Road trip destinations for college students

By Anne Davey, Staff Writer

September 19, 2012

When planning a getaway in North America, it is easy to get lost in the lights and glamour of New York or the scantily clad streets of Las Vegas, often missed however, are the quaint towns and the large, but distant cities. The question that usually arises, is where to go, but the real question should be how to go everywhere; with the goal being to experience as much as possible in limited time. One answer is the quick hit, a jam-packed adventure that delivers a full sense of a single place over a well planned two evening stay.

“36 Hours: Weekends in The USA and Canada,” published by the New York Times, is a compilation of weekend getaways across America and Canada, which have been published in the NY Times’s 36 Hours column since 2002. The book breaks up the countries into regions, such as ‘Mid-West,’ ‘South’ and “North-East.’ It then goes on to take every major city, popular travel destination and hole-in-the-wall, country farm town and give all of the information you could possibly need and more. Allotting just 36 hours in each location, the book provides eateries, places to stay, things to do and sights to see, at a variety of different budgets. With pictures, detailed maps and a list of the basics for each location, 36 Hours  saves you time, money and a travel agent. You won’t find cliches or worn out tourist attractions in this book, you’ll find suggestions ranging from quaint to adventurous.

Wether you choose to jet away for fall break, or road trip one weekend, these destinations are your ideal locales:

Charleston, S.C.

Just a five hour drive from High Point, can have you in one of the most historic and charming cities in America.The city’s offerings include a tour of the city’s slave-trading history, with a tour of old gardens, secret trails and former slave markets, which begins at the St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church on the aptly named Church Street. If you’re intrigued with slave history, the Old Slave Mart Museum dates back to 1856. You can call ahead of time for the Old Slave Mart Museum at 843-958-6467, or simply walk on by after your garden tour.

Charleston is also famous for its cuisine, with popular dining spots like Cypress Lowcountry Grille, which features traditional ‘lowcountry’ cuisine gone up scale; check it out at magnolias-blossom-cypress.com. While you’re touring the local scene, there’s no more iconic a food locale in the city than the Charleston Farmer’s Market, where you can pick up anything from pickled watermelon rings to fresh crepes. Other can’t miss locations include Wildflour Pastry with its now infamous ‘stick bun sunday’ for the sweet-toothed visitors, and Bowens Island Restaurant’s Fish Camp supper, where you can chow down on roasted oysters and oversized hush puppies.

Of course, Charleston has its fair share of drool-worthy shopping locations. Take a stroll along Upper King Street for an equal mix of chic boutiques like Magar Hatworks, old-fashioned emporiums like Read Brothers and French pastry shops like Macaroon Boutique. Pick up a shopping, parking and downtown guide at Blue Bicycle Books to make your adventures even easier.

Raleigh-Duram, N.C

No ladies and gentleman, Raleigh-Durham is not just one of the airports High Point will shuttle you to for various breaks, it’s also one of North Carolina’s busiest, most lively and well visited areas. Just short of an hour jaunt from campus can have you in Raleigh-Durham, where local attractions include the famous outdoor art museum at Museum Park and the four-level mini-mall ‘Father and Son Antiques.’

Can’t miss local attractions include the Raleigh Times Bar, a bar restaurant and tavern that took the place of the old Raleigh Times newspaper building. The decor was painstakingly done in old clippings from the paper, ads and paperboy bags. Also for the food lovers is Taqueria La Vaquita, an infamously delicious Mexican food restaurant located just five minutes from Duke University, you won’t be able to miss this one, as there is a giant cow atop the building’s roof.  You can also experience a Carolina art form like no other: pig roasting; right at The Pit, just a short stroll from the North Carolina Capitol Building Here you can enjoy some fresh roasted, 10-14 hour hickory and oak smoked, chopped barbecued pork, check out thepit-raliegh.com for more details.

Raleigh-Durham is also the Piedmont area’s sports center, home to numerous sports teams. While you’re in town make sure to stop by the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a game or two. Afterwords you can take a leisurely, beautiful stroll down the scenic waterways of the Eno River State Park.

For more amazing weekends trips and local hot spots, make sure to pick up a copy of 36 Hours: Weekends in The USA and Canada By The New York Times.