Tennessee Valley offers affordable break options

Not every UNA student gets the privilege of a week away for spring break, but we all have five days free of classes. In addition to spending the break binge-watching Netflix or sleeping past noon, there are many ways to have fun in the Shoals without breaking the bank.

1. The great outdoors

There are many places to enjoy Alabama’s beautiful scenery in the Shoals. Colbert County, which is just across the Tennessee River, is home to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve. Cane Creek is in Tuscumbia, about 30 minutes from campus. It is a popular place to hike and provides beautiful photo opportunities.

To stay closer to home, visit the Tennessee Valley Authority Reservation Rock Pile trail. The trail is part of the Alabama Birding Trails and offers a beautiful view of the Tennessee River. With a three-mile drive from campus, this is a great place to enjoy a picnic and an afternoon in a hammock.

2. Take a day trip

Overnight trips are fun, but they get expensive very fast. Who said a day trip is not just as fun? Florence is about two and a half hours from Nashville, two hours from Tupelo, two hours from Birmingham and about an hour from Huntsville. Taking a day trip with friends to one of these bigger cities satisfies the need to escape the every day without sacrificing the bank account. Exploring the Johnny Cash museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, shopping in Huntsville and visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights institute are just a few things to do.

3. Catch up with friends and family

College is busy. Sometimes students do not have time to catch up with friends and family. Taking a friend, or parents, out on a short day trip or a hike is one way to reconnect and turn free time into quality time.

Eating dinner at one of the many restaurants in downtown Florence or kayaking on Cypress Creek would be a great way to spend time with family and have fun, too.

4. Experience local music

There are several music venues and local bands in the Shoals. Some of these are 116 Mobile and the end. in Florence and Warehouse 414 in Sheffield, just across the river. These venues have shows the first weekend of spring break and several days throughout the break.

Seryn and the Bear and the Bride will perform at 116 Mobile March 24 at 9 p.m. Sailour and The Sun. The Moon. will perform at Warehouse 414 March 27 at 9 p.m., and Sustainable Differences will have an April Fool’s Day show at the end.

5. Networking

Anyone in the office of Career Planning and Development will say networking is key to finding a job after graduation. Take some time over spring break to contact businesses and companies and learn more about how to get involved. Spring break is a good time to learn more about internship and freelance opportunities within your field. Networking over the break ensures time away from class does not go to waste.