Hey, history buffs and explorers, need some ideas for the perfect college road trip that won’t cost you a bundle? You may not be able to shell out for airfare or fancy resorts at the moment, but if the open road is beckoning, answer the call. No matter where you are (or what friend’s campus you’re headed for), there’s a fascinating—and affordable—destination within striking distance. To kick-start your curiosity, read on to learn about 11 places that can inspire, amuse, or astound you.
Study resources for the courses you’re actually taking—whenever you need them.Start here
1. Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama
This massive, four-acre work of art is the result of a decades-long project that, according to the story, seems to have stemmed from boredom.
Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk at Saint Bernard Abbey, spent his days pumping oil, shoveling coal, and monitoring the furnace gauges at Saint Bernard Abbey. Needless to say, the work was mundane for an artist like Brother Zoettl. To pass the time, he started building miniature stone grottoes around religious figures in the garden. His fellow monks were impressed with his new hobby, so in 1932, they gave him an abandoned quarry on the church grounds where he could continue building. Using everything from cracked dinner plates to seashells, Brother Zoettl worked around the clock on the grotto until he reached the age of 80, in 1958. He died just 3 years later.
Today, visitors can marvel at some 150 stone models of famous landmarks and shrines from around the world.
More info about Ave Maria Grotto