Best Beautiful College Campus (2016)


Historic buildings, beautifully manicured grounds, stellar views and serene green spaces – these are a few of the features shared by these 10 American colleges and universities, voted by USA TODAY 10Best readers as the best and most beautiful in the nation.

  • University of Mississippi

    University of Mississippi
    Oxford, Miss.

    The University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, comprises 2,000 acres of expansive lawns, wooded trails and historic architecture, like the Greek Revival-style Lyceum. 
    Photo courtesy of Visit Mississippi / Flickr

  • Indiana University Bloomington

    Indiana University Bloomington
    Bloomington, Ind.

    The verdant grounds of Indiana University Bloomington boast miles of cycling and walking trails winding past a collection of Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings, many built from locally sourced limestone.
    Photo courtesy of Yahala / Wikimedia Commons

  • Sewanee: The University of the South

    Sewanee: The University of the South
    Sewanee, Tenn.

    Situated in Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee: The University of the South sits on some 13,000 acres of land. Architectural highlights include the All Saints' Chapel, where the stained-glass rose window was modeled after one in Notre Dame in Paris. Come autumn, the foliage is stunning.
    Photo courtesy of Amanda / Flickr

  • Furman University

    Furman University
    Greenville, S.C.

    Blanketed by foliage, Furman University boasts beautiful Georgian-inspired buildings throughout its 750-acre grounds. A paved walking path, picnic areas and resident swans draw many visitors to the scenic lake. The ivory belltower, a university landmark, overlooks the water. 
    Photo courtesy of Matt Bateman / Flickr

  • Pepperdine University

    Pepperdine University
    Malibu, Calif.

    Perched in the Malibu foothills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pepperdine University is dotted with palm trees and Mediterranean Revival buildings made from whitewashed stucco and red tile roofs, lending it a sense of European sophistication on the SoCal coast.
    Photo courtesy of Visit California/Carol Highsmith

  • Lewis & Clark

    Lewis & Clark
    Portland, Ore.

    Perched on a hill in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Clark College centers around the Frank Manor House, a Tudor-style mansion built in 1924 and purchased by the institution in 1942. The small 137-acre campus is home to more than 100 species of trees.
    Photo courtesy of Otebig / Wikimedia Commons

  • Kenyon College

    Kenyon College
    Gambier, Ohio

    Old Kenyon, located on the campus of Kenyon College, is thought to be the earliest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in the U.S. While the building was destroyed in 1949, the original blueprint was used for rebuilding.
    Photo courtesy of Curt Smith / Flickr

  • University of Virginia

    University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, Va.

    In 1819, the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson, and the architectural similarities between the university and nearby Monticello are readily apparent. The crown jewel is the Palladian-style Rotunda, named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, N.C.

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus has lovely flowers and greenery planted throughout, including at the on-campus botanical garden. The university has a long history – it's been around since the 1700s – and that history is reflected in its diverse architecture.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Colgate University

    Colgate University
    Hamilton, N.Y.

    Spread across 575 acres of hills dotted with sugar maple trees in Upstate New York, Colgate University boasts Federalist and Romanesque buildings dating back as early as 1827. While some campuses are a study in the development of American architecture, Colgate University has stayed true to its original style, even with its newer buildings.
    Photo courtesy of Balon Greyjoy / Wikimedia Commons


The top 10 winners in the category Best Beautiful College Campus are as follows:

  1. University of Mississippi - Oxford, Miss.
  2. Indiana University Bloomington - Bloomington, Ind.
  3. Sewanee: The University of the South - Sewanee, Tenn.
  4. Furman University - Greenville, S.C.
  5. Pepperdine University - Malibu, Calif.
  6. Lewis & Clark - Portland, Ore.
  7. Kenyon College - Gambier, Ohio
  8. University of Virginia - Charlottesville, Va.
  9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, N.C.
  10. Colgate University - Hamilton, N.Y.

Other universities nominated for this distinction included Dartmouth College, Mount Holyoke College, Princeton University, Scripps College, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Notre Dame, University of Washington and Yale University.

Congratulations to all these beautiful winning college campuses!

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