Take a step into the future –– it's November in Blacksburg. The weather is a mix of sideways rain and confusing winds, washed with brown and grey. The Drillfield has already lost its color from the cold, and students are wearing flannels as active wear. Now, this isn't all that bad for us. It’s nostalgic, and it's what makes us Hokies –– but you may look around and wish it was warm and breezy again in the mountains.
Most of us probably don't equate Virginia Tech with sunshine and picnics, but there is plenty of warmth and sunshine to be had just at the end of April and during the summer –– and until September, kind of. During these days, everyone comes outside on campus to enjoy the warm weather while we can.
Our campus has a ton of great outdoor places to hang out, study and enjoy a bit of food. There are plenty of outdoor spots on campus that allow you to get out and enjoy the warm weather before Blacksburg ignites its cold wrath upon us, and many of them can be found listed below.
The residential side of campus is filled with places to relax outside. With plenty of quads and seating areas to choose from, you can enjoy the weather almost anywhere.
All three dining halls (West End, D2 and Owens) interspersed among the dorms also have places to eat outside. West End has its own outdoor seating area that is almost never full where you can sit down and eat or study in peace. D2 has a bunch of outdoor tables right outside and across the walkway in front of the dining hall. Also, Owens has a seating area in the Eggleston quad where you can sit in the shade or even play volleyball.
In my opinion, one of the best quads on campus is the Prairie Quad outside of O'Shaughnessy Hall.
According to junior marketing major and Hokie Ambassador Meredith Robbins, "[The Prarie] Quad is a great study spot where you can hang out with friends. There are a lot of tables, a small amphitheater and grass to sit on –– and it's close to the library."
The academic side of campus isn't short of places to enjoy the sun, either. For example, there is a great seating area right outside of Turner Place, which is perfect for enjoying your food outside of the usually cramped dining hall. There are also a bunch of tables outside of New Classroom Building, which are perfect for waiting between classes or even merging tables for a group study session –– better than the library.
One of the best outdoor places on this side is the Architecture Annex. Here you will find plenty of benches and ledges to sit on, all close enough to Turner Place. On particularly sunny days, you will see that it is a great place for people to sit out in the sun and relax on the concrete between classes.
You can't really picture Virginia Tech without the Drillfield. Between the opposing sides of campus, it’s the best place to be outdoors.
"Sitting on the Drillfield in the beginning of the semester is a perfect studying spot," Robbins said. "And you can also spend time with your friends and bring out your hammock and play outdoor games."
Emily Parsons, a junior biological systems engineering major and Hokie Ambassador said, "The visiting families love to see people out on the Drillfield studying, playing sports and just hanging out. It's one of the selling points of the university."
Between both sides of campus there are a few other great outdoor places. Just outside Squires Student Center is a well-shaded seating area perfect for studying –– and it has a cool fountain.
A little outside
The busiest parts of campus aren't the only places to enjoy the outdoors. You can take a scenic walk through the Hahn Horticulture Garden –– "a beautiful hotspot" according to Robbins. You can also enjoy one of Virginia Tech's coolest attractions –– the Duck Pond. There is a path leading around and plenty of places to string up a hammock. It’s also filled with tons of ducks, if you haven't already guessed.
Virginia Tech's campus offers countless places for us to enjoy the sun and warm weather while it lasts. So while it's still warm and breezy in the mountains, consider spending some time at some of these great outdoor spots.