According to Admissionsly, there are currently just under 27,000 high schools in the United States. While many of these schools need a major makeover, others have some of the most beautiful campuses of all time. These high schools have gorgeous landscapes, sophisticated architecture, and a lot of history. Keep scrolling to see some of America’s prettiest high schools.
Diamond Ranch High School – Pomona, CA
Diamond Ranch High School almost wasn’t built because the land was considered unusable. The high school was constructed on the land between Diamond Ranch and Pomona, California.
The school used expressionist architecture and was crafted by architect Thom Mayne. Movie fans may recognize Diamond Ranch High School in films such as The Cell, Orange County, and Live Free or Die Hard.
Dock Mennonite Academy – Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale, Pennsylvania opened in 1954 and is filled with a lush, green campus. This private school has two campuses and is open to students from early childhood until 12th grade.
The 40-acre campus was purchased for $58,000 almost seven decades ago and is now worth about $600,000.
President William McKinley High School – Honolulu, Hawaii
Opened in 1865, President William McKinley High School is situated in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii. The architecture is best described as Spanish Revival, which is also seen around California.
President William McKinley High School has great views of the Hawaiian ocean, tall skyscrapers, and plenty of grass fields to soak up the island air.
Bear Creek High School – Lakewood, Colorado
Bear Creek High School opened in 1920 in Lakewood, Colorado. Unfortunately, the original buildings burned in a fire in 1959.
Luckily, they rebuilt a wonderful campus with great views of the rocky mountains. Even after several arson damages to the gymnasium and other buildings in 2008, the campus is still going strong.
Lake Forest High School – Lake Forest, Illinois
One of the most prolific features of Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Illinois is its giant front lawn. Students can usually be found playing lacrosse or field hockey there.
During the spring and summer the front building (pictured) becomes enveloped in long, flowy vines. Those who’ve seen Academy Award winner, Ordinary People, may recognize the campus.
Ogden High School – Ogden, Utah
Architecture buffs will have no doubt that the architecture seen at Ogden High School in Ogden, Utah is Art Deco style.
Ogden High School was the first high school in the United States to have construction costs above one million dollars. The school is right against the Wasatch Mountains and has a giant green front lawn for students and visitors to admire.
The Taft School – Watertown, Connecticut
One of the most prestigious schools in the United States is The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. The 226-acre campus opened in 1890 and has expanded quite a bit over the last century.
The campus features New England-style architecture and has only had five headmasters over the last 131 years.
Rock Point School – Burlington, Vermont
The campus at Rock Point School in Burlington, Vermont is a whopping 146 acres, yet only 20 students are at the school at a time.
Rock Point School has its own lake and is owned by the Episcopal Church. It may be distracting trying to study while out in nature, but the private school only accepts the best students.
Baylor School – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Not to be confused with the Texas university, Baylor School is a high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s situated on a total of 700 acres of land along the banks of the Tennessee River.
The center of the campus features a grassy quad surrounded by towering red brick buildings. One of the most unique landmarks on the campus is a statue of the Greek mythological character Icarus.
Phillips Exeter Academy – Exeter, New Hampshire
Something that sets Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire apart from other schools is its endowment fund. This boarding school has the largest endowment with over $1.3 billion.
One of the most influential alumni from the prestigious boarding school is Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Also, the school dates back to the colonial era after opening in 1781.
Stadium High School – Tacoma, Washington
The exterior of Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington looks as if it’s fit for a royal with a castle-like front building.
Students are able to get good views of Puget Sound and Commencement Bay right from their classrooms. Also, the steps for the school’s football stadium were used during Heath Ledger’s musical number in 10 Things I Hate About You.
Chandler High School – Chandler, Arizona
Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona earned a spot of the National Register of Historic Places due to its unique Spanish Revivalist architecture.
It’s one of the largest high schools in the entire state of Arizona with between three and four thousand students every year. Several NFL players attended Chandler High School including Cameron Jordan, Markus Wheaton, and Adam Archuleta.
Volcano Vista High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a relatively new school after opening in 2007. The entrance features a huge rust orange obelisk to welcome all students and faculty.
All of the buildings are painted earth tones and are predominantly made from glass. This gives the design a more modern and futuristic look.
Windermere Preparatory School – Lake Butler, Florida
Just on the shores of Lake Cypress is Windermere Preparatory School in Lake Butler, Florida. The private boarding school opened in 2000 and almost has the look of a country club.
Some of the newest expansions include a cafeteria and two-story theater. Their most notable alumni is IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot.
John Handley High School – Winchester, Virginia
One of the most striking features of John Handley High School in Winchester, Virginia is the steep steps leading up to the top of the school.
Architect John Charles Olmstead designed the Neoclassical Revival-style buildings, which is one of the reasons the school made it onto the National Register of Historic Places.
Asheville School – Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville School opened in Asheville, North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century. It’s situated across 300 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The architecture was made using the Tudor style, which was most commonly seen in medieval England. This means that the campus takes people out of North Carolina and makes them feel like they’re in Elizabethan Europe.
El Paso High School – El Paso, Texas
Also known as “The Lady on the Hill,” El Paso High School opened in 1916 in El Paso, Texas. The Neoclassical and Greco-Roman style building was designed by architect Henry Trost.
The school is right in the middle of the Franklin Mountains and overlooks the central part of the city.
St. Albans School – Washington, D.C.
Those who are visiting the Washington National Cathedral and National Mall will be able to see St. Albans School just across the way. St. Albans is a boarding school for boys in grades four through 12.
Architect Philip Sawyer designed this Washington, D.C. school in 1907 with a classical style that became a template for future buildings in the area.
Santa Catalina School – Monterey, California
Santa Catalina School is located in Monterey, California, so it has a similar look to the popular vineyards in the area. The design can best be described as a rustic, hacienda style.
This is a Catholic school that was founded by a group of nuns in 1850. The all-girls school is pretty costly with tuition being $60,000 per year.
St. George’s School – Middletown, Rhode Island
St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island is one of the most exclusive boarding schools in the United States. It’s located right on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, so students can watch the waves as they learn.
Literature experts may recognize the school after it was mentioned in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel This Side of Paradise.
Emma Willard School – Troy, New York
The Collegiate Gothic architecture style is seen all over Emma Willard School in Troy, New York. This elite all-girls school was established in 1821 and has over 30 buildings.
The school is right next to the Hudson River and one of its most famous alumni is actress and activist Jane Fonda.
Academy Of The Sacred Heart – New Orleans, Louisiana
Academy of the Sacred Heart is an all-girls private school in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s right in the middle of the New Orleans historic district, so there are plenty of beautiful sights around it as well.
While this school opened in 1867, it manages to keep reinventing itself. There’s a 1,200-seat fine arts center, a STEM wing, and more.
Cascia Hall Preparatory School – Tulsa, Oklahoma
There are picturesque schools all over the country, including Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city takes pride in its local Cascia Hall Preparatory School.
The school features European-style architecture called French Norman, which is similar to medieval European Tudor architecture. Comedy fans may recognize one of the institution’s most famous alumni, Bill Hader.
Grosse Point South High School – Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
When on campus at Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Point Farms, Michigan, it’s hard not to notice the Georgian Revival architecture.
The campus was designed by George Haas who is known for his many Collegiate Gothic designs. Martin Luther King Jr. also came to give a speech at this school just a few weeks before he passed.
Kodiak High School – Kodiak, Alaska
Not only is Kodiak High School in Kodiak, Alaska one of the most beautiful high schools in America, but it’s also one of the most remote.
The school is right on the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean, so people can only get there by boat or plane. Kodiak High School recently expanded in 2015 using a budget of $81 million.
Mission High School – San Francisco, California
Those familiar with the San Francisco area of California will most likely know about Mission High School. It’s located right next to Dolores Park, which has some of the best views of the city.
Mission High School is also the oldest running high school in the area with some of the most unique architecture.
Withrow High School – Cincinnati, Ohio
One of the top schools in Cincinnati, Ohio is Withrow High School. It opened in 1919 and has been on the National Register for Historic Places for almost four decades.
Some of the greatest features of the campus include a humongous clock tower, an arching entry bridge, and Roman columns.
Murphy High School – Mobile, Alabama
While it may not be expected in the South, Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama features some of the prettiest Spanish Revival style architecture.
The school was built in 1926 and the structures were able to stay up until 2012. A hurricane hit the school, but they were able to rebuild and keep much of the same designs.
Baltimore City College – Baltimore, Maryland
While it does have the word “college” in the name, Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland is actually a high school.
It was given the nickname, “The Castle on the Hill,” because that’s exactly what it looks like. Baltimore City College includes a 200-foot Gothic tower, which allowed the campus to be registered as a National Historic Landmark.
City High School – Iowa City, Iowa
Right on top of a hill in Iowa City, Iowa is their prized City High School. Since the city is mostly flat, the campus is able to stand out.
City High School was built in 1939 and is known for their award-winning journalism programs. Their school motto is “The School that Leads.”