7 Best U.S. Beach Colleges

Steven Martin | http://www.flickr.com/photos/62007874@N00/13986628519/

Steven Martin | http://www.flickr.com/photos/62007874@N00/13986628519/

High school seniors will be graduating soon and for many that means college is looming. With so much information bombarding students, how does one pick and choose a school? It’s important to consider location, and with being said, why not consider the beach? Here are 7 U.S. colleges that are fun, unique and right smack dab next to the big blue sea.

University of North Florida
In Florida, it’s pretty impossible to live right on the ocean unless you’re a multi millionaire, but in Jacksonville Beach, you can be a poor college student and do just that. Located about 15 minutes from the beach, UNF is a prime choice for beach goers. Jacksonville Beach paints a picture of quaint beach town perfection with affordable, old clapboard style beach bungalows. Beach bikes are the preferred mode of transportation here, and there is plenty to do- from checking the surf, frequenting the nightlife and checking out local restaurants.

Endicott College
This private oceanfront campus is located in Beverly, Massachusetts, just 20 miles north of Boston. What sets this beach school apart from the rest is that it overlooks three private beaches in the coves of Salem Sound. These beaches are for student use only, just a street over from the main campus.

Mitchell College
Beauty is the name of game with this private school, located in New London, CT between the Thames River and the Long Island Sound. The college itself boasts a private beach, but that’s not all. Nearby Ocean Beach Park features 50 acres of beaches with a stunning white sugar sand beach rated among the best by National Geographic.

Pepperdine University
Let’s leave the Atlantic Coast for a second and check out Pepperdine, an 830-acre private university overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean in Malibu, CA. Malibu Lagoon State Park, which features one of the state’s best surfing beaches, is walking distance form the campus. Zuma Beach is also close by- a popular beach hangout in the city of angels.

Flagler College
Travel back to Florida to St. Augustine, the country’s oldest town. Not only is it steeped in rich history and close to the beach, but it is also home to a small, unique liberal arts college. Flagler is located just minutes from quiet Vilano Beach and downtown St. Augustine, where coastal influence is everywhere from the bars to restaurants and shops. The dorms of Flagler College, Ponce de Leon Hall, was once a luxurious hotel built in 1888 and is now a National Landmark.

University of Hawaii at Manoa
If you are looking for a school near the beach, then you can’t go wrong in Hawaii. UH at Manoa is located just outside Honolulu on the island of Oahu, neighboring many beautiful white sand beaches that include Waikiki Beach and Ala Moana Beach Park. Go to class then get out to the sand for swimming, snorkeling and surfing. Here, it’s beach season year round!

University of North Carolina Wilmington
This public university is perfect for any beach lover, located close to several beachfront communities in the area. Wrightsville Beach, a beautiful barrier island, is a well-known vacation destination great for water sports. If you are looking to fulfill your master’s degree, UNCW is ranked up there among southern master’s programs.

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