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The early weeks of March might have a party reputation, but who wants to spend their plane ride home nursing an upset stomach and stormy head? You might be one of the millions of students who took a non-traditional route, returning to school as an adult instead of reporting fresh from high school. Are there any spring break destinations for families where you can relax from the academic grind without investing in red plastic Solo cups?
The world is your oyster. You can enjoy fun in the sun in destinations that will pamper your body and mind far more than doing jello shots at a noisy bar. Where should you go? Consider these nine spring break destinations for families.
1. Verde Valley, AZ
Do you crave a taste of the wild, wild west back in the days when cowboys roamed freely? You’ll find it in the Verde Valley, AZ. This spring break destination for families abounds with history, from Native American ruins to downtowns lined with museums and shops featuring the works of local artisans.
Best of all, you’re smack-dab in the heart of Arizona. Are you a skier not quite ready to give up the powder for the season? Head north to Flagstaff for some of the best slopes. If the roads are clear, continue your trip to the Grand Canyon, something everyone should see once. If you prefer to soak up el sol, you’re less than two hours away from the Valley of the Sun.
Of course, you’ll find plenty to do right in AZ’s heartland. Consider these fun day trips on your Verde Valley spring break vacation:
- Hike in Sedona: This entire town is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking red rock scenery found anywhere.
- Enjoy fine dining: The Verde Valley is home to world-famous chefs like Lisa Dahl, who owns several renowned restaurants.
- Take a wine tour: Enjoy a good vintage? Verde Valley wine country doesn’t disappoint, and safe buses and vans prevent DUIs.
- Hit the links: The Verde Valley is home to several award-winning golf resorts.
- Spa it up: You’ll find no shortage of resorts and day spas to pamper you to perfection.
2. Athens, GA
Are you on the east coast and seeking a spring break destination for families? Make Athens, Georgia, your spot. Although tourists flock here for the history and climate, you won’t face nearly the madding crowds found further south in Florida.
Art lovers will thrive on the many downtown galleries where they can browse for hours, seeking the perfect accent piece to highlight their decor. Nature lovers can explore the state botanical garden — it’s also the ideal place to pack a picnic lunch with the family. The Sandy Creek Nature Center also features a planetarium where young and old alike can unlock the mysteries in the stars.
3. San Diego, CA
If you ask people to name the destination with the best weather in the United States, expect many of them to say, “San Diego.” This location features temperatures from the 60s to 80s nearly year-round, with plenty of sunshine to drive you to the beach.
It’s also a family-friendly spring break destination, with attractions like the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Seaworld to delight the youngest family members. Do you have a taste for the spooky? Visit the Whaley House Museum or the Hotel Del Coronado and bring your Ghost Radar app to pickup on the otherworldly chatter.
You might also consider the following day trips:
- Catalina Island: Take a glass-bottomed boat tour for a spectacular view of undersea life.
- Enseñada: If you have a passport, hop across the border to Baja and experience Mexican culture.
- Laguna Beach and Art Center: Located halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, this art retreat is perfect for those who can’t get enough galleries.
4. Santa Fe, NM
If you have an artistic temperament, Santa Fe, NM, is your ultimate spring break destination. Artists and galleries abound, and the spectacular landscapes invite you to set your inner Georgia O’Keefe free.
Although Santa Fe might not be as warm as some tropical destinations, it features 320 sunny days per year, so it’s unlikely to rain on your parade. The Sangre de Cristo mountains lie at the southernmost tip of the Rockies, providing ample hiking and camping opportunities for those who want to stay on the cheap by boondocking. However, those who prefer more luxurious accommodations will find no shortage of boutique inns.
5. Honolulu, HA
Honolulu, HA, may feel like traveling to another country, but you won’t need a passport to visit this state. If you go, treat the family to an authentic luau, complete with an apple-mouthed pig and Hulu dancers galore.
You’re sure to return from this family-friendly spring break destination with a tan. You might get it by swimming with the dolphins or testing your fear of heights on a paragliding excursion.
6. Hidalgo, Mexico
If you have a passport, skip the crowded spring break scene at Puerto Peñasco and head to Hidalgo, Mexico, where you can immerse yourself in our southern neighbor’s rich culture.
Who said you had to go to Egypt to see the pyramids? The great Pyramid of the Sun lies only a short drive from Hidalgo, and it’s well worth the side trip. You can also tour the Tula archeological ruins and explore the Museo el Rehilete, featuring life-size recreations of dinosaurs sure to please your youngest family members.
7. Havana, Cuba
Are you curious about a completely different way of life? While Americans can’t visit Cuba as tourists, you might fall into one of the 12 categories of legal travel that let you see the island with certain restrictions.
Most Americans visit under the “support for Cuban people” umbrella, allowing you to visit museums and heritage sites, dine at local paladares, take Cuban cooking classes or salsa lessons or volunteer with a nonprofit. Are you a cigar aficionado? If so, you can learn how to roll a genuine Cuban when touring a tobacco farm. While some businesses remain off-limits to Americans, you nevertheless get to immerse yourself in a different mindset and philosophy of life.
8. U.S. Virgin Islands
Please don’t think a tropical spring break destination is out of the question if you live on the east coast and don’t have a passport. You don’t need one to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This destination gets fairly crowded, but there’s plenty to do for folks of all ages. The islands feature nature preserves where you can view area wildlife and tons of cafes for dining. There’s also a beach scene for everyone, including the family-friendly folks.
Spring Break Destinations for Families
Do you want a different vacation from school? These spring break destinations for families offer something for people of all ages, letting you get in on the fun even if you took a non-traditional college route and already have a child or two in tow.
Even folks without kids will enjoy these spring break destinations for families that offer an alternative to the typical party scene. Whether you want to kick back on a beach or explore local culture, there’s a spot to please your vacation tastes.
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