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Affordable spring break alternatives await

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 Spring break. The two favorite words in any college student’s vocabulary.

For some, the week-long break from classes may mean a vacation to Las Vegas or the sandy beaches of Florida, but many college students have tight budgets and are unable to afford a luxurious trip.

There are alternatives.

Spring break doesn’t have to be hot, sandy or on a coast to be fun. Colorado offers numerous options for Colorado State University-Pueblo students looking to save money.

Pueblo is located within a few hours of some of the best skiing and snowboarding slopes in the world. Many ski resorts are offering cheap lodging rates through March to entice college students. A small group of students can stay at a Colorado resort and ski or snowboard for the entire weekend for the same price as just a plane ticket to Mexico.

Colorado may not have beaches to compete with Florida or Texas, but the state does have one of the most remarkable natural attractions in the world.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is a short drive from Pueblo. Sand dunes tower above 750 feet and are the highest in North America. A full day can be spent simply trying to climb a dune. It costs only a few dollars for an adult to enjoy the incredible sights of the sand dunes.

For students reluctant to experience the great Colorado outdoors, Denver is an option. According to the hotwire.com travel value index, Denver ranked as the fourth best value vacation in 2008. There are many affordable hotels in downtown Denver which are located within minutes of the city’s finest attractions.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has history exhibits, an IMAX theater and a planetarium. History and science students may enjoy the museum as a place to broaden their education without the burden of being in a lecture hall or pressure of having to memorize the information for an exam.

But it is spring break, therefore students want to unwind and have a good time outside of the learning environment.

Denver’s nightlife is considered one of the best in the United States. Lower downtown, or LoDo to some, is packed full of microbreweries, sports bars, nightclubs and restaurants along a stretch of several miles. One could barhop for an entire evening and still not leave the same block. Many drinking establishments offer drink specials, allowing for an inexpensive night on the town.

Spring break can be about relaxation, not necessarily trying to have the greatest week of our lives. There are many ways to have fun without emptying a wallet.