Spring break caught me by surprise this year. I typically have my life planned out months in advance, but this semester has been crazily hectic and I completely forgot to plan a vacation. Still, I'm determined to make the most of my spring break. So if your spring break is more of a staycation than the trip of a lifetime, here are seven fun day trips you should take to make this spring break at home memorable.
1. Spend a day on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of outstanding natural beauty. From mountains and campsites to wildflowers and wineries, the Blue Ridge Parkway has something for everyone to enjoy. Boone, N.C. has a great access point for hikers, kayakers, and those who just want to drive somewhere with their windows down. Top the day off with ice cream or fudge from Kilwin's. Yummm.
2. Visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Mills, fireflies, and black bears, oh my! Nestled in the border of North Carolina and Tennessee is the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. This park offers guided tours, beautiful hikes, and a glimpse into old mill life. I've been taking day trips here since I was a kid, and I always discover something new. The best part is, entry is free!
3. Set sail to the Outer Banks
Every North Carolinian should visit the Outer Banks at least once in their lifetime! The OBX has fresh seafood, three historic lighthouses, ferry rides, yoga classes, and volunteer recycling! What more could you wish for? According to US News Travel, March is one of the best times to visit the Outer Banks, which makes it a perfect spring break destination if you live in North Carolina's Piedmont or Coastal regions.
4. Go to the Western North Carolina Nature Center
The nature center in Asheville, N.C. is a wild and wonderful place to spend the day. Your 1.5 mile walk through the nature center will be both naturally serene and full of exciting wildlife! My favorite part is watching the otters swim and slide! If you happen to finish visiting the nature center early in the day, drive on over to the North Carolina Arboretum. You can hike, bike, and visit a range of garden exhibits. Keep in mind that the first Tuesday of every month is half price!
5. Hang out with a friend at a different school
All of my hometown best friends attend different universities across the state. I'm constantly hoping for an opportunity to go visit them, but my schedule makes that nearly impossible. Relatable, right? Interestingly enough, none of my friends at other universities have the same spring break as me. It would be so fun to visit a few of my friends over break, catch up on life, and explore the top spots in their college towns.
6. Take a tour of the Levine Museum
If you care about history even a little, you are sure to love your time at the Levine Museum of the New South. This museum is interactive, informative, and located in uptown Charlotte, N.C. After touring the museum, spend some time walking around uptown Charlotte or head on over to NoDa, Charlotte's art district, for fabulous dining and shopping. Remember to show your student ID at the Levine Museum for a discounted rate!
7. Explore your hometown
I'm from a small, rural town and yet there are still places in my hometown that I've never been. Take a day to explore parts of your hometown that you've never seen before. Check out your town's history museum, a hip new restaurant, or the local bakery you've always wanted to try. You might even consider volunteering for a day in your favorite teacher's classroom or at the non-profit health clinic where your aunt works. Adventure is everywhere!
I wish you a fun, memorable, and restful spring break!