10 Places to Relax on the APU Campus

by Savannah Lawrence

Amid the busyness of attending class, writing papers, and keeping up with friends and homework, moments of rest while you’re in college may feel like a rarity. When you do have downtime—whether intentionally scheduled or unexpected—where can you go on the APU campus to relax and recharge? Take a deep breath at one of these locations on East or West Campus.

East Campus


If you’re in need of vitamin D and fresh air, head to the Amphitheater, located between Wynn Academic Center and Wilden Hall. The terraced seating in the Amphitheater has many uses—pick your spot and take a nap, soak up the sun, listen to music, visit the turtle pond, or read a book. Many students utilize this part of campus to take a breather or study between classes.

Cougar Dome

On the south side of Cougar Walk, you’ll find the Cougar Dome, with pool tables, a ping-pong table, and endless board games that students can use throughout the day. Many commuters visit this space to wind down and connect with others before and after classes. The Dome’s atmosphere is fun, lively, and filled with laughter, making it a great place to visit with friends.

Dillon Recreation Complex

Dillon Recreation Complex, next to Adams Hall, is home to APU’s intramural teams. The complex includes volleyball courts, a turf field, and a full basketball court. Students come to play sports, watch tournaments, and be part of the APU athletic community. Take advantage of the large space to wind down and blow off steam with some friendly competition.

Hartwig Prayer Chapel

Adjacent to Smith Hall is the Hartwig Prayer Chapel, a 24-hour place of quiet prayer for when you want to slow down. The chapel is an intimate room filled with scriptures, artwork, and written prayer requests—a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for spending time with God. Pausing to reflect and pray is often needed when life feels hectic.

Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is located in the courtyard of one of APU’s original buildings (once dormitories, now offices), and feels like you’ve stumbled on your own secret, Instagrammable garden. Calm and scenic, the ambiance includes roses aplenty, benches, and a fountain. Some faculty members have offices around the garden, so you may meet with a professor in this charming corner of the APU campus.

Trinity Lawn

Wedged between Trinity Hall and Engstrom Hall is Trinity Lawn, a large, grassy field that’s a popular gathering spot for students. Study, relax, play a game, or visit with friends and have plenty of space to spread out. (Spikeball tournament, anyone?) Throughout the year, concerts and events take place on the Lawn, and it’s particularly alive with activity as new students arrive during Welcome Weekend.

West Campus

Barbara and Jack Lee Place of Prayer

Commonly known as the Prayer Wall, this is one of the most picturesque sections of West Campus, located alongside Kresge Plaza and the Mary Hill Center. Under the shadow of APU’s iconic prayer tower, the Mediterranean-style garden features a small-scale replica of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall. Students write prayers on slips of paper and leave them in the wall’s crevices for others to pray over.

Mary Hill Garden

Soak up the sun in the Mary Hill Garden next to the Mary Hill building, named for the first president of what is now Azusa Pacific. The garden is an out-of-the-way study spot removed from the busiest parts of West Campus. A statue of Mary Hill graces the outdoor space, as well as a panoramic mural of Shakespeare, hinting at the theatrical activities inside the building.

Segerstrom Atrium

The Segerstrom Atrium is an open-air space inside the Segerstrom Science Center. It features a variety of trees, a turtle pond, and plenty of chairs and tables to use, making it a popular spot for eating lunch, studying quietly, or socializing with friends. Even if you don’t have classes in the science building, it’s worth a visit when you need a change of scenery.

West Campus Lawn

The West Campus Lawn is recognizable as the most prominent green space on West Campus. The field is used for events throughout the year and as a gathering and picnicking spot for students. It’s common to see a slackline or hammocks hanging from the trees around the periphery. Nearly every student crosses the lawn on their way to class or chapel, so you are likely to run into a friend.

Savannah Lawrence ’19 is a journalism major and an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations.