By Jessica Klinner
Spring break is only a few weeks away, and it’s time to figure out how you’ll be spending your week long vacation! While there may not be a lot going on in the city of Montgomery during the break, there are several vacation destinations within a six hour drive of Montgomery that are sure to be a great getaway.
1. Destin, Fla.
Travel time: 3 hr. 50 min.
Why visit? This beach trip destination is sure to be a perfect choice for a group of friends or family. Instead of sitting on the beach for the day, rent a boat and cruise over to Crab Island. This popular sandbar even has floating food vendors, inflatable slides and trampolines to make the experience more enjoyable. To recover from a day of partying and fun, visit Destin Commons for an evening of shopping or a movie at the IMAX theatre. Another fun attraction to check out in Destin is The Track, a family fun center with a huge go-cart track, arcade and mini golf course.
2. New Orleans, La.
Travel time: 5 hr. 5 min.
Why visit? New Orleans is a classic southern city filled with many historical sites and fun attractions. During the day, explore the French Quarter or take a tour of the many historic houses, plantations and cemeteries in the city. At night, take a walk down Bourbon Street or slip into a cozy jazz bar. Before leaving, you have to stop for beignets and coffee at the world famous Café Du Monde.
3. Nashville, Tenn.
Travel time: 4 hr. 46 min.
Why visit? It’s the home of country music! Walk into a bar on Broadway at any given time during the day and you’ll find a band or solo act performing. The city is alive with music at all times of the day. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame to see how the genre got started and where it stands today. Buy a ticket to the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium, and enjoy a night in a historic venue listening to great music. Whether you consider yourself a country music fan or not, Nashville is a great city to visit.
4. Atlanta, Ga.
Travel time: 2 hr. 34 min.
Why visit? With the shortest travel time on the list, Atlanta is already a great place to spend your vacation. This city offers a variety of fun attractions including the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Park and the CNN Center. Hit TV shows The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries film in and around the Atlanta area, and you can book a tour to see where the action of the shows takes place! After spending the day exploring various areas of the city, take in a nice concert at one of the many music venues.
5. Pensacola Beach, Fla.
Travel time: 3 hr. 9 min.
Why visit? Pensacola is not one of the most talked about beaches in Florida, but it is one of the most beautiful. The quiet, laid back atmosphere of the beaches in Pensacola makes it the perfect choice for a quick vacation. Since it is located on a small island, there is no need to drive anywhere because everything is within walking distance of most hotels and condos. Spend the day on the beach, and dance the night away at Bamboo Willie’s. If you’re not one for dancing or partying, enjoy a nice dinner at The Grand Marlin, and go for a moonlight stroll on the Portofino Boardwalk.
6. Panama City Beach, Fla.
Travel time: 3 hr. 41 min.
Why visit? When you think of spring break in Florida, Panama City is sure to be one of the first places that pops into your mind. In recent years, it has become the go-to beach spot for spring break activities. If you’re into the party scene, the hot spot to check out is Club La Vela especially during spring break. After a few days of partying, wind down with a trip to Pier Park, an open-air mall with a great mix of local shops as well as name brand stores.
7. Gulf Shores, Ala.
Travel time: 3 hr. 38 min.
Why visit? There are so many fun attractions in Gulf Shores that it’s almost impossible to do all of them. Take a dolphin cruise. Try the zipline course at the Gulf State Park. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. If you’re more into catching rays than exploring the town, head down to the beach for a day of relaxation. For a nice evening, head down to The Wharf for dinner, shopping and if you’re lucky, maybe there will even be a concert at the amphitheater during your visit.
8. Biloxi, Miss.
Travel time: 3 hr. 52 min.
Why visit? While Biloxi is most commonly associated with its many casinos, the small Mississippi town is actually another historically rich destination. There are several museums worth visiting including the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. The Biloxi lighthouse is a beautiful landmark on the gulf coast and a wonderful spot to take a picnic lunch and relax for a few hours. After a relaxing afternoon, take a chance and press your luck at one of Biloxi’s fine casinos. If gambling is not your style, buy tickets to a show at one of the hotels instead.
9. Savannah, Ga.
Travel time: 5 hr. 46 min.
Why visit? Savannah, Ga. has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the country and for a good reason. The architecture found in Savannah is beautiful and breathtaking. Take a stroll along the Riverfront Plaza, a nine-block stretch of shops, cafes and restaurants, and feed your southern appetite by dining at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons.
10. Memphis, Tenn.
Travel time: 5 hr. 37 min.
Why visit? Memphis is a city rich with musical history. Elvis Presley resided here until his death and now his home of Graceland is a famous tourist attraction. While in the city, you must visit Beale Street, a location brimming over with cool clubs and fantastic restaurants. Not too far from Beale Street lies a small recording studio called Sun Studio where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded music. Another must see attraction in Memphis is the National Civil Rights Museum and Lorraine Motel. The museum displays the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement and features a tour of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took his final breath before being assassinated on the hotel balcony.