Weekend getaways closer for BYU students than they think

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BYU students find themselves in a tough predicament in the trenches of the semester: escaping school without venturing too far from campus. Discovering a new place to spend the weekend away is easier than students might think.

The Narrows is a popular hike at Zion National Park in southern Utah. (Photo Credit: Frederick Ward)
Zion ational Park is one of many locations within a few hours of Provo that gives BYU students a chance to relax and enjoy the outdoors. (Photo Credit: Frederick Ward)

The grandest of weekend getaways is just a seven-hour drive away: the Grand Canyon. Paying a visit to this wonder of the world is a must-see when living in such short proximity, and many students spend time there to escape the monotony of the semester.

For many people in their 20s, the ability to totally disconnect from the world and enjoy nature is an opportunity that is hard to turn down. This is the case for Kristyn Conner, a recent college graduate and resident of Arizona.

“I’ve lived in Arizona for nearly three years now as a recent college graduate, and nothing else quite compares,” Conner said. “In a day and age where technology is gradually becoming the center of our lives, the ability to be completely awestruck and inspired by something grand in nature is hard to come by.”

Another popular place for students to enjoy is Zion National Park in southern Utah. With beautiful hikes, breathtaking views of rock formations and warmer temperatures than northern Utah, Zion is an ideal place for hikers and non-hikers alike.

Neil Longo, a history major from Glendora, Calif., said he enjoys Zion National Park during the cold Provo winter months.

“Its red-rock grandeur sharply contrasts with the bitter cold gray of Provo winters, (and) it is far enough away to be a real adventure without breaking the bank,” Longo said.

If nature isn’t necessarily your idea of a weekend full of fun, Las Vegas may be a trip worth taking for a weekend. With shows like Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, Donnie and Marie Osmond and various Broadway-style productions, Vegas is a popular destination.

Natalie Thomsen, 18, a student from Gilbert, Ariz., enjoys the BYU-friendly activities Vegas has to offer.

“Walking around Las Vegas during the day is the first advice I’d give because there seems to be less crazy people,” Thomsen said. “The musical performances are usually BYU student friendly, depending on the artist that is showcased. There are tons of museums and exhibits like the Titanic museum or the Body Works exhibit.”

“It’s a nice break from Provo and Utah in general,” said Elisabeth Morrison a Middle-Eastern studies major from Edmonton, Alberta. “The weather is always nicer (in Las Vegas), so it’s especially awesome during the wintertime. An easy weekend getaway with guaranteed sunshine.”

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