Spring break is known for both rowdy college trips and family vacations. How do you know which destinations to choose for your family? Worry not, there are plenty of keg-free destinations to choose from. Check out our list of tips to consider when planning your trip along with some of our favorite family-friendly spring break spots.
Choose The Right Place For Your Family On Spring Break
Look to the coasts! Offering plenty of fun for a family getaway, the ocean is a no-brainer. Head to the southern US if you’re craving sun after a long winter. Swimmers and surfers can play in the waves while the more aquaphobic members of the family lounge on the sand with a good book. If you have young kids, keep an eye out for beaches with playgrounds, such as Kauai’s Lydgate Beach, and it’s not a bad idea to consider beaches with lifeguards, like Coronado Central Beach in Coronado, California or Pensacola Beach, Florida.
Same idea, different body of water. Whatever your vacation style, a lake provides opportunities for a spring break filled with exciting water recreation or a peaceful nature retreat. Plus unlike the ocean, you don’t have to make for the coasts if the middle US is more convenient. For ample boat and toy rentals and the added bonus of activities at nearby ski resorts, head to the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe, California. Families with kids also love the 500 miles of shoreline on Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake.
Maybe this is the year to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Cities with theme parks make for once-in-a-lifetime family getaways. It goes without saying that Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida offer magical family memories but don’t forget equally entertaining theme parks like Silverwood near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, or Dolly Parton’s very own Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The Great Outdoors
More once-in-a-lifetime opportunities await amongst the natural beauty our treasured national parks. Why not take the kiddos to see a national monument? Check off some bucket list items at breathtaking sights like the Grand Canyon (you can stay in tiny nearby Tusayan or Flagstaff, Arizona, further afield but with more options) or Yellowstone (stay in West Yellowstone, Montana, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or Cody, Wyoming.) On Washington’s peninsula you’ll find the unique beauty and history of the Olympic National Forest, encompassing everything from woods and rivers to mountains and ocean beaches. Stay in historic Port Townsend or Port Angeles, Washington for easy access to the park.
If your family likes plenty of entertainment and activities to keep them engaged while on spring break consider a big city with plenty of parks, museums, zoos, and theaters. Chicago may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “spring break” but it boasts an array of attractions for curious kids, like the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. Sunny San Diego is also an ideal family destination, with fun to be had at Balboa Park, the New Children’s Museum, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Trying to get away from the big city? If the thing your family craves come spring break is a little rest and relaxation, consider a retreat to a secluded hamlet or cabin in the woods. Bar Harbor is a quiet seaside town in Maine offering historic charm and access to nature hikes in nearby Acadia State Park. At the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains you’ll find plenty of cabin rentals (from quaint and cozy to luxurious) amongst the secluded but welcoming forests of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. Why not head to a city with plenty of history to pique their curiosity? For a deep dive into America’s history and plenty of museums and monuments, Washington, D.C. and Boston are must-visit spots. Rich in history, St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the country and boasts stunning Spanish-style colonial architecture throughout the city.
Spring break doesn’t have to be, well, springy. If you want to squeeze in that last bit of winter joy, mountain resorts offer plenty of family fun (and typically less frigid temperatures than December and January.) Hit the slopes, grab your snowshoes, or relax inside by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa. Snow bunnies should head to Whistler, British Columbia, where the ski season at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort lasts until May., or beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado, nestled in the Rocky Mountains.
This article was written by Katie Vaughan.