For a spring break alternative, try these spots

For a spring break alternative, try these spots
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By Caroline Smith | Staff Reporter 

After all the late-night cramming, flashcard-writing, and study sessions necessitated by the horrors of midterms, it can be hard to find the energy for a classic, wild spring break at the beach. If you’re looking for a spring break alternative that offers a different sort of relaxation, yet gets you off of the couch and away from the TV, check out the vacationing options listed below.

Road Trip to Savannah

A trip to the historic and artsy city of Savannah, Georgia with some friends could satisfy all your spring break cravings. Located about 8 hours away, Savannah is a manageable distance. On the way, you could plan a stop in Atlanta for a night or two and enjoy the lights and excitement of the big city. In Savannah, the laid back vibe of the swaying oak trees, the smell of the ocean, and the quaint, cobbled streets are sure to put you more at ease. You could walk around and visit sites from any of the 10 movies filmed in the city. During your stay, you can expect to enjoy fine dining, picturesque beaches (complete with lighthouses), a variety of shopping opportunities, a vibrant art scene and a scenic setting that would make any vacation get-away memorable. 

Exploring Birmingham

Though this idea might not be as appealing to Birmingham natives, out-of-state students may find it exciting to get to know the nearby city of Birmingham, Alabama. Stay a few nights in a nice hotel and soak in the local culture. Several artists are also set to perform during the week, including Charlie Wilson and Michael Nau; tickets to their shows can be purchased online. Besides the thriving music and art scene, Birmingham was recently rated No. 1 on Zagat’s list of “America’s Next Hot Food Cities.” So taste the food of high-profile chefs at the Hot and Hot Fish Club, Highlands Bar and Grill, or Ocean to enjoy some of the South’s finest culinary delights. All in all, a trip to Birmingham is a short drive that could lead to a lot of new experiences. 

Go Museum Hopping

If staying in Tuscaloosa over the break is more your speed, you could always tour the city via the multitude of museums and art galleries it has to offer. You could start at the Cultural Art Center’s Gallery and work your way across town. Tuscaloosa has a wide variety of museums whose topics offer a range wide enough to interest just about anyone. The Transportation Museum, the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum in Smith Hall, the Gorgas House and the Sarah Moody Art Gallery are only a few options. In addition, you could take the short drive to Moundville and enjoy the museum and nature walks there. Needless to say, Tuscaloosa has enough history and art to keep you occupied for the whole week.

Go Camping

Spring Break weather is hardly ever perfect for tanning and swimming. However, the cooler temperatures are the perfect setting for a quality camping trip. You could pick a location close to Tuscaloosa like Lake Lurleen State Park, Lake Tuscaloosa or Moundville Archaeological Park. Or if you’re up for more adventure, travel a little further to Oak Mountain State Park or Desoto State Park. Spend the weekend hiking, roasting marshmallows, sleeping under the stars, or even kayaking and canoeing in nearby rivers and lakes. Alabama boasts a variety of outdoor adventuring options, and our very own University Outdoor Recreation Center rents out any equipment you might need for your trip.

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