10 Colleges for Beach Lovers in 2022

Undoubtably, the major factor that may influence a student’s decision about a school is its location.

For most college students, beach life isn’t just enjoyed over the summer break; sand and surf can be appreciated year-round! I can take the leverage to say, “Great news! There are colleges for beach lovers.” What a wow!

When making a decision on colleges to attend, colleges close to the beach can give a plethora of unforeseen opportunities; from surfing clubs to beach-related majors.

Hence, these colleges for beach lovers in 2022 will enable you to apply to a school that can afford you both study and fun seriatim.

For students interested in a beachside school, there are many colleges that can offer lots of sand and sun – some in unexpected places. This read distils a list of some colleges for beach lovers!

Why Beach Colleges?

Certainly, you need a beach, but that’s just the beginning. It’s a matter of culture, of values, of attitude – a way of looking at the world and relating to the more than 70% of the globe that is covered in ocean.

Usually, that means more than just a beach party scene; several of the best beach colleges are places where sustainability, environmental responsibility, and regard for nature are written into the curriculum and mission.

They’re good for students too – a place to connect with nature does wonders for coping with the stress of college. Most oceanside colleges are also leaders in community engagement, reaching out and actively enhancing life for the region where they live.

Whether that means volunteers putting in tons of service hours, protecting wildlife and ocean life, supporting small businesses in the area, or any of the other benefits a college can provide a community.

Even if their hometown is a city like Miami or Los Angeles. Tourist areas also offer a lot of job opportunities for students who need help paying for college. Beachside parties, surfing, swimming, boating – those are just the bonus students get with living in colleges near beaches.

Who are Beach Lovers?

BEACH LOVERS are people who love to spend as much time as possible on a beach, its surroundings and all the thing that comes with it. 

Beach lovers not only like to feel the sand between their toes, the heat, and humidity of the beach or to bathe in the ocean waters but also loves the whole process of planning a trip to the beach or even live in a place close to it.

Basically, being a beach lover means to feel butterflies in the stomach anytime they recollect that the holidays or summer are approaching and soon will have the time to visit that place that makes them happy.


When one is contemplating where to pursue higher education, the environment is an immense factor. College is much more than classes and degrees, it is where some of the most important years of life are spent, and the location is vital.

Living by the sea can provide recreation, beauty, and educational opportunity. We have compiled a list of the sea-side locations for higher education.



Built on the hills above Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey, Loyola Marymount University boastfully calls itself the University of Silicon Beach. The only major research institution on the Western Los Angeles coast.

As the area has been known for start-ups and tech giants, with more than 500 companies concentrated in the region. LMU has grown in national stature, notably for its entrepreneurship and innovation.

Named one of the best colleges for Hispanic students, and one of the most cutting-edge campuses in the nation. Loyola Marymount brings Catholic educational distinction into the new age.

For many students, the “Beach” part of Silicon Beach raises the most interest, and Loyola Marymount is one of the best beach colleges in the nation. Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey, of course, are two of the swankiest beach communities in California. However, for the kind of fun a college student requires to unwind on the weekend, Venice Beach is just minutes away.

From the legendary boardwalk, with its performers and weirdos, to Muscle Beach and the hardest street basketball courts in the world. LMU students can check it all out. With year-round sun and a solid mid-70s Fahrenheit, students get challenged in the finest possible location.

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Nearest Beaches: Venice Beach


The University of California, Santa Barbara is one of the most popular campuses in the UC system, attracting nearly 25,000 students to one of the most beautiful areas in the world – probably not a challenge.

What is a challenge is UCSB’s curriculum, which is recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in areas ranging from computer science and engineering to theater and dance.

Of course, UCSB is also a world leader in marine science and regularly ranked as a Public Ivy. A public research university with the reputation of the Ivy League.

UC Santa Barbara is renowned as one of the few universities in the US with its own beach – certainly a factor in many students’ choices. UCSB is not technically in the city of Santa Barbara, and its miles of coastline, peaceful lagoon, and the rocky peninsula named Goleta Point are all at the disposal of UC Santa Barbara’s students.

The university has decorated its campus with various hiking and biking trails, and ocean recreation is a central part of student life. Student sailing, surfing, and rowing clubs are amongst the most common activities on campus.

There aren’t many natural oceanside colleges, but UC Santa Barbara takes its place among the best colleges near beaches.

Nearest Beaches: Campus Point Beach


California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) is one of the most prestigious public research institutions in the US. It is a world-renowned leader in STEM and business and a university with one of the greatest returns on investment rates in the nation.

Cal Poly is one of the best institutions in the US for social mobility and issuing degrees for minorities. Its impact on the local economy is in the billions of dollars. Across the board, from Washington Monthly to Forbes to U.S. News & World Report, Cal Poly SLO is ranked one of the top public universities in the nation.

Also, San Luis Obispo is one of the most beautiful cities in California. In fact, San Luis Obispo (SLO) is currently one of the happiest cities in the US with perfect weather year-round. A highly diverse population, and some of the best infrastructure for recreation anywhere.

Students at Cal Poly are just minutes away from some of the Central Coast’s prime landmarks, like the Hearst Castle and the Oceano Dunes, and from the lovely Avila Beach and Pismo Beach. Cal Poly students make the most of living at one of the best beach colleges in the US, with a reputation for fun running alongside its reputation for excellence.

Nearest Beaches: Avila Beach, Pismo Beach


Flagler College is one of the most notable and unique colleges in the US. It was founded in 1968 in the former Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, FL. The college was the vision of Lawrence Lewis, Jr, a distant relative of the hotel’s builder, Henry Morrison Flagler, and Lewis worked to create a small elite liberal arts college in the historic space.

In the 50 years since its founding, Flagler has built a name as one of Florida’s most iconic institutions and has been ranked the #2 regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Flagler College is a link back to the rich history of St. Augustine, famously called the oldest city in America (founded in 1565 by the Spanish), and to a golden age of tourism that made Florida what it is today.

However, Flagler is in Florida, and there’s one thing everyone thinks of when they think of Florida: beaches. With its campus on the grounds of an 1888 hotel, Flagler offers students a bit of old-Florida charm, and access to the beaches of St. Augustine.

Nestled between the San Sebastian River and the Matanzas River. Flagler is just a short drive (or a long swim) from Anastasia State Park and St. Augustine Beach, where hiking, swimming, sunbathing, and more can give students a break from their studies and work.

A relatively quiet Florida tourist city, St. Augustine makes Flagler College one of the best colleges near beaches and an address for sun-loving students.

Nearest Beaches: St. Augustine Beach, Anastasia State Park

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Regularly ranked among the best private research universities in America, the University of Miami’s history is inseparable from Miami, FL. Founded in 1925, when the first wave of tourism was booming in South Florida.

Currently, UM is recognized as one of the most prestigious institutions in the South, in fields extending from law and medicine to computer science and oceanography. UM is highly judicious, and the students who are accepted (more than 16,000) get an experience to last a lifetime.

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Not much happens in Miami that isn’t related to the beach. So of course, college life in the sun and surf is foremost in students’ minds when they apply to the University of Miami. An 8-mile trip down the Rickenbacker Causeway takes students out to Virginia Key, where UM has the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Key Biscayne.

Miami Beach is just 12 miles away from UM’s suburban Coral Gables campus, and a multitude of student clubs revolve around beach activities. From fishing to sailing to beach volleyball, UM students find reasons to hit the beach.

Nearest Beaches: Miami Beach, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne


Another member of the world-renowned University of California system. UC San Diego is a prime destination for ocean lovers. Whether they want to study the ocean or surf it, San Diego is the place.

UC system opened UC San Diego in 1960 with a bold plan to build a world-class research university around the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (founded 1903), and that’s exactly what they did.

Today, UCSD is ranked one of the top research universities in the world by the Academic Ranking for World Universities and other publishers and is especially known for its creative culture, including one of the world’s finest collections of public art.

Mile for mile, there may be no university with more beaches, more easily accessible, than UC San Diego. Within a short bus or car ride from the UCSD campus, students can get to La Jolla Shores, Blacks Beach, Torrey Pines State Preserve, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and many others.

San Diego is a surfing country, as far south as you can get and still be in California, with warm water and comfortable temperatures year-round. While several of the beaches are difficult to access, with the tall, rugged bluffs of La Jolla, the challenge makes them well worth the effort, particularly for surfers searching for the less crowded waves.

Nearest Beaches: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, many others


Located in historic Saint Mary’s City – the first colony in Maryland, famous as the birthplace of American religious freedom. St. Mary’s College of Maryland is a public honors college ranked as one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the nation.

St. Mary’s College is an independent public institution, not part of the University System of Maryland, and in addition to having one of the highest 4-year graduation rates in the US, St. Mary’s College is also known as the best value.

The St. Mary’s Way, the principles the college is founded under, emphasize community, responsibility, and ethics.

Saint Mary’s City is not what we might call a party town; a quiet, historical area on the St. Mary’s River, St. Mary’s City and the surrounding area is more laid-back, with marinas and parks as the primary attractions.

However, for students who simply love the water, St. Mary’s College offers diverse opportunities, including Point Lookout State Park, with hiking, swimming, kayaking, and more, and Elm’s Beach Park, a low-key, family beachfront park.

St. Mary’s students can also relax at the Muldoon River Center, a campus facility with free rentals of kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats.

Nearest Beaches: Elm’s Beach Park, Point Lookout State Park

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The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, is one of the six senior military colleges in the US and one of the most famously challenging colleges in the world. The Citadel is very selective, and cadets have not only the requirements of an intensive curriculum but the physical difficulties and military discipline of service life.

Founded in 1842, the Citadel is a central part of Charleston, SC, and has long been recognized as the top-ranked regional college in the South.

Whether graduates enter active-duty service or go on to civilian life, the discipline and responsibility of the Citadel provide life-long growth.

With miles of coastline, Charleston, SC, is one of the most popular tourist addresses in the South, and a prime spot for beach-loving students. While the intensive training and learning Citadel cadets go through doesn’t leave a ton of free time, on weekend leave Charleston’s beaches are the place to be.

Folly Beach, commonly called the Edge of America, is the nearest and most famous, while Sullivan’s Island is also a short drive away. While cadets may take dignity in living up to the challenges of Citadel’s life, a day at the beach is more than welcome.

Nearest Beaches: Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island


One of the top-ranked national universities, and part of the University of California system. UC Irvine is the youngest member of the Association of American Universities and a world-class university just 50 years old.

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Located in the planned city of Irvine, UCI was founded (along with UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz) when the booming population of Orange County created a crisis in higher education, and even with all the universities in the Orange County region, UC Irvine still hosts over 32,000 students.

Recognized essentially for health sciences, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and biomedical science, UC Irvine is also a perfect location for one of the best beach colleges.

The coastline just minutes away from UC Irvine is pretty much miles and miles of beaches running along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. From Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beach to Long Beach, UC Irvine students just need a car and some free time to check out some of the loveliest beaches in California.

Students can also take advantage of many of UC Irvine’s official recreational opportunities, like sailing lessons Marina Park, and hiking through the sandy coastline. It’s one of the most active areas in the nation, and everything from the weather to the easy access conspires to make UC Irvine one of the best oceanside colleges in America.

Nearest Beaches: Corona Del Mar State Beach, Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach


Wilmington, NC, was long an important port city and tourist destination. After WWII, the increase in WWII veterans seeking higher education on the GI Bill led the state of North Carolina to build a Wilmington campus in 1947.

UNC Wilmington swiftly grew into a powerful force in the city, growing to become a major contributor to the local economy and attracting students from across the South. Today, UNCW is ranked one of the top regional universities in the South and serves over 16,000 students – many of whom come for the beach.

There are three main beaches close to UNC Wilmington, and students as much as love them by tourists from around the East Coast. The closest to the UNCW campus is Wrightsville Beach, a 4-mile island that is generally considered more for locals than for tourists.

Carolina Beach, a few miles farther down the coast, is a more hopping tourist attraction, while Kure Beach has a primarily family reputation, as the home of the NC Aquarium and Fort Fisher historic area. The Dub may have a bit of a reputation as a party school, but with some of North Carolina’s prettiest beaches, it’s definitely one of the best beach colleges in America.

Nearest Beaches: Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach

FAQs on Colleges for Beach Lovers

What GPA do you need to get into UNCW?

The middle 50% weighted GPA of admitted seniors is 3.80-4.43. This means that most students admitted to UNCW present an A/B average, with few, if any, C’s and no D’s or F’s. The minimum GPA for the UNC System is 2.5, though it is highly unlikely that UNCW would consider a GPA in this range.

How much money do oceanographers make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups oceanographers in with geoscientists. As of 2012, the average salary was $106,780 a year. The top 10 percent of earners made at least $187,199, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $48,270 annually.

What is Thalassophile?

(Noun) It refers to one who feels safe/comfortable around seas, oceans. (Noun) It also refers to Lovers of the sea.

What is a beach?

A beach is made of tiny loose rock (sand) that gathers at the shore of a body of water. Waves or currents created beaches. Some waves move material up the beach, while others move it down the beach. On sandy beaches, the waves move sand away from the beach, making gentle slopes

What do you stay at the beach?

“Nothing soothes the soul like a walk on the beach.” “Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” “I’ll have a side of the beach with my morning coffee.” “Keep calm and beach on.”


In conclusion, the best beach colleges are in a tricky position. Of course, there is no deficit of students who want to attend an Oceanside college.

That’s four years of partying on the beach, right? And plenty of parents will grieve whether their student is going to get the education they need with the siren song of the beach steadily singing.

Well, parents need not bother – the best beach colleges in America are also some of the best colleges in America, period, and College Consensus is using our unique method to highlight the best of the best beach colleges, from the combination of published rankings and student reviews. However, if you are a beach lover, this article contains a list of 10 colleges for beach lovers.



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