SPRING BREAK: Getaways close to home

By MELINA CASILLAS

Spring Break offers a time for fun and taking a week to forget about school.

If you’re a typically broke college student, you probably can’t even afford to look at top destinations such as Cabo or Miami.

Never fear. If you want a good time without spending too much, you’re reading the right article.

PATAGONIA STATE PARK

The park is located in Santa Cruz County about an hour and a half south of Tucson. Options include visiting for the day or camping near its namesake Patagonia Lake.

Enjoy scenic water views from a boat, with rentals available. You can also fish, swim or take a half-mile hike to Sonoita Creek.

The park is open for day use from 4 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission costs $15- $20 per vehicle for up to four people, and $3 for individual walk-ins or bicyclists.

Tips for day visitors:

• Arrive early, like at 6 a.m., to maximize fun and to nab a spot that includes a picnic table and great view.

• If you get tired, take a nap in the sun. Just make sure to layer on the SPF.

• Pack a picnic. Fast food and restaurants are not readily available.

• Compile a playlist and make sure you’re able to use offline mode, because service is spotty.

• Take a sweater. It can be chilly in the morning and is often windy.

Make reservations for tent or RV camping at 877-MY-PARKS from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or reserve online.

For more information, visit https://azstateparks. com/patagonia-lake.

PUERTO PEÑASCO (ROCKY POINT)

The Mexican beach resort is roughly three hours south of Tucson. Bring your passport or birth certificate.

Most hotels require a person over 25 years old to make the reservation but some allow guests under age 25 to stay at their properties. Many also offer Spring Break deals.

A sampling includes Las Palmas, Princesa Penasco, Casa Blanca, Bella Sirena, Playa Bonita, Laos Mar and Peñasco del Sol.

Daytime activities can be just as fun as the nightlife. Options include day bars, ATV and jet ski rentals, horseriding on the beach, golf, fishing, sunset cruises and banana boats. You’ll see banana boat rides available all over Rocky Point’s beaches.

Rides usually cost $5-$20, depending on how long you ride and how far you go. The boats normally carry six to eight people per trip.

For more information, visit sites such as visitmexico.com/en/rocky-point

LAKE HAVASU

Visit Arizona’s west “coast” if you’re looking to get out of town but not out of state. Havasu is located along the Colorado River, four and a half hours from Tucson.

Known for its year-round sunshine and huge Spring Break crowds, Havasu offers tubing, boating hiking, cycling, fishing, offroading and much more. You won’t run out of things to do.

For additional details, visit the Spring Break Section of golakehavasu.com

STAY IN TOWN

Tucson offers fun, touristy and scenic spots that won’t hurt your wallet too much.

It’s free to hike Tumamoc Hill, located off West Anklam Road. Just follow the three rules: no pets, no hiking between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and don’t mess with the wildlife and plants. Carpool with friends and then go for brunch.

For an overview of Tucson’s many other hiking trails, see visittucson. org/things-to-do/hiking.

If you want an adrenaline rush, consider Get Air, Rocks and Ropes or Autobahn Indoor Speedway.

Get Air trampoline park, 330 S. Toole Ave., costs $12 for one hour and $18 for two hours. You’ll pay an extra $3 for jump socks. Hours are Monday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m.; Friday, noon-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit http://getairtucson.com.

Rocks and Ropes, also located at 330 S. Toole Ave., offers indoor rock climbing. Admission costs $15 for adults, $10 for ages 12 and under. Other options: pay $12 for a first-time lesson with orientation, $6 for equipment rental or $30 for a full firsttime package. Hours are Monday-Friday, 3-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit https://rocksandropes. com/downtown.

Autobahn Indoor Speedway, 300 S. Toole Ave., lets the kid in you live out your Mario Kart dreams. Prices vary from $19.99 to $100. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit autobahnspeed. com/locations/tucson-arizona-indoor-gokarts.

If you prefer a calmer pace, consider one of the 10-plus museums located in Tucson area. One example: the Tucson Museum of Art, 166 W. Alameda St. For more information, visit tucsonmuseumofart.org.

Daniella Campuzano and Ashley Muñoz contributed to this article.

Filed Under: Spotlight

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