10 Favorite Spring Break Destinations for Families
When you aren’t planning on traveling for spring break, you have plenty of time to sit in your warm living room, look outside at the snow and dream of all the places you would love to visit this time of year. Growing up I lived in Phoenix, so our family often planned beach escapes in the summer (spring was too nice in Arizona to leave). During our early married years, we lived in San Diego (near the beach), so we dreamed of exotic spring destinations such as Europe. After we moved to Chicago, we could only dream about escaping the cold weather all winter long. My husband would love to go on a ski vacation, but every spring break I have fought this, insisting that when we live here, we need to escape somewhere warm, not to some skiing mecca. This year we will be staying home (we did visit Puerto Rico last month after all), and I am planning an amazing staycation for myself and the kiddos (don’t be jealous). In the meantime, I am dreaming of our favorite family spring break destinations and hopefully we can visit some of them in the near future.
Vacations for Families that Love Cities
One of the best times to visit Washington, D.C. is when the cherry blossoms are in bloom during the spring. If you’re not there to see the blooms, have no fear, there is plenty to keep you busy. What I love about D.C. is the fact that the majority of their museums are free, making this a very affordable and family friendly vacation destination. Teach your kids about our nation’s capitol and the history of our country while visiting the numerous attractions this city has to offer. Explore the surrounding area of Georgetown or head to Mount Vernon or Arlington Cemetery for a day trip. The kids will be learning while on vacation and they won’t even realize it!
Phoenix is my hometown and spring break is 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, or hike through the desert at one of the many parks and trails. Of course there’s shopping and tons of delicious food too! We just shared our favorite Phoenix activities if you want to plan a trip to the area. Believe me, there is a ton to do!
Charleston, South Carolina
I love, love, love Charleston and can’t wait to visit again. We loved visiting nearby plantations, riding in a horse drawn carriage as we toured the city, window shopping up and down King Street, and eating the most fabulous Southern cuisine I’ve ever tasted. There are also plenty of beaches nearby, golf and tennis, the South Carolina Aquarium, Fort Sumter and the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier kids will love exploring), and City Market is worth a visit. A week isn’t enough time to see everything Charleston has to offer!
For Families That Love 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 for the weather. We miss so many things about “America’s Finest City”. There’s the sunshine, 70 miles of beaches, hiking, a world famous zoo, fabulous year round weather, I could go on and on. There are many choices for families. There’s visiting Coronado Island, strolling through Balboa Park and visiting its museums, heading to Legoland, or hiking at Torrey Pines State Beach. 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, and 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 San Diego will keep everyone in your family entertained.
One of the things that makes Puerto Rico a top spring break destination is the fact that you don’t need a passport to travel there. Our family enjoyed the island cuisine, the beaches, the adventure activities (kayaking to the bioluminescent bay and zip lining were amazing), and the hospitality of the locals. To see what else Puerto Rico has to offer, you can check out our favorites. There’s also a tropical rain forest, gorgeous beaches, and a spectacular old town with forts for exploring, making Puerto Rico an ideal destination for families.
Costa Rica is at the top of my travel bucket list. I dream of exploring its volcanoes, taking a surfing lesson, whitewater rafting, and visiting the rainforests and cloud forests. Just glancing at their tourism website is enough to make me start looking at plane tickets. The weather seems near perfect, and the beaches, mountains, coffee plantation tours, and endless adventure activities make it the quintessential destination for adventure seeking families.
Overseas Vacation Idea for Spring Break
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?
Another destination at the top of my bucket list is Croatia. Not only does it have beautiful beaches, I am intrigued by the marvelous medieval old town of Dubrovnik, the stunning scenery of Plitvice Lakes National Park, and the north western region of Istria on the Adriatic. I think families would 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.
Best Places to Ski for Spring Break
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
As I said before, every year my husband begs to visit a ski resort for spring break and every year I look at him like he is crazy. However, I do have friends that swear by Steamboat Springs 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 that 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 skiing is your thing, Steamboat Springs might be a great place for your family spring break.
Fun Vacation Destinations for Everyone
If theme parks are your thing, then you definitely want to take the family to Orlando for spring break. Of course there’s Walt Disney World, but there’s also Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure (for Harry Potter fans), 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 heading to one of the nearby beaches (about an hour or so away by car). 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.