I like to travel, and I don't know why, but when I go places I always want to see college campuses. I'm not sure why. Maybe its because I had such a blast in college that it helps bring back those memories. Maybe its because college campuses usually have pretty buildings and cool bars nearby to hang out at. Maybe its just that there is a higher rate of good looking women.
But whatever. I like visiting college campuses and their surrounding towns. So I thought it might be fun to rank the Pac-12 college campuses that I've been to and to see what you folks think. This is an extremely subjective list, obviously. I'm putting lots of emphasis on things like beauty (natural and un-natural) and the place where the campus is set.
A couple of disclaimers. I've spent more time at some of these campuses than others, so I'm not really drawing fair comparisons here. Also, I haven't been to every Pac 12 campus, and for this reason, Oregon State, Colorado, and the AZ schools aren't on the list. I'd love to know what you think of the list and what your list might be.
I've only spent one day on Utah's campus, but it was an awesome day. School wasn't in session, and it was amazingly quiet and peaceful and stunningly beautiful. Salt Lake City is an excellent place for a college. Its a clean city, well organized, and very attractive. The neighborhoods surrounding the campus are very nice as well. It had a local feel to it, even though its very close to a pretty big city. If I had a dog I'd totally want to walk him around this area. I'm looking forward to my next visit.
In many ways I'm a fish out of water in the Bay Area, but maybe that's why I enjoy all my visits so much. UC Berkeley is a fun campus and Berkeley itself is an awesome town. Great places to eat and drink here. Like Utah, it has a very local feel to it and it is very unique. Did I mention there are great places to eat and drink in the area? Zachary's Pizza is amazing, but if you want a quick snack Top Dogs had a great Hot Link.
The Bay Area Wins. Honestly, I'm not super high on the campus itself, but I love Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Very nice neighborhoods. Like Cal, there were some awesome places to eat and drink at. A little... classier (is that the right word?) then Berkeley, but way less interesting. Berkeley is the kind of place I would want to go to school at, but Palo Alto is the kind of place where I'd want to go to grad school and start raising a family.
I lived in the LA area for about six years. That was enough. I have no intention of moving back, but if I did, Westwood is one of about 3 areas I'd want to move to. I actually spent quite a few of my Saturdays in westwood watching college football. Lots of awesome restaurants and bars nearby (This whole excercise has really exposed me as caring only about food and bars). Plus, the sun is always shining. Plus you aren't too terribly far from the beach. Plus, you aren't USC.
Some might accuse me of giving UW extra points because I'm a fan. I think, however, that being from Western Washington may have hurt UW's rankings. UW is a little too familiar to me. As this fan post has developed it has really become sort of a, "Where would I want to go hang out at right now," thing. Because UW is so close and I cruise by it about once a week it lacks the allure that some of these other campuses have.
I don't think I need to talk about what is good about UW and its setting. You all know what its like.
6) Washington State
I have to be honest. If I was only considering the campus itself, WSU would be much higher on the list. I really think the campus is nice. I like it a lot more than UW, actually. The reason it isn't higher is that its in Pullman. Pullman is an ok town, but it is a bit too isolated and in my subjective opinion I just tend to like larger cities more. So don't get upset WSU fans. I have nothing but respect for your campus. It just isn't set in a place I really like.
Pretty much everything I said about WSU can be said about Oregon and Eugene except that the campus isn't as pretty and you suck Oregon.
This was literally the nicest picture I could find of USC. No offense Trojans. Your football team is fantastic, but your campus doesn't do it for me one bit. Not only that but, as you are well aware, it is in a pretty crappy area. I've walked around the area quite a bit and there just isn't much to do. You aren't even that close to the better parts in LA. You're sort of close, but not close enough. You're last. But something tells me you guys don't give a crap about what I think, so there ya go.
So thats it. That is my list. I'd love to hear where you think I messed up and I'd love to know what your favorite Pac-12 campuses are.
I will say, however, that I think overall the Pac-12 has some of the best campuses in the country. I'd put our conference campuses up against a whole lot of conferences as far as being awesome goes. So whatever that's worth.