pring Break — a week away from not only the responsibilities of school, but also the responsibilities of society. College students are drawn to fantastic locations to party until physically, emotionally and financially spent with not a care in the world. For some of us, however, those grandiose adventures are simply not in the cards.
This would certainly be a problem, if it wasn’t for the fact that we live in one of the most spring-breakable locations in the country: South Florida.
Let’s start with the obvious. There are gorgeous beaches within minutes from FAU’s campus.
Fort Lauderdale beaches offer a calmer, yet still fun, spring break experience. They cater to the family as opposed to the college student, but there will still be an abundance of activities: bike trails and campsites, like Quiet Waters Park and Beach Hammock Trail.
For those looking to party, Miami’s South Beach is the place to go. There are wild beach parties, numerous clubs and live events (like the Flamenco Festival and Winter Party Festival, both during spring break) that will keep you busy. However, food and activities are not cheap in Miami, with the average price range of the cheapest restaurants near South Beach being $10-$15.
When not dancing (or drinking) your heart out, be sure to try some of the numerous, inexpensive biking and hiking trails, or try a cheap kayak rental or airboat tour to explore deep into the Everglades. Want to stick to the beach? There are parasail and water-sport activities available, but those are more expensive options so budget wisely.
Looking for paradise? Try driving down to the Keys. There are a number of snorkeling experiences to try out, more fancy restaurants than you can count, and there is even a Sunset Freak Show at Key West’s Mallory Square.
Maybe you want to pursue a sense of culture, find something for your pretentious portfolio? If you are staying in the area over spring break, you have access to a thriving art scene throughout Palm Beach County.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art is located in Mizner Park and is free for students. There are plenty of exhibits that are updated regularly, and there’s even a sculpture garden that’s easy to appreciate. After the museum, Mizner has its selection of stores to peruse and restaurants to try out.
There’s also smaller art studios in Delray Beach nearby, found on Atlantic Avenue. Alongside plenty of shopping and food opportunities, this artistic walk down Atlantic Avenue can make for a fun afternoon, and the street of shops ends right on the beach. Don’t let the upscale restaurants dissuade you though; there are options that are friendly to college students as well.
If you want something more contemporary, try Miami’s art district. There are studios for all sorts of art genres, and a plethora of coffee shops — Panther Coffee and Pasion del Cielo Coffee are two options with 5-star ratings and praising reviews — to fuel your cultural enrichment. The nightlife in the art district is always in full swing, although be prepared to jam out to a lot of Indie and EDM.
If you want to spend this break draining the pollutions of society from your system without breaking the bank, there are a number of natural wonders found within driving distance from FAU.
The Blazing Star Nature Reserve is a 26-acre piece of land where you can hike, and is located next to Sugar Sand Park, another hiking trail nature preserve. You could spend a full day appreciating nature while fitting in some nice exercise in these close-to-campus hiking trails.
If you are an absolute fanatic for baby wild animals and you are not afraid of a heftier price tag, check out the Zoological Wildlife Center near Miami. The basic hour-long experience will cost you $75, but you would be allowed to hold baby otters, monkeys and birds to name a few. You can also dish out a few extra bucks to upgrade to the “big cat” packages that give you 15 minutes of photo time with a big cat of your choosing.
Tucker Berardi is a staff writer for the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.