Off-beat spring break destinations

San Francisco
Rachel Feder/File

With so much to do during the semester, spring break is a perfect time to pack up and have some fun somewhere other than your friend’s kitchen or Remy’s during Taco Tuesday. We know that sometimes there’s a lot of pressure to plan the perfect trip, especially now that spring break is only a week away. Many of you may be mourning that it’s now too late or too expensive to hit up your typical spring break meccas.

We at the Clog, however, don’t believe in boring locations, only boring spring breakers. Here are a few off-beat destinations that don’t always get the attention they deserve.

Fontana, CA

When people think of SoCal, they think of Fontana. Located just a couple hours outside LA and a day from TJ, Fontana is an extremely accessible destination and boasts the largest libraries of the San Bernardino County. What’s more is that, nestled right in the middle of the 210 and 10 freeways, it is a hub for long-distance trucking, making it a great place for you to meet new people. It’s rumored to also house some of the state’s most celebrated chain restaurants, such as Taco Bell, and if you’re feeling like entering the two dollar YELP range, Applebee’s is there as well. Because the city expanded so rapidly, its northern half remains undeveloped, leaving this area completely free for as many dust and dirt games as your mind can think of. Who needs the City of Angels when this desert oasis is just miles of traffic away?

Thibodaux, LA

If you’re looking to get cultured this break, Thibodaux’s name alone should make you feel a little more sophisticated, if you can pronounce it correctly. Thibodaux is rich with old French names, southern hospitality and swamps. Although Mardi Gras season will be well over by the time spring break rolls around, this just means that all Mardi Gras accessories and paraphernalia will now be on sale at every neighborhood Walmart. So go pick up some authentic purple plastic beads and king cake vodka for half off and have a good time. Loitering in parking lots is also a favorite local pastime with free admission for all visitors. There’s nothing more relaxing than the soothing scents of asphalt and the ambiance of truck tires against gravel. Also, fireworks are legal across the state, so if you’re willing to make a trip to a distributor before heading to your parking lot of choice, you can have a lot of fun with that. Have a blast in Thibodaux without the hustle and bustle of The Big Easy.

Norwalk, CT

With just an $11 off-peak ticket on the Metro-North, you can go to Norwalk, a perfect alternative to New York. The Xerox world headquarters is a popular destination for butt scanning enthusiasts and office supply tourists alike, and the human resources crowd is said to be very welcoming. Down the road, a few or more miles, there’s Johnny Utah, which has a bull ride that’s really popular with the middle-aged locals. Any enthusiastic Millennial willing to show off their riding ability is sure to draw attention in this favorite neighborhood bar. Amateur baseball is also very popular here, and in 1952, the Norwalk Little League team won the Little League National Series. Some claim that the city has been abuzz with baseball talk ever since. The celebratory atmosphere is definitely overwhelming at Costco on Sample Sunday’s. So, if you’ll looking to head near the Big Apple this break, consider heading to this little gem just within bridge toll distance.

Mercury, NV

Looking to experience the thrill of Las Vegas, but a little uncomfortable in crowds? Well, what happens in Mercury also stays in Mercury, because it’s a military test site. In fact, one of it’s greatest achievements is that its Wikipedia page can be read without scrolling. Located just an hour away from Vegas in the direction of the deserts, Mercury is sure to get your adrenaline running in the most post-apocalyptic way as you explore the vast desert and unbroken skyline. A flourishing town until subcritical nuclear testing ended in 1992, Mercury is now almost  completely deserted except for some restaurants, a bar and a gym. Basically, it retains all the essentials for exercising, tanning, doing laundry and partying, without the annoyances of clamor and glamour. The town is now governed by the United States Department of Energy and is sure to leave you feeling energized from a questionable dose of radiation exposure. Don’t gamble away your money this break. Go big or go home and gamble on your health in this military base conveniently located just off U.S. Route 95.

Contact Raeline Valbuena at [email protected].