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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cornell chapter.

The stress of prelims and multiple group projects are coming down on us at an extremely quick pace. Luckily, our surrounding campus provides a multitude of relaxing escapes that are just waiting to be explored. Whether you go alone, or decide to bring a group of friends, these spots on campus are sure to amaze.


1) Willard Straight Hall 


Although this one may be well-known around campus, all that the historic building offers may not be as known. With a staggering six floors, and a total of 103,000 square feet, it’s not hard to see how this building offers something for everyone. The large building encompasses a lounge, art gallery, and dance studio. It also supports events and functions for student groups and Greek life. For the movie buffs around campus, the hall is also home to the infamous Cornell Cinema, which shows a multitude of both popular and independent films. Need a snack? Come in for free popcorn at any time, and make sure to try the seasonal flavors!


2) Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art


The Johnson Museum of Art is an art museum located on the northwest corner of the Arts Quad on the main campus. Boasting impressive architecture on the outside, this building is home to two windows from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House, and more than 35,000 other works in the permanent collection. The pieces also change throughout the year, so keep looking to see if there’s an exhibit that interests you! Don’t have time to go stargaze at night? Come upstairs to the top floor and watch an immersive light show on the ceiling of the lookout. The views are also pretty impressive from that far up.


3) Cornell Plantations


This blanket term refers to the university’s botanical garden, arboretum and network of nature preserves. With an incredible amount of scenery, this is the perfect place to relax after a hard prelim. It is suggested to go in the height of fall to be able to see a multitude of beautiful trees shining their brightest colors. If you enjoy talks, special lectures are also held here throughout the year.


4) Fuertes Observatory


Probably one of the most unique spots on campus, the Fuertes Observatory makes for incredible stargazing (and an awesome location for that special date). It is no longer used for public research, but it is open to the public on clear Friday nights. Come and experience something new, and see what can be found above us.


5) Fine Arts Library


One of the newest spots on campus, the Fine Arts library is one of the largest academic art and architecture libraries in the Northeast. The library offers an ever-expanding collection of materials on architecture, art, city and regional planning, landscape architecture, and photography in various formats and in multiple languages. Not into architecture? The library is extremely visually appealing and is definitely worth a visit.

I'm Hannah, and I am a sophomore Hotelie here at Cornell University! I love to be creative, and pursue many passions in my free time that can include writing, singing, and even photography! You can often find me admiring the beautiful Cornell campus, or trying new food spots around town.
Asian Studies major who enjoys horseback riding, crochet, singing, and musical theater. Passionate about public service and addressing economic inequality and women's, LGBTQ+ and minority rights.