You should know by now Blueprint prides itself on being three things. Personal. Innovative. And FUN! While learning can be fun (our instructors prove that every day!), sometimes you just need to get out of the classroom and off campus. So, every Friday, we’ll be taking a moment to tell you about our awesome trips! Each week we’ll highlight a different campus and share the places students will be going on our Wednesday and Super Sunday Field Trips.
Going to college in the beautiful state of Virginia means planning lots of road trips, attending awesome events and visiting historical locations and landmarks. The University of Virginia is located in a city rich with history, but it’s important to get away from Charlottesville every now and then. Take a study break and see what lies outside campus! There are tons of activities to take your mind off that test or paper: thrill rides, a president’s house, museums and educational opportunities galore!
1st Wednesday Roadtrip – Kings Dominion
Might as well start off your first week the right way with a full day of food, fun, and probably some screaming atop the coasters, at Kings Dominion! Just a little over an hour away from campus, this 400-acre amusement park has everything you could ask for to distract you from the schoolwork grind.
If you are a roller coaster enthusiast, catch a ride on a park visitor favorite Anaconda, a looping roller coaster with an underwater tunnel. Like wooden coasters? The Grizzly speeds through the Virginia woods at 51 miles per hour. Next, jump on New Delirium to swing, spin and soar to a height of 115 feet at an insane angle of 120 degrees.
Want to experience something a little less heart stopping? Hang out in Planet Snoopy with Charlie Brown and Lucy and channel your inner child. Walk amongst the most awesome creatures to have ever lived at Dinosaurs Alive, featuring over 40 animatronic, scientifically accurate specimens and enjoy the interactive activities throughout the exhibit. You have all day to wander, ride and get to know your peers at this park which offers a bit of everything!
Sunday (Optional Trip) – Monticello and James River
When you’re spending your summer at the university Thomas Jefferson himself founded, it’s only appropriate that you visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. After a tour of the estate, you’ll have some time to wander and discover. There are multiple exhibits where you can check out historical artifacts dug up from around the grounds, learn about the influence of Jefferson’s ideas had on liberty in the country and delve into the architectural history of the Monticello itself. Monticello isn’t just the plantation of a famous president, it’s a world of history. You might just be surprised by what you learn about Jefferson, his family and the history of slavery in this part of the country.
After a bite at Beijing Kitchen, you’ll be off to James River Reeling & Rafting for a splashing good time. Hop on a tube and float down the river, while you get to know your new friends!
The day will wrap up with a seasonally-inspired meal at Charlottesville’s own Fry’s Spring Station.
2nd Wednesday Roadtrip – Washington, DC
With Washington, DC just a hop, skip and a ride away from the UVA campus (a whole 17 minutes), your college experience wouldn’t be complete without a day in America’s Capital. Animals, art and awe inspiring sights! This field trip will start off at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Founded in 1889, it is one of the country’s oldest zoos and its most famous residents are Mei and Bei Bei, the Giant Pandas (check them out on the panda cams). There’s 163 acres of animals and educational exhibits. Walk the Asia Trial with elephants, reptiles, orangutans, and Sumatran tigers. Think about thinking at the Think Tank exhibit. Learn about all the conservation efforts and global research center.
You’ve seen the animals. On to art! Smithsonian American Art Museum showcases centuries of artistic movements within its first-ever collection of American art. This permanent collection represents over 7,000 artists and various artistic mediums. Early America, Contemporary, Latino Art, Photography and on and on. Don’t forget to check out the exhibitions, like Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions and WONDER.
After fueling up at the Shake Shack, you’ll head out on a Washington Walks tour – Monuments by Moonlight – to see awe-inspiring sites/sights along the National Mall. See and learn about the National World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Washington Monument, and much more. You might even learn a funny tale or two from your guide!