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America's Most Beautiful College Campuses

Cornell University: Ithaca, NY

Courtesy of Cornell University

Cornell University: Ithaca, NY

Ambitious campus planners wanted to create a main quad over dramatic Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes. “It’s the idea of putting education on a high platform,” says architect Mark deShong. That original plan evolved, and the beautiful setting now accommodates both historic structures (McGraw Tower) and contemporary ones like the I. M. Pei–designed Johnson Museum of Art—whose walls screen movies on summer evenings—and the new Milstein Hall by Rem Koolhaas.

Photo-op: Cascadilla Gorge, whose eight waterfalls drop more than 400 feet from Cornell’s campus to downtown Ithaca.

To-Do List: The paved paths that wind through Cornell Plantation’s 150-acre arboretum; climb to the Newman Overlook for a sweeping panoramic view. —Ratha Tep

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