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Fall break travel opportunities: Guntersville, Ala.

With fall break fast approaching, students are looking for something to do for their long weekend.

While there are plenty of things to do around Nashville and the surrounding cities, it’s always an option to escape the tourist traps and travel further down south to visit Guntersville, Ala.

Lake Guntersville State Park, located fewer than three hours from Belmont, has plenty to do for students who are fond of the outdoors.

The park offers cabins, cottages and campgrounds for rentals but requires reservations in advance. Cabins and cottages house one to six people and cost more than $100 per night, but the campgrounds are more affordable at $22 per night for a full-hookup site, which includes electric hookups, picnic tables and grills. However, if students really want to rough it, the park offers primitive campsites for only $13 per night, according to the Alabama State Parks website.

As far as attractions go, there is plenty to do. There are many trails for students to hike, ranging in distances from half a mile to more than three miles, so there’s an option for everybody.

Students can also rent kayaks or canoes to take onto Lake Guntersville. Kayaks can be rented hourly from between $12 and $16 per hour depending on the number of seats. Canoes are $10.40 per hour. The park requires that life jackets be worn on the water and offers them for rent at just a little more than a dollar.

If touring caves is not to your liking, you can always visit the downtown Guntersville, Ala. area. The district is part of the National Register of Historic Places, an honor the town hopes will draw in tourists. There are gift shops, museums and restaurants available to explore.

The Guntersville Museum is free to tour and offers exhibits on Native Americans, the history of the city and natural history. There is also a Grand Ole Opry exhibit open until Oct. 20 for students who want that reminder of Nashville, Tenn.

Alabama may not be the first option that comes to mind when a student is planning his or her fall break, but it’s surely an option that is worth looking into for those in search of a different experience.

If you’re interested in seeing what Lake Guntersville State Park and the surrounding areas have to offer, take a look at its website for more information.

PHOTO: Michael Jeffreys, district superintendent of Northeast Alabama State Parks.

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