Road trips are as much a part of the college experience as overpriced textbooks and questionable cafeteria fare. They are the times when students stop talking about life in the bubble and start talking about the world and how big it really is. More importantly, road trips offer the added benefit of a much-needed break from the stressors of academic life…like research papers and chapel attendance…and give students what they need to come back and get the job done.
Fall Break will be here before you know it (and just in the nick of time). Here are a few of our picks.
Stay near but go far at Pelahatchie’s Jellystone Park. Just a stone’s thrown from Clinton (approximately 35 miles), Jellystone offers visitors an opportunity to relax and recharge, just in time for the fall semester’s final push of research papers, presentations.
Jellystone offers accommodations ranging from tent camping to cabin “glamping.” Tent sites come with electricity and are affordable, starting at $26 a night. Bathrooms are at least as well kept as those at MC.
Cabins range in price from $60 a night to $140 a night, depending on size and amenities. Boo Boo Cabins are Jellystone Park’s most basic cabins. These one-room sleeper cabins accommodate up to six guests with one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds. Boo Boo cabins do not have kitchens or bathrooms but, at the very least, will keep you dry and warm.
Cindy cabins are little more expensive but worth it, in my opinion. These cabins also sleep six, but have the added benefit of a bathroom, full kitchen and cable. Kitchens come stocked with the basics, including plates, utensils, pots and pans, a refrigerator and microwave.
Yogi cabins have two bedrooms and a loft and sleep eight people comfortable. These cabins also have bathrooms and kitchens, but also feature decks and a living area.
All cabins have picnic tables and fire rings that are perfect for weenie roasts and late-night s’more fests. Although there is a general store onsite, I suggest a trip to the grocery store, prior to going.
Now that the accommodations are covered, let’s take a look at what the park has to offer. Park amenities include a game room, mini golf course, playground (don’t act like you don’t love to swing), lake for fishing, golf carts, basketball and tennis courts, hiking trails, drive-in-style movie nights and more, most of which is included in the cost of park admission.
The Olde Town Inn offers affordable accommodations that are located away from the city’s downtown center. Located just outside of the New Orleans French Quarter, this bed and breakfast offers suites that sleep up to six people. Rooms start at $80 a night and include breakfast, which is served in the hotel’s New Orleans courtyard.
New Orleans has more activities than you can shake a stick at so, be sure to make the most of your time there. If you choose not to eat breakfast at the hotel, visit the city’s most memorable breakfast spot. Café du Monde (which never closes) serves coffee with chicory and French-style donuts, known as beignets.
Food is very much a part of the New Orleans experience. Be sure to visit Johnny’s Po-Boy’s. This French Quarter landmark was established in 1950s. The sandwiches are inexpensive and big enough to share.
Take a walk around Jackson Square, where you will see more than your fair share of local color including local artists, fortune tellers and street performers. Take your time there and really take in the sights and sounds of The Big Easy. Once you’ve made the loop, take a tour of the city on a horse-drawn carriage or on a streetcar. These tours are the best ways to see the city and learn about NOLA’s unique history and culture.
If a carriage tour does not float your boat, New Orleans offers plenty of other options. Ghosts tours offer a glimpse into the city’s haunted past (and present). New Orleans is also known for its cemetery tours. New Orleans has the highest percentage of above-ground burials. Known as “Cities of the Dead,” these graveyards feature rows and rows ornate structures.
If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with an alligator, book an alligator tour in one of NOLA’s moss-draped bayous. Chances are, you will see plenty of gators, birds and snakes.
Just in case you’re missing out on learning, New Orleans is home to several museums including the National World War II Museum, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and several museums dedicated to art and music.
– Courtney Lange, Contributing Writer