Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor/Grapevine Creative Director Gavin Daugherty at Gavin.Daugherty@colorado.edu.
Our campus is undeniably beautiful — it’s one of the main selling points for prospective students. While packs of tour groups roam campus, one of the thoughts undoubtedly going through many of their still-adolescent brains is, “But Mom, just THINK of the Instas I could get here.” If you’re attending CU-Boulder, beyond all of the academic-related benefits of such a fine institution, you will also be guaranteed to have a better Instagram feed than your high school bestie.
With this being said, not everyone is privy to the countless hot spots for hot Instas on our campus. Thankfully, Grapevine has done the hard work for you. Keep reading to become a more enlightened Insta user, and make your non-CU friends jealous.
Duh. Probably the most overused locale for Instas, and heavily populated by freshmen, but consistently provides nice views of campus and the Flatirons. The best part? You can get up to four solid pics here per year, one for every season! This is a great place to snap a pic if you want to showcase the natural beauty of CU and Boulder in general.
Tip: Get here early to avoid the 50 other people who are also trying to snag a pic.
Norlin Library steps
In keeping with the theme of Norlin, the library steps and facade offer a great opportunity to showcase one of the landmark buildings at CU. There are generally two different kinds of Instas that can be obtained here. If you just want to show off one of the nicer buildings at CU, plop down about 25 feet from the steps and snap away until you have found the perfect shot. If you are more of a “me”-focused Insta user with no shame in your game, enlist an unsuspecting passerby to shoot a pic of you posing on the steps, you know, to look studious.
Tip: Any library-related Insta activity should NOT take place during class changes; seriously, you might get trampled, just don’t do it.
If you’re more interested in rustic or shabby chic Instas, look no further than Old Main. This brick beauty is decades old, and the exterior will look good through virtually any filter. The two most common pictures that you can get here are either posing with the statue in front of the main entrance, or being brave and climbing the spiral fire escapes on the side of the building that face Norlin, giving you a good vantage point. Since there are three fire escapes, this is also a good spot to go with two of your closest confidants. It’s like Charlie’s Angels, but with fire escapes.
Tip: Climb the fire escapes at your own risk. Falling multiple stories is not worth the likes, unless your phone manages to snap the pic while you are in freefall, #actionshot.
Visual Arts Complex (VAC)
Probably one of the most underutilized spots on campus. The VAC provides a very industrial-chic style for those of you who are more #artsy. The basement hallways are great for some low-light snaps, and the gallery space is also a cool spot. The installations rotate pretty frequently so you can get more than one pic here per semester. The VAC provides a good setting to showcase your more artistic side, and you can also get some nice minimalist shots here as well.
Tip: Don’t use the inkwell filter here, as the lighting is already very dark.
Varsity Lake and the accompanying bridge remains one of the most consistently tranquil locations at CU. Pose in front of the pond for a very serene picture, and be sure to use a filter that brings out all of the beautiful colors in the area. Seriously, we can’t recommend this place enough. Varsity Lake is another year-round photo opportunity to showcase the different seasons of Boulder.
Tip: In fall, capture the trees reflecting in the pond as you strike your best Blue Steel pose on the edge. In winter, highlight the snowfall while also pretending not to be a few degrees away from hypothermia.
Another flagship building at CU, the University Theatre is absolutely stunning, and you don’t have to be the next Stella Adler to get a great photo here. One of the only buildings on campus with arched windows, the theatre is photogenic from any angle. Like the library, you can get a nice pic of just the theatre to showcase one of the university’s more pristine buildings, or pose on the massive entrance staircase.
Tip: Bonus points if you strike up a convo with an acting student. Who knows, maybe you will see them on Broadway in a few years.
This concludes Grapevine’s selection of the most Instagram-worthy locales at CU. Whether you are into landscapes or are the king or queen of selfies, hopefully this guide will help you to rack up the likes on your pictures, and showcase our lovely campus to all of your out-of-town and out-of-state friends.