From our 2016 College Student Guide.

If you have mayoral aspirations, you’re gonna need to hit the books. But where? There are plenty of on-campus study spots, and everyone has a favorite. You might prefer a traditional spot like the library, little-used spaces like the second floor of the Education Center, or an outdoor scene like the courtyard outside the School of Sciences and Math Building. But what if you want to get away for a while and still do some work?

Coffee shops are great if you need a pick-me-up or, you know, electricity. But if you just need to do some reading or study a textbook, the natural beauty of Charleston is a nice backdrop. Check out our picks.

Hampton Park

30 Mary Murray Blvd. Downtown

Located near the Citadel on the northern part of the peninsula, Hampton Park is one of Charleston’s largest green spaces. The 213 route of the free CARTA trolley will get you close, and it’s worth the trip if you want to spend an afternoon hitting the books outside. The park includes free Wi-Fi, bathrooms, and lots of beautiful scenery.

Colonial Lake

42 Ashley Ave. Downtown

The recently renovated Colonial Lake is something to behold. The large, man-made pond might distract you from your studies, but everyone needs a break here and there. Sit on one of the many benches surrounding the lake or bring a towel and lay in one of the grassy areas. Who says you can’t get a tan while you study?

Marion Square

Calhoun and King Streets. Downtown

One of the most popular parks for general hanging-out, Marion Square is just a stone’s throw from campus. You can sit on a bench, but the best spots are in the interior of the park so it’s best to bring something to sit on. Go with a friend and bring a football or frisbee to throw around during study breaks, or wear your bathing suit and soak up some sun.

Black Tap

70.5 Beaufain St. Downtown
(843) 793-4402

Three words: brown sugar latte. Located just south of campus on Beaufain Street, Black Tap is a trendy shop loved by locals and tourists alike. During the school year the place can get pretty crowded, so make sure you have a plan B or get there early to snag a good spot.

4 Vanderhorst St. Downtown
843) 853-7186

Kudu is practically on campus, right on Vanderhorst Street near the Kelly House residence hall. It offers a selection of sandwiches and pastries and a charming outdoor courtyard where you can sometimes catch live music, but note: there’s no free WiFi.

Brown’s Court Bakery

199 St. Philip St. Downtown
(843) 724-0833

Tucked away in an unassuming historic house on St. Philip Street, Brown’s Court is as cozy on the inside as it’s cute on the outside. The house was built in the 1800s, and you feel every bit of history when you step inside. There’s ample room to sit upstairs both inside and on the outdoor porch. Plus, they have discounted pastries during “happy hour” from 5-7 p.m.