One of my favorite things about William & Mary is all of the green space on and around campus. For me, spending time outside is a major source of stress relief. So, during my college search, I really prioritized finding a school with a beautiful campus. Now that the weather is (finally!) starting to warm up, I thought I would share just a few of my favorites spots to relax and soak up some sun in the ‘burg.
1) Lake Matoaka
Lake Matoaka is my absolute favorite spot on campus. When the weather is warm, you can take canoes and kayaks out on the water, and the Tribe Adventure Program occasionally hosts sunset and moonlight paddles. Also, there are walking trails around the lake that are especially beautiful when the leaves change colors in the fall.
Winter sunset at Lake Matoaka (It was freezing, but these views were definitely worth it!)
2) Sunken Garden
The Sunken Garden, constructed during the 1930s, is an iconic spot located in the middle of Old Campus. While it’s not your typical “garden” with flowers or shrubs, it’s a great place for outdoor recreation. Students play Frisbee and hang out on the grass between classes. Different events also take place in the Sunken Garden, including picnics, dances, and Screen on the Green – an outdoor movie night.
Studying with friends on the Sunken Garden during an unusually warm day in February!
3) Governor’s Palace Gardens in Colonial Williamsburg
Another of my favorite gardens (this time with the flowers and shrubs!) is located behind the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg. William & Mary students can get a collegiate pass that allows them to explore certain areas of Colonial Williamsburg for free, so I would definitely recommend taking advantage of this green space. The garden is a peaceful place to read and study, or to just take a break from work and spend time outdoors.
Governor’s Palace Garden in spring
If you’re looking to relax in an area a little quieter than the Sunken Garden, I would recommend the Wren Yard. This is the yard located between the President’s House, Brafferton Building, and Wren Building – all of which comprise the eighteenth-century part of William & Mary’s campus. The best part about this spot? People often walk by with their dogs to and from Colonial Williamsburg! (Nature + puppies = the ultimate source of stress relief)
A view of the Wren Yard featuring the Lord Botetourt statue
5) College Creek
My last favorite green space (or should I say blue space?) is College Creek! Located just a short drive from campus, you can enjoy a day at the beach without having to drive far. It’s nice to get off campus for an afternoon, and my friends and I love having impromptu picnics by the water.
A spring evening at College Creek