The spring semester looks different this year, with a break noticeably absent from the calendar. Instead, it has been replaced by five “Wellness Holidays.” There are three left, and the free time could be used to take a day trip.
Kelly Forrester, a first-year biochemical and molecular biology student, said she will be spending time near the coast.
“We're going from Columbia, so, my personal favorite is Charleston. Which I feel like is cliché, but there's so much to do,” Forrester said.
Charleston, South Carolina’s largest city, is about a two hour drive from Columbia. It is well known for its history, shopping and dining. Though things are oftentimes more pricey in Charleston than they are in Columbia, Forrester has some tips.
“I'm a pro when it comes to Charleston,” Forrester said. “Immediately get out of the city, because everything's more expensive when you're right in the city. I say, take the bridge to Mount Pleasant.”
Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island, Forrester said, will be more budget-friendly for collegiate day-trippers, as parking is typically free.
Any perfect beach day has to include snacks, and sandwiches are always ideal. Forrester said she found a good restaurant called Mozzo's in Mount Pleasant.
“You can grab a sandwich [at Mozzo’s] and a bag of chips, and take the 10 minute drive to the beach,” Forrester said. “Park your car, get out on the beach — it's so nice — eat your sandwich on the beach, chill all day.”
After a day at the beach, head back into Charleston to wrap up your day with window shopping and a nice dinner.
“You're on the coast; you're right on the water. Eat some seafood,” Forrester said.
While dining in Charleston-proper may be more expensive, it's a Wellness Day, so treat yourself. Forrester said she recommends Fleet’s Landing for waterfront dining and seafood. Also, check out James Beard's award-winning Husk for upscale Southern fare.
If the beach isn’t what you’re looking for, the mountains are another option. Drive an hour and 40 minutes to Greenville, South Carolina, for those mountain vibes, and about thirty minutes farther for breathtaking views at Table Rock State Park.
First-year sport and entertainment management student Kate Cazayoux and first-year nursing student Mckenna Wiggins went to Table Rock State Park in January.
Cazayoux said the pair started their hike around 8:30 a.m. and finished by 3 p.m. Cazayoux said the hike is about eight miles long, so water is a must, and Wiggins said to bring snacks.
Hikers can also stop at any point along the path, as false-peaks and rock formations make great rest stops. Cazayoux and Wiggins used one of these stops to focus on themselves.
“We just laid down, and [our friend] balanced our chakras,” Cazayoux said.
Snacking and chakra balancing are only part of it. Wiggins said the best part of the hike was being able to spend time with friends.
“It was a bonding experience. When you're hiking, and it's really hard, it's nice to have [your] friends,” Wiggins said.
After a long hike, Cazayoux and Wiggins headed into Greenville to eat.
As a native, Forrester has some tips for dining and other activities in Greenville.
“There's some really good food,” Forrester said. “So, [Greenville has] this place called Sully’s Steamers, which is going to be, like, a more affordable lunch option. And it's bagels, it's bagel sandwiches.”
Whether you visit the historic Charleston and its surrounding beaches or mountainous Greenville, getting out of town can make for a refreshing use of a Wellness Day.