And so it begins, collegiettes. Coffees get bigger, available space in the library gets smaller, and stress reaches a whole new level. Finals are here, and the semester is reaching its last few days. After countless hours – or, rather, days – of studying, we all deserve a little break. If you are looking for a fun and relaxing break in between exams, here are a few places to check out:
1. Salem Lake
*Image from cityofws.org
Not only is Salem Lake a beautiful place to visit, but it serves as a peaceful and relaxing study spot. If you’re looking for a day trip that does not completely destroy any available study time, this local attraction is perfect. The lake, although not very big, is surrounded by amazing trails that are ideal for running and walking. For those more interested in studying, the grassy areas around the lake serve as excellent spots for setting up your own personal study session. Pack a picnic along with forty pages of notes and you’ll be set.
2. Uptown Charlotte
*Images from charlottecentercity.org and courtneyreth.wordpress.com
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous (and are willing to give up more study time), uptown Charlotte is a beautiful destination just two hours away. The Queen City is full of shopping, art, amazing restaurants, and numerous concert and sporting venues. Not to mention it has one of the most gorgeous city skyline views in the southeastern United States. If you’re planning on taking a day trip to Charlotte, be sure to check ahead to see what kinds of events are going on. There is always something to check out in the city, and typically springtime is one of the best times to visit. If uptown isn’t for you, Carowinds is a major hotspot and amusement park in Charlotte, and it’s completely worth the drive from campus. There’s nothing like screaming your lungs out on top of a rollercoaster to prepare you for finals!
3. North Carolina Zoo
*Image from trekaroo.com
The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is no more than a short half hour drive from campus. There are various exhibits filled with all different animals. It is a family friendly environment that can be enjoyed by a group of friends, or even as a fun date with that special someone!
4. Pilot Mountain/Hanging Rock
*Images from learnnc.org and thewanderworld.wordpress.com
Pilot Mountain is a common day trip spot for many Wake Forest students. It is a beautiful place to visit and within a reasonable distance from campus. There are several hiking trails up Pilot Mountain and tons of spots to just sit, relax, and enjoy nature. Hanging Rock is a little more of a drive from campus but still less than an hour away. It offers a gorgeous view with a huge slate of rock overlooking a beautiful wooded area. After staring at a computer screen for hours, it’s nice to be reminded of how beautiful the outside world is!
5. Downtown Winston-Salem
*Image from twincityquarter.com
If you really aren’t wanting to wander too far from campus, downtown Winston-Salem is always a great time! Tons of cute shops and restaurants can be found. Restaurants range from Mellow Mushroom to fancier places like The Meridian (although anything would be a nice change from eating on campus). The only drawback is that parking downtown is limited. If you can parallel park, you’ll be fine. Downtown Winston-Salem is a great way to learn more about the community that surrounds Wake Forest. It can often be difficult to get off campus, so take advantage of any opportunities you have!
6. Old Salem
*Image from tripadvisor.com
Old Salem is a historical area of Winston-Salem featuring colonial style living, cobblestone, and several local shops filled with adorable trinkets and souvenirs. Old Salem is often host to a local farmer’s market, where visitors can purchase anything from homemade soaps to goat cheese to baked goods. Make sure to stop by Winkler Bakery for some freshly made bread or cheese stars. If you’re looking to eat out, the Tavern is the place to be, with delicious eats and a scenic, outdoor dining area.
Wherever you decide to venture off to on your day trip, we hope you enjoy the many opportunities that North Carolina has to offer. If you don’t get a chance to check out any of these places before you leave for the summer, there is always next year to plan your fun day trip!