Spring break is right around the corner– where are you going this year?

Photo Illustration by Kirsten Jackson | The Signal

Spring break is so close that you can almost taste the salt water and hear the sweet sound of the ocean while daydreaming in class. But wait—it is the first week of March and you realize you have not even decided what your plans are. Don’t worry, The Signal’s got your last-minute trip all planned out with ten locations that won’t leave your wallet empty. So, whether you are heading to these destinations for a day trip or the entire spring break, check out these inexpensive luxury locations then grab your suitcase and hit the road!

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GO NORTH:

1. Blue Cove Hideaway
Address: 301 County Road 116 Riceville, TN 37303
Time from GSU: 2h 23m
Average hotel price: $93 per night
Blue Cove Hideaway is a family-owned rock quarry in the quaint town of Athens, Tennessee. This destination is ideal for adventure seekers. The rugged terrain surrounding the bright blue water is a hiker’s wonderland, with cliffs and rope swings for swimmers. When visiting the quarry, make sure to swim at your own risk and pack a pair of water shoes to avoid foot injuries on the rocks. Additionally, Blue Cove Hideaway is under new management, so they require every visitor to sign a safety waiver before entering.

2. The Smoky Mountains
Address: 107 Park Headquarters Rd Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Time from GSU: 3h 29m
Average hotel price: $99 per night
While the city of Gatlinburg saw a horrendous geographic downfall in 2016, the Smoky Mountains have since replenished and once again have become a must-see tourist attraction. The Smoky Mountains themselves are the home to many Tennessee creatures and rentable cabins, while the city below is the hot spot for visitors to take photos of the stunning scenery. Whether you are hiking in the mountains or shopping in downtown Gatlinburg, you will always have something to do at this location.

GO SOUTH:

1. Panama City Beach
Address: Panama City Beach, FL 32407
Time from GSU: 5h 5min
Average hotel price: $169
Panama City Beach is the classic inexpensive destination for the non-stop spring break partier. This southern luxury location transports visitors to a tropical paradise with just a step in the sand. Take a dip in the ocean, purchase a souvenir, or drink a cooling Pina Colada at one of the beaches many bars. No matter what you do, with music blasting and drinks pouring, the party truly never stops at this location.

2. Weeki Wachee Springs
Address: Weeki Wachee Spring, Weeki Wachee, FL 34606
Time from GSU: 6h 21m
Average hotel price: $89
Weeki Wachee Springs, located the farthest away of all the locations, is one of Florida’s hidden treasures. Weeki Wachee is known locally for being a mermaid lover’s trip of a lifetime. Believe it or not, the shimmering blue springs are home to several mermaids that perform daily underwater shows. However, if mystical creatures aren’t your thing, kayaking and water slides are an inexpensive alternative.

GO EAST:

1. Myrtle Beach
Address: Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Time from GSU: 5h 38m
Average hotel price: $154 per night
Florida isn’t the only state with salty Atlantic Ocean beaches. Myrtle Beach, located on the coast of South Carolina, wows its visitors with amusement parks, waterparks and, of course, the gorgeous seaside. Whether you are tanning on the beach or watching the sunset on the SkyWheel, Myrtle Beach is an obvious choice for spring break entertainment.

2. Historic Charleston
Address: 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
Time from GSU: 4h 41m
Average hotel price: $150 per night
If you prefer a trip that will educate you with it’s undeniable history, historic Charleston, South Carolina, is your best bet. On site of where the Civil War began, historic Charleston is full of rich knowledge right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re taking a U.S. History class this semester, impress your professor with information you learned from this American landmark location.

GO WEST:

1. Gulf Shores
Address: Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Time from GSU: 5h 29m
Average hotel price: $176
Amusement parks, zoos, and biking, oh my! Gulf Shores, Alabama, is another beach with more than just an ocean to visit. Gulf Shores impresses and keeps visitors busy with creepy doll Escape Rooms and the gigantic Waterville USA. However, keep in mind this location is a little farther away, so I would recommend planning to stay for the majority of your spring break.

2. Cathedral Caverns
Address: 637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776
Time from GSU: 3h
Average hotel price: $59
Bring out your inner Indiana Jones at the Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, Alabama. Surprisingly, this exotic location is the cheapest of them all to visit, with an unforgettable experience. These caves are straight out of an action movie, and will have you and your Instagram followers in awe.

STAY IN GEORGIA:

1. Savannah, Georgia
Address: Savannah, GA 31302
Time from GSU: 3h 43m
Average hotel price: $102 a night
Historic Savannah is the place for ghost hunters and architecture enthusiasts alike. As the Spanish moss flows chillingly in the breeze, the Victorian-style shops and bars below fill with tourists. Savannah may only be a few hours away, but the city will transport you to another dimension in history. Visitors have claimed being haunted by unwanted visitors in their hotel rooms, while others hope for a spook on the year-round ghost tours. If you visit Savannah, make sure to pack a camera to capture the superbly crafted architecture (and maybe an orb!) while strolling through the eerie- yet stunning city.

2. Helen
Address: Helen, GA 30545
Time from GSU: 1h 38m
Average hotel price: $146 a night
Located right off the Chattahoochee River in the Blue Ridge Mountains lies the village of Helen, Georgia. At first glance, Helen may seem like your typical small town, but in reality, the attractions in Helen are endless. This location is ideal for filling up a week-long itinerary with several different activities. From tubing down the river to mountain biking or ziplining, Helen is the picture-perfect getaway for your entire family or even a few friends.

If this list does not have you ready to locate and dominate your spring break trip, nothing will. If you visit any of these locations be sure to tag us on Twitter @GSUSignalAandL or use the hashtag #TheSignalSpringBreak!

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