The seaside. There is something magical about the sea – poets have written about it since the beginning of time, people want to live by it, swim in it, and love it. The sea is alive, and it touches the soul with its vast mystery – beautiful, terrible, and mesmerizing. In Gustave Flaubert’s famous novel Madame Bovary, his main character speaks of the sea: “Doesn’t it seem to you,” asked Madame Bovary, “that the mind moves more freely in the presence of that boundless expanse, that the sight of it elevates the soul and gives rise to thoughts of the infinite and the ideal?” 

When one is considering where to pursue higher education, the environment is a huge 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 best sea-side locations for higher education.

The following criteria was used in determining our ranking:
• Proximity to the beach (50%).
• Specific marine educational centers, degrees, or research facilities (30%).
• Recreational opportunities on the sea (20%).

6.  College of the Atlantic

Looking at Frenchman Bay from the Turrets Sea Side Garden.Looking at Frenchman Bay from the Turrets Sea Side Garden. Credit: Courtesy of The College of the Atlantic Archives

This small, private, liberal arts college is located on Maine’s picturesque coastline. The College of the Atlantic provides a unique educational opportunity, intricately intertwined with their coastal location. The campus consists of 37 acres on Frenchman Bay and has two organic farms, two off-shore island research stations, and a 100-acre protected area. At the McCormick Blair Research, station is a center for the study of marine mammals and oceanographic issues. While not conducting cutting-edge research, students can spend some free time at Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park, America’s first National Park east of the Mississippi River, and home to spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Location: Bar Harbor, ME
Enrollment: 350
Miles to Beach: Less than 1 mile

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