Road Scholars: See the most beautiful campuses in the U.S.

Trying something new when traveling doesn’t always mean mountain biking through the wilderness or hiking Pikes Peak.

In fact, there’s an abundance of scenery on the grounds and campuses of the United States’ many schools. American colleges and universities offer picturesque architecture and scenery that are easy to access. Below, we’ll take a look at a few must-visit campuses you can tack onto your next itinerary.

Jacob’s Pillow, The Berkshires

Western Massachusetts

A thriving cultural region filled with historic landmarks, museums and performing arts venues, Jacob’s Pillow dance school is nestled in a beautiful and lush corner of Massachusetts.

Self-guided tours are welcome and encouraged at this cultural and National Historic Landmark. During certain summer festivals, you can catch a free outdoor performance put on by emerging and established dance troupes. Aside from the beautiful campus itself, several attractions, including the Normal Rockwell Museum and Shakespeare and Company, are just a short drive away, making it easy to extend your tour into the scenic surrounding areas.

Berry College

Mount Berry, Georgia

Travel a little further down the East Coast – and inland – and you’ll find beautiful Berry College northwest of Atlanta.

Used as the set for multiple films including Remember the Titans and Sweet Home Alabama, Berry College’s beautiful campus has both a rich cultural history – and endless opportunities for photo ops. Slightly off the beaten path but still easily accessible, this campus offers a staggering 27,000 acres of historical architecture, streams and meadows to explore.

Flagler College

St. Augustine, Florida

Head south and back to the coast from Mount Berry, and you’ll find yourself marveling at the gold-domed entranceway and luscious tropical landscape of Flagler College.

Before it was a school, this picturesque campus and its buildings were actually home to the old Ponce de León Hotel, built in 1888. So, it’s no wonder this gorgeous school doubles as a travel destination.

In fact, Flagler College beat out some stiff competition in the Sunshine State to be named “the most beautiful college in Florida” by Travel + Leisure magazine. The front of the college’s main building is constructed in the beautiful Spanish Colonial style, and opens to a lush courtyard filled with manicured trees and lawns (where teachers sometimes hold their classes).

Additionally, while you’re in town, you can join one of St. Augustine’s “creepy crawl” ghost tours, featuring tales of romance, murder and ghosts that inhabit this old city.

University of Notre Dame

South Bend, Indiana

Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Great Heart is a must-see for any traveler. However, the campus centerpiece – and perhaps one of the most famous campus landmarks in the U.S. – is the main building’s beautiful golden dome.

Additionally, the sprawling green lawns and Snite Museum of Art offer a number of rich visuals for tourists. Situated right on the I-80/90 corridor in northern Indiana, it’s relatively easy to tack this stop onto a variety of travel itineraries. Plus, it’s a short 30 miles or so to our headquarters in Middlebury. Stop by and say hi if you add Notre Dame to your itinerary.

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Further west on the I-80 tollway and about 7,022 feet above sea level, the University of Wyoming’s rough and rugged campus reflects the beauty of the landscape around it.

In fact, the Centennial Complex is an award-winning facility, which contains the University of Wyoming’s Art Museum and the American Heritage Center, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Antoine Predock. The five-story cone-shaped structure made of copper is meant to resemble a mountain peak. The Art Museum’s brick extension represents the landscape of the historic West, a gathering place for trade, socializing and the exchange of ideas.

Sierra Nevada College

Incline Village, Nevada

Hop off I-80 around Reno and jog south and a bit off the beaten path, and you’ll discover the beautiful, secluded Sierra Nevada College.

With a look that resembles a luxury cabin more than a college campus, this college sits in the hills just above the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe, and boasts a beautifully-crafted campus library. In fact, the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is one of only a few dozen buildings in the nation to receive Platinum status by the Green Building Council for its environmentally friendly construction.

Aside from the detailed craftsmanship of the main campus building, the surrounding Incline Village offers plenty of activities like kayaking, biking, hiking trails – and even a spa.

Lewis & Clark College

Portland, Oregon

Keep going on I-80 and take I-5 north to Portland to find Lewis & Clark College.

Named for the famous explorers, this lush campus is tucked away in a quiet Portland neighborhood. Surrounded by Douglas Firs and rolling hills, it’s hard not to feel just a little enchanted while wandering the paved trails lined by towering trees that connect the campus buildings. When visiting the Portland area, this scenic campus is definitely worth a stop.

Any other scenic campuses you’ve enjoyed exploring? Let us know by posting a comment on our Facebook page