Uncommon summer spots

Chris Hardy -- The present meets the past in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards as they remember their past as a prominent cattle yard.
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Chris Hardy -- The present meets the past in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards as they remember their past as a prominent cattle yard.
Chris Hardy -- The present meets the past in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards as they remember their past as a prominent cattle yard.

Summer has long been associated with freedom, adventure, sun and surf, but just how does one go about obtaining these things?

For students unsure of how to fill up their summer plans, take a look at these summertime suggestions:

1. Road trip it – Texas and Canada 

What better way to celebrate the summer than to hit the open road with a friend or two, a suitcase and a map? Take an adventure by traveling your way to Texas. Get a taste of the Lone Star State by visiting the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Not in the mood for taking your cowboy boots out of the closet? Have a hankering to having your passport stamped? No problem. For a longer trip with a little less Southern twang, consider heading north to Canada. Suggested stops along this route include Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, all before crossing the border in Blaine, Wash.

2. Camping – Mount San Jacinto and the Grand Canyon 

The California State Parks website has information on campgrounds for everyone from seasoned experts to newcomers still wary of the wilderness. Great campgrounds as well as beautiful hiking trails are abundant on Mt. San Jacinto, about an hour away from the California Baptist University campus. Wilderness permits for the area are free and can be picked up in the State Park Headquarters.

What about the Grand Canyon? This popular landmark is a hot spot for campers, and making reservations ahead of arrival is recommended. For the cost of a $25 vehicle fee and $12 entrance fee, the views of this magnificent creation could be just outside your tent for as long as a week.

3. Beaches – Santa Barbara and Catalina Island 

Summer in Southern California would not be complete without quality time at the beach. That being said, visiting locals can become humdrum. Consider branching out and visiting locations like Santa Barbara. A relaxing drive along the Pacific Coast Highway brings visitors to vibrant Santa Barbara, where Spanish architecture meets vibrant art and beautiful beaches. Multiple ferries offer round-trip transportation to Santa Catalina Island from various beaches, with round-trip fares averaging $70. Coupons and discounts are available online.

4. Unique destination – Mission San Juan Capistrano 

Try this unique destination that takes the visitor back to 1775 when Orange County’s only mission was built. The beautiful landmark is bursting with history and is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $9 and includes an audio tour. Coupons are available online. Discover the story of the swallows and enjoy the unique culture of the surrounding area, which is full of shops and restaurants.

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