Explore the Best Spring Break Destinations in the US for Families
Are you ready to embark on the most unforgettable spring break adventure with your loved ones? Look no further! We have curated a list of the best spring break destinations in the US for families, where you can relax in all-inclusive serenity, explore breathtaking natural wonders, and create lifelong memories. From the sun-kissed beaches of Miami to the majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, these destinations offer something for everyone. So pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for an exciting journey through some of the most enchanting places across the United States. Let's dive in!
Experience the ultimate relaxation at a luxurious all-inclusive resort in Jamaica.
There are some incredible all-inclusive resorts that are constantly recommended and we hope to visit them in the near future.
The beachfront Hilton Rose Hall and Melia Braco Village in Montego Bay are perfect for families. Once you arrive, you won't need to leave the properties unless you choose to, although there are plenty of other options available.
For a thrilling tropical adventure, check out Mystic Mountain. It offers tours to a 700 ft mountain peak and a rainforest bobsled, which is a 1000m long gravity drive through the rainforest.
Discover the Good Hope Estate at this old sugar estate, now transformed into a fantastic destination with activities such as:
- Dune Buggy or ATV rides
- Zipline Canopy tours
- River Experience with Tubes/Kayaks
- Challenge Course
- Gem Mining
Although Jamaica may seem far for a Spring Break trip, we guarantee it will be worth it. In an all-inclusive retreat, you and your kids will forget that the purpose of the trip was to unwind after school.
Discover the beauty of Clearwater, Florida
Located on Florida's picturesque Gulf Coast, Clearwater is an ideal destination for families during springtime. It offers warm, crystal-clear waters and boasts one of the best beaches in the United States - the white, sandy Clearwater Beach. Moreover, it is home to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a prominent animal rehabilitation center. At this facility, kids can meet Winter the Dolphin, a rescued dolphin who swims with the help of a prosthetic tail. Winter is the star of the popular Dolphin Tale movies.
Take a ferry across the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico to reach Caladesi Island State Park, where you can enjoy scenic nature trails and exceptional shelling opportunities. In the evening, Pier 60 becomes a vibrant gathering spot for stunning sunset views and lively festivals featuring local artisans, magicians, and live music.
Where to stay: Stay just steps away from the beach at the stylish Hotel Cabana Clearwater Beach.
Embark on a road trip along Route 66 in Arizona and enjoy its quirky charm, beautiful landscapes, and rich history. © Carolyn / Getty Images
Top Family Spring Break Vacations
Venice, Italy – A Popular Family Vacation Destination
Our Favorite Family Vacation: Venice, Italy
I was delighted to hear that my son ranked Venice as his top family vacation destination. It's perfect for spring break or summer getaways. We took a two-week tour of Italy and Greece, and all three of us agreed that Venice was our favorite city to visit in Italy.
Although we were on a guided tour with several other families and couples of all ages (our son, who was 13 at the time, was the youngest), we did have time to explore the streets of Venice on our own. Walking through Venice was one of our favorite activities during our family vacation, along with trying new foods. It's a great opportunity for your whole family to experience different cuisines (that's where my son discovered his love for calamari because one of the restaurants we went to didn't have pizza on the menu).
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We especially enjoyed sitting along the Grand Canal in Venice. While we usually try to avoid chain restaurants during vacations, we did have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the canals of Venice one day when we were craving a burger.
Of course, we couldn't miss taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice. It was definitely worth the experience. So if you're planning a trip to Europe, be sure to add Venice to your list of top spring break vacations for families or consider visiting in the summer, like we did.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Not Your Typical Family Getaway
How old were you when you first went to Europe? I was 40, and my son was 8. However, my husband had visited Europe many times as a young child since his mother was originally from Luxembourg. So, of course, we added Luxembourg to our itinerary for our first family vacation in Europe.
If you're not familiar with Luxembourg, it is a tiny country that borders France, Belgium, and Germany and it's smaller than Rhode Island.
An Insider's Guide to Luxembourg
We were fortunate to have an authentic local tour guide during our Luxembourg vacation. Steve's extended family graciously opened up their homes to us during our visit. They took us to all the top attractions in Luxembourg, including The Grund. This area, located in the valley, holds a significant part of Luxembourg's history.
One museum in Luxembourg that stood out to us was the Three Acorns, which is a fortification dating back to 1732. The museum gets its nickname from the three acorns located on top of the three towers. We also visited the more contemporary Mudam Luxembourg Modern Art Museum, which had some interesting exhibits.
Luxembourg may not be on the radar for most top family spring break vacation lists, but we highly recommend it.
Athens, Greece – Explore History on Your Family Vacation
While Athens, Greece may be crowded with tourists and there's a need to be cautious of pickpockets, it's still a top family vacation destination. And it's perfect for exploring ancient Greek ruins. We are all history enthusiasts, so we particularly enjoyed the audio walking tours of attractions like the Acropolis and Parthenon.
Although our trip to Athens wasn't a typical beach vacation, we did take a beach day since the Aegean Sea was right across the street from our hotel.
Travel tip for Greece: We also loved visiting Corinth, Olympia (the original Olympics were held there), and Mycenae. These ancient places are definitely worth a visit during your family spring break or summer vacation.
San Francisco, California – An Alternative Spring Break Vacation
While many high school seniors and families choose Mexico for their spring break vacation, we opted for San Francisco.
Attending a Golden State Warriors Game on Spring Break
My son is a huge Golden State Warriors fan, so we planned our family spring break vacation around one of their games. We had great seats, and my son and his friend were even captured in the background of an NBA tweet/photo featuring Stephen Curry. It was an unforgettable experience.
Since we were in the area, we took a train to San Jose to catch a Sharks hockey game.
Visit Alcatraz on Your Family Spring Break or Summer Vacation
But our trip wasn't solely focused on sports. One of our top things to do in San Francisco was touring Alcatraz. We visited on the 53rd anniversary of the prison's closure. We highly recommend taking the daytime self-guided audio tour of the island and former prison.
A Miss on Our Family's Spring Break
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to see the Golden Gate Bridge on our family spring break vacation in San Francisco. However, I managed to capture a view of it from Hawk Hill during a later visit. We have experienced the Golden Gate Bridge in the past, though. In fact, my husband has even jogged across it. During this particular trip, the family we were traveling with rented bikes and biked across the bridge on our senior spring break trip.
They met up with us later at the historic Ghirardelli Square, a San Francisco Bay landmark since 1862. The square offers plenty of shopping and restaurants, and we particularly enjoyed the seafood chowder served in sourdough bread bowls.
Touring the Haight-Ashbury District on Spring Break
Since my husband, our friend, and our sons are all vinyl fans, we made sure to explore the Haight-Ashbury district. It's known as the birthplace of the 1960s hippie generation, and it was a fun stop during our family spring break.
Of course, we also asked our Lyft driver to take us down Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the U.S. It was a unique experience.
San Francisco has so much to offer, including visiting places like the famous Painted Ladies (Victorian homes) and the Full House house. It's a great destination for a special kind of senior trip for spring break, offering a wide range of activities and creating lifelong memories.
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New York City, New York – One of the Best Family Spring Break Destinations
The Statue of Liberty in New York City brings back memories of one of our family-friendly vacations in the big city. We've visited New York City multiple times since my husband and I used to live in upstate New York.
There are plenty of things to do in New York City with kids during spring break. A must-visit is Central Park, which happens to be my favorite place as an adult. You can find my popular post on top things to do in Central Park for more details.
Other recommendations for top family spring break vacations in New York City include:
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (both are worth visiting)
- One World Trade Center / 9/11 Museum
- Times Square (it's crowded but energetic; don't miss the M&Ms store)
- Broadway or off-Broadway show (many family-friendly options available)
- Grabbing a slice of pizza or a hot dog from Nathan's (inexpensive and delicious)
- American Museum of Natural History (featured in the Night at the Museum movies)
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock Observatory
- NBC Studio Tour
- Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
If you're planning a family spring break vacation in New York City, consider getting a CityPass. It offers discounted admissions and some skip-the-line options.
Paris, France – The City of Light for Your Family Vacation
Guess how many eight-year-olds want to visit Paris? Well, my son did, and that's how we ended up in the City of Light. It wasn't originally on our itinerary, but we took a quick overnight trip from Luxembourg on a high-speed train.
Once we arrived and checked into our hotel, we decided to take a hop-on, hop-off tour bus to get acquainted with the city. It was a convenient way to see all the best attractions in Paris. If we had more time, we would've upgraded our tickets to include a river cruise as well.
During our stay in Paris, we made it a point to climb as many stairs as we could before taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was a fun family vacation memory. Other landmarks in Paris that families should visit during spring break or summer vacation include:
- Eiffel Tower
- The Louvre (our son was particularly interested in seeing the Mona Lisa, which turned out to be smaller than expected)
- Notre Dame Cathedral (we were fortunate to visit before the fire)
- Arc de Triomphe
- Luxembourg Gardens (a hidden gem for families)
Paris offers many more fun family activities for a unique and non-traditional spring break vacation. Simply taking a walk and admiring the architecture will create wonderful memories.
Don't forget to check out the collaboration post with Planning Away on the top things to do in Paris (featuring my brief write-up about the Luxembourg Gardens).
Spring break in Colorado Springs
From Meg at Fox in the Forest
Are you searching for the perfect spring break destination for your family? If so, look no further than Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs is home to the family-friendly resort Great Wolf Lodge Colorado Springs, which features an incredible indoor waterpark. This is ideal because the weather during spring in Colorado can be unpredictable.
At the resort, you'll find amenities such as the Cub Paw Pool for smaller children, the Howeler's Peak Ropes Course, the Rustic Ridge Rock Climbing Wall, and much more!
Experience the beautiful Garden of the Gods trail in Colorado Springs. Photo by Becker Griffin on Unsplash
After enjoying the resort, make sure to explore other family-friendly activities in Colorado Springs, such as hiking the Mount Cutler Trail or the Palmer Trail at Garden of the Gods. These trails offer stunning views and are perfect for spring hikes.
While at Garden of the Gods, marvel at the breathtaking red rock formations that have made this area famous. If you love hiking, be sure to check out some of the best hikes in Colorado Springs.
Before embarking on your hike, it's important to check the weather conditions, as spring snow can still be present in the area.
Another must-visit attraction is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where you can encounter over 800 different animals. Additionally, make a stop at the Dinosaur Resource Center to discover real dinosaur fossils.
Lastly, don't miss out on the fascinating May Natural History Museum, which boasts the world's largest private collection of insects. It's a place that both kids and adults will find captivating.
Explore the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs.
From Pafoua at Her Wanderful World
For an exotic spring break experience, consider visiting Maui, one of Hawaii's breathtaking islands. Maui offers a tropical escape filled with lush nature, stunning beaches, and unforgettable experiences.
Regardless of the season, Maui is a fantastic destination for families, with countless activities and attractions to enjoy.
One of the must-do experiences on Maui is driving the iconic Road to Hana, a 65-mile road that stretches from West Maui to East Maui. Along this scenic route, you'll encounter mesmerizing waterfalls, lush rainforests, and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The drive typically takes around four to five hours due to the slower traffic pace.
Be sure to visit Waianapanapa State Park while on the Road to Hana. This park features black sand beaches and hiking trails waiting to be explored. Families even have the option to camp overnight!
When it comes to accommodation, Ka'anapali's resorts offer the perfect base for families to enjoy all that Maui has to offer. The Marriott Ocean Club is particularly well-suited for families, offering full kitchens, separate rooms, and stunning ocean views. Additionally, guests have access to a large swimming pool and a beautiful beach for various water activities.
Other family-friendly activities in West Maui include tram tours of pineapple plantations at Maui Tropical Plantation, thrilling zipline adventures, mountain ATV rides, attending a luau, and sampling delicious Hawaiian cookies on Front Street in Lahaina.
Regardless of the activities you choose, a spring break in Maui promises to create lasting memories and provide a wonderful experience for the whole family.
Don't miss the opportunity to watch a captivating cultural Hawaiian show.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, is a vibrant city known for its rich cultural heritage, exciting nightlife, and delicious cuisine. Exploring the historic French Quarter, taking a riverboat tour with the New Orleans Steamboat Company, and indulging in the famous beignets at Cafe du Monde are just a few of the experiences that await you in this captivating city.
Charleston, South Carolina
With its cobblestone streets and picturesque charm, Charleston is a city that exudes both history and culture. Take a walking tour of the city, led by a pirate for a fun twist for the kids, visit historic country homes like the Joseph Manigault House, or savor the delicious seafood at some of the best restaurants in the country. Don't forget to visit Charleston Waterfront Park, where the iconic Pineapple Fountain awaits.
From Disha Smith at Disha Discovers
Biloxi, Mississippi may not be at the top of your spring break list, but it's a popular destination for families due to its mild weather and abundance of attractions.
Whether you're seeking an exciting adventure or a more relaxing getaway, Biloxi offers plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
One of the most popular things to do is enjoy the beautiful beaches. Gulfport Beach, Biloxi Beach, and East Beach are among the best in the area, where you can also rent kayaks and jet skis.
For some adventure, head to Ship Island, which is made up of two separate barrier islands formed after Hurricane Camille in 1969. Explore the natural beauty of the islands and visit Fort Massachusetts for a historical experience.
To learn about Biloxi's fascinating history, visit the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum or the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, which showcases the pottery work of artist George Ohr.
Biloxi is also renowned for its world-class resorts. The luxurious Beau Rivage Resort offers multiple dining options, shopping, a casino, a golf course, and more. Other great hotel options include the Hard Rock Hotel, Margaritaville Resort, and Harrah's.
Finally, don't miss the opportunity to embark on an evening cruise on the Betsy Ann Riverboat, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Biloxi Bay.
If you're looking for more ideas, check out this post on 30 unmissable things to do in Biloxi.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The Lake Tahoe Loop offers a diverse range of activities and experiences for a fun-filled spring break road trip.
Start your journey in Reno, often called the "Biggest Little City," where you can explore the revitalized Midtown area with its new restaurants and boutique shops. Reno is also a fantastic basecamp for outdoor adventures, with numerous hiking and biking trails nearby. Don't forget to take a short trip to Lake Tahoe, the next stop on your road trip.
Lake Tahoe is a stunning alpine lake that offers a variety of activities for families. Whether you prefer an epic ski trip or a refreshing swim, Lake Tahoe has it all.
Just a short drive from Lake Tahoe is Carson Valley, which includes the towns of Gardnerville, Minden, and Genoa. In Genoa, you can visit Nevada's oldest "Thirst Parlor" or join a local photographer for a tour to see wild horses in the hills.
Continue your road trip to the state capital, Carson City, where you can embark on a unique triathlon. This triathlon includes enjoying a drink at ShoeTree Brewing Company, relaxing at the adjacent Carson City hot springs, and dining at the connecting Sassafras restaurant.
The last stop on the Lake Tahoe Loop is Virginia City, famous for the discovery of the Comstock Lode. Take a tour of a mine shaft, try your luck at gold panning, enjoy a train ride, or even join a paranormal investigation in the town's reportedly haunted buildings. Virginia City is also known for its eccentric events, such as the Outhouse Races, Camel & Ostrich Racing, and Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival.
Learn more about the Lake Tahoe Loop for a memorable road trip experience.
Explore the charming town of Virginia City.
Cool Family Fun in Oklahoma
Step away from electronic devices and enjoy a spring break full of family-friendly fun in Oklahoma.
For competitive families, the SandRidge Sky Trail in Oklahoma City offers a thrilling climb on the world's tallest adventure course. This incredible attraction is part of the OKC Riversport Adventures, which provides various activities for all ages.
With twelve different eco regions, Oklahoma offers numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Visit Mount Scott at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton, where you can drive to the top and enjoy breathtaking views of the prairie. Hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching are popular activities that adventurous families can partake in.
Immerse yourselves in the history of the American West at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan. This interactive museum allows you to experience roping like a cowboy and witness special effects showcasing a cattle stampede. Other Western experiences include visiting the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum in Pawhuska, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve in Bartlesville.
Pick up some cowboy boots from Little Joe's in Stockyard City
Discover more farm fun at the Express Clydesdales Ranch in Yukon, where you can interact with internationally acclaimed black Clydesdale horses. Orr Family Farm in Oklahoma City also offers a delightful experience for families.
Oregon Coast road trip
From Emily Mandagie at The Mandagies
If you're searching for an enjoyable spring break road trip that's perfect for your whole family, look no further than the Oregon Coast!
The Oregon Coast is actually part of the famous Pacific Coast Highway, which stretches from San Diego to Seattle. The most renowned stretch of this highway is the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Oregon coast highway
During springtime, it's still considered the shoulder season in the Pacific Northwest. This means you'll encounter fewer crowds and have easy access to many popular attractions.
The best way to embark on an Oregon coast road trip is to start from Portland, drive to the coast, and head south on Highway 101. The road trip spans over 350 miles and can easily be completed in 5-7 days. Once you reach the southernmost part of the state, take I-5 back up north for a quick return to Portland.
Most activities along the Oregon Coast are suitable for all ages, and the majority of them take place outdoors.
On the Northern Oregon Coast, you'll find walkable and dog-friendly beaches such as Cannon Beach and Seaside. Additionally, you can enjoy a fun steam train tour on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, which is perfect for visitors of all ages.
On the Central Coast, you can explore tide pools, take hikes, and spot sea lions lounging on the Newport docks.
Heading towards the Southern Coast, you'll encounter giant trees and dense coastal forests similar to the Redwoods in California!
While you may experience some rainfall during your spring break in Oregon, a good raincoat and waterproof rain boots will allow you to comfortably enjoy short hikes and trails.
There are various accommodation options available along the coast, including campgrounds, hotels, and bed & breakfast spots. Major towns along the route include Cannon Beach, Newport, Coos Bay, and Brookings, all of which offer convenient access to gas, food, and lodging.
Sea lions lounging in Newport, Oregon
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
From Marianne at The Journeying Giordanos
If you're in search of a family-friendly spring break destination in the US, look no further than Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
Featuring over 60 miles of beautiful beach area, this sunny paradise offers the perfect setting for relaxing, exploring, and enjoying the sand between your toes.
Daytime temperatures during spring break average between 62 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures range from 39 to 45 °F.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
While swimming in the ocean may be a bit chilly during March or early April, the beaches are still warm enough during the day for relaxation and sandcastle building.
If you're spending the day at the beach, there are several water sports to try out. Learn to surf on the gentle waves, take up paddleboarding, or go snorkeling to search for marine life.
If swimming in the ocean isn't your cup of tea, no worries! Many resorts in the area offer heated outdoor pools for your enjoyment.
Of course, Myrtle Beach offers plenty of non-beach activities as well. Head over to the Skywheel for stunning views of the area, or visit the Ripley's Aquarium for an amazing underwater experience. You can also explore Myrtle Beach State Park, play mini-golf, visit a car museum, or check out the Broadway at the Beach shopping center and entertainment complex.
Myrtle Beach is filled with activities suitable for kids of all ages!
In addition, Myrtle Beach provides numerous family-friendly accommodations and restaurants, is easily accessible from the airport, and is connected to major highways for convenient travel.
Restaurants on Myrtle Beach boardwalk
Panama City Beach, Florida
benedek//Getty ImagesWith 27 miles of sandy beaches and a range of family-friendly activities, Panama City Beach (home to Pier Park) is an exciting choice. Here, you can enjoy various water sports and beach volleyball. Additionally, there are amusement parks like Race City and live music venues such as Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant, ensuring there's never a shortage of things to do.
Family fun abounds in Grapevine! Feel like a kid again as you ride an authentic 1920s Victorian coach on board the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. You can also enjoy a bird's eye view of Grapevine and beyond with a tour at the Grapevine Main Tower or try your hand at the ancient art of glass blowing.
Experience the fastest growing sport in America at Chicken N Pickle, which offers 12 year-round pickleball courts, lawn games, a rooftop bar, and a casual, chef-driven restaurant with a variety of delicious dishes.
Main Street Grapevine
Feed friendly stingrays at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium, where you can dive into an amazing underwater world! Explore 16 themed zones and get up close to thousands of incredible creatures including rays, jellyfish, and sea turtles.
Unleash your inner LEGO® maniac at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, the ultimate indoor LEGO® Playground. Enjoy interactive rides such as Merlin’s Apprentice, Kingdom Quest, and LEGO City Forest Ranger Pursuit.
For more information on the numerous things to do in Grapevine, nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth, check out our comprehensive post.
Peace Circle, Grapevine
Zion National Park, Utah
From Jenna of Up and Away Magazine
Springtime is one of the most beautiful seasons to visit Zion National Park, with seasonal waterfalls, flowing rivers, moderate temperatures, and the start of wildflower season.
This park is ideal for families, with easy trails, accessible shuttles, ample picnic areas, and an excellent Junior Ranger Program.
When planning your family-friendly Spring Break itinerary, don't miss the Lower Emerald Pool Trail, which is a short 1.5-mile hike that offers shade and the opportunity to walk behind a waterfall. Another highlight is the Riverside Walk, a scenic 2-mile path that meanders through Zion Canyon and leads to the iconic start of The Narrows.
Hike the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah. Photo by Karan Chawla on Unsplash
The Riverside Walk offers plenty of opportunities for water play along the Virgin River. If you have more time, be sure to explore The Watchman Trail, Pa'rus Trail, and consider the thrilling Angels Landing hike for older children, teenagers, or adventurous parents.
When it comes to accommodation, Zion Lodge is the only hotel within the park. Springdale, a nearby town located at the entrance to Zion National Park, offers a variety of lodging and dining options. For those interested in camping, Watchman Campground is a great choice.
Editor's note: I've personally been to Zion and hiked the Narrows. It's one of the most breathtaking landscapes I've ever encountered! During our visit, we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Springdale, which offers stunning views of the towering mountains.
Be sure to step outside at night. Photo by Tom Gainor on Unsplash
Spring Break in Capitol Reef, Utah
From Michelle of Travel With Intention
Capitol Reef, the least crowded park in Utah's impressive National Park scene, promises an amazing experience for your family. Whether you're interested in history, hiking, off-roading, or even trekking with llamas, this park has it all!
Arrive early to enjoy delicious pies from the Gifford House. This unique gift shop opens each year on March 14th, also known as pie day. Make sure to grab your pie first thing in the morning and return to Fruta for a delightful picnic lunch.
Fruta area, Capitol Reef, Utah. Pic Michelle
Embark on Scenic Drive and take your time to capture stunning pictures along the Waterpocket Fold.
At the end, you'll find a parking lot. Continue down the unpaved road on the left towards Capitol Gorge Trailhead, where you can embark on an easy 1.5-mile hike to the Pioneer Register and petroglyphs.
From Scenic Drive, you can also venture onto a gravel road that leads to the parking lot for the Grand Wash Trail, a 2.2-mile hike. For a more challenging hike, try the Cassidy Arch trail.
Along Highway 24, you'll find Hickman Bridge trail, a short hike along the Fremont River, and the Petroglyph Pullout, located just after the small Fruta Schoolhouse. To end your day, visit Sunset Point and Goosenecks Overlook for stunning canyon and sunset views.
Stay at Capitol Reef Resort, a Best Western hotel, and make sure to book a llama excursion! Llama trips range from 2 hours to overnight campouts, offering informative guides who will teach you about the llamas' unique personalities and the stunning landscape surrounding you.
Return to the park at night to stargaze. From Capitol Reef, you can also explore Cathedral Valley off-roading, drive less than an hour to Boulder, UT to visit the Anasazi Museum, or head just over an hour to experience the incredibly unique Goblin Valley State Park. Each of these opportunities promises a one-of-a-kind experience!
Hiking in Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef, Utah. Photo by Brady Stoeltzing on Unsplash
Mammoth Lakes, California
From Jenifer at The Evolista
A Spring Break trip to Mammoth Lakes is perfect for families.
There are countless fun activities to choose from, and spring skiing in California should definitely be on your USA bucket list. Imagine ideal snow, sunny skies, and endless entertainment for the kids!
Stunning Mammoth Lakes
Hitting the slopes is definitely the highlight of a Mammoth Lakes getaway. Mammoth Mountain consistently earns top ratings as one of the best resorts for families. With 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, there are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails to enjoy. The ski school offers lessons for skiing and snowboarding, making the learning process enjoyable for kids.
Another thrilling adventure for families is Woolly's Tube Park, where you can slide down groomed lanes on big, cushy inner tubes.
For younger children, there's a snow play area that will keep them entertained for hours. Ice skating and snowmobiling are also popular family activities. In the evenings, Mammoth Village hosts various events, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from.
As spring arrives and the cold days fade, California's incredible wildflowers come into full bloom. This is the perfect time for a family hike and capturing beautiful selfies.
Fishing season begins in April, offering multiple lakes for trout catching.
Last but not least, don't miss the sightseeing opportunities at the old Mammoth mine or the Hot Creek Geologic Site.
Las Vegas, Nevada
B. Tanaka//Getty Images
Las Vegas, Nevada, is renowned for its wide range of entertainment options, making it the perfect destination for an exciting spring break. You and your family can enjoy world-famous, family-friendly shows such as Cirque du Soleil's Mystère and engage in some adult fun at the casinos while the kids have a blast at the pool. Additionally, you can take a day trip to the famous Hoover Dam, which is located nearby.
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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Nadia Naydenova / 500px//Getty Images
Introduce your kids to the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the world's most magnificent natural wonders by visiting the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. You can experience breathtaking views and explore the depths of the canyon through hiking trails, river rafting tours, and helicopter rides. After immersing yourselves in the natural splendor, don't miss out on the opportunity to stay at one of the historic lodges within the park, such as the charming El Tovar, which dates back to 1905.
Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri
Big Cedar LodgeBig Cedar Lodge is an ideal spot for a family vacation any time of year, but it makes for a fun-filled spring break destination with its pools, arcade, outdoor activities, and special events. Located near the Arkansas/Missouri border, it's within a day's drive from one-third of the U.S. population. We highly recommend Camp Long Creek for its less-busy private lodging. Book a "mom and me" spa treatment, or send the kids to adventure camp while you experience one of the on-site fine dining restaurants (although you'll be comfortable dining with the kids in tow too).
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Coastal Mississippi CVB
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Miami, Florida, is a popular spring break destination offering a mix of beach activities, art, and entertainment. You can spend relaxing days sunbathing on South Beach, admire the city's stunning art deco architecture, and indulge in delicious meals at some of the best restaurants in the country. Make sure to visit unique museums like the Frost Science Museum, which hosts exciting high-tech exhibitions for kids.
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Napa Valley, California
Federico Scotto//Getty Images
Cancun, Mexico, is a favorite spring break destination for college students and families alike. Its turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and vibrant nightlife make it a perfect choice. There are plenty of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained, including swimming with whale sharks and exploring ancient Mayan ruins. The Hard Rock Cancun is a popular family-friendly resort.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
From Katy at A Rambling Unicorn
If you’re looking for the perfect family-friendly destination this spring, look no further than Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree National Park’s otherworldly landscape is filled with twisted trees and piles of boulders that are great fun to explore.
Spring is the ideal time to visit the park when temperatures are mild – not too hot or too cold.
You’ll find miles of hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels. One of the best hikes in Joshua tree is the Hidden Valley Nature Trail. This one-mile interpretive loop showcases some of the park’s best scenery.
Other easy hikes include the Barker Dam and High View Nature Trails. Kids will love exploring the unusual rocks found in the Mojave Desert.
Skull Rock is one of Joshua Tree’s most distinctive formations and shouldn’t be missed. This large granite boulder was formed over many years by erosion and now resembles a misshapen skull. Arch Rock is another popular formation and comprises a natural arch spanning 30 feet.
While visiting the National Park, be sure to explore the nearby communities for other fun activities.
Joshua Tree is famous for attracting artists and other quirky types. Be sure to stop by the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum or the World Famous Crochet Museum for oddball art that is sure to make you smile.
Pioneertown is another family favorite. This old west-themed community was initially constructed as a movie set and now makes a great destination for kids of all ages.
Editor’s note: I have visited Joshua Tree National Park several times and love to stay in Palm Springs. Here is my post on 9 fab things to do in Palm Springs – especially great for mid-century modern architecture lovers.
Visit the San Andreas fault
Monterey Bay, Central California
From Dhara at Roadtripping California
Monterey Bay in Central California is a fun spring break option for active families.
There are lots of things to do in Monterey for kids and adults alike, and spring is a beautiful time of year to visit with great weather and minimal fog.
There’s a regional airport in Monterey with flights from a few major US cities, or you can fly into San Francisco, San Jose, or Oakland, and just drive down to the Monterey peninsula.
Kids will love visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, renowned for its living kelp forest and collection of marine life from the Monterey Bay. Adults will find the experience informative as well.
For more wildlife encounters, book a whale watching tour. On a tour of the bay, you will very likely see whales, but you will also likely see dolphins, otters, and more. Sea lions bask on the rocks by the shore. Kayaking is another way to look for marine life in the area.
South of the bay, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers easy scenic hikes that are enjoyable for all skill levels. In the spring, you will see harbor seals and nesting sea birds in the park.
If you want some beach time, head to beautiful Carmel Beach, a sandy beach where you can stroll by the water or enjoy a picnic. The waters of beaches on the Monterey coast are generally not safe for swimming and too cold, so enjoy beach sports and walks instead.
Whatever you choose to do in Monterey with your family, you are guaranteed to have a fun spring break here!
Point Lobos, Carmel by the Sea. Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash
San Diego, California
Kids and adults love San Diego for its pleasant weather, clean streets, and abundance of activities. The city offers 70 miles of sun-drenched coastline, allowing you to spend days on its beautiful beaches. If you want to take a break from the beach, you and your family can visit thrilling water and amusement parks like LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Balboa Park, which is home to museums, gardens, shops, and the renowned San Diego Zoo.
Coastal South Carolina
Coastal South Carolina, specifically Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island, offers a variety of enjoyable activities for families on spring vacation. In Myrtle Beach, you can stroll along the boardwalk and take a ride on the 200-foot Myrtle Beach Skywheel for stunning panoramic views. The city is also known as the Mini Golf Capital of the World, so be sure to play a round at popular courses like Jungle Safari Mini Golf. On the other hand, Hilton Head Island offers outdoor adventures such as kayaking, treetop canopy tours, crabbing, and horseback riding. Both destinations are within a four-hour drive of each other, allowing you to experience the best of Coastal South Carolina.
Learn something new as a family and spend a day on the slopes in Lake Tahoe © Ersler / Getty Images
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks in North Carolina provides a great alternative to Myrtle Beach, particularly during spring break. Your kids will enjoy visiting the North Carolina Aquarium, Children at Play Museum, and the Wright Brothers National Park, where they can see the exact location of the Wright Brothers' first flight. The area is also known for its quiet beaches, mini golf courses, and lighthouses, offering a variety of activities for your family to enjoy. Consider renting a house with a pool as the ocean's rough surf and jellyfish may limit swimming options.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is a beloved beach tradition for families across the country. This laid-back oceanfront city offers exciting and educational activities that are perfect for young children and adolescents. You can explore attractions such as the Virginia Marine Aquarium and Science Center, Red Wing Park, and the famous Mount Trashmore, which is situated on a reclaimed landfill. Enjoy the warm Virginia sun while spending a fun-filled day at the beach and boardwalk. Grab a coffee or smoothie to keep yourself refreshed and explore the restaurants and shops conveniently located nearby.
For an unforgettable spring break vacation, head to Honolulu, Hawaii. This paradise destination features modern and stylish resorts, a vibrant culture, and breathtaking beaches. Honolulu offers a mix of attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. Adults can indulge in the city's invigorating nightlife, which includes bars, dance clubs, and fine dining establishments. Meanwhile, kids can enjoy a wide selection of indoor and outdoor activities. They can visit the local virtual reality arcade, the Children's Discovery Center, or engage in activities like swimming with dolphins or scuba diving in rare coral reefs.
Experience a memorable family ski vacation in Stowe, Vermont's Green Mountains. The area boasts multiple ski resorts, a picturesque town, and activities suitable for the whole family. Take advantage of discounts on lift tickets during the ski season and enjoy the breathtaking views from the comfort of a gondola. In addition to skiing, early spring is the perfect time to join in the fun of sugaring season at local farms and witness the sighting of moose. Embrace the beauty of Vermont's natural surroundings and enjoy quality time together.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head offers some of the most swimmable beaches and numerous scenic trails, making it an excellent spring break destination for families. You and your family can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including family golf lessons, kayaking, paddle boarding, dolphin tours, parasailing, and horseback riding. The area also features attractions such as The Sandbox, an interactive children's museum, and the Coastal Discovery Museum. With its beautiful beaches and natural wonders, Hilton Head provides endless opportunities for fun and exploration.
Sedona is an ideal spring break destination for adventurous families. This Arizona city offers beautiful weather, incredible scenery, and a wealth of outdoor recreational activities. Surrounded by two million acres of pristine national forest, Sedona provides a picturesque getaway with a small-town feel. Explore the colorful red rock formations on foot, bike, helicopter, hot air balloon, or zipline adventure. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, engage in outdoor activities, and create lasting memories with your family.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs, located just outside a national forest in northwest Colorado, is a fantastic destination for a family ski vacation. The city offers ski resorts, hot springs, planned kids' activities, and an old-fashioned soda fountain. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced skier, there are slopes suitable for all levels. In addition to skiing, you can enjoy tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and ice skating. Steamboat Springs provides a perfect blend of winter activities and family-friendly attractions.
Washington, D.C. is a captivating spring break destination for families, with its abundance of free museum admission provided by the Smithsonian Institution. Explore the Air and Space Museum, Botanic Garden, and National Zoo, or take tours of iconic landmarks such as the Capitol building, White House, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress. Immerse yourself in history and culture while experiencing the beauty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival during your family vacation in Washington, D.C.
San Francisco, California
Written by Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad
If you're searching for a breathtaking, culturally rich, and mouthwatering family spring break destination, look no further than San Francisco - one of the finest vacation spots in the United States.
Affectionately known as 'The Golden City,' San Francisco offers something for everyone, regardless of age. Whether you're seeking a city break immersed in culture or an outdoor adventure, SF has it all.
One of the most fantastic ways to explore San Francisco is by renting a bicycle and riding across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Bike rental stores are conveniently located right next to the bridge.
You can pedal your way to Sausalito and enjoy delectable seafood by the waterfront. This picturesque bike ride is suitable for both adults and children, although it covers a distance of approximately five miles.
Breathtaking photo of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo courtesy of The Diary of a Nomad.
Another remarkable place in SF that families should not miss is the stunning Palace Of Fine Arts. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the captivating exhibitions and performances inside. The exterior facade of the building is also incredibly photogenic.
For children, a must-visit place is the California Academy of Sciences located within Golden Gate Park. Here, you can explore fun and interactive science exhibitions and learn about a wide range of subjects, from earthquakes to volcanoes. Afterward, you can enjoy a delightful family picnic in the park.
San Francisco is also a paradise for food lovers. The city offers an array of authentic cuisines from various cultures. Take your family to Palette Tea House for exquisite dim sum and Sotto Mare for top-notch Italian cuisine.
Alternatively, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Embarcadero Farmer's Market held every Saturday. It's the perfect place to enjoy scenic views of the pier while sampling organic local food. Afterward, you can explore Fisherman's Wharf for more family-oriented activities, such as visiting the aquarium, taking a boat ride to Alcatraz, and discovering additional dining options.
Captivating sights of San Francisco! In front of Embarcadero Farmer's Market. Photo by Brett Harrison on Unsplash.
There are endless attractions and activities to enjoy in this unique city. If you're in search of delectable BBQ and an abundance of food trucks, Austin is the place to be.
We highly recommend the JW Marriott chain of hotels, with a location in Austin. They are renowned for their exceptional service and excellent amenities.
While visiting the city, be sure to explore the vibrant street murals that adorn various corners. The state capital offers free guided tours or the option to explore at your own pace. With 20 acres of land, the capital provides ample space for kids to burn some energy before or after the tour.
If you've never experienced swimming in a spring-fed pool, or even if you have, a visit to Barton Springs Pool is a must while in Austin!
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Maremagnum//Getty ImagesExplore the rich history of Puerto Rico on a trip to San Juan, a historic city known for its colonial architecture. Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, visit the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro, and indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine the island has to offer - all without needing a passport!
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While Orlando is already a popular destination for spring break vacations, Central Florida offers more than just theme parks. The International Drive area of the city boasts kid-friendly attractions like Arcade City, SEA Life Orlando Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds, all conveniently located at ICON Park. You can also visit WonderWorks, where kids can experience lying on a bed of nails, creating gigantic bubbles, simulating an earthquake, or navigating a glow-in-the-dark ropes course. The nightly Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show showcases an array of mind-boggling tricks.
Where to stay: Consider staying at the CoCo Key Hotel & Water Park for thrilling water slides, dumping buckets, and water cannons.
Related content: Theme parks and beyond: Maximizing your Orlando experience
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Visit Yosemite, California
Written by Olivia from Girl With Blue Sails
Yosemite National Park, nestled in California's stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range, is an ideal spring break vacation destination.
The park is vast and offers endless opportunities for exploration. However, for families, the most popular spot is Yosemite Valley, a picturesque valley surrounded by towering mountains and magnificent waterfalls. The best time to visit this valley is during spring break in either April or May.
Marvelous waterfalls in Yosemite. Photo by Girl with Blue Sails.
During springtime in Yosemite National Park, the winter snow in the high mountains melts and rushes down into the valley below. Waterfalls can be found throughout the valley, with one of the most legendary being Yosemite Falls - one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, reaching heights of 2,425 feet. Visiting during spring break allows you to witness Yosemite Falls at its most majestic.
Although not a family activity, this photo is too amazing not to share! Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash.
Furthermore, visiting Yosemite during spring break means fewer crowds compared to the summer months, offering more space on hiking trails. The park offers hiking trails of various difficulty levels, as well as ranger-led nature walks that are enjoyable for both kids and adults. Hiking provides unique opportunities to witness spring wildflowers and encounter wildlife.
For those who prefer not to hike, Yosemite also offers shuttle tours around the valley floor. The park provides various accommodations, including lodges, hotels, and campgrounds. Additionally, there are fantastic towns located just outside the park that offer excellent lodging options.
If you plan to visit Yosemite during spring break, it's advisable to make reservations in advance to ensure your family experiences the magic of Yosemite in the spring.
Mother and son enjoy a walk through the Redwoods in Yosemite.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
Scenic drives and short hikes allow you to appreciate breathtaking views without carrying young ones up a mountain. The park features log cabins, churches, and mills, some of which are still in use. Similar to other national parks, children can become Junior Rangers here.
Located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, you can easily split your vacation between the park and nearby cities such as Nashville (a 3.5-hour drive away), Asheville (just a 50-minute drive away), or Charlotte (a 2.75-hour drive away). Even if the majority of your family vacation is spent in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, be sure to set aside a day to explore Dollywood.
With so many incredible destinations to choose from, you and your family are sure to have an unforgettable spring break getaway in the US. Whether you're seeking relaxation on the pristine beaches of Clearwater, Florida or embarking on an adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of Zion National Park, there is something for everyone. From the vibrant energy of New Orleans to the serene beauty of Lake Tahoe, each destination on this list offers its own unique charm. So pack your bags, grab your loved ones, and get ready to create lifelong memories in one of these best spring break destinations for families in the US.
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