As everyone waits for their spring break vacations, it can be easy to grow restless in Lubbock. But why wait for spring break to go on an adventure? For those of us who love road trips, there are tons of places not far from the city to visit for a day or weekend.

Cadillac Ranch is one of my favorite places to visit for a quick day trip. It’s an art installation located near Amarillo in the middle of miles of fields. There are ten painted Cadillacs set in the ground and anyone who visits is free to bring along spray paint and add to the art. This makes it fun to go with friends and leave your mark on the cars. It’s the perfect spot for Instagram pictures, and even better, it’s completely free to visit.

Another place worth visiting near Amarillo is Palo Duro Canyon, a popular hiking spot for Texas Tech students. There are over 30 miles to explore on foot or bike and plenty of camping sites. Since it’s only 30 minutes from downtown Amarillo, there are plenty of places nearby to eat or visit after hiking.

Caprock Canyons is a great option for people who have already conquered Palo Duro and are looking for a new hiking destination. Located less than two hours from Tech, Caprock Canyons has more than 90 miles of trails at varying length and difficulty. The state park also features Lake Theo, where parkgoers can swim or fish during warmer months.

White Sands is a national monument five hours southwest of Lubbock. It’s super fun to go sledding down the all-white dunes, especially since there aren’t opportunities to sled in West Texas. This desert is a beautiful place for a day trip, and my friends and I usually bring our dogs along for the ride.

On the way to White Sands, I highly recommend stopping by McGinn’s PistachioLand: Home of the World’s Largest Pistachio. As the name suggests, the ranch and country store feature the largest pistachio statue in the world. It’s worth checking out at least once when in the area, and it’s a good place to stop for a snack.

Carlsbad Caverns, near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is a well-known natural feature, and a place I would love to visit again soon. The caves are only three hours away, and there are over 100 caves to explore. There’s plenty of wildlife to see depending on the season and time of day, but one of the most fascinating things is to watch the bats flying in or out of the cavern.

Not far from the caverns is another natural beauty called Sitting Bull Falls. While I’ve never had the chance to go, all my friends and family who have gone loved it. There are several waterfalls and pools of water to swim in that make the steep hike well worth it. The best time to go is when the weather is warmer, as the water tends to be pretty cold.

Blue Hole is a deep lake in the middle of the desert near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. During summer or late spring, it’s one of the best places to road trip to for swimming. The lake is 79 feet deep and stays the same temperature all year long. During colder months, the lake is still open but mainly for SCUBA diving.

For those who are interested in anything supernatural, Roswell, New Mexico is the perfect place. There was an alleged UFO crash in the 1940s and since then, the town has become one of the hottest spots for all things alien-related. The International UFO Museum and Research Center has plenty of details on the crash and other “sightings” that have occurred all over the country. Besides that, it’s an interesting place to experience for those who have never been.

Taking a short trip to visit these places helps me destress during a long semester. It’s important to take some time off every once in a while, to keep from getting burned out. With that said, I’m excited to see where my friends and I will go this semester.

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