Mid-term recreation activities worth doing

Robert Heeter / Drummer

By Sarah Bartos 04/10/22 23:58

After long first weeks of classes, students take advantage of the next autumn holidays to relax and rewind before picking up the pace. If you want to go beyond the hurdles over fall break after crushing your papers and exams, here are some places within driving distance of Rice to explore over fall break.

Canyon Lake

Just three hours northwest of campus is Canyon Lake, a beautiful oasis in the Texas Hill Country. Located on the Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake’s hiking trails and water recreation make it a great place to enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, and golfing. The area has many Airbnbs and lodges available; or, if you’re a camping fan, Canyon Lake offers campsites in its 485-acre park.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Sometimes a long drive is worth it. Although it’s about a seven-hour drive from Rice, Hot Springs, Arkansas is a hot spot for any vacation. Enjoy the magnificent view of the Ouachita Mountains, shop in the historic downtown area or relax in what gave the city its name: its natural hot springs.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Home of world-famous donuts, unique architecture, and rich history, New Orleans, Louisiana is about a six-hour drive from campus. Explore the French Quarter, order a “Sazerac” cocktail at the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel’s art deco bar, or discover the historic streetcar system. Horror fans can visit the tomb of Marie Laveau, a famous voodoo priestess, or the LaLaurie Mansion which was featured in the television series “American Horror Story: Coven”.

Fredericksburg, TX

Fredericksburg is in the heart of Texas, a four-hour drive from Rice’s campus. Originally formed by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, this city has a rich history. Learn about Fredericksburg’s German history at the Pioneer Museum, go rock climbing in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area or visit the city’s various wineries. There are many local bed and breakfasts that visitors can stay at.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is a must for all nature lovers. In the heart of West Texas, Big Bend has acres of campgrounds, hiking trails and spectacular views. The park is home to around 1,200 plant species and fossils dating back around 130 million years. Cool off with a canoe on the Rio Grande or a hike to Cattail Falls. Big Bend National Park is about a ten-hour drive from Rice, but its scenic beauty is worth the trip. Remember, more driving in Texas means more Buc-ees stops.

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