1. **The Units:** A ploy to circumvent the city’s archaic 3-person rule, the Units serve as fraternity houses. Far from ideal as a living space, they at least offer a late-night locale in a city lacking options. On any given night, at least a few of the frats usually have some sort of social events.
2. **The Rec:** If you need to blow off some steam, the Rec Center offers more than just workout equipment. Grab a few friends for a game of racquetball, rent camping equipment for a weekend away or spend an afternoon on the climbing wall.
3. **Matoaka:** Lake Matoaka may be more swamp than pristine, clear waters, but it’s still a nice place to relax. Check when boat rentals are available, and wile away a few hours.
4. **Fields:** The various fields on campus each have their own personalities. The Sunken Garden attracts sunbathers and studiers alike. Barksdale Field, behind the Jamestown dorms, serves as a sports field much of the time. It’s a great space for a pickup game of soccer, but watch out for the frequent ultimate frisbee practices. Yates Field gets a little less action, but does boast a volleyball court.
5. **The Grind:** More than just a coffee shop, this converted lodge serves as a prime study locale. Frequented primarily by intellectual types, you’ll often overhear philosophical debates and comprehensive literature analyses. The atmosphere is pretty focused during the day, but after dark it turns into a social hotspot. Stop by any time to pick up delicious drinks and piping hot baked goods from the friendly baristas.
6. **Wren portico:** Not a hotspot, you say? Check back Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and you’ll find a frenzy of songsters. Each week a different a capella group performs a small concert for Wren Ten, often for a sizeable audience. It’s a real crowd pleaser.
7. **Matoaka Amphitheater:** In the spring and early fall, the amphitheater houses various concerts and events. Recently renovated, this beautiful forest oasis includes a rope course and a large venue with stadium like seating. The lake view also provides a nice place to sit and watch the sun set.
8. **Allen B. Miller Hall:** Still under construction, this state-of-the-art facility will be the new home of the Mason School of Business. When it opens in May of 2009, it will free Tyler and Blow Memorial Halls, much to the delight of the departments slated to move into them from the dilapidated, sinking Morton Hall.
9. **Muscarelle Museum of Art:** The little-known gallery tucked away beside Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall holds over 4,000 works, including a notable collection of 17th and 18th century English and American portraits. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum consistently displays exhibitions. Beginning next month, three new exhibitions will premiere, including displays of underwater photography, deep-ocean wilderness watercolors, and astronomical charts and maps.