Big cities have always been an ideal travel attraction for college students, providing infinite things to do and see. But now that summer time is in full swing many city-dwellers flock to the surrounding suburbs to escape the hot, congested city streets. These areas provide a more laid back atmosphere, perfect for summer relaxation and fun. No travel expense needed, here are some great tourist attractions right in your backyard!
The North Shore (Chicago)
A few miles north of downtown Chicago is the North Shore, an area made famous by being featured as the setting of films like Mean Girls, The Breakfast Club, and Risky Business. Neighboring Chicago is quite the attraction, but this suburban hub holds plenty for both inhabitants and visitors.
The biggest attraction is its popular beaches lining the North Shore, such as Tower Road Beach in Winnetka, Gilson Park in Wilmette, and Glencoe Beach in Glencoe.
“Any given day during the summer, you can just drive over to the beach. It’s an instant activity and fun way to spend your day,” said University of Illinois rising sophomore Christy Nichols.
Even college kids stil love a great theme park and Six Flags’ Great America is 45 miles north of Chicago. Jump in the car for a day trip. With all the rides, and games they offer you'll enjoy reliving your thrill-seeking childhood. Be sure to pack a few cans of Coke for the ride up – chug them in the car, get that caffine kick going and then get a discount on admission when you present your empty soda can.
Bay Area (San Francisco)
Surrounding San Francisco is the Bay Area, one of the United States’ most affluent suburban areas. With its warm but breezy climate this northern California city offers many opportunities for fun outside of the Golden Gate City’s boundaries.
The Bay Area is home to college towns such as Pal Alto, where Stanford University, and University of California at Berkeley are located. In downtown Pal Alto, there’s a multitude of shopping options such as interesting boutiques like Empire Vintage Clothing and Fashion Passion[DO1] . There are many choices to suit a wide variety of taste palettes like Sprout, a café catering to salad lovers, and a variety of sushi restaurants and frozen yogurt shops.
“Berkeley is so unique,” said Richards who enjoys the Berkley atmosphere that separates it from other Bay Area locations. “It is a very ‘hippie’-feeling college town, and it just has so many different stores and places to eat.”
In Santa Cruz, just a short drive south from San Francisco, is the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, a seaside amusement park with rides, concerts, games and more. The rides are all priced individually, but there are also all day passes available.
Long Island (New York City)
If you’re looking for a break from fast-paced Manhattan, head out to Long Island, a 118 mile-long island southeast of New York City with several small towns each with their own unique attractions.
Many New York City dwellers love Long Island in the summer for it’s famous beaches, most famous of these being the Hamptons. The Hamptons are also a hub for upscale shopping and unique dining that can get expensive fast. Long Island also has many theme and amusement parks for residents and visitors the most popular in the summer being Splish Splash, in Riverhead; Long Island’s largest water park, featuring an array of water rides, slides, and pools.
Closer to New York is the city of Long Beach, self-dubbed the “City by the Sea”. Long Beach boasts miles of beach, but is famous for its boardwalk, stretching over two miles. Every summer, an arts and crafts festival is held on the boardwalk. This summer, it will take place on July 16 and 17 and August 20 and 21 with over 200 vendors from all over the East Coast selling their handmade products, such as clothes, painting, jewelry, and more.