The Best Spring Break Getaways in Every State
Your perfect spring break getaway is closer than you think. Here's the best spot in every state for your upcoming break.
Alabama: Gulf Shores
With plenty of water activities, trails, sports, spas, shopping, scenery, and other fun activities, a spring break getaway to Gulf Shores practically guarantees that you’ll never hear the words “I’m bored.” After you’ve spent some time relaxing on the area’s 32 miles of gorgeous white-sand beaches, enjoy an unforgettable dolphin-spotting cruise. For even more animal fun, head to Alligator Alley, home to more than 450 alligators, or take a trip to the nearby Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo with more than 500 exotic animals. History buffs won’t want to miss the Fort Morgan Alabama Historical Site; it’s built on the site of the former of Fort Bowyer, which was attacked by the British during the War of 1812. If you’re looking to add thrills to your trip, thrill-seekers will love ziplining from 90 feet in the air at Hummingbird Ziplines at the Wharf. After you experience the gorgeous scenery from a bird’s eye view, explore Gulf Shores’ many nature trails by foot or bike. Worked up an appetite? Head to one of the beach’s best restaurants, like the Original Oyster House Seafood Restaurant, The Hangout, or Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe, and grab a bite to eat. You won’t want to miss these 20 great spring break destinations for grown-ups.
Anchorage is the perfect place to go to cure your Seasonal Affective Disorder: According to anchorage.net, after March 20, Anchorage has more hours of daylight than anywhere in the United States. And with that much daylight, the activities are practically endless. Another pro of visiting Anchorage in the spring is seeing all of its incredible wildlife; as the weather warms up, bears come out of hibernation, moose calves come into the world, and gray whales return back to the Alaskan waters. You could even take advantage of one of Alaska’s glacier or wildlife cruises and see those the whales up close. Then, take a trip to the Alaska Zoo, ranked one of the ten best zoos in the country by Condé Nast Traveler. A visit to the Anchorage Museum, Alaska’s largest museum, will fill you in on the area’s native history, culture, and art.
Arizona: Lake Havasu City
Arizona’s Lake Havasu City isn’t nicknamed “The West’s Biggest Spring Break Party” without reason. Lake Havasu City has beaches galore and many ways to enjoy the water including boat and water sport rentals that will delight the college crowd. More of a pool person? Check out the heated pools, water slides, wave pool, and more at the Aquatic Center. With a two-mile jogging path, shaded walkways, beach volleyball courts, picnic tables, and more, Rotary Community Park is especially lovely in the springtime. And don’t forget to keep an eye on Lake Havasu City’s events calendar. You might be right on time to attend a beach music festival, a car show, a boat race, a fashion show, a wine and painting night, or another must-see event.
Arkansas: Hot Springs
According to the Hot Springs website, this outdoor paradise is often referred to as “America’s First Resort” because of its historical healing waters that have been visited for centuries. But in addition to being famous for its relaxing hot springs, the city is also home to Lake Catherine, Lake Hamilton, and Lake Ouachita. So rent some tubes, fishing rods, and just about any other equipment for your favorite water sport and head out for a day on one of Hot Springs’ gorgeous lakes! The lakes’ surrounding parks are also perfect for an adventurous day in the great outdoors and are filled with hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds. If you want to play some golf while you’re in town, the city has two championship courses at Hot Springs Country Club. The kids can join in on the fun, too, at one of the mini-golf courses around the city along with a go-kart track at T-Rex Golf. Other must-see attractions in Hot Springs are Magic Springs Theme and Water Park, the Mid-America Science Museum, Funtrackers Family Park, and Arkansas Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo.
California: Santa Monica
With seemingly endless beaches, you’ll never run out of sand to relax on in Santa Monica. Check out the famous Santa Monica pier, where you can go fishing, ride the historical Santa Monica Pier Carousel, play one of the 200 games at Playland Arcade, or take a ride on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel at Pacific Park. Or grab your bikes and head down the city’s 26-mile bike path and take in all of the gorgeous West Coast views. The Annenberg Community Beach House is another stop that should be on your Santa Monica to-do list. It offers breathtaking views, a gorgeous pool, a children’s splash pad, and tours of the historic Marion Davies Guest House.
Colorado: Crested Butte
Nicknamed “Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town,” Crested Butte, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, has 1,547 acres of skiable terrain, with over half of the mountain suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. More advanced skiers will be happy to hear there are plenty of black diamond and double black diamond trails, too; in fact, the city hosted the longest extreme skiing competition in the world, shares the Crested Butte website. When you need a break from the slopes, visit Winter Adventure Park. Kids and parents alike will have a blast playing mini golf, speeding down ziplines, and jumping on a bungee trampoline that shoots you up to 30-feet in the air. Besides being an incredible ski town, Crested Butte is also home to one of Colorado’s largest National Historic Districts—you’ll fall in love with the town’s charming Victorian storefronts and coal mining history.
Whether you want to relax by the Long Island Sound and sunbathe on a quiet beach (be forewarned it’s too cold for swimming in the spring) or explore the lively downtown streets of the city, Stamford has just about everything. Festivals, concerts, markets, and other events are commonplace in “The City That Works.” If you’re around over Memorial Day, don’t miss the Connecticut Salsa Festival. Did we mention the streets of the city are dotted with incredible paintings and sculptures? Stamford is an art enthusiast’s paradise. One of the city’s most beloved attractions is the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. With over 80 acres of trails, an animal farm, an observatory with a 22-inch research telescope, and rotating exhibits, everyone will love this North Stamford gem. If you want to spend some more time outdoors, take a trip to Cove Island Park, which has a one-mile walking trail, a rollerblading path, playgrounds, and two gorgeous beaches. Some other must-see attractions in Stamford are Half-Full Brewery, Palace Theater, and the Stamford Historical Society. Speaking of parks and beaches, these are the best beach boardwalks in America to visit this summer.
Aircraft enthusiasts will love the Air Mobility Command Museum, home to over 30 incredible aircraft along with several exhibits covering historical airlift from the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and other times in history. For some four-wheel, grounded fun, head to Dover International Speedway, which has hosted NASCAR events for almost 50 years. After, take the family on a trip to Biggs Museum of American Art; since the museum changes its exhibitions throughout the year, there’s always something new to see each visit. Visit the John Dickinson Plantation for a glimpse of what life was like in 18th-century Dover. Stopping for lunch? Know what iconic food to eat in every state.
Glittering Miami is known as a single’s paradise, but there’s also a lot for families to do, too. Sunbathe, swim, surf, and relax at 21st-45th Street Beach, rated the best beach in Miami by Time Out. Some other Miami beaches that are definitely visit-worthy are Lummus Park Beach, Haulover Beach, South Pointe Park Pier, and Surfside. When you’re not soaking up the sun, sand, and surf, there are so many exciting attractions that the kids will love, including the Miami Children’s Museum, Jungle Island, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, and more. You’ll also want to check out Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which has an incredible 83 acres of garden to explore, including a stunning waterfall, a butterfly exhibit, and more. After, grab a bite to eat at one of Miami’s best restaurants, like Joe’s Stone Crab, KYU, or Stubborn Seed.
Springtime in Atlanta means warm weather, gorgeous scenery, and a whole lot to do. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-see during the spring, especially during its Orchid Daze festival, when thousands of these gorgeous exotic blossoms are on display. Another must-visit is the Georgia Aquarium, which not only is the largest aquarium in the United States, it also features more animals than any aquarium in the world. You won’t want to miss the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel where you can view the city from nearly 20 stories in the air. Next on your itinerary should be a visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which brings the past, present, and future of the American Civil Rights Movement to life. For some refreshment, tour the World of Coca-Cola, where you can see the vault containing the world’s most famous beverage’s secret formula, check out over 1,200 artifacts, and taste more than 100 beverages from around the world. While you’re in town, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, and the Inside CNN Studio Tour should also be on your list. Here’s how to make your next hotel stay as safe and healthy as possible.
The “Garden Island” is encompassed by gorgeous white-sand coastlines hugging the glistening ocean, so we wouldn’t blame you for not leaving the beach all week. But you would be remiss not to see Kauai’s other offerings, including tropical rain forests, rivers, waterfalls, valleys, mountains, cliffs, and trails. Wailua River is great for kayaking (and it’s the only navigable river in all of Hawaii), or grab your sneakers and head to the beautiful hiking trails in Koke’e State Park. If you want to get a closer look at all of Kauai’s lush mountain valleys, go ziplining with Skyline Eco Adventures and soar over Hawaii’s breathtaking scenery. Back at the beach, you can surf, scuba dive, kitesurf, and stand-up paddleboard. And if you’re visiting between December and May there’s a good chance you’ll see a few majestic humpback whales off the shorelines. Don’t forget to channel your inner Hawaiian and partake in an unforgettable luau before you leave! Here’s everything you need to know before booking a trip to Hawaii.
Start digging out your kayaks, mountain bikes, and camping gear, because springtime in Boise is not to be missed. With warm weather on the rise, there are plenty of fishing, hiking, biking, and boating to be enjoyed. If the weather is warm enough, camp out at Woodhead Park, Hells Canyon Park, or Copperfield Park. (Note that in April, average daytime temps are a balmy 62, but at nighttime that plunges to 39, so wear layers!) If you’d rather explore downtown Boise, visit the Aquarium of Boise, home to more than 250 different species of animals and marine life. Then, meet hawks, eagles, falcons, and other incredible birds at the World Center For Birds of Prey. The Idaho Botanical Garden is also especially beautiful during the springtime. You’ll definitely want to take note of these foods you shouldn’t eat on vacation.
With its vibrant urban culture, the Windy City is Illinois’ perfect spring break destination. First, visit the Art Institute of Chicago located in the heart of the city. With over 300,000 incredible pieces of art to admire, like “The American Gothic” by Grant Wood and “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. Another notable Chicago museum is the Field Museum, home to SUE, the largest and best preserved T-Rex fossil that’s ever been found, ancient Egyptian tombs including the 5,000-year-old tomb of pharaoh’s son Unis-Ankh, and more. After, head to the ArchiCenter and check out the 320 square foot model of downtown Chicago. Plus, the Windy City is home to the famous Navy Pier Centennial Wheel. Enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline from 200 feet in the air and 360-degree panoramic views of the city and Lake Michigan. And for the baseball fans, check off Wrigley Field from your to-do list and catch an exciting Cubs game. To wrap up your day, grab a bite to eat at one of Chicago’s excellent restaurants; favorites include The Purple Pig, Girl & The Goat, or Quartino Ristorante.
Indiana: Fort Wayne
With so many family-friendly activities, it’s no wonder why Fort Wayne, Indiana was named one of the best cities in the U.S. to visit with kids by Travelocity. Perhaps one of the most popular kids’ attractions in Fort Wayne is the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, which re-opens for the season in late April. The zoo features more than 1,000 animals of 200 species. While you’re there, you can even feed the giraffes, penguins, and stingrays! Besides the zoo, other attractions include the Science Central, the Botanical Conservatory, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Fort Wayne’s parks with bike routes are also popular stops for an active day. For the sports fanatics, catch a TinCaps (a minor league team affiliated with the San Diego Padres) baseball game in downtown Fort Wayne. Then, stop by Combat Ops Arena and play a round of laser tag or mini-bowling. Ultrazone and Lazer X are other popular laser tag “battlefields” that everyone will definitely enjoy. By the way, here are 10 sneaky money traps you fall for every time you travel.
Each spring, this quaint Midwest town’s famous Tulip Time celebrates the more than 300,000 colorful tulips with a parade and a festival. Pella is also home to the Vermeer Mill, the country’s largest working grain windmill that dates back to the 1850s. After you visit the mill, head next door and check out all of the beautiful flower gardens and buildings from the 1800s in the Historical Village. The 170-year-old Scholte House Museum reopens in the spring and is another popular attraction in Pella. According to Pella Historical Society & Museum, the house was built by Dutch immigrant leader Hendrik Peter Scholate around 1847. While you’re in town, be sure to catch a performance at the Pella Opera House, play a round of golf at Bos Landen Golf Club, or head to The Cellar Peanut Pub, which was named one of the top 25 best beer bars in the country by craftbeer.com.
As the warm weather arrives in Wichita, over 50,000 tulips, 120,000 daffodils, and other gorgeous flowers bloom throughout the city’s vast botanical garden, Botanica. Then, visit the Wichita Art Museum, the largest art museum in all of Kansas, which and includes exhibits like “Monet to Matisse” and “Savoir-Faire.” After, admire over 6,000 works of art at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University. Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex and Dart Warz, an indoor foam dart “battlefield,” are always a hit with adventure-seekers. And to satisfy all of your shopping needs, downtown Wichita, Old Town, and Douglas Design District are some of the most popular shopping destinations in the area. Find out the best vacation for you based on your personality type.
One of the primary attractions in Williamstown is Ark Encounter. Measuring 510-feet long, over 51-feet tall, and 85-feet wide, this full-size reproduction of the famous ark is the largest timber-frame structure in the world, according to its website. With over 100 exhibits to explore, the Ark makes for a great day trip. After, head to the Ark Encounter zip lines 17 stories in the air and reach up to a thrilling 50 mph down the lines. Featuring 24 different zip lines, with two that are about 2,000-feet long, there’s are plenty of lines for beginners and thrill-seekers alike. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, stop by Ararat Ridge Zoo and meet animals from around the world like kangaroos, Tibetan yaks, and ostriches, then ride on donkeys or camels. The best part? If you bought tickets to see the ark, admission to the zoo is free! When you’re done visiting Ark Encounter, head to Main Street and check out the historic William Arnold Log Cabin or one of Williamstown’s parks like Frank Webb Memorial Park or Family Fun Park.
Louisiana: Baton Rouge
The first thing you should do when you arrive in Louisiana’s capital is indulge in extraordinary Cajun or Creole cuisine–whether that means alligator on a stick, crawfish boil, jambalaya, or seafood gumbo, downtown Baton Rouge has a dynamic culinary scene. Baton Rouge is also well-known for its music. If you’re around mid-April, don’t miss the annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival. A visit to the State Capitol Building and Gardens is another must. You can still put your finger in the bullet hole from the day former Governor Huey P. Long was assassinated. (He’s buried on the ground’s gardens.) Be sure to take an elevator up to the 27th-floor observation deck for a stunning view all of Baton Rouge. The Old Governor’s Mansion is another historic spot to visit, the former home is said to be modeled after the White House. If you’d rather spend some time outdoors, downtown Baton Rouge has three lovely parks–you might even catch a concert, festival, or movie viewing while you’re there. And football fans will want to pay tribute to the Louisana State University Tigers with a visit to Mike the Tiger’s Habitat.
Maine: Bar Harbor
Depending on where you go in Maine during spring break, you could be looking at snow-covered mountains or glistening ocean views. As the largest island off the coast of Maine, you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous coastlines almost everywhere you go. Take in the view and stroll along the historic Shore Path, which is well-known for its incredible sunrise views. Or head to Sand Beach and explore its rugged Ocean Trail. If you continue down Ocean Trail for about two miles, you’ll end up at Otter Cliff, which at 110-feet tall offers unforgettable scenic views. No trip to Bar Harbor is complete without going to Acadia National Park, which encompasses the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States, according to the National Park Service. With 158-miles of hiking trails, 16 gorgeous stone bridges, and seven breathtaking peaks reaching over 1,000-feet, there’s plenty to do. After spending the day at the park, hop aboard one of Oli’s Trolley tours and explore the coastlines, landmarks, mansions, and other scenic Bar Harbor views. Whale watching and sunset tours are also popular activities in the Harbor. Some other popular activities in Bar Harbor are visiting Bar Harbor Historical Society, exploring the Mount Desert Island Oceanarium, seeing Egg Rock Light, and checking out Abbe Museum.
Annapolis isn’t called “America’s Sailing Capital” without reason. Maryland’s capital city is home to the U.S. Naval Academy. Tour the “Yard” and discover the history behind all of its 18th-century brick buildings (Annapolis has more than anywhere else in the U.S.). After, see the homes where all four of Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence lived–three of which are open to the public. For more history, stop by the Maryland State House, which is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and the only state house to ever have served as our nation’s capitol, according to American Heritage. The Annapolis Maritime Museum celebrates the spring equinox by partaking in this unique ceremony along with hosting a popular Oyster Roast. If you’re looking for something a little quieter and away from the crowds, head to Quiet Waters Park and explore its 340 acres of land. Speaking of vacations, here’s what your dream vacation says about you.
With the city in bloom, the Public Garden comes to life and parades and festivals line the Bostonian streets. Then, toward late March, whale watching season begins. As the weather gets warmer, head to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and experience what it was like during the Boston Tea Party. You’ll even be able to board full-scale restored 18th-century ships and throw “tea” overboard. The Freedom Trail is another practically mandatory stop when visiting Boston during spring break. You’ll discover the incredible history of the American Revolution as you follow the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail route past six historical sites throughout the city. While you’re in the North End, also known as “Boston’s Little Italy,” be sure to stop into one of the many Italian restaurants and cafés. After grabbing a bite to eat, head to Fenway Park in the heart of Boston and take in a Red Sox game at the famous ballpark. Finish up your vacation with a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, where you can admire the 450,000 incredible pieces of artwork.
Even if you’re not Dutch, Holland, Michigan will have you wishing you were–and if you’re stopping by for spring break, you’re just in time for their famous Tulip Time Festival. It’s when an amazing six million of them are in bloom! Aside from being home to a spectacular floral festival, Holland has so much more to offer. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Holland’s waterfront views, authentic Dutch windmill, gorgeous white sand beaches, and famous Big Red Lighthouse will make you feel like you’ve been teleported to the Netherlands. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids, Holland Aquatic Center features an indoor inflatable floating obstacle course, a water playground, a 150-foot water slide, a zip line, a vortex pool, water cannons, a spa, and a therapy pool. After, stop by the DeGraaf Nature Center and explore its 18-acres of pond trails, shrub, marsh, and woodland under the warm spring sun. Don’t miss the most charming small town in every state in America.
Be sure to take a trip to the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Midway Contemporary Art museum, or one of the city’s other fascinating museums while you’re visiting. Then, head to Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Falls National Park–even if it’s still covered in snow, this gorgeous 53-foot waterfall is a must-see, after all, Minnehaha Falls is at its scenic best during the spring, according to minnesotamonthly.com. While you’re at the park, spend some time outdoors and go hiking, biking, or picnicking. There’s also a golf course and children’s’ wading pool. While Minnehaha Park is lovely, the Chain of Lakes Park is the most popular park in the city, according to minneapolis.org. When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, head to one of Minneapolis’ many restaurants, including local favorites Spoon and Stable, Red Cow North Loop, or Hola Arepa.
With so many beach parties and outdoor concerts, it’s no surprise why college students and party-goers flock to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi during spring break. Besides having gorgeous beaches and warm sand, this seaside city is also well-known for its various casinos. If you want to spend some time in the water, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and parasailing are popular activities during the warmer months. Don’t forget to stop by the Biloxi lighthouse, which is one of the first cast-iron lighthouses built in the South. If you’re interested in art, stop by the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and check out Biloxi’s incredible ceramics, sculptures, and other local artwork. Another very noteworthy museum to visit is the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. The original museum was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It has since been rebuilt and now offers a variety of maritime exhibits, artifacts, and two 65-foot-long Biloxi Schooner replicas, which sail around the Mississippi Sound and the northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Missouri: Kansas City
Springtime in Kansas City means warm weather, blooming flowers, and lots of sports. Be sure to head to Kauffman Stadium, also known as “The K,” home of the Kansas City Royals, and take in a ballgame. But if you’re not a sports fanatic, not to worry. There are plenty of activities for everyone in Kansas City. Explore the National World War I Museum and Memorial to learn more about the “War to End All Wars”. If you want to spend more time outdoors, Powell Gardens, KC’s botanical gardens, have 915 acres of gorgeous rolling meadows and hills. North Kansas City also has a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, nature areas, and dog parks. Don’t forget to stop by Chicken N Pickle, a casual restaurant and bar with pickleball courts, beer gardens, and backyard games with gorgeous views of the city skyline. Then, end your day by floating in the world’s longest tidal wave river or taking a trip on a thrilling uphill water coaster at Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Discover what it was like to live in prehistoric Billings by visiting the Pictograph Cave State Park. The park features several prehistoric caves with 2,000-year-old drawings on the walls. Speaking of parks and being outdoors, be sure to head to the Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center and learn about Montana’s wildlife and ecosystems. Bighorn Canyon Recreational Area is another popular spot for nature lovers, with over 120,000 acres of land to explore. When you’re ready to head back to town, check out the Western Heritage Center, which has over 16,000 artifacts and over 1,000 photographs on display. After, imagine what life was like as a prominent Billings family in the early 20th century by visiting the historic Moss Mansion. Billings is also home to the only zoo in Montana. ZooMontana is a 70-acre wildlife park that primarily focuses on the native animals that reside in Montana. DanWalt Gardens is another beloved Billings attraction, and it’s especially popular in the springtime when beautiful irises bloom throughout the gardens. If you’re looking for a summer trip, these are the summer vacations everyone should take before they’re 50.
Omaha is especially well-known for its zoo, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, considered one of the best in the world. It’s home to the world’s largest indoor desert, the world’s largest geodesic dome, and America’s largest indoor rainforest. Omaha also has several museums and art centers, including the Joslyn Art Museum, The Durham Museum, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha Children’s Museum, El Museo Latino, and Hot Shops Art Center. CoCo Key Indoor Water Resort is another popular destination. With 40-foot body and raft slides, a kiddie pool, private cabanas, an arcade, and more, you’ll never run out of things to do at CoCo Key. If you’re looking to have a laid-back afternoon, stop by Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center, and admire the incredible 20,000 square foot conservatory.
Nevada: Las Vegas
Las Vegas might be best known for its extravagant casinos, but believe it or not, it makes for a great spring break getaway for non-gamblers, too. First, take a trip to the Las Vegas Strip and head up to the Stratosphere Observation Deck. The incredible aerial views of the city will leave everyone in awe and ready to explore more of Las Vegas. If you’re seeking thrills, visit Vegas Indoor Skydiving. Don’t forget to take a ride on the world’s largest observation wheel, The High Roller, which is a whopping 550-feet tall with 360-degree views of the city and surrounding valley. Each pod on The High Roller can hold up to 40 people, and each one hosts different activities, like yoga, chocolate tastings, happy hour, and more. Then, head to Vegas’ impressive M&M store with four floors to explore. A gondola ride at the Venetian is another fun activity that will truly leave you feeling like you took a trip to Italy.
New Hampshire: Hanover
If you’re not quite ready to let go of the colder weather, Hanover, New Hampshire has plenty of snow to go around–even in the spring. Dartmouth Skiway is any ski or snowboarding lover’s paradise, situated on over 100-acres of snow-covered mountains and vast terrain. Whether you’re just learning the ropes or you’re an advanced avid skier or snowboarder, there’s a trail for everyone, including a thrilling 968-foot vertical slope. If you’d rather watch all of the action from afar, not to worry–there’s a full-service day lodge to relax in. When you’re not shredding the snow, take a trip to the Hood Museum of Art and admire over 65,000 objects from all over the world or attend one of the museum’s events. Then, catch a movie at Nugget Theaters or watch a live performance at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
New Jersey: Point Pleasant Beach
Make Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, a mile-long boardwalk that’s jam-packed with fun activities and attractions, like an amusement park, arcades, mini golf, a fun house, batting cages, a 7D interactive movie, an aquarium, and more, your first stop. With the amusement park opening mid-March, the weather is perfect for thrilling rides. Don’t miss stopping by The Sweet Shop to try one of their delicious taffies, chocolates, fudge, candy apples, or gummies. Although the Boardwalk is the highlight, the city has even more to offer. Point Pleasant Beach Antique Emporium draws in antique collectors and curious visitors from all over to its 10,000 square foot shop. Don’t miss these 15 spring break destinations you haven’t thought of yet.
New Mexico: Truth or Consequences
Truth or Consequences is a nature lover’s paradise. With its easy access to the largest lake in the state and tons of hiking and biking trails in Elephant Butte State Park, keeping busy outside will never be a problem. Be sure to bring your fishing rods and kayaks (you can rent them in town), because the Rio Grande runs right through town, as well. Truth or Consequences is best known for its geothermal mineral waters. Sit back and relax in one of the city’s many ancient hot springs or spend some time at one of their charming bathhouses. After, check out all of the interesting fossils and artifacts at Geronimo Springs Museum, or head to Dianne Hamilton Military Museum and learn about the history behind the interesting war memorabilia. Finish your day by spending the rest of the afternoon with the family at Veterans Memorial Park, which is conveniently located right next door to the military museum.
New York: New York
As America’s most populous city, it’s no surprise that there’s always something going on in the Big Apple. Every spring, Macy’s hosts their free two-week Macy’s Flower Show. The New York Botanical Garden also hosts a fabulous must-see annual Orchid Show from early March to late April. If flowers aren’t your thing and the weather is warm, spend an April afternoon on the water and relax on a rowboat or gondola in Central Park. Then, grab a New York City Explorer Pass and see the city from above from the 102nd-floor observation deck at the Empire State Building Observatory, the 70th floor at Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock Observatory, or from one of the city’s rooftop bars, like 230 Fifth. Some other iconic stops that should be on your NYC spring break itinerary are the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
North Carolina: Asheville
Asheville is one of the most up-and-coming towns in the south. The city is full of performing arts venues, art galleries, art events, and more. While you’re sightseeing in the city, check out all of the open-air markets, boutiques, and specialty shops. If you’ve been searching for that much-needed spa day, Asheville has loads of options, including natural hot springs, yoga tours, foot spas, hot tubs, and a 40,000 square-foot underground spa. And if you’re getting a sense of deja vu while walking around the city, there’s a good chance you have actually seen these streets before. Asheville and its surrounding areas have been the filming locations of several iconic movies, including The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, Forrest Gump, and more. Then, head to the mountains surrounding the city, where you’ll come across gorgeous waterfalls and unforgettable scenic views. And if you’re really looking for an adventure, take a trip down the iconic 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway. Before you go, stop by the incredible Biltmore Estate—the largest home in America. You won’t want to miss their breathtaking “Biltmore Blooms” in the springtime!
North Dakota: Medora
Situated in western North Dakota is Medora—a city with a mere population of 132 people, according to the 2016 census. But before you brush off this city too tiny to visit, consider that it’s home to the historic Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which sits on 70,448 acres of vast land and is over 65 million years old. Nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone looking to squeeze some extra exercise into their trip will fall in love with this national park. According to National Geographic, the park is inhabited by bison, pronghorn, white-tailed and mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, wild horses, and other smaller animals. In the spring, the park blooms with must-see gorgeous colorful wildflowers. In the South Unit of the park, there’s a 36-mile Scenic Loop Drive, which is dotted with signs with facts about the history of the park and its natural features written on them. The South Unit is also the location of Theodore Roosevelt’s first ranch cabin: the Maltese Cross Cabin. The Painted Canyon should also be on your park to-do list; you’ll be greeted with unreal panoramic views of the Badlands. After you visit those areas, check out the North Unit. There, you will find a 14-mile Scenic Byway, which offers even more breathtaking views, and a plethora of hiking trails. If you’re looking for solitude, grab the car and take a 35-mile drive to the location of Roosevelt’s “home ranch,” the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. If you’re planning on staying in Medora after your trip to the national park, catch a show at Medora Musical, visit the historic Chateau de Mores house, go horseback riding at Medora Riding Stables, or stop by the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The first stop on your tour of Cincinnati should be the Renaissance in Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. It’s home to the country’s largest collection of 19th-century Italianate architecture, with 943 historic buildings lining the streets. You can shop, eat, gallery hop, and take a ride on a streetcar. Other entertaining ways to spend your day include visiting the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Catch a Cincinnati Reds game at the Great American Ball Park. The city is also home the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a beautiful Contemporary Arts Center, and the historic Findlay Market, which welcomes 900,000 visitors every year. Another must-see destination in Cincinnati during the spring is the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is filled with gorgeous flowers as the warmer weather arrives. Once you’ve made your rounds through the zoo and garden, take the family to the Newport Aquarium, which was the first aquarium in the Western Hemisphere to display a Shark Ray. Then, take a trip to Kings Island, which is the largest amusement and waterpark in the Midwest and is ranked as having the best kids’ area in the world by goldenticketawards.com. These are the best weekend getaways in every state.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton is the perfect spring break getaway for nature-lovers. The refuge is home to over 50 species of native mammals, 240 species of birds, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, 36 species of fish, and 806 plant species, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In addition to incredible wildlife-watching opportunities, there are over 30 miles of scenic hiking trails, picnicking areas, camping grounds, rock climbing, fishing, and more. There’s plenty to do in town, as well, including touring one of the city’s incredible museums, including the Museum of the Great Plains, the Comanche National Museum & Cultural Center, Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum, and the Air Defense Artillery Museum. While you’re in town, keep an eye on Lawton’s event calendar–you might be just in time to attend a home and garden show, a play, a car show, a craft beer festival, or a rodeo.
Dating back to the early 20th century, the 1.5-mile Promenade, affectionately known as “The Prom” by locals is the town’s crown jewel. Grab an ice cream or a cappuccino and stroll along down the path that parallels the Pacific Ocean. A visit to Seaside Aquarium is worth it to say hello to the friendly and entertaining seals. Captain Kid Amusement Park and Interstate Amusement are other popular destinations for kids, offering go-kart rides, mini-golf, and other fun activities. Funland Arcade and Gearhart Bowl are other family favorites. If you’d rather get away from all of the hustle and bustle, grab your hiking boots and head to the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail, which leads to Ecola State Park. If you’re not up for hiking, not to worry–take a break from your exciting day and meditate at Seaside Yoga. Lastly, no trip to Seaside is complete without a ride on the famous Seaside Carousel, which is surrounded by tons of shops for those who enjoy retail therapy.
Springtime in the Steel City has a little bit of everything for everyone. First, visit all the incredible animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo. After, be sure to stop by the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and see their spectacular Spring Flower Shower, which runs through mid-April and boasts over 69,000 bulbs. Some other stops that should definitely be on your Pittsburgh itinerary are the Carnegie Science Center, the Gateway Clipper Fleet, St. Anthony’s Chapel, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, Pittsburgh has plenty to choose from. Whether you decide to spend the afternoon at Schenley Park, Riverview Park, Frick Park, Point State Park, Mellon Park, or one of the city’s other gorgeous parks, visitors of all ages will enjoy golfing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and tons of other outdoor activities. Baseball lovers should definitely take in a Pirates game at iconic Three Rivers Stadium.
Rhode Island: Newport
If you’re visiting Newport in early May, sailing enthusiasts won’t want to miss the only North American stopover of the exciting Volvo Ocean Yacht Race. And of course, you need to see Newport’s stunning mansions and learn about their remarkable 250 years of history by taking a mansion tour or two. Besides visiting Newport’s mansions, there are plenty of other historic sites, museums, landmarks, architectural buildings, and parks to see. While you’re in town, make sure you make time to see Castle Hill Lighthouse, Bowen’s Wharf, Rose Island Lighthouse, Beavertail Lighthouse, and The Old Stone Mill. Perhaps the best way to see most of these beautiful homes and landmarks is by boat. Fortunately, Newport has a whole lot of those–and many companies that offer tours from the water. After, enjoy a lovely 10-mile drive down the very scenic Ocean Drive, which is another must-see destination while you’re in Newport. Be sure to stop by Newport Fudgery before you go and taste their delectable sweets! Find out the best bucket list ideas for every state.
South Carolina: Myrtle Beach
Not only is Myrtle Beach an affordable getaway, but it has something to offer for every type of traveler. With 60 miles of gorgeous beaches, tons of attractions, and more than 100 golf courses, it’s hard to know where to start. Taking a trip to North Myrtle Beach bowling alley is never a bad idea, though. With 20 lanes, billiards, bocce courts, air hockey, foosball, and more, it’s guaranteed fun. Back at the beach, rent jet skis and pontoon boats from Action Water Sportz and have a blast in the ocean. Shopaholic will fall in love with the Grand Strand shopping complexes, with over 300 outlet stores. When you’ve worked up an appetite, there are approximately 1,800 restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area to choose from. Some popular choices are the Carolina Roadhouse, Simply Southern Smokehouse, and Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse. For post-dinner fun, catch a show at one of Myrtle Beach’s eight fantastic live theaters.
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Perhaps one of the loveliest parts of Sioux Falls is the Sioux Falls themselves. Tucked away in Falls Park’s 123 acres of land, an average of 7,400 gallons of water drop 100-feet over the Falls every single second, according to visitsiouxfalls.com. The bike trails in Falls Park are another major attraction, offering over 29 miles of trails looping around the city. When you’re not exploring the park, there’s something for everyone in downtown. Science geeks will love the Kirby Science Discovery Center, which has over 100 interactive exhibits, including a Butterfly House featuring over 800 gorgeous free-flying butterflies. Nature lovers won’t want to miss out on The Outdoor Campus, where you’ll learn about hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, and other exciting activities. If you’re looking to spend some more time outdoors, the Downtown River Greenway has a canoe and kayak landing, an amphitheater, and a 19-mile recreation trail that follows the Big Sioux River through scenic parts of the city. Speaking of the river, you can also rent a kayak or canoe and go sightseeing from the water. To top it off, the city has incredible outdoor festivals, sculptures lining the streets, shopping, and more.
Tennessee: Pigeon Forge
Spend some time with Mother Nature in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With cascading waterfalls and scenic hiking routes, Cades Cove’s 11-mile trail is a don’t miss. The area is also great for picnicking, wildlife viewing, biking, hiking, and camping. For the thrill-seekers, not much compares to speeding down a 1,000-foot hill in a plastic rolling ball at Pigeon Forge’s Outdoor Gravity Park. Once you’ve checked that off your bucket list, soar through the skies on one of the city’s many zip lines, some of which reach 2,500 feet in length. After, make way to Ripley’s Aquarium, where you’ll come face-to-beak with adorable penguins and pet-friendly stingrays. Wonderworks Indoor Amusement Park is another popular destination in Pigeon Forge with over 35,000 square feet of fun for the whole family. After, check out the NASCAR Speedpark, where visitors can ride bumper cars and boats, climb a rock climbing wall, hop aboard thrilling roller coasters, and more. Don’t miss the coolest secret location in each state.
As the ninth-largest city in the United States, Dallas truly has a little bit of everything for everyone. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is especially beautiful from late February to early April. Admire over 500,000 flowers during Dallas Blooms. Want a day away from the kids? Dallas Zoo, the largest zoo in Texas, hosts a single-day camp and five days of spring break camps for kids, offers plenty of opportunities to learn about habitats, animals, wildlife, ecosystems, and more. Safari Week at Texas Discovery Garden is definitely worth a visit, too, with nature walks, crafts, activities, storytelling, a butterfly release, and more. After, head to Klyde Warren Park and take advantage of Dallas’ warm weather (which averages a lovely 77 degrees in the spring) at the children’s park or Imagination Playground. Dallas is also home to the largest urban arts district in the country spanning 19 city blocks. While you’re admiring all of the artwork, grab a bite to eat at one of Dallas’ best restaurants; favorites include Pecan Lodge or Henry’s Majestic.
Utah: St. George
Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Utah, St. George’s warm, mild temperatures during the spring make it the perfect spring break getaway. Take a trip to Snow Canyon State Park—the massive 7,400-acre park is encompassed by breathtaking red Navajo sandstone, dunes, and ancient lava flows. Go hiking, biking, or horseback riding through its 38-miles of hiking trails, including a three-mile paved walking/biking trail and over 15 miles of equestrian trails. After, rent a paddleboat at Quail Lake in Quail Creek State Park, which is surrounded by the gorgeous canyons of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Other notable activities in St. George are touring Coyote Gulch Art Village, checking out Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum, spending time at the Dixie Convention Center, and stopping by Tonaquint Nature Center.
Located on the shore of Lake Champlain in the northwest corner of Vermont is the lovely city of Burlington. For all of your shopping therapy needs, Church Street Marketplace is a shopper’s paradise with over 100 shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for fresh produce and delicious local foods, look no further than City Hall Park’s year-round Farmer’s Market. For a taste of adventure, stop by Petra Cliffs, an indoor rock climbing center with fun obstacles for all ages. After, rent a bike and venture down Burlington Greenway‘s eight miles of trails with gorgeous views of the water. Then, stop by Lake Champlain Chocolates for a tour of the factory and delectable chocolate tastings. Did we mention the Ben and Jerry’s factory is only 20 minutes away? Hello, ice cream tours! Plus, adults can enjoy a night out at Magic Hat Brewing Company with a factory tour and limitless free beer tastings. Take a trip back in history and visit the vast 45-acre Shelburne Museum, which showcases impressive “weathervanes, quilts and American art to transplanted 1950s era homes, a railroad station, and a fully outfitted steamboat,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
Situated along the Appalachian Trail, Damascus, also known as “Trail Town U.S.A.”, is a nature lover’s dream. As the name suggests, the area has tons of trails, including the Crooked Road Music Trail, the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, and more. Perhaps the best-known of the bunch is the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34-mile trail that’s perfect for bicycling with plenty of spots to rent your two-wheels from. For the golfers, Deerfield Golf Course, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, is a must-visit. If you’re looking for even more spring break excitement, whitewater rafting in Laurel Creek and other surrounding streams is a popular activity. Neighboring Damascus are Mount Rogers National Recreation Center, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, and Grayson Highlands State Park, which are all perfect locations for a springtime camping trip.
Springtime in Seattle is especially beautiful and draws in visitors from far and wide during its Tulip Festival. Local gardeners and flower enthusiasts design elaborate tulip gardens for the festival, which also includes an art show, a street fair, and a 5K run. Another don’t miss activity is a ride on one of the Washington State Ferries for a gorgeous city skyline view from the water. That’s not the only place to take in an incredible view of the city, though. If you make your way up to Sky View Observatory, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of Seattle from nearly 1,000 feet, making it the tallest public observatory in the Pacific Northwest. Other must-visit attractions to add to your itinerary are Chihuly Garden and Glass, an impressive 1.5 acres of the sculptors famed glassworks, The Museum of Flight, Pike Place Market, Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Great Wheel, and, of course, the famous Seattle Space Needle, which offers an incredible view of the city at 605 feet. After a busy day of exploring Seattle, grab a bite to eat at one of their fabulous restaurants, like The Pink Door or Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Be sure to check out these gorgeous photos that perfectly capture the beauty of spring.
West Virginia: Charleston
Charleston offers up a perfect blend of history, nature, and culture. The East End Historic District is home to the state capitol building, the Craik-Patton House, the Executive Mansion, the West Virginia State Museum, and the West Virginia Veterans Memorial—all are open for tours. For a dose of the great outdoors, head to Cato Park, also in the historic district; it has an Olympic-size pool, nine-hole golf course and plenty of play areas for the little ones. For an all-day outing, check out Kanawha State Forest, or Coonskin Park, both have many hiking trails that are available to the public, and some lead to outstanding views of the Appalachian Mountains. Back in downtown, you won’t want to miss the many free concerts, events, and symphony performances that take place at Haddad Riverfront Park‘s 36,000 square foot amphitheater. If you’re looking to indulge in even more music, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences and performs in over 50 concerts every year. Looking to indulge in a little retail therapy? The Capitol Market, an outdoor market that sells everything from fresh produce to delectable chocolates, welcome shoppers year-round.
Wisconsin: Horicon Marsh
Avid bird-watchers should flock to Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin. The area is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the country, and ranks as one of the top birding spots in the country, according to midwestliving.com. You’ll see the greatest variety of birds from mid-April to mid-May and mid-September to mid-October. Besides bird-watching, there’s plenty to do on these 33,000 acres of land. Visitors can bicycle, paddle, fish, and hike. After you explore the marsh, stop by the Horicon Marsh Explorium and the Education Center, which has a Marsh Viewing Area and a Children’s Discovery room.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole
Located in western Wyoming, Jackson Hole is home to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort—and springtime is an especially ideal time to hit the slopes. As the weather fluctuates between freezing and melting, a firm, upper-crust forms on the mountains, creating a skier’s paradise. It’s warmer down the mountain, so it’s possible you can head to Grand Teton National Park for bike riding or hiking. Yellowstone National Park is less than 90 minutes away; if seeing Old Faithful shoot into the air is on your bucket list, now is the time to check it off. Back in the town of Jackson, cozy up to a saddle-bar stool at the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. If you’re around in late May, you definitely won’t want to miss ElkFest, when the antlers the elk naturally shed each spring are collected and auctioned off or Old West Days, a celebration of the area’s past. Read on to find out the best spring break destinations to avoid college crowds.