By Amy Jackson, Staff Writer
March 14, 2022
After two years of unusual spring semesters due to COVID-19, OBU students will experience a normal, week-long spring break.
One option is to spend the week at home with family and friends, cleaning, doing arts and crafts or catching up on sleep and schoolwork.
Taking time to rest is great, but why not hit the road and explore a new city? Here are a few of my favorite places that I guarantee will be a good time.
Houston & Galveston, Texas
The seven-hour drive seems daunting but isn’t so bad when surrounded by friends. Highway 59 runs through many of east Texas’s hidden gems such as Port Jefferson Outpost in Jefferson, Sombrero’s Coastal Tex Mex & Cantina in Nacogdoches, Shrimp Boat Manny’s in Livingston and all the Whataburgers in between.
Spend the night at an Airbnb in Tomball, a cozy town situated northwest of Houston between Highway 249 and I-45 filled with a plethora of its own hotspots. Grab breakfast at Coco’s Crepes, spend the morning at Buffalo Bayou Park, lunch at Preslee’s Southern Good Eatery in the Heights, visit Space Center Houston in Webster and dine at Adriatic Cafe.
Although spring break begins during the last weekend of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, travelers should not skip it. In its ninetieth year, this event attracts millions of guests, some arriving by horseback or covered wagon in the tradition of “trail riding.” Spend the morning exploring NRG Convention Center’s hundreds of vendors, live animal encounters, FFA competitions and rodeo art exhibits.
Enjoy the variety of Texas barbeque, carnival food and deep-fried goodness. Before wandering the fairgrounds and riding roller coasters, make sure to catch the pig races. Head to NRG stadium to watch rodeo championships and end the night with the legendary Brad Paisley in concert.
For a more laid-back adventure, Galveston Island is the place to go. Spend the day at Pleasure Pier, followed by seafood at Miller’s Landing on the Seawall and an afternoon relaxing on the beach. Explore the aquarium, rainforest and space pyramids at Moody Gardens and window shop on the Strand. End the day with a play at Island ETC and ice cream at La King’s Confectionery. Don’t forget to stock up on snacks at Buc-ee’s in Texas City.
Nashville & Memphis, Tennessee
Drive I-30 in the opposite direction to arrive at Music City. Wander through Nashville’s most hip neighborhood, tucked between Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities. Hillsboro Village is filled with restaurants like Bar Taco and Grilled Cheeserie, music stores and boutiques. For history lovers, downtown has the Country Music Hall of Fame, Frist Art Museum, the historic Ryman Auditorium and the Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash museums. Spend the evening at a Predators hockey game or listen to up-and-coming artists on every corner.
East Nashville has its own iconic locations. Opry Mills Mall and the Gaylord Hotel are great indoor locations for rainy days. The Grand Ole Opry hosts its own radio program recorded in front of a live audience running for over 90 years. Country music legends regularly perform and occasionally make surprise appearances.
On the way out of town, be sure to stop for breakfast at Loveless Cafe, just southwest of Nashville. In Memphis, landmarks like the Bass Pro Shops pyramid and Graceland are great for some sightseeing. Eat lunch at one of Beale Street’s many iconic restaurants before finishing the drive home.