The 15 Best-Ever Family Spring Break Destinations
Whether you want sunshine by the shoreline or one last hurrah on the slopes before the season ends, make the most of the week off from school with a trip to these fun-filled locales.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Words can’t do justice to the Grand Canyon—one of the most majestic and massive natural wonders of the world. This mighty chasm measures 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep. When it comes to spring break, set your sights on the South Rim (open all year). Everyone will enjoy hiking Bright Angel Point Trail and taking a look at the Havasupai Grand Canyon Gardens. Afterward, grab a bite and shop for authentic souvenirs in Grand Canyon Historic Village.
San Diego, California
According to a new Airbnb survey, 36 percent of parents report a desire for seaside fun. And for that fact alone, San Diego earns a spot on our list of top spring break locales. The warm climate, sun-drenched beaches, and surf-worthy swells are only part of the appeal: “America’s Finest City” brims with kid-friendly attractions like the San Diego Zoo and the Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas has lots to offer for the under-21 crowd. Adrenaline junkies can take a ride on the Big Shot at the Stratosphere. For fans of King Arthur, there’s “Tournament of Kings,” a medieval dinner show with sword fights and food at the Excalibur. Sweet tooth? Get your chocolate fix at M&M’S World. The four-floor megastore features a rainbow candy wall, custom confections, playful memorabilia, and a free 3D movie.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Looking for a laid-back escape? Consider Sanibel Island. The low-key atmosphere, beautiful beaches, water sports, and natural treasures make this coastal haven a hit with relaxation-seekers young and old. The whole clan is sure to have a ball combing the pristine stretches for shells. Plan an excursion to JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Budding horticulturalists won’t want to miss the Botanical Gardens at Sanibel Moorings Resort.
New York City, New York
From parks and interactive exhibits to performances and festivals, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained in the Big Apple. And if April showers threaten to spoil your spring break, simply turn your attention indoors. Dodge lasers, crack codes, and channel your inner 007 at Spyscape, check out the Jim Henson exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image, or see a Broadway musical. “The Lion King” and “Frozen” received rave reviews from theatre-goers of all ages.
Washington, DC abounds with monuments, museums, and iconic buildings. Bonus: Many of the attractions are free. Carve out at least a couple of hours to explore the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Tour the Supreme Court and United States Botanic Garden. Snap a few pics in front of the White House. And it’s no secret that the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (March 17 to April 15) is a major highlight, drawing 1.5 million visitors a year.
Before you go, brush up on these 18 wacky facts about Washington, D.C.
Paradise Island, Bahamas
With temps in the high 70s, powder-fine beaches, and endless sunshine, Paradise Island certainly lives up to its name. The crown jewel of this Bahamian oasis is Atlantis, Paradise Island. The sprawling resort has 20 swimming areas, 11 different pools, programs for kids and teens, a 14-acre marine mammal habitat, and the heart-racing Leap of Faith.
Pack your bags and hop across the pond for a trip your family won’t soon forget. Fast-moving and multicultural, London is in a league of its own. Spring brings pleasant temps, perfect for exploring the myriad outdoor sites such as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. After the requisite touristy stuff, treat sports buffs to a football match, followed by authentic fish ‘n’ chips.
Orlando has more than a dozen theme parks. The star of it is Walt Disney World. Dubbed “the happiest place on earth,” this fairytale land is home to Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Typhoon Lagoon. Craving more epic adventure? Live out your Harry Potter fantasies and ride the gravity-defying roller coasters at Universal Orlando or swim with the dolphins at SeaWorld.
Founded in 1630, Boston is a bastion of history. Teach kids about the American Revolution by walking in the footsteps of our nation’s earliest patriots on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route of significant landmarks such as Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House, and Old North Church. Catch a baseball game at Fenway Park. Savor an authentic lobster roll at James Cook & Company. After an action-packed day, rest your weary head at Hotel Commonwealth or The Westin Boston Waterfront, situated in the thriving seaport district.
Yosemite National Park, California
With its towering sequoia trees, awe-inspiring waterfalls, craggy peaks, and scenic trails, Yosemite National Park is the ultimate outdoor playground. It’s especially picturesque come spring with thundering cascades of snowmelt and fragrant wildflowers. Wondering where to stay? Tenaya Lodge promises comfy cabins, family-focused activities (craft projects, lawn games, and dance parties) and easy access to legendary hiking paths.
Miami beckons travelers with its sandy shores, palm-fringed parks, scenic boardwalk, and international flavor. Aspiring architects can gaze at the pastel-hued, Art Deco hotels that line Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. The 250,000-square-foot Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science brings the subject to life through hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, and planetarium shows.
Park City, Utah
Love cold-weather pursuits? Mild temps, reduced rates, and ample powder make spring break prime time to hit the slopes in Park City. Take full advantage of the 7,300-acre mountain resort. Enroll the kiddos in half-day private skiing or snowboarding lessons. Spend the afternoon wandering through the charming village and the evening listening to a free concert.
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From the Sydney Aquarium to the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Harbour City offers an array of exciting activities for all ages. Animal lovers will go wild for the Taronga Zoo. For a high-altitude experience, head to Sydney Tower Eye. Vacationing with children at least eight years old? Opt for the 45-minute outdoor Skywalk tour. Plus, spring is shoulder season in Sydney, which means fewer crowds and more affordable prices.
San Francisco, California
There’s an endless amount to eat, see, and do in San Francisco, so a game plan is essential. The nautical-inspired Argonaut Hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf is an ideal home base for your next family getaway. On the itinerary: Rent bikes and peddle along the waterfront. Feast on delicious fare at the 1898 Ferry Building. Take the ferry to Alcatraz Island. Traverse the Golden Gate Bridge. And, of course, make your San Francisco trip complete with a cable car ride.