The most beautiful college campuses in the East

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Attending a college in the Northeast means you can enjoy the spacious green fields during the spring, beautiful foliage in the fall and dig your way out of the snow during the winter. No matter the season, these picturesque Northeast colleges are worth checking out.

Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York)

With the Catskill Mountains as its backdrop, Bard College's campus has rural charm. Alongside its historic Collegiate Gothic buildings, it also boasts amazing modern architecture such as the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, which has a distinctive curved metal roof.

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Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania)

Inspired by the architecture of Oxford and Cambridge universities, Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania is one of the first American examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture. The style of Bryn Mawr's Pembroke Hall was later copied at schools such as Princeton. The designer of New York City's Central Park also helped with the layout of the sprawling, tree-filled campus.

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Columbia University (New York City, New York)

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, Columbia is home to beautiful Beaux Arts buildings. Butler Library and Low Memorial Library both boast iconic Ionic columns, and the latter is one of three university buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.


Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)

This sweeping 4,800-acre Ivy League campus in Ithaca, New York, is nestled on a hillside above Cayuga Lake near Cascadilla Gorge and its eight waterfalls. On top of stunning natural beauty, Cornell has a mix of historic and contemporary buildings, such as the Johnson Museum of Art designed by I. M. Pei.

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Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire)

Dartmouth College is tucked away in rural Hanover, New Hampshire, and centered around the 5-acre Dartmouth Green. It has several historic colonial style buildings, including Baker-Berry Library, which has a 200-foot tower. This building, which opened in 1928 and received an addition in 2000, was inspired by Philadelphia's Independence Hall.

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Georgetown University (Washington, DC)

This Washington, D.C., institution sits on a rise above the Potomac River, making for a gorgeous view. Within the campus itself are many impressive Collegiate Gothic and Georgian brick buildings, including Healy Hall, which is a National Historic Landmark.

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Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

As the oldest college in the United States, Harvard has many classic, historic red brick Georgian buildings around Harvard Yard that date back to the 18th century. The colorful High Victorian Gothic Memorial Hall, completed in 1877, is one of many campus buildings that are National Historic Landmarks.

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Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)

Princeton is considered a paragon of Collegiate Gothic architecture because of famous buildings like Nassau Hall, the oldest building on campus and the former meeting place of the Continental Congress. It also has lovely arches, landscaping and footpaths criss-crossing its New Jersey campus for students and staff alike to enjoy the ambiance.

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Salve Regina University (Newport, Rhode Island)

Rhode Island's Salve Regina University owns several stunning Gilded Age Newport mansions, including the neo-Gothic French Ochre Court and the mock-Elizabethan Wakehurst manor house.

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Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania)

Swarthmore College started in 1864 with just one building, the stately Parrish Hall. Today, it covers more than 400 tree-filled acres that are all part of the Scott Arboretum, which also includes a rose garden and a picturesque outdoor amphitheater.

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Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, New York)

Vassar College's campus is an official arboretum, with thousands of trees as well as more than 100 buildings with different architectural styles. One of the most notable on the Poughkeepsie, New York, campus is the Gothic-style Thompson Memorial Library that is embellished with battlements and pinnacles.

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Wellesley College (Wellesley, Massachusetts)

Located on Lake Waban west of Boston, Wellesley's 500-acre campus was designed to flow with the area's natural landscape of meadows and forests instead of carving out courtyards and quadrangles. The campus also has dozens of greenhouses and gardens with 1,500 different plants.

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Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)

Yale's architecture has noteworthy modern buildings, such as Eero Saarinen's innovative Ingalls Rink, but is known for its predominantly classic Collegiate Gothic style. Connecticut Hall, the oldest building on campus, was built in 1750 in the Georgian style, and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library famously resembles a jewel box. The university also owns many beautiful restored 19th-century mansions along historic Hillhouse Avenue. While you're touring for these beautiful campuses, find these stunning libraries to get lost in.

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