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Not a Beach Fan? Take a Road Trip for Spring Break!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

With only one week to de-stress after midterms, it’s a good idea to get out of the house—and possibly even out of the state—to give yourself some time with friends and provide self-care.

If hopping a flight or cruise to a tropical destination isn’t your style or suitable for your budget, rally your friends (particularly those with access to a car) and ask them to accompany you on a trip full of fun experiences. Going on a road trip is a huge money saver and a top idea for last-minute spring break plans!


Head on over to Rhode Island’s “Classic Coast,” also known as Newport. Newport is like a choose-your-adventure game—there are so many options to pursue! You can relax and take a few different trolly tours, walk along a scenic cliff for a 3.5-mile hike, choose from the other numerous scenic paths, and visit the Rough Point Museum. Lastly, be sure to absorb the views of the dozens of old-money mansions scattered across the shore. You’re actually allowed to tour many of these historic homes… take it all in and imagine living that ultra-rich life!

Stay at the following charming places to one-up your vacation: Mill Street Inn, The Brenton Hotel, Castle Hill Inn, Forty 1⁰ North, The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, or Newport Bay Club and Hotel. If you choose to stay at Castle Hill Inn or even just want to check it out, you can eat at The Dining Room– a restaurant offered inside, open to the public! For other meal options, check out Restaurant Bouchard, The Corner Cafe, The White Horse Tavern, and Easton’s Beach Snack Bar.

No matter the mood you’re in, Newport surely has something to keep you entertained!


Monopoly City, one of the (many) nicknames for Atlantic City, is the place to visit to have options on what to do.

If you’re desperate to get out of town but still want to go somewhere a little more local to us here in NJ, head over to Atlantic City. Approximately two hours from College Avenue, Atlantic City still provides the option for a quick beach trip—along with a wide range of other indoor activities. 

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the Borgata Hotel & Casino are two of the many great places to be a little careless with that money you saved up for spring break. If you’re of age to gamble, this could be a good way to throw caution to the wind and enjoy the week (but play responsibly, of course)!

Other attractions to enjoy in this city are Aloha Tiki Cruises, The Sugar Factory, parasailing, Pipe Organ Concert Recital, The Quarter, The Steel Pier, and Guy Fieri’s restaurant Chicken Guy! You could also splurge at any of the three Gordon Ramsay restaurants: Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay Steak, and Hell’s Kitchen.

With these activities to fill your schedule, you’ll need one of these hotels in the heart of Atlantic City to be well-rested on your trip, however long! Choose between the Hard Rock Hotel, Tropicana, Borgata Hotel, Harrah’s Resort, Golden Nugget, Caesars, or The Claridge Hotel.

Whatever you may be seeking, Atlantic City probably has something that fits the bill!


The home of museums, memorials, and the Metro, Washington D.C. is a historic place to drive to. A less than four-hour drive from Rutgers’ College Avenue campus, you can spend time basking in the history and art in the memorials, museums, and across the area.

To name a plethora of places that’ll keep visitors busy…

There’s the Lincoln Memorial, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Library of Congress, National Air and Space Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, the National Portrait Gallery, The National Archives Museum, and the United States Botanic Garden. If you make a quick google search for other attractions in the area, you’ll find so much more than those!

Being this far from Rutgers, you’ll need a cozy hotel, so peruse some of these options to enhance your stay: citizenM Washington DC Capitol hotel, Generator Hotel, Selina Union Market, or The Darcy Hotel. On top of this, you can’t expect your stomach to go a week without these delicious, top-rated places to eat: Ambar Capitol Hill, Cafe Riggs, Old Ebbitt Grill, Doyle, Lafayette Restaurant, or The Capital Burger!

Going on a D.C. trip would surely be an educational sightseeing event for you and your friends to indulge in! I’ve heard the food culture is incredible, too!


Museums visits are an American rite of passage. While they’re seen internationally, this is the country where there’s one less than a hundred miles away from wherever you may be! These important buildings are a visual representation and exploration of the past and current day. If you make the journey to one of these, you’ll surely learn a lot!

So, how do you make a simple museum visit into a road trip? You could keep yourselves moving! Visit multiple museums as you tour a handful of neighboring states. The tri-state area alone consists of top-tier museums that will take you the whole week to visit. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Morgan Library & Museum, and the Fotografiska museum are just a few that students can visit in New York!

If you’d like to spend more time in Manhattan, you could stay at the Radio Hotel, The Flat NYC, World Center Hotel, 31 Street Broadway Hotel, or The Frederick Hotel. With these, don’t forget about the tasty food options that the city has to offer: Angelina Bakery Times Square, Olio e Più, Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, Petite Boucherie, and practically any food location every inch you turn.

Pennsylvania also has its own range of historical offerings if you’re looking to add to the New York repertoire. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (which has the Rocky Balboa Statue and features the famous Rocky Steps), Senator John Heinz History Center, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, and even more destinations are located there! If you find yourself there and looking for a bite to eat, check out The Reading Terminal Market, which its size it could be the one and only food place you need.

Some lodging options for various student budgets in the Philadelphia area are The Flower House, The Maj Hotel, Sonder The Tidewater, Le Meridien Philadelphia, and Sonder The Queen.


If you’re looking for a longer road trip than the previously mentioned destinations– and one where you can take several pit stops along the way– Niagara Falls is the way to go. More than six hours from the College Avenue campus, this set of three waterfalls between the U.S. and Canada is a sight to behold. This location will be colder than the others, but it’ll be a place you won’t want to miss. In addition to viewing this wonderful piece of nature behind the railings, you can also go on a boat ride to get up close and personal with it! On top of that, there’s an option to zipline across the river, tour in an airplane, have a wine tasting, and visit the Niagara Falls aquarium.

Not a fan of big corporate hotels? No problem! The Niagara Falls area offers different historic places to stay, like The Giacomo Hotel or Gorge View, along with an option to choose from a few cozy bed and breakfasts: The Butler House Bed and Breakfast, or Hanover House Bed and Breakfast. Want something more historical? Stay at The Red Coach Inn!

Since it might be colder weather up north, step into the warmth to grab a bite from these locations: Bakery Restaurant Lounge and Club, Chill 443, Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse, or Watermark Fallsview Dining! Most of these locations offer their food with a side of scenic views.

Niagara Falls is truly the destination for you if you’re a fan of beautiful natural sights!

No matter where you choose to travel to– near or far– the open road is a great way to spend your week off. Prepare to make some everlasting memories… just make sure you bring along your trusty camera!

Amanda Clark

Rutgers '24

Amanda Clark is a senior attending Rutgers University—New Brunswick. She is a Journalism and Media Studies major with a minor in Creative Writing. Amanda is passionate about feminism and expanding her interests while getting more involved on campus. Amanda is looking for roles where she can grow and apply her interpersonal skills to build on her writing.