Discover the Best Spring Break Destinations: From Key West to Paris, Uncover Tropical Paradise and Western Getaways
As winter starts to fade away and the days become longer and warmer, it's time to start dreaming about your next adventure: spring break. Whether you're a beach bum, a nature lover, or a city explorer, there's a perfect destination out there for you. From the sun-soaked beaches of Key West, Florida, to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the vibrant streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, we've compiled a list of the best spring break destinations for 2022. So get ready to soak up the sun, make unforgettable memories, and discover new horizons in these incredible spots across the United States and beyond.
Key West, Florida
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Key West, Florida is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and relaxed atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for a tranquil spring break. Explore the vibrant historic district, embark on a picturesque sunset sail, or simply relax on the pristine beach. Key West is also famous for its delightful seafood, with the must-try Conch Republic restaurant located in the town. Additionally, Key West offers an array of restaurants, shops, and activities suited for all ages.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
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Introduce your children to one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. Immerse yourself in breathtaking views and discover the depths of the canyon through hiking trails, river rafting tours, and helicopter rides. After experiencing the natural beauty, explore the historic lodges within the park, such as the charming El Tovar, which has been welcoming travelers since 1905.
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San Diego, California
Immerse yourself in a full day of adventure at the renowned San Diego Zoo. If you're looking for more to do, hike through the scenic Torrey Pines State Reserve or unwind on one of San Diego's beautiful beaches. Families will also enjoy the waterfront Belmont Park, which offers classic rides and mini golf. And don't forget to take a short 30-minute drive to Legoland from San Diego!
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Miami is a popular destination for spring breakers, offering a mix of beach activities, art, and entertainment. Soak up the sun on South Beach, admire the city's iconic art deco architecture, and indulge in some of the country's finest dining experiences. Don't miss the opportunity to explore unique museums, like the Frost Science Museum, which hosts exciting high-tech exhibitions for kids.
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Favored by college students and families alike, Cancun boasts turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and an exciting nightlife. From swimming with whale sharks to exploring ancient Mayan ruins, there is no shortage of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained. After a day of adventure, relax and unwind at the family-favorite Hard Rock Cancun.
Panama City Beach, Florida
With its 27 miles of sandy beaches and an array of family-friendly activities, Panama City Beach is the perfect destination for a fun-filled spring break. Indulge in water sports, beach volleyball, and check out amusement parks like Race City. Live music venues such as Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant offer great entertainment options. You'll never run out of things to do in Panama City Beach!
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Discover the charm of Savannah, Georgia, with its historic architecture and delectable Southern cuisine. Take a leisurely walking tour of the city, led by a pirate for an extra dose of excitement for the kids, or visit historical country homes like the Joseph Manigault House. Indulge in a meal at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room for an unmatched culinary experience. Don't forget to spend some time at Charleston Waterfront Park, home to the famous Pineapple Fountain.
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Honolulu, Hawaii is the ultimate destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. Hike to the top of Diamond Head for panoramic views of the city, experience the famous Waikiki Beach, or savor the freshest seafood at Ono Seafood. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, offers magical experiences and excursions for both children and adults.
Napa Valley, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
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Las Vegas is the ultimate destination for a vibrant spring break. Enjoy world-famous, family-friendly shows such as Cirque du Soleil's Mystère, try your luck at the casinos while the kids have fun at the pool, or take a day trip to the nearby Hoover Dam.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina is a picturesque city with cobblestone streets and a rich culinary scene. Enjoy a walking tour of the city, including a pirate-led tour for a fun twist. Visit historical sites like the Joseph Manigault House and savor seafood at the city's renowned restaurants. Don't miss the charming Pineapple Fountain at Charleston Waterfront Park.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, offers a vibrant nightlife and delectable cuisine. Explore the historic French Quarter, take a riverboat tour with the New Orleans Steamboat Company, or savor the city's famous beignets at Cafe du Monde.
Costa Rica is a paradise for eco-conscious families, offering diverse wildlife, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests. Hike to a volcano, experience the thrill of zip-lining through the jungle, or simply relax on a secluded beach. Costa Rica offers endless possibilities for curious minds, adventurous souls, and those seeking deep relaxation.
For a fun and unique trip, Austin, Texas is the place to be. Known for its live music, vibrant food scene, and beautiful parks, Austin has something for everyone. Hike the Monkey Rock Trail in Incline Village for stunning lake views, go mountain biking on the Tahoe Rim Trail and Flume Trail to experience the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, and indulge in handcrafted artisan eats at Liberty Food & Wine Exchange. Don't miss the chance to climb the world's tallest climbing wall at BaseCamp in Whitney Peak Hotel, offering unbeatable views of the city and the iconic Reno Arch. Austin is the perfect destination for those seeking great food and outdoor adventure.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Experience the rich history of Puerto Rico in the historic city of San Juan. Walk along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, visit the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro, or savor the mouthwatering local cuisine. San Juan offers a perfect blend of cultural exploration and stunning beaches along the Caribbean Sea. Best of all, no passport is required!
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Sedona, Arizona is a breathtaking desert town with stunning red rock formations and a thriving art scene. Explore the nearby state parks through scenic hikes, pamper yourself at a spa while the kids enjoy the pool, or browse galleries and shops offering unique works of art.
Best for budding historians
The Dutch-Caribbean island of Curacao. WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES
Curacao, located in the Dutch-Caribbean, is a captivating tropical paradise with a rich and storied history. Budding historians will marvel at the town of Willemstad, which showcases Spanish, British, and Dutch colonial architecture. Explore the impactful slave museum, admire vibrant street art, and visit an authentic Curacao liqueur distillery. Additionally, the UNESCO-inscribed downtown offers diverse culinary experiences at its numerous restaurants and bars. Curacao also boasts magnificent beaches along the Caribbean Sea, where you can kayak through mangroves or explore the island's coral reefs through scuba diving or snorkeling. Whether you're seeking knowledge, adventure, or relaxation, Curacao offers endless possibilities.
Turks and Caicos
Best for rest and relaxation
Turtle Cove in Turks and Caicos. CHEL BEESON/GETTY IMAGES
For those seeking rest and relaxation, the Turks and Caicos Islands are the perfect destination. As a British Crown colony, this hidden gem exudes charm and tranquility. Providenciales, also known as Provo, is home to Grace Bay Beach, often hailed as the "World's Best Beach," and offers luxurious villas and resorts. Grand Turk, the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, attracts divers from all over the world with its impressive Grand Turk Wall, referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Caribbean" due to its 7,000-foot-deep ecosystem. Turks and Caicos promises a rejuvenating and peaceful spring break experience.
Reno Tahoe, Nevada
Best for active travelers
Skiers in Reno Tahoe, Nevada. BX PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES
Reno Tahoe is a dynamic wonderland, where art, culture, and scenic views come together surrounding the largest alpine lake in the United States. Adventurers will be thrilled by the natural playground that Reno Tahoe offers. Hike the Monkey Rock Trail in Incline Village for panoramic lake views, and explore the Tahoe Rim Trail and Flume Trail for majestic vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When you're ready to refuel, indulge in handcrafted artisan eats at Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, or experience the oldest brewery in the state, Great Basin Brewery Company. Before leaving town, don't miss the opportunity to climb one of the world's tallest climbing walls at BaseCamp in Whitney Peak Hotel, offering unbeatable views of the city and the iconic Reno Arch. Reno Tahoe is the perfect choice for spring breakers looking for outdoor adventure and delicious cuisine.
Best for families with little ones
Bluffs overlooking Carlsbad beach. TONYA STAAB/GETTY IMAGES
Carlsbad, California is an excellent choice for families with young children. This laid-back beach town is home to Legoland California Resort, providing endless entertainment for kids. Additionally, Carlsbad is conveniently located near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and SeaWorld San Diego, offering a multitude of options to keep children engaged and entertained. With charming beaches and world-class dining options, Carlsbad provides a vibrant and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Spring break is the optimal time to visit and witness the vibrant flowers in bloom at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in San Diego County, a must-visit during this season.
Perfect for Climbers and Cyclists
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Cheyenne, Wyoming, situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains' front range. This hidden gem is a haven for adventurous spring breakers seeking outdoor excitement. Just a 90-minute drive from Denver, Cheyenne is a paradise for climbers and cyclists.
Start your adventure at Curt Gowdy State Park, located only 25 minutes west of downtown Cheyenne. With its close proximity to the magnificent Rockies, it serves as the ideal starting point for exploring the region. Additionally, Cheyenne acts as the gateway to the stunning Medicine Bow National Forest, offering unparalleled opportunities for world-class rock climbing, bouldering, hiking, mountain biking, all-terrain vehicle drives, and backcountry camping.
For those craving more outdoor thrills, there are numerous other attractions within a day's drive. Explore iconic natural monuments like Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Devils Tower, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
After a day of adventure, unwind at one of Cheyenne's lively craft beverage establishments such as Black Tooth Brewing Co. or The Paramount Ballroom.
Cheyenne embodies the spirit of the American West and serves as the perfect starting point for a road trip through Wyoming and Yellowstone, making it an ideal destination for any adventurous traveler.
Florida's Paradise Coast
Perfect for Couples
Indulge in a romantic spring getaway on Florida's Paradise Coast, encompassing Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City, Immokalee, and Ave Maria.
This dreamy region in southwest Florida offers picturesque beaches, gourmet restaurants, and world-class spas. It is the epitome of serenity, devoid of raucous spring break parties. Instead, you'll find sparkling waters, white sand, and a peaceful atmosphere.
Couples can enhance their experience by redeeming or accruing points at the secluded JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. This exclusive adults-only escape offers expansive suites, rooftop pool access, beach butler service, and more.
For additional information, be sure to check out The Points Guy's guide on the best Florida hotels.
Perfect for Music and Nature Lovers
Jamaica is a top choice for spring breakers seeking sparkling blue waters, mountainous terrain, and a warm, fun-loving culture.
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios or embark on a thrilling hike up Blue Mountain Peak. Explore the wonders of the Blue Hole in Negril or take a journey through the enchanting Green Grotto Caves in Discovery Bay.
Jamaica's rich and biodiverse landscape is complemented by its famously welcoming residents and mouth-watering cuisine. Indulge in delicious jerk chicken and oxtail before dancing the night away to the rhythmic beats of Bob Marley in one of the island's vibrant clubs and bars.
Adventure awaits in Jamaica with activities like zip-lining at Mystic Mountain Adventure Park, scuba diving, ATV riding, and river rafting. Combined with its vibrant energy and laid-back vibe, Jamaica is the ultimate destination for a memorable spring break getaway.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Perfect for Art Aficionados
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States. This enchanting destination offers an array of compelling museums, eclectic restaurants, and captivating exhibits.
Begin your day in the heart of downtown Santa Fe at the historic Plaza. From there, explore renowned museums such as the New Mexico History Museum, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the New Mexico Military Museum. Delve into the fascinating history shaped by Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo influences.
A visit to Meow Wolf is a must. This immersive art exhibition is an interactive psychedelic playground for all ages, boasting more than 70 interactive rooms and installations.
Santa Fe also serves as a gateway to several premier skiing destinations, including Aspen Snowmass, Vail, and Breckenridge. Don't miss the chance to hike to Hanging Lake or explore the captivating Historic Fairy Caves.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Perfect for Families with Kids of All Ages
Step back in time and immerse yourself in history at Colonial Williamsburg, the world's largest living history museum. This educational and entertaining destination offers something for everyone in the family.
Explore the blooming gardens, visit world-class art museums, and engage in interactive historical experiences that bring the past to life. Witness the Revolutionary War at the Yorktown American Revolution Museum and explore the living history at the Jamestown Settlement. Indulge in historically authentic dishes at King's Arms Tavern, where traditional American cuisine is taken to another level.
Parents can enjoy strolling through Merchants Square, an 18th-century retail village with over 40 shops and restaurants. For an immersive experience, stay at one of the five iconic Colonial Williamsburg resorts. These locations provide access to a range of activities and amenities, including tennis, golf, fitness classes, pools, a business center, a spa, and nearby dining options.
Discover the beauty of Colonial Williamsburg, where history comes alive and educational experiences are abundant. It's the perfect destination for families with children seeking an enriching spring break vacation.
Perfect for Road Trippers
Embark on a soul-soothing journey through America's national parks, a paradise for road trippers seeking captivating views and a connection with nature.
Zion National Park offers mesmerizing red rock arches that will leave you in awe. Yosemite National Park boasts picturesque green pastures surrounded by majestic mountains. Grand Canyon National Park invites you to be inspired by the grandeur of nature.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of these natural wonders and experience a mental reset. Consider exploring the top 20 national parks recommended by The Points Guy to ensure you don't miss any breathtaking landscapes.
Perfect for Beach Lovers
Indulge in paradise on the golden beaches of Aruba, where the sun sparkles and the Caribbean charm envelops you. With a consistent lack of rainfall and its location outside the hurricane belt, Aruba guarantees reliable weather for your beach vacation.
The island's median temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit provides the perfect climate to bask in the sun. Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, and Baby Beach are just a few of the stunning sandy stretches that await you.
Aruba's crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and healthy coral reefs offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports. When you're not frolicking on the beach, indulge in beachside dining and vibrant nightlife with numerous restaurants, bars, and entertainment options in close proximity.
Escape to Aruba and experience the epitome of a tropical paradise for your spring break getaway.
Perfect for East Coasters Seeking an Accessible Paradise
Experience the beauty of Bermuda, a captivating island just a two-hour flight away from the East Coast. Its epic scenery will make you wish you could get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
Kayak, snorkel, or take a glass-bottom boat to explore ancient shipwrecks in Bermuda's stunning waters. Discover mouthwatering restaurants and explore historical fortifications on the east end of UNESCO-preserved St. George's Island.
Bermuda offers a convenient and accessible paradise where you can immerse yourself in a world of clear blue waters and tranquility.
Perfect for Culture Seekers
Experience the magic of springtime in Paris, a city filled with culture, history, and affordable adventures. On average, hotel prices during this season are lower than in Cancun, Mexico.
Explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, perfect backdrops for expanding your love story. Delve into the world's largest museum, the Louvre, and plan your visit around the Art Paris art fair, showcasing nearly 150 galleries at the Grand Palais Ephémère.
If fashion is your passion, The Golden Triangle awaits, offering the latest designs and trends. Paris is a fail-safe choice for culture seekers yearning for an enriching and romantic adventure.
Discover the multitude of exquisite experiences that Paris has to offer.
Tropical Spring Break Destinations
If you're seeking a hot and humid climate with vibrant flora, consider these tropical destinations for your spring break getaway.
9. Ocho Rios, Jamaica:
Ocho Rios is a hot spot for live reggae music, stunning waterfalls, breathtaking beaches, and thrilling nightlife. Don't miss the chance to visit the beautiful Blue Hole and Dunn's River Falls. For a quintessential spring break experience, dive into the festivities at Margaritaville.
10. San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Immerse yourself in the rich culture of San Juan, Puerto Rico's vibrant capital. With its old-world charm and beautiful beaches, Old San Juan offers a unique atmosphere. Explore the Condado area, filled with parks and the Condado Lagoon, or venture on a tour of the nearby swamps to witness the local wildlife.
11. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic:
Punta Cana, with its sandy white beaches and budget-friendly resorts, is a prime destination for college spring breakers. Enjoy pool and beach parties, casinos, dance clubs, and spring break concerts. If relaxation is more your style, unwind on the picturesque beaches and soak up the sun.
12. Costa Rica:
For adventure seekers, Costa Rica is an ideal destination. This Central American country offers sun, beaches, forests, wildlife, and thrilling activities. Embark on exhilarating adventures such as zip-lining through the rainforest, walking on suspension bridges, rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, or simply relaxing on the beach.
For a change of scenery, explore these Western hot spots for an unforgettable spring break.
13. Las Vegas, Nevada:
Las Vegas needs no introduction. Premier shows, unparalleled casinos, exciting nightlife, and delicious culinary experiences await you. Indulge in the pool scene starting in March, visit iconic nightclubs, or explore downtown Las Vegas for a taste of vintage casinos and unique bars.
14. South Padre Island, Texas:
Located on a barrier island in Texas, South Padre Island offers budget-friendly fun in the sun. Enjoy the beach, witness dolphin sightings, ride horses along the coast, or try various water sports. South Padre Island has something for everyone, from sandy shores to a lively nightlife.
15. Glenwood Springs, Colorado:
Discover the hidden gem of Glenwood Springs nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Relax and rejuvenate in the world's largest hot springs pool, spanning the length of a football field. Within a two-hour drive, you can access premier skiing destinations such as Aspen Snowmass, Vail, and Breckenridge. Don't miss the opportunity to hike to Hanging Lake or explore the captivating Historic Fairy Caves.
16. Austin, Texas:
Experience the vibrant city of Austin, Texas, renowned for its contemporary bars, eclectic music, and bustling nightlife. Whether you want to dance to country music at a honky-tonk bar or explore the vibrant bar scenes on Sixth Street or Rainey Street, Austin has something for everyone. Discover rooftop bars, indulge in delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.
Southeastern Spring Break Spots
Experience the warmth of southern hospitality in these southeastern destinations for your spring break adventure.
17. Savannah, Georgia:
Step into the charming and historic city of Savannah, Georgia. Known for its beauty and rich history, Savannah offers a plethora of attractions. Explore the haunted city through ghost tours, visit Tybee Island for a beach escape, or enjoy rooftop bars and shopping experiences.
18. New Orleans, Louisiana:
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of New Orleans, a city renowned for its delectable food, live music, and diverse nightlife. Explore the French Quarter, visit the numerous restaurants, and witness street performers and artisans. Embark on a swamp tour to witness local wildlife and discover the unique charm of this iconic city.
19. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
With its warm weather, 60 miles of coastline beaches, and fun-filled amusement parks, Myrtle Beach offers endless entertainment. Explore the East Coast's only 200-foot SkyWheel, play mini-golf with friends, enjoy premier shopping, and indulge in championship golf courses.
20. Gulf Shores, Alabama:
Escape the crowds and indulge in sun, sand, and entertaining state parks in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Enjoy sport fishing, fantastic golf courses, stunning beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere. Experience the natural beauty of "America's Backyard" and witness the charm of this coastal destination.
Embark on an unforgettable spring break journey to one of these southeastern havens.
As spring break approaches, the options for exciting destinations seem endless. From the tropical paradise of Cancun to the stunning natural beauty of the Grand Canyon, there is no shortage of places to explore and enjoy. Whether you prefer the vibrant nightlife of Miami or the peaceful serenity of Napa Valley, there is something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your friends, and get ready for a spring break adventure you'll never forget. The only question now is, which destination will you choose?
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