It’s never too early to start thinking about spring break plans. It’s my favorite day-dream when a cold Monday is feeling extra Monday-ish. Spring break is that little mid-semester miracle that makes the rest of the year possible.
If you’re like me, though, a big beach vacation may not sound like what you want to do with your time off. Unless you park your beach chair right on the equator, there is a good chance the weather is not going to cooperate. You also have friends going with you who may or may not back out, run out of money, or cause drama. A road trip to Florida could be WWIII and then you come back to school more tired than when you left.
Of course, the beach can be a ton of fun, but hear me out: this year, do a Kentucky staycation. When I was Miss Kentucky, one of the best parts of the job was traveling all over the state. I’ve lived in Kentucky all my life and love this place, but until I made my way from Pikeville to Paducah, I had no idea what we have here.
Most people, no matter where they are from, have at some point in time said “there is nothing to do here.” You officially are not allowed to say that ever again because you’re going to read the rest of this post.
Hike Black Mountain. It is not for the faint of heart. At 4,145 feet, it’s the tallest mountain in the state, literally the top of the world as far as Kentucky goes. Make your way out to Harlan County to the Cumberland Mountain Range and if you have one, take your truck or ATV. There are a lot of trails and options. Definitely a great way to spend a day.
Another natural Kentucky gem is Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest cave system. Every moment I think about going in the world’s deepest cave, the claustrophobia gets serious, but it really is pretty incredible and it’s here in your back yard! Take a quick trip to Edmonson County for a day you won’t forget. Its also close to Nolin Lake if you want to pretend like you’re at the beach.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you’ve never spent the night in a teepee. The blanket forts in the living room don’t count. I bet you haven’t slept in a castle either. Get ready to win every game of never-have-I-ever when you do both on your spring break. Right by Mammoth Cave in Cave City you can check in at the Wigwam Village Inn. CastlePost in Versailles is a bed and breakfast and historic site. It’s like being in another world but without the passport.
One of my favorite parts of the staycation is the fact that my bank account isn’t drained at the end of the week. Most of the things on this list cost only the gas to get there. Take some of that extra cash and spend it on something you typically wouldn’t. Get an hour massage or go to that fancy birthday-only restaurant. If you think about it, you’re still coming out in the black.
I don’t know about you, but I’m keeping a countdown of the days until spring break. It’s even better when you have cool stuff to look forward to. Remember each day of class is one day closer to the biggest hike of your life or your first night in a castle!
Jessica Casebolt, a former Miss Kentucky, is a correspondent for the The Lane Report. You can reach her at [email protected]