With the hustle and bustle of college life, finding time to explore new places can be challenging. From classes to social life and everything in between, college can be tedious. When it’s time to take a break or just get away, we have the perfect college bucket-list of places you should visit— both local and around the country. Included are places within Charlotte, places within North Carolina and places within the US to visit.
Amélie’s French Bakery: Charlotte, N.C.
If you haven’t heard of Amélie’s, one if its locations is North Davidson Street, on the left end of the shopping complex. It began in 2008, and had a dream to uphold originality, authenticity and the classic French pastries. The bakery makes and sells many tantalizing French delicacies, including popular deserts. Payton Welch, a UNC Charlotte student and avid Amélies goer said Amélies is the place to be. “My favorite thing to order is the Salted Caramel Brownie, because it has a smooth caramel layer on top of a brownie that has a little crunch to it. It pairs well with a cup of hot raspberry tea too,” Welch explained. The Bakery is open 24 hours to serve the all-nighters and 12 m. sweet tooth, so stop by on a study break. Prices of food items vary, so just stick with what your stomach and wallet tells you.
The Discovery Place: Uptown Charlotte, N.C.
Whether you are five or 55, The Discovery Place offers many things for all ages. The attraction is located on North Tryon St and includes exhibitions like Fantastic Frogs, World Alive, Body World & The Cycle of Life (coming soon), and many more. Along with the many stations to explore and have fun, the main concept is for kids and adults to learn about the past, current surroundings and new ideas. Fossil day is an upcoming event on Oct. 3, 2015, which allows any and all to come and test out the archaeologist in you. The event houses its own extensive fossil collection and invites the public to dig up the remains of the creatures from long ago. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located on level 1 of the building. The Discovery Place is a place for all ages and could be a fun trip with your college buddies to spend a day learning and connecting with the people around you. The cost of attendance is a one-time only fee per visit (excluding IMAX Theater), so it is perfect for a day trip to uptown Charlotte.
Blue Ridge Parkway: Virginia and North Carolina
The 469-mile parkway includes 300 overlooks, 91 buildings, and 133 structures and pieces that tell the history of the mountains and its people. Some of its greatest attractions are the Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob, both located in Virginia. Mabry Mill is a still working, but not functioning mill that in 1903 was designed as a gristmill and sawmill. Today it attracts thousands of people to the beautiful surroundings and the history of the mill. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not fully explored in one day, but for that reason can be a place to continue coming back to. With its beautiful views, nature and wildlife, the Blue Ridge Parkway is full of things for all age groups to experience. Take a weekend trip with friends to the open roads of the parkway and experience the beauty. This trip is perfect for the college wallet because it only takes gas money and time. Depending on where you start your journey, it will cost you gas money, but because of the historical aspects, should be relatively cheap.
Atlantic Beach in North Carolina
Atlantic beach is a place of serenity and friendly people. With many public beaches and interesting activities, the area is a home away from home. Known for its calm surroundings and beautiful coastline, Atlantic beach has much more to it. In the town of Atlantic Beach is Fort Macon, a fort built in 1834 to build up the navy on the coastline and prevent attacks. However, many years later it was used for a civil war battle, to fight off the union soldiers until it was taken over by the north in 1861. Today the Fort is one of the most visited attractions in North Carolina, bringing in one million visitors. The Atlantic Beach coastline is a great opportunity to soak up the sun and visit the historical sites with friends. Atlantic beach is ideal for a relaxing spring break trip and perfect for a romantic getaway. This trip is ideal for a college budget because it is very affordable and if shared with a group of people, can be even less expensive. As a college student—the cheaper the better— and historical landmarks tend to be free. Plus you get to learn something in the process.
This trip is definitely on the pricier side of vacations. However, it is definitely worth the money put into it. Colorado is a diverse state that has many things to offer. First, the downtown city of Denver. Home of the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies, the city is the ultimate place for young adults. With its hundreds of restaurants and attractions, the city of Denver is always in motion. In contrast, an hour from downtown is the beautiful landscape and rocky mountain range. With attractions including the birthplace of Buffalo Bill, the Native American Cliff Dwellings, Pikes Peak and the continental divide landmark, there is never a dull moment in this great state.
Your time in college is short, so spend your time and money wisely. Keep in mind your budget and keep your travel goals at reach. Also take time to say yes to the unplanned spontaneous trips to places you’ve never heard of. Be open to new opportunities and your travel bucket list will continue to grow.