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Editorial: Things to do near Chapel Hill this spring break

Glass Animals performs at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Aug. 28.

It’s that time of year again. After weeks of slogging through exams and assignments, the much-needed break from all of the stresses that students face at UNC has finally arrived — spring break.

As you overhear talk of people going on trips to Cancún, Miami, Costa Rica or some other warm and tropical paradise, it can seem awkward knowing you don’t have any big trip planned for spring break this year. However, there’s still plenty to do while at home or in the Chapel Hill area that is both fun and affordable (or, better yet, free).

Here is a list of ways you can spend spring break while not venturing too far from Chapel Hill:

Cat’s Cradle

Located in Carrboro, this music venue features many talented local and traveling artists and is a staple for many UNC students who enjoy music and concerts. Ticket prices vary, but rarely go over $30 and can be as cheap as $10. Not only do you get to enjoy a fun night out listening to music, but you also have the satisfaction of supporting small artists.

Shooters II

If you’re looking to go clubbing but aren’t yet 21, then Shooters II in Durham can be the perfect destination. While it might be a bit too close to Duke for your liking, we all have to step outside our comfort zones.  

For a small cover fee, you won’t be breaking the bank to get into the club.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Located on Duke’s campus, Sarah P. Duke Gardens features many beautiful landscapes and flora that are perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors. It is also a good spot to bring a date if you’re looking to spend time with someone and is an overall more relaxed experience compared to Cat’s Cradle or Shooter’s.

Admission is free, although parking at Duke costs $2 per hour. 

Raleigh Museums

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science and the North Carolina Museum of History are located right next to each other in downtown Raleigh and admission is free. The North Carolina Museum of Art is also in Raleigh, and admission is free for the museum’s permanent collection and Museum Park.

Whether you enjoy looking at fossils, learning about N.C.’s rich history or looking at unique art pieces, these museums offer you a lot to see for no cost at all.

Drive Shack

Drive Shack is a golf range similar to TopGolf where you can reserve a bay and play mini-games with your friends by hitting golf balls. It is a great activity to do if you and your friends just want to relax and have good food while swinging some golf balls around. 

Bay prices vary depending on what day and when during the day you choose to go, but it is best to do this with some of your friends so the cost won’t be too overwhelming.

Jordan Lake

Although it’s probably too cold to swim in the water, Jordan Lake is still a great place to go if you want to relax on the beach, go canoeing or any other aquatic activities.

It’s only a short drive away and is a great place to go just to get a change of scenery. 

Pilot Mountain

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If you’re willing to drive a bit farther, then Pilot Mountain is a good place to go hiking or spend time in nature if you want to take in a more scenic location. 

Although it is roughly an hour and 35-minute drive, the breathtaking view as the plants and trees blossom after the winter makes it all worth it.

Whatever you choose to do over spring break, take some time for yourself and relax.