With the everyday stresses of college life and academic expectations, a weekend getaway seems like a heaven on Earth. We all know the Lehigh bubble can suck us into this world of long days full of classes and even longer nights spent in Linderman or Fairchild-Martindale libraries. Nothing is better than escaping the stress of our rigorous academics for a few days to explore and relax somewhere outside the Lehigh bubble.
Because of our prime location in the East, we have access to so many different cities and destinations within driving distance. We have access to the coast, the mountains or even some of the biggest cities in the United States. We’re pretty lucky to go to college in an area that gives us access to many different locations. Why not take advantage of that?
New York City
New York City is approximately 90 miles east of Lehigh. There are many transportation options to get to the city in less than two and a half hours. The bus terminal in South Bethlehem is a cheap and easy way to get to NYC, with a round trip ticket costing you less than $50. On the other hand, if you have a car handy, driving is another option, as you can find free parking on the streets once in the city.
There’s endless opportunity for activities once you arrive in New York City. The wide variety of museums will have you stuffing your brain with knowledge and the myriad of restaurants will have you stuffing your face with various types of cuisine from many different countries. One of my favorite restaurants in New York City is Tao, an upscale Thai restaurant that turns into a club after hours, which I recommend you check out next time you’re in the city. Wherever you’re walking, I can promise you there won’t be a lack of food options, whether it be upscale options, diners, bars or hole-in-the-wall finds. On top of the restaurants, the hundreds to thousands of bars and clubs make for fun nightlife.
Besides learning and eating, shopping is another huge activity in the city. Sales are abundant and just about any type of clothing you need, or simply just want, will be right at your fingertips. SoHo, Columbus Circle and Times Square are only a few of the many shopping districts in the city to choose from.
Besides shopping, Times Square is a must-see for everyone who goes to the city. Besides being renowned for its New Year’s Ball Drop, it offers so much more. The bright billboards, people dressed in bizarre costumes, and my favorite — the M&M store — are all located within Times Square. If you’re lucky and a store asks you to promote an item, you may even end up seeing your face on a billboard.
On the other side of the spectrum, for a quieter getaway, there is always the option to escape to the Poconos. From hiking and beautiful nature walks in the spring and summer, to skiing or snowboarding in the winter, there is never a lack of relaxed activity in the mountains. In the warmer months, activities in the Poconos range from relaxing by a lake to zip lining and horseback riding. During winter, people flock to Camelback and Blue Mountain to test out their skills on the slopes. These mountains are only a 30- to 45-minute drive from Lehigh.
There’s even a casino and some shopping centers in the Poconos Mountain region. If you get tired of the quiet atmosphere and surrounding nature, there’s always something else to do to keep you busy.
While I have only laid out two options for quick weekend getaways, there are plenty more within the same distance and even farther away (if you’re looking for a longer getaway). Some destinations around campus could even become day trips if you only have limited time.
Go ahead and try out these two options I have mentioned, but with a little bit of your own research, you could be on your way to anywhere to have a more relaxed and enjoyable weekend.
Danielle Campbell, ’18, is an assistant visuals editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]