Fall break is finally here—after the hectic sprint-for-the-finish Novos reported enduring during the New College midterms, many are now looking for exciting new experiences or ways to kick back and relax. To facilitate a fall break well spent, here’s a starter guide to some fun places and events to cross off a fall-breakers bucket list.
Topping the list is the quintessential destination for any Floridian on leave. One can hardly imagine talk of fall break without mentioning the vast selection of scenic Florida beaches. Among these coastline destinations, Cocoa Beach stands as a premier choice. Travel just a bit east of Orlando to find more than just an awe-inspired view made up from joyful faces, cascading iridescent clouds and rolling waves—one would also find the perfect location for surfing, whether experienced or novice. Cocoa Beach boasts some of the best waves in Florida, owing to the southwest wind chops during high tide. It’s also the birthplace of the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, where folks can rent out surfing gear and get advice from the pros. Whether one wants to relax or try something new, Cocoa Beach should have what’s needed.
Some people love the water but loathe the raucous crowd that often accompanies it. For those looking for a swim that’s a bit more intimate, the Devil’s Den Spring has got you covered. The historic diving site was named by settlers who saw steam rising from the chimney openings on cold mornings. Today, it exists as a privately owned scuba diving and snorkeling site for those who aren’t intimidated by its dramatic name. The cavern itself gives off a sublime stillness and beauty, with a year-round temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to the spring. It’s an excellent choice for anyone trying to explore some of Florida’s natural world.
Yet, some wish to leave behind the natural for the temptations of the supernatural. For the psychonauts, thrill-chasers and lovers of spook, The Castle may be the move. Located in Ybor City, just northeast of downtown Tampa, this long-standing goth-inspired nightclub routinely attracts a colorful cast of characters. Checkerboard jesters, headless burlesque dancers and a regular crowd of misfits come together to dance and drink in The Castle’s densely decorated rooms.
“The Castle is a place where anyone can express themselves without the fear of being judged,” second-year Joseph McMahon said. “Plus, there’s a BDSM whipping booth.”
Yet, you don’t have to travel off-campus to find a welcoming crowd and good music. Coming up this week on Oct. 17 is the Open Jam Session event held at Z Amphitheater. Musicians of all stripes, levels and AOCs will be coming together from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. to share their talent and presence. You don’t have to play an instrument to drop in—those who want to hear the music and check out the scene are encouraged to attend.
“This event will be open to everyone in the NCF community,” event organizer and second-year Dominic Santini said. “Anyone is free to come, even if only to listen. The event is a very free form jam session, so improvisation will be the focus. But for the last hour and a half, I will have a physical sign-up sheet for pre-planned performances. It’s a way for the musicians on campus to make connections and express themselves freely.”
From surreal nature to energetic crowds, everyone ought to find something they enjoy this fall, and hopefully return rested and prepared for the rest of the semester.