Unless you plan on fleeing to a warmer climate this winter like so many other snowbirds, you’d do well to learn to tolerate winter. Better yet, learn to love it: winter is when we’re treated to some of the most beautiful sights of the year, with snowy vistas and ice clinging to the trees. Some colleges pride themselves as most beautiful winter college campuses because of their higher elevations.
If you’re a college student, or soon will be, your choice of college might well come down to the appearance of the campus. This has nothing to do with vanity; after all, you’re going to be calling this place home for a while, so why shouldn’t you choose a school where you can appreciate the scenery?
University of Colorado
If winter sports are your thing, you might want to check out the University of Colorado in Boulder; the snowboarding and skiing accommodations really are world-class. The campus is located just 30 minutes from Eldora Mountain Resort, which offers more than 50 trails. Just don’t let the nearby winter recreation distract you from your studies; you’re going to college to learn, after all.
Ithaca, located in upstate New York, is one of America’s quintessential college towns: it has a great night life, plenty of restaurants and shops, and is located in some of the most beautiful surroundings that New York has to offer.
Cornell’s campus is no different. Located on a hilltop overlooking Cayuga Lake, Cornell University’s campus, while small, is terrifically picturesque. The distinctive architecture only adds to the impressiveness of this snowy wonderland.
If you’re looking for simple beauty this winter, Virginia Tech should be one of your top choices. There are duck ponds and gazebos on campus that are perfect for quiet introspection, along with oak and willow trees with snow beautifully piled up on the branches.
Hanover, New Hampshire, is home to Dartmouth College. It’s also home to the Winter Carnival. The event is held at Dartmouth Skiway and features skiing competitions, snow sculpting, and one of the most memorable activities among students: a human dogsled race. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
University of Montana
Located in Missoula, Montana, the University of Montana really does have something for everyone. For the thrill seekers, there’s the usual complement of intense winter sports, including nearby access to snowmobiling, along with cross-country and downhill skiing.
If you’re looking for a somewhat less adrenaline-filled winter experience, Missoula is also home to a terrific New Year’s Eve celebration known as First Night, where you can enjoy the winter sights and sounds with musical performances, great food and drinks, and crafts for people of all ages.
To finish up this list, let’s take a trip to New York City. There are few places in the U.S. that can be as strikingly beautiful in the winter as New York. The famous Tree Lighting Ceremony is a beloved activity among the students of Columbia. With the accumulation of snow and ice only adding to the almost eerie beauty of the lights, which stay lit until February, the whole thing ends up looking like something from a postcard.