Spring break is coming up, and if you long for something different than mad crowds, tourist traps, and the same old events, here are four ideas for under-the-radar trips that will still take your breath away. Take the road less traveled this spring and treat yourself to the break you deserve.
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Hit the Oregon coast
Oregon has some of America’s finest scenery combined with plenty of activities and culture; and a week at the Mill Casino Hotel will prove that. At the hotel itself you can stay in luxurious rooms overlooking Coos Bay, relax at the spa, or enjoy the pool.
In the evenings, try your luck at the Mill Casino, attend one of the live music events or comedy acts, or form a group to tackle Trivia Night at Warehouse 101. When you get hungry, head to the Plank House for fine dining with a view or the Saw Blade Buffet if your appetite is keen.
During the day, find out why the locals say the beautiful beaches at Coos Bay are a “site for shore eyes.” Sunset Bay State Park is a protected bay where you can fish, swim, or take a boat out on the water. Cape Arago State Park offers hiking trails where you are almost guaranteed to site some of the local wildlife.
Live like a King
King, that is. Take a break from your liberal arts degree and spend a week in Memphis, TN. The trip starts, as it should, with a tour of Graceland. You can stay at Graceland if you really want to walk in the steps of the King. Explore Elvis Presley’s mansion, walk through the gorgeously maintained gardens, and catch a live show.
Memphis is also the perfect place to do an epic BBQ tour. You can go from BBQ joint to BBQ joint all week long and never get to them all or have the same meal twice. Don’t miss KC’s Southern Style Rice, a Chinese take on traditional BBQ, Leonard’s Pit Barbecue, or the Blues City Cafe.
Memphis is also the home of the Blues, and Beale Street is the home of music in Memphis. The whole street is alive with clubs where you can hear some of the finest music anywhere. Don’t miss B.B. King’s Blues Club, the Blue’s Hall Juke Joint, or Alfred’s.
Visit the Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina have more to offer than most people are aware of. While more northerly mountains will still be socked in with snow during spring break, you can be sure of beautiful, empty trails and gorgeous spring weather in the Smokies.
Stay in Gatlinburg if you want to be in the center of everything. Be sure to take a day to visit Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, where Spring brings the Festival of Nations; an amazing day of international music, entertainment, and food.
Then head to nearby Cherokee, NC where you can learn about Native American culture, golf, go biking or fishing, visit spectacular waterfalls, ride tubes down mountain streams, or go horseback riding.
Take a train trip
Instead of camping out in just one city, why not take one of Amtrack’s amazing American exploration trips? Travel from Seattle all the way to Los Angeles on the West Coast, or visit America’s oldest cities from Chicago through Denver. You can also tour the biggest national parks or take an epic tour of Canada.
When you travel by train you’ll spend some nights in beautiful hotels with a chance to tour cities like Montreal, New York, or San Francisco. Other nights you’ll be rocked to sleep by the gentle motion of the train. Along the way, you’ll be treated to endless vistas from the Zephry observation cars.
There are plenty of dining options when you’re on the train, from sit-down service with reservations to take away and snacks. When you make your stop in each city along the way, you will have enough time to indulge in the best the local cuisine has to offer.