How to Plan the Perfect NC Day Trip

By: Katie Kane

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Before starting college, I lived on the Jersey shore. Living in New Jersey and being able to visit New York City frequently was a privilege that I had become accustomed to —  I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I left. Coming to college in North Carolina meant that I would have to give up my Sunday afternoons in Soho waiting two hours for a Black Tap milkshake (if you have ever had one you know why I waited that long). But leaving home also meant new opportunities and adventures that I was very excited to experience.

Before coming to Elon, I insisted that I wouldn’t need a car. I thought having one on campus would only tempt me to leave and blow money at Target and Forever 21 to then miss out on events on campus. Despite not having a car for the majority of the first semester, I still managed to waste money at Target, and after being on campus for only about a month I quickly realized that the Elon bubble actually does exist. However, I also learned that I don’t need a car to be able to get off campus and experience North Carolina. Aside from the often expensive Uber trips, the train in Burlington goes to all of the major cities in North Carolina and you can use the car share program from Enterprise through Elon.

Since coming to school, I have been all over the state. I’ve explored Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, as well as some amazing hiking spots. During parents weekend, I visited Raleigh with my family and we walked through a huge bluegrass festival which not only had amazing music but also supported a wide range of local businesses and featured some unique, truly southern North Carolinian cuisine. Always keep your eyes peeled for concerts or festivals coming up in the area — visitnc.com has most of the major upcoming events listed on their website.

In addition to urban activities, there is also a lot more to see outside of the cities. As a self proclaimed, “low-key” granola girl, I love taking a Saturday day trip to a new hiking trail. So far I have hiked Hanging Rock and Pilot’s Mountain which both rewarded me with spectacular views at the top.  When you find yourself overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester or your job is stressing you out, nothing is more relaxing or liberating than forgetting your responsibilities and dedicating all of your focus on hiking up a mountain with a friend. Sites like theoutboundcollective.com and alltrails.com are great places to find new trails and see what other people are saying about them.

Whether you are the outdoorsy type or love exploring the shops and restaurants in a new city, you can easily find a perfect plan for a Saturday day trip outside of Elon. Sometimes all you need is to take a day for yourself to refocus and gain a new perspective. Whatever you end up doing, share your experiences with The Edge, send us your pictures and recommendations and tag us in your photos. And of course always remember Ellie from the movie Up: adventure is out there!

 

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