I have been at Purdue for a long time, and throughout the years I have heard students complain endlessly of how this school is “boring” and “in the middle of a cornfield”. I have to admit that a few years ago I myself bore this opinion of Purdue.
Coming from urban sprawl in to a small town like West Lafayette, IN can be quite a heart attack if you ask me. Your first instinct is to lay back and let the fun come to you. Truth be told, the fun never comes to you, regardless of what kind of place you live in. Whether you are underage or over 21, there is always something to do in this little town. Now that spring is (hopefully) around the corner and the weather is opening up, I think the following will definitely help you feel happier about being a Boilermaker:
Go Explore the Wabash
Yes, for heaven’s sake! Grab your sneakers and best friend and just walk in to the wild. The river is literally right next to you. There is a full fledged trail that runs along it, and it is absolutely gorgeous during all times of the year.
There are so many little coffee spots around campus. Almost all of them have free WiFi and a nice, cozy environment to have conversations with your friends or study. I love going to Greyhouse and just sitting at the bar stools, witnessing incompetent drivers trying to parallel park along Northwestern Avenue. It’s quite a sight! 😉
You have no idea how many local festivals happen in Lafayette that Purdue students are completely unaware of. They are definitely worth the visit. Last year, I made my way to Feast of the Hunter’s Moon. It was a lot of fun. Make sure not to miss out on the local food – ESPECIALLY the fried bread! This year, the Feast is October 5-6.
I absolutely love this festival! All the local eateries come together in this festival to show case the best of their menus. The Taste of Tippecanoe (June 15, 2013) is an absolute summer blast, especially if you are a foodie!
Hey, you don’t have to be twenty one in order to share a hookah. Sharing a hookah with your friends can be very entertaining, especially after a long, hard week of classes and assignments. There are numerous hookah bars around campus where you and your friends can unwind. Odds are you probably already know someone who has one of these beauties at HOME!
I cannot stress enough on this. The spring and summer time weather is perfect for a day out. Happy Hollow Park and Tapawingo Park on the Wabash River in West Lafayette both have grills and benches set for barbecue parties. Grilling outdoors can be super fun!
The spring breeze and the gorgeous view of the Purdue golf course is to die for. Who said you have to lock yourself up in a library room to get all those piles of reading done?!
If you have a vehicle that can take you from point A to point B, you are seriously depriving yourself by not exploring the gorgeous country side that surrounds Lafayette. One of my most favorite places is Traders Point Creamery near Zionsville, IN. You can also drive along US Highway 52, which is dotted with local farms. While you’re out there, treat yourself to a dozen farm fresh eggs for sale.
Downtown Lafayette is a work of art. With it’s buzzing small businesses and old town atmosphere, even a simple walk down Main Street can be very refreshing. There are all sorts of eateries, antique shops and hangouts to make yourself at home. Try it!
And I don’t mean in the default student bar. There are several classy, not-so-loud-and-filthy places around town where you can just sit in peace and enjoy a tall glass of brewed heaven. Breweries in Lafayette like the Lafayette Brewing Company offer locally brewed beer which is quite the thing to try.
We are so lucky to have the Amtrak line serve us. The train for Chicago’s Union Station leaves the downtown Lafayette station every morning at 7 a.m., and gets you there in three and a half hours. It leaves Chicago at 6 p.m. and reaches Lafayette at 10 p.m. Take advantage of this and plan a great day trip with your friends, or stay the night and come back next morning. I have gone to Chicago numerous times on Amtrak and it is a blast!