By Lauren Gatto
October 10, 2002

Angelina Wagner

Want to get away? If you are tired of hitting the books and striving for that 4.0 then a road trip may be the answer for you. It just may be the perfect remedy to rejuvenate that cluttered brain whether you are looking for night attractions of the city, to relax and breathe in the fresh shore air or test your limits on some daredevil rides. These nearby places will help you make it through the school year. Many underestimate the prime location of the college. People do not realize all the exciting getaways that are only a train or car ride away.

If the hustle and bustle of the big city is your idea of fun, four of the largest cities of the United States are only two to three hours away. Of course the City of Brotherly Love, Philly, is first to come to mind. Center City is currently in the midst of a rejuvenation era, which is bringing many new attractions back downtown.

Whether it is good food, artistic entertainment or late night fun you seek, Center City has become the hottest spot to do just that. With a diverse ethnic background, Philly offers endless possibilities of cuisine and nightlife atmospheres. In Old City alone, there is Club Envy, The Five Spot, which brought the rise of local artists Jill Scott, and The Roots, and over 20 different restaurants to choose from. For those with struggling budgets you can go to places such as the Art Museum, which is free on Sundays, stroll down Main Street in Manayunk, take in a Phillies game or enjoy the occasional festivities at Penn’s Landing.

The other cities nearby have just as much to offer. The area has access to New York City by train or automobile and it takes two to three hours to get there. A round trip ticket is available through SEPTA at 30th Street Station for $28. With all that NYC has to offer it is hard to pass the offer up. Broadway, fine dining, historical sites and a number of the hottest clubs are just a state away.

To the south, Washington D.C. and Baltimore are also only a two to three hour drive. The history of downtown D.C. is something every American should experience. Such sites are the Washington Monument, the White House, the Smithsonian and the memorial of the Pentagon. Baltimore’s inner harbor features some of the best seafood on the East Coast, specializing in Maryland crabs. Besides eating these sea creatures, you can also view them at the Baltimore Aquarium.

Now, for a different twist on life, amusement parks are abundant in this region. There is Six Flags Great Adventure in nearby Jackson, N.J., which is around a one-and-a-half hour drive. This park features some of the most thrilling roller coasters on the East Coast like Nitro, Medusa and the Great American Scream Machine. With Halloween right around the corner, you do not want to miss the 11th Annual Fright Fest, the biggest Halloween festival in the Northeast. All this comes included with the regular admission price of $49.99.

Another great amusement park in the area is Hershey Park in Hershey, Pa. With only a two to three hour drive and admission for $34.95, you enter into a world full of chocolate. While you are there do not forget to check out their newest attraction, the Roller Soaker, the first interactive water coaster.

For those of you who do not like long trips try Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, which is only an hour away. Located in Allentown, Pa, you can experience two great parks for the price of one. For $28.75 you do not want to miss taking a chilling ride on Steal Force or floating down Riptide Run. For those of you who want to take travel to the limit try Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. A six hour drive and admission of $42.99 is well worth what you get.

The other great thing about this area is the shore. Nothing can take your troubles away more then a weekend at the beach. There are many towns to choose from up and down the coast. If a more relaxing weekend is what you are looking for, towns like Sea Isle City and Cape Cod are perfect getaways. If a more upbeat atmosphere is your style then Ocean City, Md., and Atlantic City are two great towns to check out. Either way, you can get the best of both worlds.

So if you did not know before, now there is no excuse. Now you cannot say that there is never anything to do. So the next time the heavy pressures of school are wearing you down, go out and explore the adventures that line the local roads.

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Lauren Gatto

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