Weekend Adventures: quick trips to take a quick break

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By Olivia Dow

Even though the in-state universities canceled spring break, it doesn’t mean day trips and weekend activities are not possible.

Students looking for a change of scenery with safe activities should check out these ideas separated by university/college. Don’t forget a mask.

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY AND GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

Desert Botanical Garden: Phoenix

Make a reservation to walk through the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Visit on a Friday through March 26 and enjoy live music in the garden. Gertrude’s and the Patio Café are open for a bite to eat. Reservations are required.

Info: dbg.org

Japanese Friendship Garden: Phoenix

Located in Downtown Phoenix, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a great place to walk through and relax while enjoying time outdoors. The trail through the garden takes visitors through four different landscapes and has benches located around the park where guests can meditate, relax or read a book. The garden is open Tuesday to Sunday with $10 admission and free parking.

Info: japanesefriendshipgarden.org

Lake Pleasant: Peoria

Go for a swim or rent a paddleboard and enjoy a day on Lake Pleasant in Peoria. For a bite to eat, check out Dillon’s Bayou at Pleasant Harbor.

Info: pleasantharbor.com

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY

Arizona Snow Bowl: Flagstaff

Take a scenic gondola ride or enjoy the snow at Snow Bowl. Just a half-hour drive from NAU, Arizona Snow Bowl is a great way to get outside and enjoy some time off-campus in Flagstaff.

Info: snowbowl.ski

Sedona

Sedona offers many ways to get outside and enjoy spring in Arizona. Take a hike in the red rocks at locations like Devils Bridge Trailhead or West Fork Trail No. 108 Oak Creek or go swimming at Slide Rock State Park ($20 per car for one to four visitors).

Info: visitsedona.com

The Grand Canyon

Enjoy one of the top U.S. National Parks for a day. The south rim is just an hour and a half from NAU. Take a hike or walk the rim trail to exercise. The National Parks Service has a free admission day on the first day of National Parks Week on April 17. Admission to the Grand Canyon otherwise is $35 per vehicle and can be purchased at the gate or online at recreation.gov.

Info: nps.gov/grca/index.htm

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Bisbee

Bisbee is the place to visit and support local businesses. Main Street Bisbee is filled with local shops, restaurants and haunted attractions with ghost and mineshaft tours.

Info: discoverbisbee.com

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch: Picacho

Less than an hour away from UA, spend the day with animals at the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. The ranch has a variety of critters to feed and pet, including stingrays, ostriches and deer. The ranch is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will run from $12 to $15.

Info: roostercogburn.com

Saguaro National Park: Tucson

With more than 150 miles of hiking trails to explore and beautiful saguaros everywhere, Saguaro National Park is a great place to visit for a nice hike and time outdoors. The National Parks Service has a free admission day on the first day of National Parks Week on April 17. Admission to Saguaro National Park otherwise is $25 per vehicle and can be purchased at the gate or online at recreation.gov.

Info:.gov/sagu/index.htm CT

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