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Perhaps thinking about budget friendly dining, the author “watches” his money.
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In today's bustling high school world, where packed schedules are the norm and wallets often feel a bit light, dining out on a budget can feel...

Time to hit the road

Spring break destinations within driving distance
Spring+break+is+a+great+time+to+hit+the+road+and+get+away+for+a+few+days.+Head+to+the+mountains+or+the+beach%2C+visit+a+college+campus+or+just+get+out+and+explore.+
Isabel Sands
Spring break is a great time to hit the road and get away for a few days. Head to the mountains or the beach, visit a college campus or just get out and explore.

With spring break on the horizon, the weather improving and students feeling a bit of spring fever, hitting the road for a few days while away from school sounds like a great idea. 

From beach getaways to mountain adventures plus a few spots in between, this list is a one-stop destination for a perfect spring break vacation within driving distance. Have a great time visiting the places on this list, you won’t be disappointed. 

Charleston, SC

They don’t call it the Lowcountry for nothing. Just a three-and-a-half hour downhill interstate drive from Lake Norman is coastal Charleston, one of the most beautiful and historic yet accessible and fun cities in the south. Whether it is your first visit or your family has roots and relatives going back generations, it’s a great place to spend either a long weekend or your spring break.

Let’s start in downtown. King Street to be specific. King Street contains a mixture of small businesses like antiques, jewelry and boutiques, as well as larger stores like Sephora and Brandy Melville. Walking or taking a carriage ride down this beautiful street is an amazing way to access the heart of Charleston. 

You will be surrounded by historic houses, colorful architecture, art and more that have earned Downtown Charleston the name of the most distinctive town in America. Live oaks line the cobblestone streets, making those huge carriage horses seem a little less scary. At night, you’ll see groups on ghost tours, musical performers and easy access to downtown Charleston’s delicious and lively restaurants. 

And why not do a college tour while you are visiting? The College of Charleston’s downtown campus is not only beautiful, it encompasses the heart and soul of everything that makes Charleston great.

As for the beach, nearby Sullivan’s Island has it all: delicious restaurants as diverse as King Street’s, pristine and uncrowded beaches and a relaxing town full of slow-moving people who make Sullivan’s Island a perfect place to unwind on vacation. 

For those who might crave a little wild and weird vibe, there’s Folly Beach just to the south, which seems a lot like Asheville but beach-ified. Its eclectic street art, restaurants, and corner stores are unique to most other destinations. 

When you’re in the mood for a hike down to the beach, the Folly Beach graffiti path is a historic and interesting route to take. Once you’re there, you’ll have access to restaurants situated right along the beach, offering both family-friendly and more formal eats. 

Virginia Beach, VA

They say “Virginia is for lovers” and Virginia Beach is the place to go for beach lovers. It is a stunning and colorful area that contains multiple towns such as Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk and Cape Charles. The beaches are pristine, and the restaurants are abundant and delicious. In VA Beach, you will never get bored.

Cape Charles is a step into coastal living. The historic streets, bookstores, wildflowers, apothecaries and more make it an amazing getaway. Even being a small town, it is family-friendly and accessible for large groups of friends as well. Walk along the pier, rent a boat, or go for a walk through downtown and everyone’s happy. 

Downtown Norfolk is a funnel of attractions including art museums, live music, boat tours, restaurants by the pier, festivals and more. It is an extremely colorful and exciting city. Unlike some of the other spots on this list, Norfolk is not for relaxing.

Chesapeake Bay, otherwise known as the Great Shellfish Bay, earned its name for a reason. A never-ending source of amazing seafood, the Bay Bridge is also a stunning place to stop as you enter Virginia Beach. Make sure to check out the multiple viewpoints for some amazing sights.

Chapel Hill, NC

Chapel Hill is a fantastic area to visit. It has a variety of restaurants, museums like Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, and the Ackland Art Museum is also a great place to stop by and spend time. The small town feel of Historic Franklin Street, which is just a short drive or walk from the UNC campus, is essential to your visit. The coffee shops, art galleries, music stores and more are the center of Chapel Hill’s appeal. 

Be sure to include these two sites on your trip. The North Carolina Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous place and so is the infamous “Old Well.” The Old Well is a common place where students stop on the way to exams, as it is rumored to bring good luck to those who drink from it. Just walking through the campus is an amazing way to see what it’s like for the students who attend. You’ll get full access to UNC’s heart and soul.

Asheville, NC

Rounding out our destinations is the beautiful city of Asheville. Asheville is an incredibly unique city full of art, delicious restaurants, plus a never-ending stream of eclectic apothecaries, antique stores, thrift stores and more. 

Surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, Asheville has access to some of the most stunning vistas, high peaks and trails, rivers and everything your nature-loving self could dream of seeing. Out in nature, try stargazing and kayaking down the French Broad River. 

Back in town, visit the 30-plus downtown art galleries or go see a concert from the many up-and-coming local artists. And of course, while you visit you’ll be able to connect with the wonderful and friendly people of Asheville. 

HONORABLE MENTION…

Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC

Not only is Cape Hatteras the nation’s first national seashore, it is also one of the most beautiful. This getaway holds miles and miles of mesmerizing preserved beaches. Top-tier fishing makes it a great destination for the fishermen in the group, too. Three beautiful lighthouses, dunes and walking trails make it a great destination for your spring break.

 

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About the Contributor
Isabel Sands
Isabel Sands, Podcast Editor. Arts & Entertainment Editor

Isabel Sands is in the 9th grade, beginning her fourth year at CSD. She is new to journalism because she decided to branch out and loves trying new things. She enjoys being spontaneous and believes that's truly the only way to have fun. Coming from a military family, she has developed her love of travel throughout the years and has been able to meet new people, see new places and experience new cultures.

“You jump, I jump, Jack” -Rory Gilmore 

“Put love out into the world. It needs it a bit right now.” -Harry Styles

“I really like chicken nuggets. They’re good.” - Curtis

 

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