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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Top 10 Prettiest Spots on the IU Campus

Categories: Indiana University

For a campus that's consistently ranked among the most beautiful in the country, how can we possibly narrow down the list to the top 10? You're right. We can't. So here are ten gorgeous spots on campus that run the gamut from well-known favorites to hidden gems, but we know it's not exhaustive. Please share your memories and other favorites in the comments!

10. IU Auditorium

iu auditorium

From the outside, the IU Auditorium looks like a lovely limestone building. When you walk inside, however, you would think you're in an auditorium in a big city -- high ceilings, classic art, and an all-around lavish space. IU Auditorium holds around 3,000 people and hosts off-Broadway productions, concerts, comedians, and talks with notable celebrities. 

9. Jordan Hall Greenhouse

IU Greenhouse

This greenhouse probably one of those buildings you've passed a thousand times before, but next time you're nearby, swing in for a stroll (and be prepared for the heat).

8. Jordan River

Jordan River

This pretty little creek cuts through campus, running by the Indiana Memorial Union and Dunn Meadow and beyond. It's the perfect place to sit and rest, practice your drawing skills, or creek stomp like a carefree kid.

7. Musical Arts Center

musical arts center

The MAC holds over a thousand shows a year, which gives you a thousand reasons to get dressed in your best and experience a show. While there are shows that travel to town, most of the performances are by students in the Jacobs School of Music. The IU Musical Arts Center is a sight to behold any day of the week.

6. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall


Part of the beauty of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is the tradition and spirit in the stadium during every game. It also doesn't hurt that the lobbies have been renovated and filled Hoosier memorabilia. Before you walk into the south lobby, you're reminded of the five NCAA championships. Then inside, it's all cream and crimson. There are trophy cases, interactive screens, old scoreboards, and "INDIANA" written overhead. 

5. Indiana Memorial Union  


The Indiana Memorial Union is the second-largest student union in the country and the most beautiful in the world (in our unbiased opinion). The limestone building can easily be mistaken for Hogwarts with all the magic found inside. There is a bowling alley, billiards hall, movie theater, hair salon, bookstore, and many restaurants and cafes (including one of the largest Starbucks in the country). Oh, and there's a hotel

4. IU Arboretum

IU Arboretum

When you walk through the arboretum, you start to feel like you're in a movie. Once almost a parking lot, the perfectly manicured space, located in the middle of campus, is landscaped with Indiana-native trees, a pond, and the new Metz Carillon Tower. The arboretum was made by students for students, literally. Rumor has it that former IU president Herman B Wells decided to wait for students to walk their own paths before laying down the sidewalk. So while the walkways may seem odd, it is the most efficient way to walk to and from classes.  

3. Old Crescent

old crescent fall

Named because it is the oldest part of campus and crescent-shaped, the Old Crescent is one of the most beautiful spots on campus. Although it is on the far west side of campus, it is located near many key locations. The Old Crescent is in eyeshot of the Sample Gates and downtown Bloomington, a five-minute walk to the IMU, and a ten-minute walk to 3rd Street. You could spend hours people watching, having a talk with Herman B Wells, or sitting underneath the Rose Well House.
Fun Fact: IU has all Indiana limestone buildings except for two red brick buildings found in the Old Crescent. Our rival to the north, Purdue University, has all red brick buildings except for two Indiana limestone buildings. The buildings at both universities are called Owen and Wylie Hall.

2. Fine Arts Plaza and Showalter Fountain

showalter fountain

No matter the season, the Fine Arts Plaza is a must-see. The circle drive is dedicated to the arts. There is the Fine Arts Building, Grunwald Gallery of Art, and Eskenazi Museum of Art, and that's only on one side! Lilly Library, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, IU Auditorium, and IU Cinema finish the Fine Arts Plaza. Then, of course, you have Showalter Fountain. The fountain was built in 1961; however, one of the fish in the fountain is newer than the rest. After IU won the NCAA Championship in 1987, one of the fish was taken and never returned. Now, during big games or high-risk events, the fish are removed. 

1.  Sample Gates

Sample Gates in Fall

Behind the IU trident, the Sample Gates is the most recognized part of the university. They are genuinely the connection between IU and the city of Bloomington. The limestone gates welcome students to Indiana University's beautiful campus, making it a perfect place to take a picture while at a campus visit or when they commit to IU. It is also a popular place to take graduation photos as it signifies students leaving the university. 


Honorable Mentions

Memorial Stadium 


One Of A Kind. #GoIU #IUFB

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Memorial Stadium has received some renovations, including a finished bowl! The updated look is why this football stadium gets an honorable mention. 

Luddy Hall

Luddy Hall is the new home of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering is the newest building on IU's campus. Enjoy the sunlight beaming through while playing with the latest technology or eating at the delicious cafe. 

Global and International Studies Building

Home to the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies gives you a global feel inside and out. The exterior has imported limestone from countries IU offers a foreign language, and the interior resembles a newsroom broadcasting international news in the lobby. 

Nia Jones

Nia Jones

Nia is Visit Bloomington’s Content Coordinator. As soon as she stepped foot on IU's campus, she realized she found a forever-home in Bloomington. Her favorite thing about B-Town is the diversity and culture that is found in this small town in the Midwest.  She enjoys exploring new places around town and cheering on the Hoosiers.