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February 03, 2005 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-03

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 3, 2005
Cheap vacation destinations can offer

The Michigan D
Mich. offers variety of fun options

By Kristin Halladay
For the Daily

With only three weeks left until
spring break, some may be looking
forward to the trip that was planned
months ago, while others may be
Pondering how spring break crept up
so fast.
For those students who haven't
gotten around to planning an MTV-
worthy spring break or who'd rath-
er explore more budget-conscious
options, there are still places to go
and things to do.
There is still time to create an
exciting spring break, and it doesn't
hiave to cost a fortune either.

Two words: Road Trip
Students who haven't done any
planning ahead of time can still hit
the road and have a fun vacation.
Large cities are great for exploring
and there is definitely enough to do or
see to last the whole week of spring
One tip: stay overnight in a youth
hostel rather than a hotel - they are
cheaper, host tons of other young
travelers and are usually in good
condition. Regardless of whether stu-
dents stay in a hostel or a hotel, call-
ing ahead of time to reserve a bed is
a good idea.
The Windy City is probably the

most convenient city to visit,
as it's only about a five-hour
drive away. Culture is abound
here, with an assortment
of museums and theaters
among other things. The
Field Museum boasts
the world's largest and
most complete T. Rex
sculpture and - during
spring break -will offer
a special exhibit with selec-
tions from John F. Kennedy's
library and museum.
Chicago is also known for its
music scene - including blues
and jazz - so there's always live music
around town. On March 2, for example,
the Chicago House of Blues offers the

Take Action Tour, fea-
turing Sugarcult, Haw-
thorne Heights and
And in the city,
you won't have to
dine expensively
because there are
always the famous
Chicago-style pizza
and smaller cafes.
And, for the
truly stingy, sim-
ply walking around
the city and look-
ing at the breathtak-
ing architecture and
famous landmarks is
an experience in itself.

nine hour drive. Students who are
of legal drinking age are especially
suited for the city since it has a huge
assortment of bars, including South
Street Original Crab Shack and
Authentic Dive Bar, which is deco-
rated like a tree house.
There are also some clubs downtown
and a lot of nice restaurants. According
to Nursing freshman Natalie Hubbard,
the Pancake Pantry is the ultimate place
to eat breakfast because they have the
"best pancakes in the world."
On Second Avenue are many attrac-
tions, including the Wild Horse Saloon
which has good beer, live music and free
line-dancing lessons, and the B.B. King
Blues Bar, which is also on Second Ave-
nue. Singer Jill Scott and comedian Todd
Glass from NBC's "Last Comic Stand-
ing" will be in town during the first week
in March. And like other cities, Nashville
has an assortment of shopping areas and

Nashville is slightly farther away
than Chicago, but the warmer tem-
peratures may be worth the eight to

By Megan Jacobs
Daily Arts Writer
Some may call it a strange coin-
cidence that Michigan's Lower Pen-
insula is mitten-shaped; others call
it a sign. While many Michigan stu-
dents flock to sunny locales such as
Acapulco or Cancun for the week,
and still others opt for Alternative
Spring Break to help out the needy,
a great majority will probably have
boots and snow on the mind and in
sight. Staying in Michigan doesn't
have to be a drag, however.
Hitting the slopes
For skiing and snowboarding
enthusiasts, Michigan is a veri-
table playground. Mount Brighton
is a popular destination, offering
26 runs, 7 chairlifts, 10 tows and
an impressive 250-foot vertical. It
also boasts one of the longest runs
in the area, measuring in at 1,350
feet. Visitors have the opportunity
to ski or snowboard; lift tickets are
always under $30 per day, though
the cheapest tickets are for night
skiing between midnight and 2 a.m.
Don't be discouraged if you don't
have your own equipment, either.
Brighton, along with other Michi-
gan ski areas Mount Holly and Pine
Knob, have skis, boards, boots and
helmets for rent. Ski equipment is
less than $25, snowboarding gear
less than $30.
For a quieter, perhaps more
romantic outdoor adventure, Sleep-
er and Port Crescent State Parks (in
Michigan's thumb) and Hartwick
Pines near Grayling (near Hough-
ton Lake in the center of the state)
offer candlelit cross country ski
evenings. Some nights at Sleeper
feature gourmet meals from local
chefs, sleigh rides and bonfires.
Snowshoeing is also offered at Hart-
wick Pines, though be warned, it's
more of a workout than one might
imagine. Park historian Rob Burg
said that "a one-mile hike on snow-
shoes feels like three miles of a nor-
mal hike." To preregister, call (989)
Slick speed
If an ice luge sounds more appeal-
ing, look no further than Muskegon
State Park, where participants rid-

ing a sled travel feet-first down a
track make of ice. Before sledders
can hit the 79-foot-high track, they
must do a training run on a lower-
level course and even that hits 15
mph over 500 feet. It's the upper
luge track that makes the trip worth-
while: a 720-foot run on which rid-
ers can hit up to 35 mph. Sleds and
helmets are provided, but riders
are required to wear lightweight
shoes or boots and elbow pads and
old clothes are advised. Similarly,
The Freeze in Waterford has an icy
toboggan run to check out.
Forward, mush!
It doesn't take a trip to Alaska to
dogsled, which is fortunate for those
spending spring break in Michigan.
The Buck Sporting Lodge and Tri-
ple Creek Kennels in Rapid River
(located in the Upper Peninsula)
have packages including a two-hour,
one-day and up to five-day guided
trips. Participants have the option of
riding or driving their own sled. For
a fun group trip, Kennels can accom-
modate parties of up to 12. Nature's
Kennel in McMillan (located east of
Rapid River) has two-day beginner
and five-day extreme dog sledding
ventures. There, one can learn to
"mush" (drive one's own dog team),
set up a winter camp, cook over an
open fire and spend a night with
the dogs. No experience is neces-
sary for either location. Check out
http://travel.michigan.org for more
information. At Double JJ Resorts
in Rothbury (located near Muske-
gon on the west side of the state),
trained Alaskan Huskies will pull
riders along miles of breathtaking
scenery. Even if snow is lacking,
it's not a problem for these pooches;
Double JJ has sleds on wheels. Call
(800) DOUBLE-JJ or visit www.
doublejj.com for details.
Carving out a good time
For those who missed the ice
carving extravaganza in Ann Arbor,
do not fret. The City of St. Joseph
is hosting its first annual "Magical
Ice Carving Festival." Visitors can
watch carvers transform blocks of
ice into shapes and characters in
front of their eyes, while enjoying
magicians, music, food and shop-

Photo illustration by RYAN WEINER/Dai
Michigan offers many locations for ski enthusiasts to hit the slopes.

ping. Their website, www.sjtoday.
org has more details regarding the
weekend event.
Culture and cinema
The Detroit Institute of Arts is
featuring a new exhibit now through
Feb. 27 of Murano glass. Over 300
pieces of Venetian blown glass from
the island of Murano is on exhibit;
adult tickets are $10 and may be
ordered online at www.dia.org. Feb-
ruary is Black History Month and
the DIA is celebrating with a month
of special events. Storytelling, jazz
concerts, song sessions and discus-

sion forums are only a few of th
wide range of features. Tickets ar
$25 per event.
Looking for a new twist on th
typical movie night? Cruise int
the IMAX Theater at the Henr
Ford Museum in Dearborn. Ever
est," James Cameron's "Aliens c
the Deep," a 3-D Nascar film an
"Lewis and Clark: Great Journe
West" are all playing during sprin
break for $10 per ticket. Screening
fill up fast, especially for "Pola
Express," so advance ticket pui
chases are advised. Tickets may b
purchased online at www.imax.con

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