Looking for a U.S. college in a temperate location? Here’s a great list of campuses in desirable locations, from smaller to larger populations.  Taking a West Coast college circuit is an ideal time for parents and their kids to bond before they take this important step in their lives.

Drive to the West Coast or hop aboard a plane, then drive up the coast to spend some quality time checking out prospective colleges.

UCLA Campus

UCLA Campus


UCLA is in an ideal place for movie buffs. Whether you want to catch a glimpse of a movie star, aspire to be one yourself, or want to explore one of the other 118 undergrad degree programs, UCLA has it all to offer you.

The Los Angeles campus is the largest in the UCLA school system, and a student guide can make it less intimidating by walking you around the campus, giving you the low down on its state-of-the-art facilities and beautiful California landscape.

University of Washington, Seattle, USA, the Four Pillars, Stairs, lawn, trees, and blue flowers, Engineering

University of Washington, Seattle

The University of Washington Seattle campus is a worldwide leader in the research and discovery of new ways to build a sustainable environment. The school offers a variety of courses, from Asian Studies to Genome Sciences.

It’s surrounded by Washington’s natural beauty, and outdoors lovers will be able to take a break from their studies and explore the beautiful surroundings.

Oregon State University by air

Oregon State University

Oregon State University, Oregon’s largest public research university, is also known for  its programs that focus on the environment. It is one of the highest ranking universities in the country for renewable energy use.

The students even help power the school’s electricity when they use the exercise equipment in the recreation center. It’s a peaceful place where students work together to help one another, the school, and the environment.


Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University overlooking Malibu

The Pepperdine University campus overlooks the ocean in Malibu, California. Its Seaver College provides students with a well-rounded education in the liberal arts, “giving them the foundation to do anything once they graduate.”

That said, students can major in a wide variety of fields. Between the sand, sun, surf, and studying, Pepperdine University is an enjoyable and reputable place to prepare for the future.

Pearsons Hall

Pomona College, Pearsons Hall

Pomona College sits quietly in its warm desert landscape. It has a small student-faculty ratio, so students receive personalized attention and are encouraged to collaborate with their professors.

Small classes are combined with extensive resources like a two-million-volume library to give students a comprehensive, yet focused, education. Students also learn from hands-on experiences, like working on the school’s organic farm and helping out with the college’s efforts to maintain a sustainable campus.

Reed College in Portland Oregon West Coast USAReed College in Portland, Oregon, pairs the beauty of nature with a love for learning. The college bridges the Reed Canyon, a watershed area that protects diverse wildlife and plant species. Classes are taught in a conference style, giving each student the opportunity to share and interact with the material.

On the weekends, students can travel to the ocean or to the mountains or just enjoy the scenic 116-acre campus.

It takes time to find the best college for a graduating high school student. In-person tours can be a first step toward determining a choice of degree field.  Smaller schools offer an intimate setting and a place to get to know everyone; larger schools may offer a broader range of programs and activities.

Regardless of size, the schools on the West Coast offer a relaxed atmosphere, mild weather, and the ability to enjoy nature in between study and classes.

About the Author:

Scott Andersen the author of the “College Searches – West Coast USA” is a career counselor and content contributor for thebestcolleges.org. Check out the ranking of the top 50 colleges in America, and top college rankings in specific fields, like psychology or computer science.