July 18, 2019 | 76° F

Spontaneous spring break destinations for last minute planners

With midterm exams and projects taking over your life, you may find yourself sigh in relief when you realize spring break is right around the corner. New Jersey weather isn’t quite up to our standards, though, and you might find yourself having nothing to look forward to besides sleeping in and enjoying Netflix binges. Fear not: doing something fun for spring break doesn’t have to require airfare and a passport. To your surprise, it also might not take much planning, either. Thanks to last-minute deals, it’s actually sometimes better to book flights now instead of months in advance. Whether you want to go to the beach, plan a road trip with your friends or just explore a new city, there are many affordable travel opportunities to fit a college student’s budget. After reading this, you might be feeling inspired to be spontaneous, so don’t be afraid to do some research on these semi-close and underrated travel destinations.

Burlington, Vermont

We know what you’re thinking: why would anyone want to go somewhere cold for spring break? That would be because Vermont is awesome, and not just for winter sports. Some people enjoy long walks on the beach, but in Burlington, you can hike along the Robert Frost Trail, marked with excerpts of his poems. Cycling is also a huge pastime in Burlington as there’s a 7-mile bike path with gorgeous, scenic views of Lake Champlain, so this is a good choice if you and your traveling buddies like to be active. Ben and Jerry's got its start in Burlington, and although they no longer offer factory tours, there are still other institutions that do, like the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory and the Magic Hat Brewery. 

Tybee Island, Georgia 

Just a 20-minute drive from the historic town of Savannah, Tybee Island is 5 miles of public beaches perfect for sunbathing and surfing while it’s still in the 50s back in Jersey. Tybee Island isn’t all just surf and sun, though — the island is home to one of the nation’s oldest lighthouses, as well as the impressive Tybee Island Marine Science Center that showcases the island’s native marine life. It may be small, but that’s all the more reason to go for a few days during spring break. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 

A popular, warmer college spring break spot, Myrtle Beach features amusement parks, boardwalks and a lively nightlife scene. While it is 60 miles of beach, there are also more active things to do, like visit the educational South Carolina Civil War Museum or watch the Pelicans play at a minor league baseball game. Don’t forget to ride SkyWheel while you are there. 

Providence, Rhode Island

Also known as the capital of R.I. and the home of one of the most famous art schools in the country, Providence is still one of the more underrated cities on the East Coast. If you’re in it for the culture, Westminster Street Historical District is essentially a slew of design shops, art galleries and craft stores that any art enthusiast would swoon over. With plenty of small and private-owned restaurants ran by great chefs from all over the country, as well as the renowned College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, Providence is also a favorite destination among foodies. 

Nashville, Tennessee 

Full of culture and southern hospitality, Nashville is a great city to road-trip to with friends. The capital of Tennessee is home to legendary country music venues as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Not just a city for reflecting on music history, there’s also plenty of bustling spots to enjoy new, live music. If you’re into soul food, there’s no better way to enjoy it than at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken or Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, both considered major foodie landmarks of the South.

Chicago, Illinois

More of a traditional city dweller? If you are willing to travel a little bit farther than usual — and possibly pay for airfare — Chicago, one of the most clean and beautiful cities in America, is calling your name. It obviously can’t compare to Central Park, but Millennium Park is still worth a visit for its visual art and the McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Want to enhance your Instagram? Take a picture in front of the mirrored, Cloud Gate sculpture. It’s almost imperative that you try deep-dish pizza while you’re there, so the extra calories are worth indulging for. 

Clarissa Gordon

Elizabeth Leoce

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