Hidden gems of Oregon State

There’s just something about being out in nature — it helps you relax, reduces stress and gives you a moment of zen — even if you only have a short time to break away from the daily bustle. We’ve created a list of our favorite outdoor nooks for you to enjoy. While you could relish these cozy spots any time of year, summer is the prime time to enjoy them. So head out there, sip an iced coffee, study or simply take a deep breath or two.

person sitting on a bench reading while surrounded by trees
bench made out of a tree trunk surrounded by ferns
Tree trunk bench between Hovland Hall and the Agriculture and Life Sciences Building
Nestled between these two buildings is a gravel path that leads to a quaint bench carved out of a tree. The ferns add a lushness to this tranquil lunch spot.
wide sweeping lawn with trees and shrubs surrounding a bench
Bench near Community Hall
This bench is near 15th Street, so it won’t always be the quietest. However, you get a great view of the sweeping lawn in front of Community Hall as you’re tucked away into a fold of shrubbery.
picnic table in a courtyard surrounded by plants
Courtyard of the Ocean Administration Building
This building stands out with its stucco style, but it is rarely entered. You’re missing out! The courtyard is teeming with a wide variety of foliage that transport you to an Instagram-worthy plant corner.
reflective chrome sculpture surrounded by shrubs
Hallie Ford Center
Relax on the bench north of the Hallie Ford Center to enjoy the view of Russell Jacques’ sculpture, It’s Almost Like Flying. Take a deep breath and take a load off.
2 metal benches surrounded by shrubs
Peavy Forest Science Center Arboretum
Bask in the native Oregon trees and plants in this small-scale arboretum located just south of Peavy Hall. Walk around the Perseverance of Decay sculpture by Robert M. Horner that invites you to pause and reflect on the cyclical nature of life. 
bench with tall trees and a brick building in the background
Courtyard of Hawley, Buxton, Poling and Cauthorn halls
Kick your feet up on one of several benches scattered throughout this res hall courtyard. On a hot summer afternoon, this is your top choice for a shady spot.
stone bench in a zen garden
Zen Garden west of Nash Hall
Descend down the stairs west of Nash Hall to your own oasis of stone benches, pagoda statues and bonsai trees. Relish the quiet of this little-known retreat to unwind after a long meeting or lecture.
bench surrounded by rhododendrons
People’s Park
In the heart of campus, this long-treasured park envelopes you in walls of rhododendrons and welcoming shade on summer afternoons. Be prepared to share the space though — it is a popular destination.
2 metal benches inset in some bushes
Outside of Engineering Triangle
These newer benches tucked between Shepard Hall and Rogers Hall provide a green haven for those in the Engineering Triangle. Take a stretch break by grabbing your favorite cold drink from one of the many options along Monroe Avenue (we like boba) and sip it in this alcove.

Enjoy the sunshine this summer!