We may be cramming for midterms and running low on dining dollars now, but there is a sunscreen-scented light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel: Spring Break. If you're overdue for a recess from your psychics textbook, there's no better way to spend a study break than to start making plans for that sweet, sweet week of freedom.
If you're looking for something a little less cliché than skiing in the mountains and a little less Girls Gone Wild than a week in PCB, you're in luck. Here are the best places to beat the crowds this Spring Break:
1. Nashville, Tennessee
One of the hottest cities for recent grads, Nashville boasts dozens of unique music venues, enough trendy restaurants to get you through the week (and then some), and a party scene that never sleeps.
Composed of several easily walkable neighborhoods, one of the best ways to take on Nashville is to choose one 'hood, park for the day, and experience all it has to offer. Then, try out a new neighborhood the next day. Don't forget to catch a few local shows and try the legendary hot chicken.
2. Washington D.C.
For the history buffs and political junkies among us, Washington D.C. is a dream vacation, and there is no better time to explore the nation's capital than early spring. Since this is one of the least popular times to visit, lines will be shorter and you will feel less rushed when making your way through any of the city's many museums.
Washington D.C. is a particularly good choice if you are traveling solo this Spring Break, as it is often more fun to museum hop when you only have your own schedule to adhere to. Make sure to see the classics like The White House and the Capitol. For journalism majors and other media-obsessed types, don't miss the Newseum.
3. Zion National Park, Utah
Home to some of the country's most dramatic and breathtaking views, Zion National Park is the ideal destination for photographers and outdoorsy types.
Located in Utah, the park reaches high temps (well into the 90s) year-round, but early spring is one of the best times to avoid peak heat months. Just remember to dress in layers and pack plenty of water for those day-long hikes.
4. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is located on Georgia's coast, making it a great destination for all the beach lovers out there. Featuring beautiful beaches, gorgeous parks, and historic charm in spades, this city is less known for its party scene than other Southern beaches, but there are still plenty of watering holes (and a lack of open container laws) for the 21+ crowd.
The best part about Savannah is being able to enjoy the beach by day and explore the history of the Deep South by night. Known for its storied past and paranormal phenomenon, its a great place for those interested in alternative history and ghost tours. Be sure to check out Bonaventure Cemetery, America's most photographed graveyard.
5. Dallas, Texas
Though less trendy (and less crowded) than its Millennial Mecca cousin, Austin, Dallas is home to a quality music scene, great Tex Mex food, and interesting landmarks and museums.
After you have gorged yourself on tacos and margaritas, visit The Sixth Floor Museum. The museum is located at the site of John F. Kennedy's assassination and features several exhibits honoring America's "Royal Family."
6. Asheville, North Carolina
One of the most under-the-radar "hipster towns," Asheville truly has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for great hiking, a bustling art scene, live music, or locally-sourced meals, Asheville has you covered.
Downtown Asheville is relatively small and easily walkable, so you should be able to try out several of the cafés, bars, galleries, and music venues in the first few days of your trip, leaving plenty of time to relax in the city's unique salt cave and spa or venture out to America's most visited national park for some quality hiking.
What do you think?
Where are you going this Spring Break? Do you prefer the college classics or more under-the-radar destinations? Tell us below!