A new year has begun and people are planning travel like never before. We plan on traveling for spring break, albeit a bit closer to home. If your family doesn’t know where to go on spring break, fear not, we have some vacation ideas. Whether you want a city getaway or a beach vacation with kids, we are sharing the best spring break destinations for families.
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Best Spring Break Ideas for Families
City Vacations for Families
Phoenix is my hometown, so it’s always going to be a favorite destination. The spring months are the best time to visit because the weather is just about perfect.
Families can explore at the Phoenix Zoo, take in a professional baseball game at one of the numerous spring training venues, hit the golf course, or hike through the desert at one of the many parks and trails.
Of course there’s shopping and tons of delicious food too! These are some of our favorite things to do in Phoenix with kids if you want to plan a trip to the area. Believe me, they will love the weather and never be bored.
We love visiting Nashville with kids and can’t wait to visit again. Nashville’s landscape is constantly changing, and the kids loved visiting the gardens at Cheekwood Estate and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
We also had fun taking photos at the murals around the city, especially the ones in the Gulch and 12 South neighborhoods.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Nashville without a stroll down Lower Broadway, listening to the live music from the various restaurants and bars, a stop at the GooGoo Cluster store, or taking in a show at the Grand Ole Opry.
Of course there is plenty of shopping and delicious southern food too, the hard part will be deciding where to begin!
New York City, New York
Not everyone thinks of New York for spring break, but they should! The city has a wealth of museums if it’s cold, plus plenty of outdoor adventures.
Start by taking a tour of the city with either a hop-on hop-off bus tour or something unique like The Ride which is a fun, interactive way to see the city.
Consider investing in a CityPASS which gives you a major discount at attractions like The Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, The Met and more.
Be sure to catch a Broadway show, wander through Central Park, and eat all the food (don’t miss these New York restaurants for families). There is plenty to do in New York with kids of all ages and don’t miss our favorite activities for teens in NYC.
Family Spring Break Trip to the Beach
San Diego, California
We lived in San Diego for seven years and every time I tell someone this tidbit of information, I’m asked, “Why did you move?”
Well, that’s a good question, and I can tell you we didn’t move to Chicago for the weather. We miss so many things about “America’s Finest City”. There’s the sunshine, 70 miles of beautiful beaches, hiking, a world famous zoo, fabulous year round weather, I could go on and on.
There are many choices for families visiting San Diego. Take a short drive over the bridge to Coronado Island, stroll through Balboa Park and visit its museums, head to Legoland, or go hiking at Torrey Pines State Beach. If your kids like adventure, San Diego offers some of the best spots to SUP in California.
Some of our other favorites include: Sea World, taking surfing lessons for the day, exploring the USS Midway aircraft carrier, or visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in North County.
Fun shopping and dining areas include La Jolla, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Little Italy. When you’re done walking everywhere take a boat cruise in the bay, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see some migrating whales or dolphins. Trust me, a visit to Southern California in spring will surely entertain the entire family.
Los Cabos, Mexico
One of the things that makes Los Cabos a top spring break destination is the fact it’s always warm and sunny (well, it has over 300 days of sunshine a year, so the odds are good).
Weather in the winter can be chilly, but spring time might be the best time to visit Cabo San Lucas. Our family enjoyed snorkeling, a sunset cruise to the Cabo Arch, exploring the art community of San José, and taking surfing lessons.
There’s also camel rides, cooking classes, ATV off roading, and whale watching for those looking for entertainment out of the resorts.
If you’re looking for an all inclusive resort in Mexico, Los Cabos regularly has new hotels opening and each one is better than the last. The variety of activities and resorts make a Cabo spring break the perfect choice for families.
Costa Rica is one of our all time favorite destinations. The warm weather is always perfect for exploring its volcanoes, taking a surfing lesson, whitewater rafting, and visiting the rainforests and cloud forests.
In Costa Rica the weather is near perfect year round, and the beaches, mountains, and endless outdoor activities make it the quintessential destination for adventure loving families.
If you’re heading there, don’t miss our favorite all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica that families are sure to love!
Puerto Rico is an easy destination for Americans as it is a US territory and you don’t need a passport to visit. March and April are the perfect time to visit because the spring weather is more manageable than what you’ll find in the summer.
Spend time exploring Old San Juan, the white-sand beaches at Luquillo Beach, or zip lining through the forest. Plan a tour to take a day trip to El Yunque rainforest and a night trip to explore the bioluminescent bay.
There are plenty of things to do in Puerto Rico with kids and we are sure you will have a great time!
Top Spring Break Destinations in Europe
It’s hard to know where to begin when telling people what I love the most about Rome. There is so much to explore with your kids.
They can learn about the history of the world, eat fantastic food, meet locals and learn about traditions of another culture. What more could you want from a destination?
We visited Rome on Easter break and while it was amazing, it was crazy busy. Italians take Easter seriously, and Rome is THE place to be for Easter Mass.
If your spring break doesn’t fall over the Easter holiday, then check out the city because you can see the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and eat all the gelato and pasta you want. Doesn’t that sound like a fabulous vacation?
If you’re looking for a vacation with fabulous weather, I highly recommend heading to Croatia. Not only does it have some of the best beaches, there are marvelously preserved historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split, the stunning scenery of Plitvice Lakes National Park, and the north western region of Istria on the Adriatic.
Families will love the charm of the cities, the local cuisine, the beaches, and the adventure activities (cave exploring, sport fishing, and kayaking to name a few). If you can travel to Croatia, I think you’re in for quite a treat.
It can be difficult to travel to Europe on a spring break family vacation from the United States, but if you have the time, it’s definitely worth it. Portugal is easy to access with direct flights from the US on TAP Airlines. It’s only 6.5 hours from the east coast.
Spend time exploring Lisbon and learning about its history. Don’t miss Sao Jorge Castle, the Jerónimos Monastery, and taking a ride on the Santa Justa lift for amazing views of the city. Consider taking a scenic drive to Sintra, Alentejo, or Óbidos to see a different side of Portugal.
Best Places to Ski for Spring Break
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
As I said before, every year my husband wants to go skiing for spring break and every year I look at him like he is crazy. However, I do have friends that swear by Steamboat Springs, Colorado for their family spring break trips.
Billed as Ski Town USA®, visitors will find skiing and snowboarding, as well as other winter sports such as snowshoeing, snow biking, and snow tubing. Those who don’t want to ski might enjoy a hot air balloon ride, snowmobile tours, or riding up the mountain in a gondola.
There’s also a downtown area filled with shopping and fabulous restaurants, to keep you busy when you’re not spending time at the slopes. If heading to the ski resorts sounds like the perfect spring break destination, Steamboat Springs might be the place for you.
National Parks for Spring Break
There are many National Parks that make for a great spring break destination. If you want to avoid the snow, consider heading to parks in the southern US, like White Sands, Death Valley, and Dry Tortugas off the Florida Keys. If you want a city/national park trip, consider starting in San Diego, taking a road trip to Joshua Tree and ending up in Las Vegas.
We went to Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, and Zion National Park this past spring break, and two of the three destinations had snow while we were there. It was definitely unexpected, but we didn’t let it ruin our spring break vacation.
If it’s snow you’re chasing, consider Rocky Mountain National Park outside Estes Park, Colorado or Yosemite National Park in California. Both offer stunning scenery, easy hikes, and are amazing for nature lovers.
Family-Friendly Spring Break Destination for Everyone
If amusement parks are your thing, then you definitely want to take the whole family to Orlando for spring break. Of course there’s Walt Disney World, but there’s also Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Volcano Bay, SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Legoland to keep the kids busy for hours on end.
Our favorite parks are Epcot and Animal Kingdom, but we also enjoy taking a break from the parks and lounging by the hotel pool or exploring attractions in the nearby communities of Celebration and Kissimmee.
There may be crowds in Orlando when you go, but if you love theme parks, you won’t want to miss a chance to enjoy the Florida sunshine.
Looking for the perfect place to stay? Don’t miss these Orlando resorts for families!
Book Your Flights
You can find discounted fares using sites like Momondo or Skyscanner. If you want to keep an eye on discount fares, we suggest signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a daily newsletter with flight sales around the world.
If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Hotels.com and Expedia.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Tiqets is another place to purchase tickets for attractions.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours.
One of our favorite things to do annually is take photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threat or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master to find the best policy for your group.