By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer
Though the lack of spring break brought a dark cloud over students, there is a bright side. Going to school in Central Texas means one is never too far from a quick, fun trip to celebrate being done with a week full of tests. Being cautious of the times we still live in, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a weekend getaway and still catch a wave of that spring break vibe.
Complete with an Eiffel Tower and cowboy hat, Paris, TX has the small-town charm everyone is looking for. Only a quick, three-hour drive north past Dallas, there is plenty to look at and enjoy in Paris.
I would suggest spending a day exploring the sights and getting all the Instagram shots before stopping by a park or museum in Dallas on your way back. If you want the best of small-town and big city, Paris has the perfect combination of both.
2. Dinosaur Valley State Park
If one is looking for more adventure and surprises within their road trip, I suggest going to the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose. With wildlife trails, a fossil rim wildlife center, campsites, dinosaur tracks and more, it makes sense for this place to be called the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas.”
Only an hour and a half away, this park can definitely get someone interested in camping and be a fun way to relieve stress. Outside of the park, there are even more things to explore, such as an amphitheater, historic courthouses, Big Rocks Park and more around the town.
3. New Braunfels
Not too far from Austin, there is New Braunfels. Being most famous for having both the Guadalupe River and the Comal River to float down, I personally think it’s a rite of passage to float one of the many rivers in south Texas. There’s just something about sitting on an inner tube, soaking up the sun, without a care in the world. Not only will you find great fun in New Braunfels, but you will also discover some of the best food around, including great comfort food. As New Braunfels is growing in popularity, it’s definitely a place to look out for when wanting a quick getaway.
4. Dallas and Austin
Lastly, if the small-town hidden gem isn’t for you, don’t forget about the major cities all around Waco, like Dallas and Austin. Both cities are around a two-hour drive and have endless options for fun; always a good back-up idea for a trip.
Of course, we must be cognizant of the global pandemic and college-friendly budgets. So, it’s best to maintain safe COVID-19 guidelines when taking any kind of trip, be sure to thoroughly sanitize after being in public places. In order to budget appropriately, take a car that has great mileage, prepare sandwiches and drinks for the car ride. Also, be aware that entrance into state parks or activities like floating the river may require a rental fee.
Just because we don’t have a sanctioned spring break, doesn’t mean we can’t forge our own weekend vacation and enjoy time outside the college classroom