The Most Beautiful College Campuses You Can Visit in the U.S.

Are you planning a vacation? Maybe you’re helping your child decide where to go for college? Either way, a university with a gorgeous campus probably sounds like a great destination. Some college towns are more picturesque than others, but many American campuses make the grade. When you visit one of the nation’s most beautiful universities, you can expect to see awe-inspiring architecture, gorgeous greens, idyllic views, and intriguing surroundings.

Condé Nast Traveler reports that some of the most beautiful American college campuses are built in the classic collegiate Gothic style. Other universities have chosen a more contemporary architectural style. On the other hand, Travel + Leisure notes that the way a campus is landscaped is just as important as the architecture itself.

Read on to check out the most beautiful university campuses in the United States.

1. Bard College

Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has a rural campus. That makes it a destination in and of itself, since the college showcases a unique range of architectural styles. Travel + Leisure reports that Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center exemplifies the contemporary end of that range. It has an eye-catching exterior of glass and brushed stainless steel. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find Blithewood Mansion. It dates back to the 19th century and has a beautiful Italian lawn. When on campus, students and visitors also enjoy the views of the beautiful Catskill Mountains in the distance.

2. Berry College

Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia, has the world’s largest contiguous college campus. In fact, Travel + Leisure reports that the college spans more than 27,000 acres. The campus includes fields, lakes, forests, and mountains. Plus, the architecture of many of the college’s buildings showcases the English Gothic style. Those buildings exist thanks to the college’s largest benefactor, Henry Ford. And gorgeous landscaping — including reflecting pools and fountains — provides the perfect counterpoint to the beautiful architecture and idyllic setting.

3. Brigham Young University

The Laie, Hawaii, campus of Brigham Young University is on the northern Oahu coast. And, as you might expect, the university has the gorgeous scenery to match. According to Condé Nast Traveler, the Polynesian Cultural Center on campus has become one of the most popular museums in Hawaii. Tourists also visit the nearby Laie Hawaii Temple. The structure features crushed lava rock and coral, plus a design reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s right-angled Prairie style.

4. Colgate University

Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, features an abundance of beautiful Federalist and Romanesque style buildings. The upstate New York campus comprises 575 acres and has 2,300 trees. Many are sugar maples, which show off spectacular colors each fall. That makes for beautiful views before the long winters set in. The campus features historic architecture, too. West Hall, the oldest building on campus, dates back to 1827. Interestingly enough, both students and faculty helped to build it using stone mined from Colgate’s own quarry.

5. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is an Ivy League university, and it looks the part. The campus was designed around a five-acre green, and it features a few buildings that date to the 1820s. But Condé Nast Traveler reports that the campus also features a few more modern buildings, including the modernist Hopkins Center. This performing arts center was designed by Wallace Harrison, who also served as the architect of Lincoln Center and the United Nations Building in New York City.

6. Duke University

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, features numerous collegiate Gothic buildings. One of the most famous (and most photographed) is the 210-foot Duke Chapel. However, Condé Nast reports that there’s more to this gorgeous university campus than its buildings. Duke also boasts a 700-acre forest. And students and visitors alike enjoy the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, which American landscape designer Ellen Biddle Shipman designed. Plus, Travel + Leisure reports that Julian Abele, one of the country’s first prominent African-American architects, designed much of the campus.

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