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UCSB’S Hidden Gems — The Most Underrated Campus Study Spots

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

At just under 1,000 acres, there is a lot of ground to explore on campus at UCSB. From upscale study rooms at the Student Resource Building, to the serene spaces along the Lagoon trails, UCSB has a wide range of study spots fit to suit any student’s needs. Whether you’re looking to escape the chaos of a crowded Davidson Library or in search of a productive atmosphere with bagels for $1.50, UCSB has a study space awaiting your discovery. 

As a fourth year student at UCSB, I have spent a sufficient amount of time exploring — and getting lost — on campus. Intentionally, or by accident, I have come across some beautiful study spots that are incredibly underrated. Below I have crafted a list of my favorite places on campus that encourage productivity and highlight unique aspects of UCSBs beautiful, resourceful campus. From enjoyable architecture to helpful academic resources, these buildings, cafes, and patios are in need of some recognition, so get ready to crack open your books or laptop, and run to these hidden gems at UCSB. 

Coral Tree Cafe

Coral Tree Cafe may be the most underrated spot on UCSB’s campus. With its beautiful outdoor patio, healthy menu options, and $1.50 bagels, what’s not to love? Nestled between North Hall and the Graduate Division Building, walking by this cafe may not be a part of your daily routine — until now. Named after the vibrant coral trees it sits beneath, Coral Tree Cafe is an excellent place to get work done while enjoying the beauty of Santa Barbara. With its abundant outdoor seating options, surrounded by gorgeous plant life, you will actually be excited to get work done here. 

What makes Coral Tree even better is its wide variety of food options. Its menu features healthy meals, ranging from avocado toast to harvest veggie bowls, and accommodates many different vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian diets. In a rush? Coral Tree Cafe also offers plenty of grab and go snacks like muffins, bagels, and coffee at an unbeatable price.

Bren Hall

Watching dolphins swim by mid-study sesh should be at the top of every Gaucho’s bucket list! Bren Hall is the perfect place to get this uniquely UCSB experience. At the edge of campus overlooking Goleta Pier, Bren Hall is the most picturesque place to spend time. Bren Hall embraces the beauty of its location by providing numerous outdoor study spaces equipped with whiteboards and large tables encouraging collaboration. While its indoor laboratory rooms are dedicated to graduate research, the outdoor study spaces are open for all UCSB students to enjoy. 

Aside from its breathtaking views, Bren Hall’s environmentally friendly architecture makes it one of the most impressive buildings on campus. This building has received a platinum LEED certification three times, meaning the infrastructure, utilities, and architectural design of this facility has received the highest rankings in environmental architecture. As a LEED certified building, Bren Hall is made of repurposed materials, embraces natural light, and is free from toxic chemicals. While the walk to Bren is probably the longest walk on campus, its beauty and environmental innovation make the journey worth it.

The Arts Building Terrace

Overwhelmed by the bustling Arbor? Frustrated with limited table availability in the Library? Escape to the Arts Building for the most serene study spot on campus. Located on the back patio of the second floor, these secluded tables offer a peaceful space away from the chaos of campus. Enjoy watching birds float along the campus lagoon, and the sweet smell of the surrounding eucalyptus trees as you complete your weekly assignments. 

The Student Resource Building (SRB)

I am constantly shocked that so many students are unaware of the wonders to be found at the SRB. As its name alludes to, the SRB has many useful amenities including printers and study rooms available upon reservation. This building is also home to many resource centers such as CARE (Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education), ARC (Asian Resource Center) and RCSDG (Resources Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity). The SRB is also one of the most comfortable places to study, with its plethora of swivel chairs and couches for student use. 

The SRB’s location, right on the cusp of campus and Isla Vista, makes it a convenient location for students living in IV. With its productive atmosphere and variety of student amenities, the SRB is the perfect location if you’re looking for a place to get work done a short walk away.

No matter your major, studying is not always fun. Finding a place you enjoy spending time at makes getting work done a little less miserable. The truth is there are worse places to be studying than sunny Santa Barbara, and our time here is limited. From the glimmering pacific ocean to innovative architecture, UCSB presents us with a beautiful environment that we must savor every moment we can!

Hi! My name is Lauren and I am from San Jose, CA. I am a fourth year Communication major at UCSB, with a minor in Art History. During my free time I love to paint, do yoga, or spend time at the beach.