7 Day Trips To Take In North Carolina

7 Day Trips For The North Carolina College Student Over Spring Break

Whether you just forgot to plan a vacation or you're on a tight budget, here are seven fun day trips that will redeem your spring break!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

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!

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If Getting A 'Spring Break Bod' Means Sacrificing My Happiness, Nah, Count Me Out

As long as I'm healthy, don't worry about my body.

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"Sorry, I can't grab seconds. I'm going somewhere tropical during Spring Break and I need to look good."

It has because a norm in our society that when we go on vacation or to the beach or really anywhere we feel we have to impress others, we must starve ourselves or exert our bodies so viciously until we reach our desired body image to fit into a bathing suit or other types of clothing that show off our skin. We skip dessert, spend too many long hours at the gym, or disregard meals altogether.

While not everyone does this, the people that do experience these regimes complete them because society has morphed their brain into thinking that they must have a flat stomach, a large thigh gap, and protruded collarbones and hipbones to be labeled as attractive. All in all, you must be society's definition of skinny to be in a bathing suit, especially a bikini.

You know what I say?

Society can kiss my derrière.

While I like to consider myself as a healthy eater and a rather active individual, I do not possess a flat stomach (even when I suck in as hard as I can), my thighs are monstrous, and my collarbones only show if I hunch my back. Though I wish that the fat on my arms were nonexistent, they flap like wings of a chicken, maybe majestic enough to be compared to a unicorn. It is especially difficult to achieve a flat stomach because of organ placement in our bodies with most resting at the lower abdomen, resulting in a little bit of budge. Absolutely normal. Thighs contain an abundance of muscle that helps our legs carry us around all day, why would I want any less thigh strength?

Cellulite and stretch marks are perfectly OK!

I probably have one of the flattest butts of everyone in North America and I still have cellulite! It is natural and can be difficult to get rid of. Our bodies are the universe and our stretch marks are the rivers that flow within us. You got a whole galaxy up in there! I also have eczema, which can get pretty harsh during hot weather and can even burn if I go into the water. I can use more lotion while moisturizing than a middle-school-aged boy "pleasuring himself" and still end up looking like a scaly mess. People don't want to see my rashes and my scars from bad flare-ups? Too bad, I got it right here for you!

I love to eat and sometimes that includes unhealthy food too. I can sit down and finish a whole bag of family-size chips in one setting or decide on a salad for a snack. It doesn't matter because I am happy with myself either way.

If I must sacrifice my enjoyment and my well-being for people not wanting to see my body or its "imperfections" when I just want to relax on a vacation, count me out.

I have more than enough things to be stressed out about with school, work, and other obligations, I do not need to be worried about what people think of my skin vessel. Embrace your body and do what makes you and only you cheerful. You owe nothing to anyone.

So sit back, relax, and have that extra slice of cake because anybody you put into a bikini is a bikini body.

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10 Things Every UK Student Understands Post-Spring Break

Spring break, we all miss you. Seriously.

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A yearly occurrence, spring break is a week of relaxation, fun, and a time to get away, physically and mentally, from school work, obligations, exams, a never-ending to-do list, and general stress. However, as much fun as the annual break is, the week after when we're all back on campus is a huge reality check. Here are 10 things that every student at the University of Kentucky can relate to post-spring break.

1. It’s nearly impossible to focus on anything

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Spring break is a blessing and a curse for this exact reason. During the break, you feel completely free, but after you get back to Lexington, your ability to focus is gone, still thinking about days when the only thing you needed to remember was if you put sunscreen on or not.

2. If you were in a warmer place over break, the chillier weather of Lexington is miserable

Coming back on campus, while it may be 50 degrees, is far from the 80 your body is used to. Layers and constant shivering is the result.

3. Waking up for 8 AMs got even worse, if that is even possible

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No, it wasn't easy to wake up at the crack of dawn and then walk halfway across campus nearly every weekday BEFORE spring break. Now? That's a joke.

4. If you were at the beach, you are peeling EVERYWHERE from the sunburns you got on your first day

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Peeling off bits of dead skin in public is a really fun time!

5. You are wide awake at 2 AM for no reason other than for the fact that you are used to being up all night over break

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Setting alarms isn't really a thing when you're waking up at the beach every day, in a comfy bed somewhere, or in your own home. We did NOT miss, you Apple ringtone.

6. A 50 minute class that used to fly by (as of 2 weeks ago) feels like an eternity 

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And classes over an hour? Forget about it.

7. Being back on an actual schedule

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On spring break, whether you're at home or on vacation, you usually plan your own days and have little to no academic obligations. Coming back to Lexington the week after the break is a slap in the face. It's like we all forgot that we usually have way more work than we know what to do with, and those Canvas notifications are fully bringing us back to reality.

8. Nope, we didn’t miss walking up the stairs to the third floor of Whitehall Classroom Building one bit

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Even if you worked out over spring break, those stairs get you. Every. Single. Time.

9. Going from restaurant food, seafood, or whatever you have in your fridge and pantry at home to having to go buy groceries and eat at the 90 or champs

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Definitely a rough adjustment, no doubt.

10.  Having to get ready for class

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Whether you spent your spring break in sweatpants, a swimsuit, or ski gear, having to get dressed for class every day once you are back isn't the most fun thing in the world.

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