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Spring Break on a Budget: 6 Mini Trips for New Englanders

Spring break is on its way, and as a broke college student, I sure as hell know that I can’t afford to go to Cabo for a week. And as a Boston girl, I know exactly how painful it is to see all the Instagram pictures of friends lounging on some white sand beach with turquoise water far, far away from icy Massachusetts. Don’t worry, though. I’ve included six places where my fellow New Englanders can go to have just as much fun, forget about FOMO, and avoid breaking the bank.

1. Newport, RI

Many people have probably been to Newport, but you’d be surprised to discover how much there is to actually do. From mansion tours to walking along the rocks by the gorgeous Atlantic, Newport is a beauty hidden in plain sight. Not to mention, the massive amount of boutiques are great for window shopping—or real shopping, if you’re in the mood to spend a little money on a preppy Newport sweatshirt.

2. Borderland State Park, MA

I’m a little biased because I live next to it, but nonetheless, Borderland is absolutely beautiful and makes for a great day trip if you live near the area. By spring break, the trees and fields will be getting some life back into them, and all the wildlife will be out to play. Not to mention, Leonardo DiCaprio filmed “Shutter Island” at the park’s pond, and the new “Ghostbusters” movie was shot in the mansion that sits on the property as well. Best of all, it only costs a few dollars to park, and after exploring the park, you can take a 10-minute drive to the neighboring town of Sharon for what New Englanders claim to be the world’s eighth best ice cream parlor, Crescent Ridge Dairy.

This is the house where Shutter Island was filmed in Borderland.

3. Mystic Aquarium, CT

If you’re an ocean fanatic, Mystic Aquarium is a must-see. This gigantic facility will keep you and your friends busy for hours as you marvel at fish, penguins, sea lions, and — wait for it — beluga whales. In fact, Mystic Aquarium is the only aquarium in New England that has belugas, so grab your phones and take some killer Snapchats to make your girls in Puerto Vallarta crazy jealous while they’re getting sunburned on a drunk-students-everywhere beach.

4. New York, NY  

I know, I know — New York isn’t a part of New England, but it’s definitely close enough for you and your friends to take a bus or drive down yourselves to experience one of the greatest cities in the world. The possibilities are endless in The City That Never Sleeps. From viewing the Empire State Building, to watching a show on Broadway, to soaking in some culture at the Met, to trying one of The Black Tap’s famous milkshakes, New York is an overnight trip worth taking if you have a little extra cash to spend while you’re on break.  

5. Mount Washington, NH

For my girls that like a good hike or have a car that can withstand some serious hills, a voyage up Mount Washington can be a super exciting way to spend the day. It barely costs anything to make your way up the mountain, and it is so worth it. All along the way, there are incredible places to stop and take pictures. There are areas where you can take breaks as well, so a mountain picnic with your SO would not only be heart-stoppingly romantic, but also a great way to spend the day together without having to pull out the big bucks. This’ll be a great place to take that iconic candid picture of the girlfriend leading her boyfriend by hand for Instagram if you’re feeling particularly artsy and (just a li’l basic) that day. *Wink wink.*

6. Burlington, VT

The last place on my list is a little city that’s truly beautiful and the epitome of artsy. The cobblestone streets of Burlington lead you to a vast assortment of adorable shops, great restaurants, and best of all, a stunning waterfront view. While you’re in Vermont, take a drive over to Lake Champlain for more breathtaking photo ops. I visited this cute city after touring the University of Vermont, and while I didn’t fall in love with the school, I did fall in love with Burlington.

Images/GIFs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

Danielle Jin

U Mass Amherst '20

Dani is a senior at UMass Amherst majoring in English with a double minor in psychology and education. Aside from writing for Her Campus, Dani loves being with her friends, hiking with her dog, marathoning bad horror movies on Netflix, and eating unhealthy amounts of Haagen Dasz green tea ice cream. Right now, she's just trying to figure out her next move post-graduation :)
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