The Most Beautiful College Campus in Michigan Will Leave You Speechless

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: October 6, 2023
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Michigan has a lot of excellent colleges and universities to attend. There are well over 90 public and private higher education institutes, some with beautiful and historic buildings. Can you guess which college or university is the most beautiful? Follow along to discover the most beautiful college campus in Michigan. It will leave you speechless!

What is the Most Beautiful College Campus in Michigan?

Choosing the most beautiful college campus in Michigan is difficult, but the title goes to Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This lovely historic college was named the most beautiful college by Travel + Leisure Magazine for its scenic campus and iconic red-brick buildings.

Some of the most beautiful buildings on campus are the Stetson Chapel, Hoben Hall, and the Dow Science Center. Many of the buildings have vibrant red bricks that pop out of this hilltop campus. On campus are more than 25 buildings.

These lovely buildings though are only part of what makes Kalamazoo College so beautiful. The campus is also very walkable with many green spaces. During fall, students walk to their classes while walking under color-changing trees. In spring, bright and fragrant flowers bloom throughout the campus.

 Kalamazoo College in Michigan

The most beautiful college campus in Michigan is the Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

©AaronEndre / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

About Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College’s history began in 1833. The school started with just one three-roomed building. However, the school wasn’t known as Kalamazoo College, but the Michigan and Huron Institute. The school got another name change in 1837 to the Kalamazoo Literary Institute. This private liberal arts college was first started by a group of Baptist ministers.

Kalamazoo College’s motto is Lux Esto, which translates to ‘Be Light’ in English. The school’s official colors are orange and black. Kalamazoo College is home to about 1,400 undergraduates and about 130 academic staff. The school offers about 30 different academic programs and is slightly selective, with an acceptance rate of about 74%. Some notable alumni who attended this college were Selma Blair, Mark Crilley, Steven Yeun, and Darrin Camilleri.

Things to do in and near Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo College is in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is in Kalamazoo County. This city was settled in 1829 but incorporated as a city in 1884. The surface area of this city is 25.14 square miles. The city’s population is around 73,000.

There are a lot of fun and exciting things to do in this city, including visiting the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. This hands-on museum is great for families. It’s free to visit. The museum was established in 1881 and has about 50,000 items in its collection. A very well-known part of this museum is the Mystery of the Mummy. On display within this exhibit is a 2,300-year-old mummy.

Close to Kalamazoo is also the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum. It’s located in Portage, Michigan, only a short drive from Kalamazoo. The museum was established in 1977. Some aircraft on display include the Douglas SBD Dauntless, Hiller OH-23 Raven, Lockheed F-104C Starfighter, and the North American T-6 Texan.

If you’d rather spend time outside exploring, you can also visit the Lillian Anderson Arboretum, which is owned and operated by Kalamazoo College. Here you can explore and enjoy about 140 acres of scenic and peaceful marsh, meadows, and forests. Within this arboretum is also an excellent self-guided hike with 9 main stops.

Near Kalamazoo Michigan is the Air Zoo in Portage.

©Michael Barera / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Honorable Mentions

As stunning as Kalamazoo College is, there are plenty of other universities in Michigan that can make your jaw drop. An honorable mention is the University of Michigan. This public research university was founded in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigan. This school has many iconic campuses with stunning buildings like the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. This graduate-level library has over 3.5 million volumes. The school is also very peaceful and open.

Another honorable mention to make our list is Wayne State University, which was founded in 1868 as the Detroit Medical College. This Detroit public research university has expanded a lot in the last century and a half. Now, the school is home to nearly 25,000 students. The buildings range in architectural style, so it’s interesting to view while walking through. An interesting building owned by Wayne State University is the Maccabees Building, built in 1927. This massive building is 15 stories high.

Michigan State University in East Lansings is also very beautiful. This state university was established in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. The school is on the banks of the Red Cedar River. While here, you can admire the Beaumont Tower. Also on campus is the Cowles House, the oldest remaining building in the university. The original building was built in 1857, and it was renovated in 1950. Still, the original foundation and two exterior walls remain.

MSU, Cowles House, presidential house

The Cowles House is the oldest remaining building at Michigan State University.

©The original uploader was Jeffness at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5 – License

Wildlife in and near the Most Beautiful College Campus in Michigan

All around Kalamazoo College, there are lots of animals and plants to admire. Although you may not see all of these plants or animals while visiting, they are in the area. Follow along to learn about some wildlife in and near Kalamazoo.

Eastern Milksnake

The first animal on our list is the eastern milksnake. This snake is native to eastern and central North America from Maine to Ontario. You can also find this snake in Alabama and North Carolina. Eastern milksnakes have a wide range. They mainly live in rural areas and seek shelter in buildings. Eastern milksnakes are about 2 to 3 feet long. They typically lay about 4 to 12 eggs at once. Eastern milksnakes are great hunters with a large diet. They eat anything from insects to birds and even small mammals. 

Eastern Milksnake on moss, Lampropeltis triangulum

Eastern milksnakes have a wide range. They are native to parts of central and eastern North America.

©Nathan A Shepard/

Eastern Chipmunk

Another animal near or on Kalamazoo College is the eastern chipmunk. These striped small mammals are members of the Sciuridae family and are common in some parts of eastern North America, not including Florida. Eastern chipmunks are only about 12 inches long and weigh between 2.3 to 5.3 ounces. They adapt well to new habitats and can be found in woods, urban parks, neighborhoods, and rocky areas.

baby eastern chipmunk

Eastern chipmunks are 12-inch-long striped mammals.


New England Aster

A very common and beautiful plant you may see on the Kalamazoo College campus or nearby is the New England aster. This lovely flowering plant is native to central and eastern North America. It can reach about 1 to 4 feet tall and produces vibrant late-summer and fall-blooming flowers. Many songbirds and flying insects like moths and butterflies feed from this important plant.

New England Aster, Aster, Butterfly - Insect, Color Image, Flower

New England asters produce lovely purple-pink flowers.

©John Byers/ via Getty Images

Tree Swallow

Birds are one of the most common animals you may see at Kalamazoo College. A bird native to the area is the tree swallow. Tree swallows are beautiful and bright blue, black, and white birds found in the Americas. Currently, they are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Tree swallows are loud singers. They chirp, gurgle, and whine.

Types of Birds that are Blue - Tree Swallow

Tree swallows are loud, singing birds, listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

©Tom Reichner/

Marsh Marigold

The last plant on our list is the marsh marigold, which thrives in Michigan. Marsh marigolds are perennial herbaceous plants found in wet and moist spots like marshes, ditches, and wet woodlands. This plant varies in size from 4 to 31.5 inches tall. Although most marsh marigolds produce yellow flowers, some subspecies and cultivars produce white or pink flowers.

Yellow marsh marigolds blooming on a spring day.

Marsh marigolds vary in size from 4 to 31.5 inches tall.


The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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