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3 alternative spring break ideas to avoid tourists and crowds

Thanks to vacationing snowbirds and spring-breakers from other schools with the same idea as you, the beach can turn into a nightmare during spring break. Here are a few ways to make the most of your time off without being trampled by out-of-towners.

Spring break, the week we thought would never come, is only days away. Usually, the most popular way to spend spring break is to – hopefully – find a spot on the beach and lie out. Being at the beach is easy and cheap. However, thanks to vacationing snowbirds and spring-breakers from other schools with the same idea as you, the beach can turn into hell on earth. Trust me. Parking is nonexistent, and traffic is a nightmare. Hanging out in the sand becomes an obstacle course when you are stepping over trash and squeezing between groups of people to find a small patch of empty sand. It’s anything but easy.

Believe it or not, there are other ways to spend your spring break. Here are a few ways to make the most of your time off without being trampled by out-of-towners.

A view of historic Sanford downtown from the street.

A view of historic Sanford downtown from the street. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

1. Spring for gas

Explore in your own state by packing up your friends in your car and setting off for a new destination. There’s the Fort Matanzas National Monument in St. Augustine, the quaint downtown areas in Winter Park or in Sanford, or the Wynwood District in Miami… never mind don’t go to Miami but having a change of scenery for spring break can be easy when you branch outside your neighborhood. There’s always the option of road-tripping to another state, but road trips are only fun for a few hours and then everyone wants to get out of the car. Keep it simple, you don’t have to go too far to find something fun to do. And it’s Florida… you’ll surely find something interesting.

2. Break for the bay

Come back to school and enjoy the benefits of the campus waterfront. Students are welcome to rent out kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. You can take the kayak and some friends out and row yourself over to Snell Isle. Enjoy the view and the beautiful weather. Maybe you’ll even see a dolphin, and work those muscles. The Coquina Pool on campus is also another place to come and relax by the water.

Crystal clear water at Juniper Springs, one of many of the freshwater springs in Florida. They all exist at a cool 72 degrees year round. Photo courtesy of Corey Mapp/Connect.

Crystal clear water at Juniper Springs, one of many of the freshwater springs in Florida. They all exist at a cool 72 degrees year round. Photo courtesy of Corey Mapp/Connect.

3. Spring break in the springs

Living in Florida, there are hundreds of springs throughout the state. In Orange City, Blue Springs State Park is filled with manatees that you can swim along with. Go underground and swim in the Devil’s Den in Williston. Or simply float down around in an inner tube down Rainbow River in Dunnellon. There’s also Weeki Wachee Springs where you can snorkel, kayak, and watch mermaid performances. They have a beach-like area with slides and a swimming space where you can dive off a floating platform. At any of the springs, the water’s always chilly, making them the perfect destinations if you want to beat the heat.

 

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