The 16 Coolest, Most Picturesque College Campuses for Summer School

Aiming to save time and money, more college students are choosing summertime in the classroom over summertime at the beach, according to the Boston Globe. But who says you can’t put in time in the classroom and time at the beach?

At Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, it’s quite possible for a student enrolled in summer school to work simultaneously on tanning and Tolstoy. How? The Eckerd campus, situated along Frenchman’s Creek and Boca Ciega Bay, offers 100 yards of white-sand beach, along with all the normal academic amenities.

“Who needs Miami? We’ve got our own South Beach,” the college says.

Eckerd College beach

Beachgoers soak up some sun at Eckerd College.
Photo: CollegeLink

Eckerd College earns top honors on our list of the 16 Coolest, Most Picturesque College Campuses for Summer School. To compile this list, we pored over (and drooled over) hundreds of photos of campuses across the U.S. Campuses that made the cut feature beaches or waterfront views or stunning landscapes — or all three.

Here’s our list of the 16 Coolest, Most Picturesque College Campuses for Summer School (and for being distracted by the scenery).

1. Eckerd College
St. Petersburg, FL

Eckerd College

Photo: Google+/Eckerd College

Why we like it: On-campus beach

2. Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL

Florida Gulf Coast University

Photo: Florida Gulf Coast University

Why we like it: On-campus beach

3. Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University

Photo: Pinterest/

Why we like it: Scenic oceanside campus

4. University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA


Photo: University of California, Santa Barbara

Why we like it: Spectacular oceanside campus on more than 1,000 acres

5. Hawai’i Pacific University, Loa Campus
Kaneohe, HI

Hawaii Loa Campus

Photo: Honolulu Magazine

Why we like it: Gorgeous mountain setting

6. Salve Regina University
Newport, RI

Salve Regina University

Photo: Salve Regina University

Why we like it: Architecturally rich 80-acre oceanside campus

7. University of Hawai’i Maui College
Kahului, HI

Hawaii Maui College

Photo: College Choice

Why we like it: Ideal mountain and ocean location

8. University of New England
Biddeford, ME

University of New England

Photo: University of New England

Why we like it: Tree-filled oceanside setting

9. New College of Florida
Sarasota, FL

New College of Florida

Photo: StartClass

Why we like it: Bayside location

10. University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA

UC Santa Cruz

Photo: CollegeRoots

Why we like it: Forested campus overlooking ocean and bay

11. University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN

University of Minnesota Duluth

Photo: University of Minnesota Duluth

Why we like it: 244-acre campus overlooking Lake Superior

12. Gordon College
Wenham, MA

Gordon College

Photo: Gordon College

Why we like it: 450-acre wooded campus

13. Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX

Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Photo: Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Why we like it: Campus on one-of-a-kind island in Gulf of Mexico

14. University of Hawai’i Hilo
Hilo, HI

University of Hawaii Hilo

Photo: University of Hawai’i Hilo

Why we like it: Lush campus near ocean

15. Flagler College
St. Augustine, FL

Flagler College


Why we like it: Spanish Renaissance architecture in tropical setting

16. San Diego State University
San Diego, CA

San Diego State University

Photo: Google+/San Diego State University

Why we like it: Iconic buildings set amid numerous trees

Top photo: Pinterest/Eckerd College


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.