By Christopher Confero
There isn’t too much about student life that makes me want to return. Early mornings, endless homework, and weekly tests—you can keep it all. But of course, there are things I desperately miss: summer break, winter break, spring break. I’m beginning to see the pattern here. As a business owner who makes my own schedule, I have to recognize my ability of being able to travel at will isn’t the luxury that most adults are afforded. As the winter months are behind us, I wanted to put together a list of what I think would be an incredibly fun, Southern spring break for adults.
If you’re always dreaming of the sand between your toes but want to escape the throngs of collegiate revelers, then Rosemary Beach in South Walton, Florida, may be just the place for you. With a stunning community and gorgeous landscape, this is a destination that exudes luxury and encourages the finest in rest and relaxation. Once you’ve had your chance to explore the shops on foot, renting bicycles is a must. As a very bike-friendly town, it’s the best way to take in the sights. Dinner at Restaurant Paradis is certainly to be on the list for any foodie in your group. Of course, a full day relaxing on the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand is sure to be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Let’s make this clear. This is about New Orleans, not Bourbon Street. While the heart of the French Quarter is the instant vision that comes to mind when you think New Orleans, it’s not all there is to experience. One of my favorite hotels visually in this city is Le Pavillon, with a front façade that always stops me in my tracks and provides a location outside the Quarter and close to the distinct Warehouse District. Take the St. Charles trolley in the morning to peruse the Garden District’s gorgeous homes and shops on Magazine Street. Make your way to Sucré for some of the most gorgeous sweets to be seen and tasted in the South. Once you’re back in the Warehouse District, lunch at Cochon Butcher gives you a chance to experience excellent mile-high sandwiches straight from the butcher’s counter. The World War II Museum is simply not to be missed. In the evening, a trip to Fulton Alley’s boutique-style bowling alley with fab cocktails and light bites will have you rethinking what a bowling experience should be. Of course, one night on Bourbon Street is perfectly acceptable after you’ve given yourself a chance to see what else the city can offer.
If you just can’t find the time to make your big escape to some faraway paradise, you can still treat yourself to a little R&R right here at home. When you’ve always lived in a town, it sometimes slips your mind that you have amazing treasures to discover right at home. So take a weekend and check yourself into a hotel right here in Birmingham to rediscover your city. With the recent renovations at the Redmont Hotel, you can spend a weekend exploring the exciting new things happening in downtown Birmingham. When is the last time you went to see the incredible exhibits at the Museum of Art? Have you experienced the newly renovated Lyric Theatre yet? There are fabulous restaurants nestled in the heart of downtown that you know you haven’t tried, such as Café Dupont and Bistro 218. A night at Paramount with cocktails and arcade games from your childhood will certainly have you grateful for your city. If you’re one of those of us who is occasionally guilty of saying there’s just nothing to do in town, this “staycation” may be just the thing you need to see why Birmingham is the next Southern city on the rise.