It’s February… so that means even for last-minute planners like me :), we’d better get our Spring Break plans in order. Some of you have probably had your Spring Break destinations booked a year in advance — good for you!
But, if you’re like me, you’re still sorting it all out. Ergh…
To give you some inspiration if you’re trying to decide where to travel, I’m going to share our family’s favorite Spring Break trips over the past several years.
Our Top 5 Favorite Spring Break Destinations
Here are the places that rank tops on our list that we’d return to again and again.
1. Grand Cayman
- Great first international trip, as it feels very much like the U.S.
- Swim with stingrays
- Fabulous food
- Use IHG points to stay at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa
In 2018, we headed to the Caribbean for the first time. I always fancied myself a mountains girl and thought I’d surely enjoy the Caribbean, but it wouldn’t be a favorite for me. Wrong!
I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of the turquoise blue ocean. My kids got totally sick of me saying over and over how pretty it was :). I remember first arriving at our hotel and heading directly to the beachfront restaurant while our room was being prepared. I was in heaven…
But, about Grand Cayman specifically, it’s a great spot for your first (or any!) international trip. It feels like you are in the U.S. with the same familiar restaurant chains if you want, but Grand Cayman is also known for its outstanding cuisine, which also happens to be kid friendly!
Macabuca restaurant right on the water was my favorite.
Don’t miss swimming with wild stingrays at an area of the ocean known as “Stingray City” (you’ll have to go on a boat there; I literally thought it was a “park,” it’s not!).
Bring a snorkel mask and fins and walk pretty much anywhere right into the water and snorkel … or just kick back and enjoy that beeuutiful water ;-).
We hung out at the gorgeous Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on the island’s famous Seven Mile Beach. While this is the main beach and can get busy, the Kimpton is at the far end and is much quieter. Highly recommend.
2. Hiking Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in Utah
- Unique Spring Break idea
- See striking, other-worldly scenery
- Enjoy fantastic hiking
- Tag on Las Vegas at the front or back end (or both!)
One of our most memorable spring breaks has got to be hiking the national parks in Utah in 2017. We opted to do something a bit different than normal (ie warm beach vacation) for that Spring Break and decided to visit two of Utah’s national parks we’d heard so much about: Zion and Bryce Canyon.
Read the Go to Travel Gal team’s FULL guides to these parks below…
We flew into Las Vegas and spent a couple nights there going and coming (Mandalay Bay has an AWESOME water park if you have kids) and then drove via a rental car to the parks.
Southwestern Utah is absolutely unbelievable and is truly like stepping onto another planet. It is one of the most beautiful, and definitely the most striking and unusual, landscapes I have ever seen. It’s a must-add to your bucket list!!
We enjoyed “sand surfing” at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, hiking Zion National Park, hiking Bryce Canyon and its crazy “hoodoos” (note: It can snow at Bryce in April, so be prepared, and many of the area restaurants have not yet opened), as well as exploring Kodachrome Basin State Park (the state parks are much less crowded than the national parks and just as beautiful) and wandering through the vast untouched wilderness (one of the last parts of the US to be mapped) at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Check out the video below of our hiking adventure in Zion National Park and be sure to subscribe to Go to Travel Gal on YouTube!
3. Marco Island, Florida
- Nearly guaranteed warmth!
- Fun outdoor activities like jetskiing the Ten Thousand Islands to see dolphins
- Lots of on-site restaurants of differing prices
- Beautiful pools and beach
For a traditional beach vacation in the U.S., it doesn’t get much better than Marco Island, Florida, which is as far as you can go on the Gulf side of Florida before reaching the Everglades. That means it’s as warm as you can get in the U.S. aside from Miami and the Keys! Yes, please says this Indiana gal!
We love Marco, because it is remote and relatively untouched. Some snowbirds visit during the winter, but it’s largely a small population of residents.
We like to stay at the JW Marriott Marco Island, which is one of those hotels you literally never have to leave throughout your stay.
They have many different options for dining on site, two great family-friendly pools (and an adults-only pool), a lovely beach where you can rent chickee huts, a spa and outstanding shelling.
Our favorite activity is to take a jet ski tour that leaves right from the beach and explore the mangrove forests that are part of the Ten Thousand Islands just off the coast. You’ll also see tons of dolphin really close!!
Here is my complete guide to Marco Island.
4. Walt Disney World
- Never worry about getting bored
- Usually warm in April
- Guaranteed fun 🙂
We have spent many a Spring Break at Walt Disney World. When we lived in South Carolina, it was a mere six-hour drive, so it was a great quick Spring Break vacation that did not require flying, which was a better fit our budget before we discovered how to fly free with miles and points :).
We still return either to Disney World or Disneyland almost every year, as it’s a tradition for our family :). My husband and I even honeymooned at Disney World.
Disney can be a touch busy over Spring Break, but we were recently there in January and found it to be only slightly less busy than Spring Break or Fall Break! I’ve decided there really is no “down season” for Disney anymore. It’s always busy.
But Orlando in spring is almost always wonderfully warm, and I love staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside with its oak trees and palm trees and waterway to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). It feels awesome after a long Indiana winter :).
5. Hollywood, Florida
- In south Florida, so higher chance of 80 degrees 🙂
- Tons of on-site restaurants from which to choose
- Great people-watching
- Beautiful water
Yes, Florida wins when it comes to Spring Break! After an Indiana winter, we’re always seeking warmth, and you’re almost assured of it if you can get to south Florida — or the Caribbean.
On our way to Grand Cayman a few years ago, we spent a couple nights going and coming in Hollywood, Florida, (just outside Ft. Lauderdale), as we were able to take advantage of a great Southwest deal out of Ft. Lauderdale’s airport. We really enjoyed this area!
I always thought of Atlantic Ocean waters as dull and gray (sorry, South Carolina, but the water usually is gray there!), but Hollywood’s ocean waters were a deep vibrant blue and beautiful!
We enjoyed an awesome day at the beach and by the gorgeous pool at The Diplomat Beach Resort. This is another great resort with tons of EXCELLENT restaurants of all price ranges, again requiring that you literally never have to leave the resort.
We also spent a couple nights at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, which was also gorgeous and right on the Hollywood “Broad” Walk (their boardwalk ;-0). This is a fun spot to people-watch, enjoy a long walk, gaze at the ocean and take advantage of lots of upscale shopping and dining. It’s a really lovely area!
What are your favorite Spring Break destinations? No better time to start planning!!
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