Resort-Like College Campuses

Hit the books at a beautiful school.

Academics and campus life are big considerations when you're choosing a college or university - but they're not the only ones. Beautiful surroundings make higher education more fun. Explore 10 of our favorite resort-like campuses.

University of Washington Drumheller Fountain

Doug Plummer / University of Washington

University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Look for snow on the mountaintops when you're at the University of Washington. This 703-acre urban campus also explodes with cherry blossoms and other flowers in spring. Visitors and students revel in stunning views of Mount Rainier from the Drumheller Fountain, shown here, as well as the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range. The buildings are lovely, too; the Collegiate Gothic Suzzallo Library, with its 35 foot-high, stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, Grand Staircase and terra cotta figures, is not to be missed.

Illinois Institute of Technology is a private university located about three miles south of downtown Chicago. S.R. Crown Hall is one of the jewels on Its 120-acre campus, which has been named one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the U.S. by the American Institute of Architects. Designed by German-born Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the geometric buildings on campus convey simplicity and elegance through the use of such materials as exposed steel, glass and brick.

 Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

In the image below, the highway on the left (Interstate 94, or the Dan Ryan Expressway), looks north, toward Chicago’s Loop. State Street runs through the campus.

 Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

University of Colorado Boulder – Boulder, Colorado

Designed by Philadelphian Charles Klauder, many of the buildings at University of Colorado Boulder were made from local sandstone and limestone in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style. Red-tiled roofs add to the natural look. Other campus structures, like Old Main, the university's first building, are more traditional in appearance. The Norlin Quad, the university’s first green space, is on the National Register of Historic Sites. Students and visitors take in breathtaking scenery from Boulder, which is tucked into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

University of Colorado in Boulder

Glenn J. Asakawa/University of Colorado, Boulder

Wake Forest University -  Winston-Salem, N.C.

Looking for the most beautiful autumn colors in the country? Wake Forest University takes the top spot among college campuses, according to The school’s Reynolda Gardens, once part of the R.J. Reynolds estate, offers 129 acres of formal gardens, wetlands, woods and fields to explore via nature trails overlaid with chipped bark or gravel.

Wake Forest University, Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Ken Bennett/Wake Forest University

Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas

Urban campuses can be as stunning as those surrounded by nature. Texas Tech's buildings were inspired by Spanish Renaissance architecture, and the campus, which has won awards for excellence in grounds-keeping, was once described by author James Michener as “the most beautiful west of the Mississippi until you get to Stanford.” The fountain seen here depicts two hands holding letters of the alphabet, symbolizing communication and a desire for knowledge.

Texas Tech Campus in Lubbock

Sonoma State University -  Rohnert Park, California

Modern, energy-saving buildings like Sonoma State’s Green Music Center aren't just attractive. They’re also environmentally-friendly, helping the university earn its reputation as one of the country’s premier “green” campuses. Three lakes on its 269 landscaped acres draw local water birds, and miles of walking trails lead visitors into stands of tall redwood trees. The school is located just south of Santa Rosa, and about an hour north of San Francisco, in the heart of California’s wine country.

Sonoma State University

Duke University – Durham, N.C.

Duke University is known for its magnificent Collegiate Gothic architecture, derived from the mid-18th century Gothic style. Its buildings feature arches, parapets, finials, and even gargoyles. On clear days, the four spires atop Duke Chapel seem to pierce the bright blue sky. Look for shades of warm blues, tans, rust and grays in the locally-quarried stones. Duke really is “a university in the forest,” comprised of 6,000 acres of Duke Forest and 2,000 acres of woodlands, green spaces, plazas, roads and more.

Duke University Clock Tower

Les Todd/Duke University Photography

Berry College -  Mount Berry, Georgia

Buzzfeed once called Berry College the most beautiful college campus in the world—and if that’s not enough, Berry also made Travel and Leisure Magazine's 2011 list of America’s most beautiful campuses. Located near Rome, Georgia, Berry is a private, liberal arts school, with 27,000+ acres of streams, meadows, hiking and horseback riding trails, and woodlands where deer roam.

 Berry College

Berry College

There are outdoor fireplaces; waterfalls in the Kilpatrick Commons area; lakes frequented by swans; and many lovely vistas. The buildings are typically English Gothic-style. You may have seen portions of the campus featured in TV shows or films such as "Remember the Titans" and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

 Berry College

Berry College

Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida

Spanish moss trails gracefully from the trees in Heritage Grove, located on Florida State’s campus, and its brick buildings, fountains and abundant green spaces inspired House Beautiful magazine to name it America’s most beautiful campus in 2015. Life-sized bronze figures stand in a reflecting pool at the Legacy Fountain, in the center of Landis Green, representing the university’s movement from a college for women to a coed university.

Florida State University

Bill Lax/Photography

Furman University - Greenville, S.C.

The American Society of Landscape Architects calls Furman’s campus one of the most beautiful sites in the country. The grounds are lush, leafy and green, with Asian-themed fountains, a replica of Thoreau’s cabin, a bell tower, a spring-fed lake and Georgian-inspired buildings. Visitors and students can choose from 13 miles of paved hiking and biking trails, or play a round of golf on the verdant course. Furman is among the top undergraduate liberal arts colleges.

Furman University Bell Tower

Jeremy Fleming/Furman University

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