NC State University is home to picturesque views, prestigious architecture and buildings that represent the university’s past, present and future. Whether you are visiting, scouting locations to take your grad pictures or looking for a little inspiration for your next Instagram photo, we’re spotlighting the top ten best places to capture on NC State’s campus. These eye-catching views are sure to transform your feed! Show your love of all things NC State by capturing memories at some of the university’s most iconic symbols and landmarks while also discovering some “hidden gems.” Let’s be honest, did you really visit/attend NC State if you didn’t Instagram it? Don’t forget to hashtag #PictureNCState when you take your own pictures at these places so we can check out your content!
Written by Mariah A. Morrison
Called a “legend in stone” the Memorial Belltower is arguably the most iconic landmark and symbol at NC State! Originally created to honor the NC State Alumni that fought in WWI, the Bell Tower now exists as a symbol of inspiration and when we win an ACC game, honor veterans on Veterans Day or even add new Howling Cow flavors, we light it RED! See if you can attend an inside tour by former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Stafford by checking out Student Government Traditions.
This iconic campus landmark is surrounded by some of the oldest buildings at NC State’s and is an open space for students and faculty to enjoy. No graduation photo shoot is complete without that classic photo in the middle of the Court of Carolina! Take advantage of the fact that NC State is a WiFi enabled campus and update your Insta story guilt-free without worrying about data overages.
Combating graffiti since the 1960’s, the Free Expression Tunnel is a spot that everyone has got to get a picture in. Changing daily, students and guests alike are able to express themselves and leave their mark in this space; so, grab some paint or spray paint and add your own contribution to the tunnel. It’ll give your feed an artsy aesthetic.
This NC State senior design project turned iconic landmark uses acoustics to allow a person to whisper to the person sitting in the other “ear.” Sunny days create the perfect selfie lighting in the wolf ears. No Valencia filter needed!
Three wolves, created by the artist Michael Stutz, roam Wolf Plaza and are one of the most popular locations for visitors of the university to take pictures. Every student has a #ThrowbackThursday picture of themselves with the wolves statues in Wolf Plaza from their first NC State visit, orientation or first year in college. It’s always cool for graduates to include a “then and now” photo from Wolf Plaza in their graduation photo shoot.
Our beautiful campus is teeming with several “hidden gem” areas that are perfect for studying, hanging out with friends, finding some green in a sea of bricks or taking the perfect Insta pic! Below we list some of our favorite underrated spots that everyone should check out!
This bridge over on Centennial Campus next to the Wilson School of Textiles features several arcs spanning the length of the bridge that create architectural dimension leading to an open courtyard. Visit as the sun sets or at night and have your pictures illuminated by several recessed lights.
This green space near the Design School is named after the first woman to receive a graduate degree from NC State. It features beautiful flowers, greenery and a fountain that make the quintessential backdrop for blooming spring graduation photos!
If you’re looking to enjoy the spring weather while studying or get a great view of Lake Raleigh, the outdoor study space in Hunt library is perfect! It also has the perfect blend of clean, modern architecture contrasting with a green, woodsy background. Stop by as the sun is setting to get the perfect picture of the sky or to get great natural lighting during the Golden Hour. #NoFilter needed! Don’t forget to check out the iconic yellow stairs inside of Hunt Library!
This courtyard is located between Fox Science Labs, Kilgore Hall and Poole College of Management. It has a lovely archway that is covered with beautiful budding flowers and a courtyard featuring fig trees! Snap a quick Insta story while walking to class or use the floral archway to stage an impromptu photo shoot.
This former chancellor’s mansion has been transformed into a cool permanent and rotating art gallery. The collections are freely accessible to the university, community and public. Although there are some restrictions on taking photos inside of the museum, the Gregg has an outdoor space surrounded by a lush, garden and fountain. This is another great historical site to visit and Instagram while at NC State or check out for yoga in the courtyard.
Okay, so Talley isn’t exactly underrated but it is definitely worth including because of it’s “hidden” potential for awesome photoshoots! Known as the “hub of student life,'' Talley Student Union is one of the best places for students to take photos because of the modern architecture, clean lines an abundance of natural light. During grad season you will see an influx of Wolfpack red caps and gowns as people capture their final undergraduate moments or students taking the perfect LinkedIn headshot on the fifth floor with the NC State backdrop.
Hopefully, this inspiration gives you ideas for places to take pictures on campus. NC State is a beautiful campus (although we may be a little biased!) and we can’t wait to see you on campus and on the ‘Gram! Thinking about planning a visit? Check out parking, bus schedules, and the campus walk-times map.
Photos by Ross Joyner
Division of Academic and Student Affairs