30 of the Most Beautiful Coastal College Campuses


Wouldn’t it be nice to go to college somewhere scenic? That way, when you’re studying for your courses, or preparing for your exams, you can retreat to a beautiful spot to de-stress and relax.

Being near the coast has numerable benefits and offers a unique learning environment for students to be a part of. Just imagine: sunny days, swaying palm trees, beautiful waters, and sandy beaches.

The following universities offers rich curriculum and a wide range of activities in and around the water. Listed below are 30 of the most beautiful coastal college campuses across the country.

So grab your sunblock and let’s explore some of these beautiful coastal campuses.

 

  1. UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, HILO

HILO, HAWAII

Hawaii is a dream destination; a tropical island situated in the Pacific has charms that few people can ignore or deny. Here’s what makes the University of Hawaii at Hilo so great:

  • Incredible views of the Big Island of Hawaii and the expansive Pacific ocean that surrounds it
  • The campus offers easy ocean access
  • In your free time you can explore all the rich biodiversity and cultural landscape of the Big Island of Hawaii

1.UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, HILO

  1. TEXAS A&M, CORPUS CHRISTI

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS

Texas A&M is nicknamed by many as “The Island University” since it is located on South Texas’ Oso Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s what you can expect as a student at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi:

  • Love water sports? The university offers a plethora of them!
  • The campus is surrounded by white sand beaches
  • On average, the university sees about 223 days of sunshine a year
  • Students can take part in a host of beach and ocean related activities such as wind surfing, sailing, surfing, swimming, and boating. Alternatively, you can also just lounge on the beach and soak up the sun

2.TEXAS A&M, CORPUS CHRISTI

  1. UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, MANOA

HONOLULU, HAWAII

We’ve already established that going to university in Hawaii would be a dream come true for many. Think about it – you’d be going to college in a tropical paradise!

UH at Manoa is situated on a hillside which overlooks Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The university:

  • Is surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation
  • Offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean
  • Offers a large number of degree programs for students to choose from
  • Has an excellent oceanography program
  • The campus is less than 45 minutes from Queens, Makaha, Pipeline, and every other surf spot on the island
  • The world-famous Waikiki Beach and Ala Moana Beach are just minutes away

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, MANOA

  1. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a Christian liberal arts school and is located in a picturesque location. The university:

  • Is centrally located and is therefore walking distance from many different restaurants, shops, cultural centers, as well as churches
  • Is aesthetically appealing as it is made up of many Mediterranean-style buildings. The school has a very tropical feel to it
  • There are many public beaches close by where students often study and even attend classes
  • Is very close to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park which is an 11,000-acre barrier island where students can snorkel, scuba dive, and go hiking
Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008

Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008

  1. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA

The University of California–Santa Barbara is one of the top research facilities in the United States and allows students to take advantage of all that the Golden State has to offer. The university is one of the best public schools in the nation and is:

  • Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides
  • Close to a beach-front college town called Isla Vista where students can enjoy restaurants, stores, and other social events
  • Close to Goleta Beach which is a popular place for sunbathing, fishing, and surfing
Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008

Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008Palm Beach Atlantic-Spring 2008

  1. PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA

Pepperdine University, located in Southern California, has an exceptionally beautiful campus. Nestled in the foothills of Malibu, the university’s buildings are of Mediterranean architecture, which only furthers the campus’ beauty. The university:

  • Offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, the city of Los Angeles, and the Chanel Islands
  • Offers access to beaches which are often packed with celebrities
  • Has beautiful surrounding areas which students can explore in their free time

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY

  1. UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Situated on top of a hill, The University of San Diego offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Harbor, the Coronado Islands, and La Jolla.

What makes this university’s campus so breathtaking?

  • The campus was constructed in the 16th-century Spanish Renaissance architectural style, in line with the university’s Catholic roots
  • One of the landmark attractions of the campus is the Immaculata Church, which is ‘decked out in unique details that include a door made of solid bronze, Spanish-inspired red-tiled roofs, and a mosaicked dome.’

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO

  1. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, WILMINGTON

WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

The University of North Carolina is pristinely located in the historic city of Wilmington. The university:

  • Is flanked by a number of beaches and island communities
  • Is a very well respected coastal university
  • Has a #1 surf team
  • Is second in the state for the highest four year graduation rate
  • Offers students the opportunity to boat, kayak, surf, and take part in other beach and water related activities

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, WILMINGTON

  1. COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA

If this university’s name doesn’t give it away, then one look at its surrounding area is all you’ll need to understand why this university is a hot spot for the study of marine biology.

  • The 631-acre campus is located very close to the extremely popular vacation spot, Myrtle Beach
  • For students studying marine sciences, Waites Island, a 1,100-acre barrier island owned by the university and used exclusively for the study of marine science and wetland biology, offers students the chance to engage in extensive hands on learning
  • The university also has an 18-hole General James Hackler Golf Course which students may play at

COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

  1. UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

The University of West Florida is located on Pensacola Bay, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico. Naturally, the university is primly situated for students to enjoy all the benefits of a coastal university. These include:

  • Beach life
  • A variety of water sports
  • Hands on research opportunities
  • The campus is located in a wilderness preserve, so students can expect to see lots of wildlife
  • For those students interested in adventure, there are plenty of hiking and mountain bike trails within a short distance from campus
  • Nearby Escambia River can also be explored with a rented kayak or canoe

UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA

  1. BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, HAWAII

LAIE, HAWAII

Brigham Young University, Hawaii, is located in the small town of Laie. Aside from being situated in one of the most beautiful places in the world, here’s what else this stunning campus has to offer:

  • Spectacular views of the Pacific ocean as well as the island of Oahu
  • Located only 35 minutes away from Honolulu
  • Very close to many pristine beaches
  • Aside from hanging out in and around the water, students can go hiking, swim in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, make use of the university’s state-of-the-art fitness center, and explore the Polynesian Cultural Center, one of Hawaii’s most popular museums.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, HAWAII

  1. SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Salve Regina University is located right on the waterfront in Newport, Rhode Island’s Ochre Point-Cliffs National Historic District. Here’s what this university has to offer:

  • 80 acre campus right on the waterfront
  • A booming surf scene

SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY

  1. ENDICOTT COLLEGE

BEVERLY, MASSACHUSETTS

Endicott College may be only twenty miles south of Boston, but its campus is anything but urban. It sits at the top of the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay and has an air of tranquility and a distinct New England feel to it.

  • The campus is located right on the water
  • Students can enjoy coastal living and all that it entails
  • Private beaches exclusive to students

ENDICOTT COLLEGE

  1. FLAGLER COLLEGE

Flagler College is a beautiful college campus for many reasons:

  • It’s located in beautiful, sunny, and tropical St. Augustine, Florida
  • It boasts amazing ocean views
  • It has one of Florida’s most beautiful historic buildings, the Hotel Ponce de Leon – this Spanish Renaissance revival architecture is located just a few blocks from the beach and compliments the historic surroundings within which it is located
  • Flagler has also been steadily purchasing other historic buildings to add to its aesthetic appeal

FLAGLER COLLEGE

  1. Eckerd College

St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Eckerd College’s catch phrase is ‘Think Outside’
  • The campus is located on the coast of Tampa Bay and is surrounded by beaches, palm trees, and water
  • The college owns South Beach, where students can engage in a wide range of water related activities such as sailing, surfing, kayaking, etc

Eckerd College

  1. MITCHELL COLLEGE

NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT

Mitchell College brings together two distinct and unique atmospheres: that of a quaint little New England town, as well as a coastal beach town.

  • The college has its own private beach
  • New London’s 50-acre Ocean Beach Park is nearby, and boasts a white sand beach that National Geographic recently called one of the best beaches in the United States.

MITCHELL COLLEGE

  1. MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY

WEST LONG BRANCH, NEW JERSEY

  • Monmouth University situated just a mile away from the Atlantic coast, and the Jersey shore
  • For those interested in escaping to the city, the campus is located 40 miles away from New York City
  • Very close to Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, which is a popular New Jersey destination for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and more

MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY

  1. SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

  • Seattle Pacific University situated in the historic and scenic Seattle neighborhood of Queen Anne Hill
  • The 43-acre campus is a sight to behold – brick buildings, incredible facilities, as well as some of the oldest trees in all of Seattle
  • The university has two satellite campuses located on Whidbey Island and Blakely Island, which students may visit
  • Alki Beach and Madonna Beach are located nearby where students may go fishing, boating, and scuba diving.

SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

  1. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

  • The university is located on 1,200 acres on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean
  • The campus is located in the heart of the biotech community on the La Jolla Mesa
  • UC San Diego is home to the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography as well as the UC San Diego Health System
  • UC San Diego is considered as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO

  1. FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MELBOURNE, FLORIDA

  • This technical research university is located on Florida’s Atlantic side, directly across the Intracoastal Waterway
  • For those students who are interested in surfing, the campus is located right by Indialantic and the Sebastian Inlet, two of the best beaches for surfing on the East Coast
  • Florida Institute of Technology has an incredible surfing team
  • Lush tropical vegetation is abundant throughout the campus

FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

  1. POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

  • Point Loma Nazarene University sits atop San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs and offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean
  • The campus was once the site of a Theosophical community
  • The architecture of the 90 acre campus reflects this, and can most notably be seen in the stunning Greek theater that was constructed in 1901. The theatre is one of its kind and draws a great number of visitors
  • Mieras Hall is another beautiful building on campus. It has a Victorian timber design with unusual shapes and archaic details such as Corinthian-style columns and an amethyst dome

POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

  1. FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA

  • Florida Gulf Coast University comprises of 800 acres; 400 acres of which comprise a natural reserve full of tropical vegetation and wildlife
  • The university also has its own beach that students can use for relaxing, swimming, boating, etc
  • There are also a number of high end shops and restaurants close by for students to explore and enjoy

FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

  1. UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA

TAMPA, FLORIDA

  • The University of Tampa has a gorgeous tropical campus filled with banana and majestic oak trees
  • It also has an aquatic center, and a number of other state of the art facilities
  • The city of Tampa was ranked by Forbes as the 5th best city for outdoor activities and so students can enjoy a number of different outdoor activities
  • Students can also look forward to the world-famous Gasparilla Pirate Festival and the Florida State Fair

UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA

  1. SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

  • Students can participate in a number of different sports all year round including water polo, swimming, ice hockey, baseball, and volleyball
  • San Diego State University has an open air theater, where productions of all sorts take place
  • There are a number of different beaches close by for beach lovers

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

  1. WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON

  • The campus is located only 90 miles from Seattle
  • The campus is considered a peaceful Pacific Coast refuge that many describe as ‘magical’; it is surrounded by conifer trees and thick vegetation, and there is a huge local deer population
  • The Wilson Library Reading Room, nicknamed “The Harry Potter Room”, is a hugely popular spot for students
  • The Haskell Plaza on the campus has grassy mounds, which are organized into a rough map of the San Juan Islands
  • Western Washington University also has the impressive performing arts center plaza
  • The nearby town of Bellingham has bars, live music venues, and restaurants for students to check out and enjoy

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

  1. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

BAR HARBOR, MAINE

  • The school’s main administrative building is a stone castle, The Turrets, which was built in 1895
  • Acadia National Park is considered by many students as the ‘backyard’ of the university and offers students the chance to engage in hands on research
  • Bar Harbor is a charming town, which is often considered to be the epitome of New England charm
  • Students can take lighthouse tours, sailing classes, aviation trips, and coastal bike tours in this scenic coastal town
  • From May through October, humpback whales often grace the waters surrounding the town

COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

  1. NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA

SARASOTA, FLORIDA

  • Students can self-design their own curriculum
  • Most students opt to study on the sandy beaches
  • There are hammocks strung between palm trees in which students lounge around and study
  • The blue-green waters of Sarasota Bay can be seen from just about anywhere on campus

NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA

  1. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA

  • The sprawling campus overlooks Monterey Bay
  • University of California, Santa Cruz is only 75 miles away from San Francisco and the Bay Area
  • For surfing enthusiasts, the campus is located very close to the popular surf spot, Mavericks
  • Students can enjoy over 2,000 acres of rolling hills, redwood trees, Potter Caves, natural running creeks and countless hiking trails

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

  1. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

KINGSTON, RHODE ISLAND

The University of Rhode Island is ideally situated: it has both a coastal charm and is within easy reach of Providence, Newport, New York City, and Boston. The university:

  • Has a 1,200-acre campus, which has both contemporary architecture and ivy-covered buildings
  • Looks over West Passage of Narragansett Bay offering breathtaking views
  • Is one of the top five oceanographic institutions in the country
  • The University of Rhode Island also has a 2,300-acre second campus, which is located 30 minutes from Providence, and boasts a 75-acre lake, ponds, streams and pristine forests. This campus is used as the National Center for Environmental Education, and for camps, school field trips, retreats and conferences

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

  1. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

California State University at Long Beach is essentially a large commuter campus. The university has many local beaches and a coastal, Southern California charm about it.

  • The campus has many stores and restaurants
  • The iconic Walter Pyramid is located on the campus
  • Students who wish to get off campus can easily take the free shuttle to L.B. hotspots such as 2nd Street (known for its boutiques and unique cuisine), the Pike (home to the aquarium and other touristy venues), the port from which cruise ships leave, or any of the local beaches

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH