So, you just finished working on a paper or cramming for a test, and now the weekend has finally arrived. Looking forward to a long weekend of drunken debauchery, just like every weekend since Welcome Week? Or you may just be so exhausted from school that you pass out, perfectly convinced that you will not be missing anything new. If either of these cases sound like you, perhaps these two words may be useful … road trip.
Rather than being overwhelmed with herds of random, nameless faces every weekend, pack a bag and drive somewhere with a few of your closest friends. Because snow will be arriving shortly and escaping it is not possible, you might as well get a head start and go north. You won’t be as surprised or appalled when Michigan’s unpredictable winter finally does arrive.
Windsor’s proximity to Ann Arbor makes it convenient, and you’re only an hour away from spending (or losing) money, whether it’s at a casino or a bar. No Friday classes? Start the weekend early, and after a Thursday night in Windsor, venture off to Toronto by train.
“Just about anything you want to do, you can find in Toronto,” said a representative of Ontario’s Key Tours. “Everything is there.”
Also, as an added incentive for those interested in a weekend of shopping, the currency exchange rate is excellent. One US dollar currently converts to $1.57 Canadian.
Train tickets run $80 round-trip for students with a valid International Student Identity Card, which can be purchased for $22 at either STA Travel or Council Travel here on campus. Without the card, the train ticket will cost $135 round-trip for an adult. (A 40 percent discount is applicable if the ticket is purchased five days in advance). The train ride is about four hours, affording a great opportunity for University students to catch up on class readings.
Perhaps a more low maintenance weekend may be found up at Boyne Mountain. Once the snow falls, skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling are adventurous weekend getaway options. George Gustafson, a representative of Boyne USA Resorts, suggests going with a group of 8-10 people and staying in a Mountain Villa Condo located on Boyne Mountain property. Renting a two-bedroom condo for the weekend with 10 people may run close to $200 (including a weekend lift ticket). A Boyne Mountain excursion is recommended for larger groups of students because it will cut down on the cost of accommodations.
While Chicago makes a great weekend getaway (only about four and a half hours by car) it tends to be expensive. If funds are somewhat scarce, then a trip to Chicago may be feasible only by staying at a friend’s place. After strolling down Michigan Avenue, cruising around Lincoln Park and embracing the eclectic nightlife, the amount of money left to your name may be in the single digits. Since everything in Chicago is not within walking distance, plan on spending extra money for cabs. Even though it is an expensive city, some students say Chicago is a great place to go to escape the small town feel of Ann Arbor.
“A college campus is more enclosed, where Chicago is more of a big city atmosphere,” said LSA sophomore Lindsay Hart.
While in Chicago, traveling to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the top of the Sears Tower and Navy Pier may be some entertaining activities. Also, if you’re looking to find the more cultural aspects of the city, there are various museums from which to choose. The Art Institute of Chicago is located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street and displays more than 300,000 works of art. Afterwards, indulge in a bite to eat down the street at the gourmet food court of Water Tower Place.