Summer is over and campus is buzzing with frosh.
Bathed in California sun, quintessential Stanford spots like Main Quad, White Plaza and Palm Drive look more beautiful than ever. But when NSO is over and the freshman dorms lose their luster (it won’t take long), you’ll likely find yourself wandering aimlessly into the depths of campus.
Don’t worry—The Stanford Daily is here to provide a roadmap of the greatest hidden buildings and spaces on campus.
1. The Law School Terrace
Every year, adventurous freshmen that think that they have discovered this spot and that they are the first and only people to study there. Though I can assure you that you’re no Christopher Columbus, I can promise that this is one of the most amazing spaces on campus. Located on the second floor of the William H. Neukom Building (right behind the Law School cafeteria), this outdoor deck looks less like a patio and more like the Garden of Eden. With vines growing on overarching trellises and small tables separated by bushes and trees, this spot is the perfect place to study or just unwind.
The polar opposite side of campus from Wilbur and Stern, most freshmen don’t venture over to Y2E2 unless lured by an engineering class. Even if you’re not a techie, this place is worth a visit. Skip the line in front of Green Library and grab your tiger spice chai from the Coupa in Y2E2. Head upstairs to the second floor in any of the Y2E2 buildings and you’ll run into large outdoor terraces with benches, picnic tables and an amazing view of Hoover Tower.
3. Arbuckle Dining Pavillion
In the heart of the Graduate School of Business (directly across from the Ford Center and the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation) stands the Arbuckle Dining Pavillion. Even though you can’t use your meal plan, Arbuckle is definitely worth a lunch stop— from pizza to sushi to a make-your-own sandwich and salad bar, Arbuckle puts Wilbur and Stern Dining to shame. After the lunch crowd subsides, Arbuckle is also a great place to study and unwind.
4. Cantor Arts Center
Free for students, the Cantor Arts Center is without a doubt the best place on campus to explore visual arts. Take a look around the museum, and when you’re done, go outside and spend some time in the peaceful Rodin Sculpture Garden. The museum even offers a cafe (called Cool Cafe) if you want to get something to eat while you enjoy the area.
5. James H. Clark Center
Home of Stanford Bio-X (interdisciplinary research in bioengineering, biomedicine and bioscience), the Clark Center is much more than a laboratory for researchers and Stanford graduate students. Walk around this unique, open-air, undulating space, then take the outdoor stairs to any level of the building. Each floor has an outdoor patio with chairs and tables and views of the interior space and surrounding areas of campus.
Contact Mary Carole Overholt at mco95 “at” stanford.edu.