Forget studying, paying attention in lectures, or doing homework – Spring Break 2012 is right around the corner and all I can think about are white sand beaches, sleeping in, and bikini shopping. While it can be tempting to go on an absolute calorie splurge (hello margaritas and queso!), it may be wise to remember that warm temperatures are about to become a mainstay, and bikini tops will become the new oversized tee. I’ll be staying in town to search for the best sunny spot (and high SPF sunblock) to get fit in. Cardio conscious Collegiettes rejoice: I’ve rounded up some amazing activities and destinations around Austin to make a spring break workout just as relaxing as laying on an overcrowded beach.
Okay, so hanging around in a swimsuit by a body of water is first and foremost on this girl’s Spring Break list. Austin and its surrounding areas boasts a sizable amount of excellent swimming holes and pools, and with the temperature steadily creeping up to summer status, the timing couldn’t be better. Grab a friend and a towel and enjoy!
• Barton Springs – an Austin tried-and-true favorite. At an average 68 degrees year round, the natural spring-fed pool never fails to refresh and make even the hottest weather seem enjoyable post-swim. $3/day
• Deep Eddy Pool – Also spring fed, this pool is surrounded by a wealth of foliage and has lots of lawn space available for picnicking, tanning, or socializing – or all of the above! $3/person
• Hamilton Pool – Located in Dripping Springs approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin, this gigantic swimming hole is located on a preserve and requires about a five minute hike. With no lifeguards and daily water quality tests (nothing is chemically treated – all natural!), check with Parks & Wildlife before you go, but this little piece of heaven is totally worth a day trip! $10 for park entry/car
• Krause Springs – Another trek-worthy spot is this Spicewood camping and swimming site about 30 miles west of Austin. The property is encompassed by 32 springs and allows for a lovely commune with nature. $12/person
Yes, exercise can be on a vacation to-do list! Lucky for us Austinites, this city makes it easy to break a sweat and have much more fun than we’d ever find in the gym. Check out these places:
• Hiking at Enchanted Rock – This enormous rock formation offers great views and perfect photo-ops. Climbing it is guaranteed to have your buns burning in the best way possible the next day! The park fee is $6 a person and make sure to wear sunscreen and good shoes.
• Paddle board on Lady Bird Lake – In my opinion, this is the most fun and easy workout you can get. It doesn’t even seem like a workout! Rentals range from $15/hour and up while some companies even offer lessons. If you find you and your friends are sweating in the sun, go ahead and hop in the water!
• Try a Class – Now is a great time to try something new and not have to hobble to an 8 AM lecture the next day. I’ve been wanting to go to The Bar Method Austin and test their raved-about classes, and Vinyasas at Black Swan Yoga always put me in a relaxed frame of mind. Check prices before you go!
Arguably the sweetest part of March, apart from Spring Break, is the reopening of all the best frozen treat stands in Austin. The much-loved Sno Beach stands open their doors this month for the summer with a plethora of flavors and the trendy CoolHaus trucks have ice cream combinations that will knock your socks off and combine perfectly with the warmer weather. Look online for store locations for both places and go satisfy that sugar craving!
Catching up on entertainment is perennially on my wish list, and this stay-cation I want some old-fashioned TV time. Try out a creative Austin theater such as Alamo Drafthouse or Flix Brewhouse and check out some upcoming movies (Hunger Games and Friends with Kids have my vote). It’s also the perfect time to catch up on hot shows such as Downtown Abbey or Revenge. We all know how precious time in front of the tube is for us college kids.
Whatever your Spring Break plans include this year be safe, have a blast and wear sunscreen!