Ohio University has made the decision to cancel this year’s spring break to discourage students from traveling and possibly spreading or increasing their exposure to COVID-19. The university plans on carrying through until the summer in an attempt to keep the community safe and healthy. You’ll be spending your spring break in Athens!

For many students, this might initially seem like bad news. If you have the right attitude, though, it can actually be an opportunity. There are plenty of ways to have fun in Athens  and the surrounding area even if your official spring break has been canceled.

What can you do to enjoy yourself in Athens this spring? Let’s take a look.

1. Go Hiking In Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills is a small mountain range that runs close to Athens. Here, you can find a cabin to rent or a hike to take along one of the many of the trails that criss-cross the region. There is an exciting variety of activities to do in the Hocking Hills area that will get your adrenaline pumping. You can enjoy zip line rides, canoes, sailing opportunities, and more.

If you want to go a little deeper into the area, be sure to check out Old Man’s Cave, one of the most popular spots in the region. It’s a hub for many of the trails that sprawl out across the area.

2. Check Out Uptown Athens

Athens has a homey, college-town feel to it that locals love. In uptown Athens you will find shops, bars, and restaurants. You can also scout out popular Court street apartments for your residence next year.

If you want to spend time in calm green surroundings, be sure to check out the Wistendahl native plant garden. This incredible venue opened in 2014 and was built to showcase and preserve some of the beautiful wild plants that grow in Ohio and the surrounding areas. The garden was created and maintained by the Winstendahl family, local volunteers, and garden clubs.

If you like spending time with friends in large, open spaces, make sure to check out Dairy Lane park close to the Kennedy Museum of Art. It has a fun miniature golf course that you can enjoy with friends.

3. Visit Earth Water Rock Outdoor Adventures

With the majority of indoor venues closed or at limited capacity, it’s time for you and your friends to get out and enjoy some outdoor adventures. What better place to enjoy the beautiful spring weather than at Earth Water Rock?

This attraction in Hocking Hills provides beautiful scenic views of the landscape and has instructors to teach you the joys of climbing, bouldering, and belaying. Whether you are a beginner or a practiced climber, visiting Earth Water Rock is a great way to get active and spend time in nature.

4. Ride the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

If you and your friends don’t like the idea of hiking around Hocking Hills, you can always take a ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway (which has returned to service since the first shelter-in-place orders came into effect). The train ride offers incredible value and includes a three-hour round-trip ride through some of Ohio’s finest backcountry. Each carriage has a different dining theme, and all food is prepared by a professional chef.

5. Go To Concerts

If music is your thing, check out one of the many concerts that Athens is hosting this spring. Stuart’s Opera house is perhaps the most famous venue in the city. It offers a combination of plays and concerts and is full of history. The opera house is a great place to visit if you love performing arts.

6. Visit Athens Skate Park

Athens Skate Park is a large, 18,000 square foot award-winning concrete part for both street and vert skaters. It has a one-of-a-kind, 16-foot full pipe plus multiple ledges, steps, and bowls for you to practice your skating or try a new hobby. It’s ideal for BMX bikers, in-line skaters, and skateboarders. If you’re not interested in skating yourself, going to watch other talented skaters is a great way to spend an evening.

7. Go Horseback Riding

The Smoke Rise Ranch Resort offers horseback riding opportunities for riders of all levels. This venue is just 30 minutes from Athens by car and offers both solo and guided trails for visiting riders. In total, there are more than 2,000 acres of land to explore, plus numerous cattle drive routes and expeditions through the surrounding countryside.

Although Ohio University has canceled regular spring break, Athens and the surrounding area will still offer plenty of opportunities for fun! For more information on off-campus Ohio University housing in Athens, contact Wharton Rentals.


Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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