Washington D.C. is home to some of the most historic and scenic places in the nation. Many of the country’s first colleges and universities are here, nestled in between monuments and government buildings. These historical and iconic campuses give visual inspiration to the students and the tourists who visit. If you’re out and about in DC, take a break from the tourist hotspots to visit these captivating sites of higher education.
Georgetown University
3700 O St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20057 
(202) 687-0100

Georgetown University is a private, non-profit school located on Capitol Hill. The school was founded in 1789 and is the oldest Catholic higher learning institution in the United States. The architecture of Georgetown is gothic and Georgian in nature, and the campus features green areas perfect for studying, open quadrangles and even a cemetery. Healy Hall, built after the Civil War, has been listed as a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus is also one of the sites where the William Peter Blatty’s work “The Exorcist” was filmed.

Howard University
2400 6th St. N.W. 
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 865-6100

Howard University also has a history that goes back to the Civil War. Originally established as a seminary for African-American clergy, the institution expanded to include liberal arts and medicine. Today, the university encompasses 256 acres in Northwest D.C. including a hospital and a law school. The star of the campus is the Founders Library, a majestic red brick building with a gold spire. The Founders Library is one of several buildings on campus listed as a historic landmark.

Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles St. 
Baltimore, MD 21210
(410) 617-2000

Located in the neighbor city of Baltimore, Loyola University boasts intricate gothic architecture combined with modern buildings. The 79-acre campus includes buildings like the Alumni Memorial Chapel, a gothic style building with tall, stained glass windows and a long narrow knave. Also of note is the Humanities Center, a Tudor style mansion built in 1896 that also served as a priest’s residence and a hospital for blinded servicemen. 

Related: 5 Historical Facts You Didn’t Know About Washington, D.C.

George Washington University
2121 Eye St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000

Named for our nation’s first President, George Washington University sits near the White House, the World Bank and the National Mall in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Highlights of the architecture rich campus include the Professor’s Gate, Lisner Auditorium and the Gelman Library. George Washington University is made up of ten colleges and schools, including the oldest law school in DC. Symbols of the Freemasons can be seen on buildings throughout the campus.

University Of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 314-7777

The University of Maryland in College Park is one of the most picturesque college campuses in the United States. The central lawn of the campus, named McKeldin Mall, is surrounded by red brick Georgian buildings featuring more than 770 white columns. The lush 1,250-acre campus was designated as the University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Garden in 2008, due to the many tree and plants on the grounds. Visitors can take arboretum tours, explore the 400 acres of forestland or play the greens on the campus’ own 18-hole golf course. 

Related: Best Scenic Drives Near Washington, D.C.

Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.