Top 10 College Campuses to Visit
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN
The latest student survey from the Princeton Review awarded Sewanee: The University of the South (founded 1857) one of the top spots in the "Most Beautiful Campus" category, and we have to agree. The massive 13,000-acre campus, collectively known as "the Domain," encompasses the university’s buildings and the town of Sewanee, Tennessee – set 55 miles outside of Chattanooga – as well as large tracts of the surrounding countryside. Sixty miles of trails through verdant forests and along scenic lakefront bluffs provide students and visitors alike with abundant opportunities for hiking and mountain biking (bike rentals are available from Woody’s Bicycles in town). Back on the main college campus (ask for a map in the Admissions Office), visitors can wander about the central quad to view the striking Gothic-style buildings, and then stroll through Abbo’s Alley, a ravine garden constructed by a former English professor and his students as a labor of love. An architectural focal point of Sewanee is All Saints’ Chapel, a Gothic-inspired church completed in the 1950s. Drawing from great European cathedrals, the chapel’s tower was modeled after Oxford’s University Church, while the rose window recalls Paris’s Notre Dame. Inside, stained-glass windows tell the history of Sewanee; complimentary guided tours conducted by chapel staff are available by request. Around Christmas, the Festival of Lessons and Carols service at All Saints’ Chapel is based on one performed since 1918 at Cambridge’s King’s College Chapel (come prepared to stand in line for this popular free event). During the academic year, stop by the University Art Gallery (free) for contemporary art exhibits by students and faculty, or swing by in summer, when the month-long Sewanee Summer Music Festival draws classical music performers from around the world (tickets start at around $12). Visitors should also set out for some refueling and retail therapy at the cafés and shops of quaint “downtown” Sewanee, a short walk from the main campus.