Along Bluff Point just south of Plattsburgh, NY, you can soak up the surroundings and soak in the history.
The forested bluff overlooks Lake Champlain, tucked between New York’s Adirondack Mountains and Vermont’s Green Mountains. As you’re marveling at the views, you can imagine President William McKinley running the federal government from the Hotel Champlain, perched on Bluff Point, during the summers of 1897 and 1899. Joining McKinley there were the vice president, the secretary of state, the secretary of war and the postmaster general.
Today, more than 100 years after McKinley made the Hotel Champlain his summer White House, the former hotel — which burned down in 1910 and was rebuilt a year later — houses Clinton Community College.
Winter transforms Clinton Community College into a wonderland.
‘Spectacular Natural Setting’
Clinton Community College opened in 1969 with 260 students. Now, about 1,900 students attend the two-year school. By the way, those hundreds of students aren’t crammed into the former hotel; these days, there are other buildings on the campus.
“While the college features the modern equipment and facilities necessary for contemporary educational needs, its distinctive architecture and spectacular natural setting hint at significant times of the past,” the college says.
In that setting, the students of Clinton Community College get to study in classrooms and take study breaks on the most scenic community college campus in the U.S., as determined by LawnStarter. Suffice it to say that we’re jealous. Several community college campuses almost rival the natural beauty of Clinton Community College, but none comes close enough to topple the Plattsburgh school from its scenic pedestal.
Lake Champlain contributes to the scenic allure of Clinton Community College.
Photo: Adirondack Base Camp
14 Most Scenic Community College Campuses
Indeed, Clinton Community College is in great company on LawnStarter’s list of the 14 Most Scenic Community College Campuses in the U.S. — a ranking that gives a nod to the sometimes overlooked cousins of four-year colleges and universities.
A community college campus made our ranking based on its natural scenery, architecture or landscaping, or a combination of those factors. As you peruse our list, keep in mind that we might have missed a few worthy candidates, since there are more than 1,100 community colleges across the country.
1. Clinton Community College
2. Southern Maine Community College
South Portland, ME
3. Central Maine Community College
4. Kapiʻolani Community College
Photo: Discover Nikkei
5. Mt. Hood Community College
Photo: Mt. Hood Community College
6. College of the Desert
Palm Desert, CA
Photo: HMC Architects
7. Highline College
Des Moines, WA
Photo: Highline College
8. Rogue Community College
Grants Pass, OR
9. Kingsborough Community College
10. Palomar Community College
San Marcos, CA
11. Chandler-Gilbert Community College
12. Foothill Community College
Los Altos Hills, CA
13. Truckee Meadows Community College (Dandini Campus)
14. GateWay Community College
Top photo: Clinton Community College