a zoo. And there is the Belmont Tower and Carillon, the first carillon of the state and one of the first 25 to be put up on this continent.
8 Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon
In Portland, Oregon, there is the Lewis & Clark College, which was chartered in 1867. This private liberal arts school showcases 137 forested acres on top of a hill. The Frank Manor House, which is pictured here, and its surroundings prove how pretty this campus is.
The Lewis & Clark College’s John R. Howard Hall is an award-winning building, due to its environmental sustainability. Wind power actually provides 100 percent of the campus’ electricity, which is another fun fact about this school. The school has been ranked one of the top colleges and one of the best financially by publications like U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Daily Beast and Money.
7 Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Boston College is in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and this campus boasts some of North America’s earliest examples of collegiate gothic architecture. The Bapst Library is a Gothic-style building which is cool.
Gargan Hall is always on lists of gorgeous libraries as well. The fact that this private Jesuit research university, which was founded in 1863, sits on a hill that overlooks the Chestnut Hill Reservoir makes it all even prettier.
6 Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Duke University was established in 1838 in Durham, North Carolina, and it's known for its Gothic architecture. The focal point of this private research university is Duke Chapel, the highest point that can be found at the center of the campus.
If you attend Duke, you probably call the campus "the Gothic Wonderland." It's definitely one of the prettiest campuses in the country.
5 Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri
Washington University in St. Louis was established by 17 business, religious and political leaders (including T.S. Eliot’s grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot) who were worried about the area’s lack of higher education institutions.
This private research university came about in 1853, and it now has students and faculty from all over the world, including 24 Nobel laureates. While the history and the success are both great, the look of the school is something to note, as well. The buildings and the lawns help make this university look even more appealing.
4 University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana
Next up is the University of Notre Dame du Lac, which is better known as just Notre Dame. This private Catholic research university can be found in Notre Dame, Indiana, and it was started in 1842. The campus’ 1,261 acres include libraries, museums, and churches, due to its link to Catholicism.
The school has become a tourist attraction, and some of the most notable spots on campus include the Golden Dome, the football stadium, the Basilica and the Word of Life mural, which is also called Touchdown Jesus. Another positive aspect about this place is that sustainability is also important to Notre Dame.
3 Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fourth-oldest university in the country, as it was established in 1746. It is known for its Collegiate Gothic architecture, and the oldest building on campus is Nassau Hall, which used to house the New Jersey Legislature.
There is a cannon that is buried in the ground south of Nassau Hall and the "Big Cannon" was left by British troops, then it was taken to New Brunswick, then it was placed within the town of Princeton, and then students moved it during the night and buried in its current location. There is even a "Little Cannon" on campus, which started the Rutgers-Princeton Cannon War.
2 University of San Diego in San Diego, California
In 1949, the University of San Diego was the San Diego College for Women and San Diego University, until becoming the school it is today in 1972. It is a private Roman Catholic research university, and the founder believed that studying in a beautiful place would help with the overall educational experience.
The buildings have a Spanish Renaissance style (and are surrounded by palm trees, which is fitting), and the beachy landscape of San Diego adds to the gorgeousness of this school, which boasts views of the San Diego Harbor, the Coronado Islands and the Pacific Ocean.
1 Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington
Whitman College was founded in 1859 in Walla Walla, Washington. This is a private liberal arts school with a downtown setting. There is a quad in the middle of campus, and there is a creek (College Creek) flowing that goes into an artificial body of water (Lakum Duckum, which shows off some ducks).
Whitman Memorial Building is the oldest and tallest building on this campus, and it became part of the National Historical Register of Historic Places in 1974. Much of the student housing looks like the residential areas of Walla Walla, with Victorian and Craftsman architecture.