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8 of the Best Spring Break Destinations For Every Kind of Traveler

From beach escapes to city breaks—and even ski trips—here’s where to go on your spring break getaway.

Woman scuba diving with tropical fish
Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at GoodBeerHunting.com. Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

Quick: What comes to mind when you hear the phrase spring break? If you’re thinking college students, beach parties, and Señor Frog’s, that’s certainly one option—but it’s not the only way to make the most of your week-long getaway. Whether you’re seeking spring break beach parties or looking for adventure travel destinations to escape from it all, there are many ways to enjoy some fun in the sun—or snow. Here are eight of the best spring break destinations for every kind of traveler.

1. For the nature lover: Hike Yosemite National Park, California, US

Visitors hike in Yosemite National Park in California.
Spring break in Yosemite can make for a refreshing change of pace.Foto: Eustacio Humphrey / Viator

One of the United States' best national parks for spring break.

Summer is the high season in Yosemite National Park, which makes heading here earlier in the spring an ideal time to explore and soak up all the glorious scenery in perfect tranquility—as long as you don’t mind the snow. Yes, a layer of white powder frosts the landscape into May, but that doesn’t mean the park is off-limits.

Yosemite Valley and Wawona are accessible to cars all year round, and hiking trails in both areas are usually open earlier in the season, as is Hetch Hetchy Valley. To make the most of it, rent a cozy cabin—and if you’re a pawrent, you can even bring your pup along for the adventure.

Related: 8 of the Best Dog-Friendly National Parks in the US

2. For the sun worshipper: Enjoy warm weather in the Bahamas

A pig swims at the beach in the Bahamas.
Look out for the swimming pigs of the Bahamas this spring break.Foto: Jon Ruiz Ortiz / Shutterstock

Visit one of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean for spring break.

Just a hop, skip, and a short-haul flight from the East Coast, the Bahamas offer an easily accessible dose of Caribbean splendor—as well as plenty of options for how to spend your tropical beach getaway ... and that includes swimming with pigs.

Looking for a lively party scene, food and cultural tours, ATV excursions, and rum tastings soundtracked by reggae? Stay in the capital of Nassau for a lively, varied, and festive experience.

Seeking peace, quiet, and unspoiled scenery? Book a full-day trip to uninhabited islands to snorkel coral reefs and spot sea turtles on a boat charter. Want to book a family resort for spring break (or just visit an incredible water park for the day)? Atlantis Paradise Island is calling your name.

3. For the adventure-seeker: Go skiing in Banff, Alberta, Canada

A family visits Banff in Alberta.
Mix it up a bit with a snowy spring break in Banff.Foto: Mike Kane / Viator

Bring your winter coat for this spring break adventure trip north of the border.

For some travelers, a sandy stretch of shoreline is the only place to be during spring break. For others, nothing’s better than shredding on pristine powder. If you class yourself as more of a ski fiend than a beach bum, then make your way to Banff, where you'll find plenty of cold-weather outdoor activities for spring break.

Set against the backdrop of Canada’s oldest national park, the area’s “big three” resorts—including Lake Louise, Banff Sunshine, and Norquay—welcome winter sports enthusiasts until late May. That’s plenty of time to plan your ski trip, as well as enjoy side excursions to Johnston Canyon, Icefield Parkway, and the Athabasca Glacier for more outdoor adventures.

4. For the culture lover: Tour museums in Santa Fe, New Mexico, US

A street in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Charming Santa Fe is the perfect spot for a bit of spring break culture.Foto: Baiterek Media / Shutterstock

Forget a spring break beach vacation—visit this inland cultural hub instead.

If it’s sun you’re after, the beach isn’t your only option. Instead, check out Santa Fe’s desert vibe—and prepare for an escape that mingles history, culture, food, and natural attractions, all at once. Whether on a walking tour of the Santa Fe Historic District, during a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (or her Ghost Ranch), while indulging in chile verde on a food tour, or on a side excursion to artsy Taos, you’re sure to fall for the city’s enchantments. (And, as a bonus, you can even venture to the nearby Ski Santa Fe for a final dose of winter-wonderland scenery at the tail end of its season.)

5. For the partier: Dance the night away in Miami, Florida, US

A beach-goer enjoys spring break in Miami.
Miami is the quintessential spring break capital of the US.Foto: PeskyMonkey / Shutterstock

This is a classic spring break party destination, with good reason.

Florida is ground-zero for spring breakers every year, and little wonder—its powdery beaches, lively party scene, and toasty temperatures (think 80°F, or 27°C) mean it has all the ingredients necessary for an ideal warm-weather escape.

More than half a million visitors flock here every spring to take part in the beachy revelry, while pool parties, concerts, and clubs keep the vibe going into the wee hours for those seeking robust nightlife during spring break. For a breather from the party scene, you can also check out Miami Beach’s art deco architecture, line your stomach on a South Beach food tour, or explore the city by golf cart.

6. For the urbanite: Eat, drink, and be merry in Austin, Texas, US

Barbecue in Austin, Texas.
Be sure to chow down on some Austin-style barbecue when in town.Foto: Anthony Gonzalez Reyes / Shutterstock

A taste of the best Texas barbecue—and much, much more.

Spring is arguably the best time to visit the Texas capital—and not just because temperatures tend to peak at the still-comfortable 85°F (30°C) before the summertime spike.

Following on the heels of the annual SXSW festival, Austin’s eclectic, innovative, and creative spirit is in full bloom—though its more traditional attractions (from pitmaster-helmed barbecue joints and breakfast tacos to the cowboy boot shops on Congress Avenue) are always on tap. If you start breaking a sweat, don’t forget to seek out some of the city’s cooling swimming holes.

Related: 8 Must-See Neighborhoods in Austin and How to Visit

7. For family-friendly fun: Make magic in Orlando, Florida, US

The entrance of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Enjoy some family-friendly fun this spring break in Orlando, Florida.Foto: VIAVAL TOURS / Shutterstock

Warm weather and amusement parks make this a family-friendly paradise for spring break.

OK, so Florida isn’t just about the beaches, as this worthy spring break destination goes to show. With over a dozen amusement parks that capture the imaginations of visitors around the world—including the parks, restaurants, hotels, spa retreats, and shops of Walt Disney World®, as well as Universal Studios FloridaOrlando is the ideal place for warm weather and family-friendly fun.

As a bonus, Orlando’s central location makes it easy to plan a day trip, from a VIP airboat tour or a trip to the Kennedy Space Center to a snorkeling excursion among the manatees of the Crystal River.

8. For the classic spring breaker: Party hard in Cancun, Mexico

The bright lights of Coco Bongo in Cancun, Mexico
Coco Bongo is a year-round favorite for partiers in Cancun, Mexico.Foto: Chad Zuber / Shutterstock

Mexico is a stalwart of the spring break scene for a reason.

Cancun, Mexico may be one of the country's most popular year-round destinations—perched as it is, right near the tip of Mexico's Caribbean coastline—but you should make a particular beeline for this work hard, play hard city over spring break. Given that it's a favorite of college kids, maybe skip if your with the little ones, but otherwise ... what are you waiting for?

Party all night at hot spots such as Coco Bongo, the over-the-top nightclub known for its grand shows and even better vibe, before shaking off the hangover on the beach the following morning. You can even opt for day trips to cooling cenotes and ancient ruins or head over to nearby Isla Mujeres on a catamaran.

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