Spring Break 2023: The Best Destinations for Every Kind of Trip
San Diego, CA
The months of March and April just may be the perfect time for a tropical escape. Sandwiched between the doldrums of February and the long-awaited summer months that always manage to feel so close, yet so far away this time of year, a well-planned spring break trip can offer a chance to relax and recharge right when you need it most.
For the college set, this time of year typically means cutting loose at a high-energy beach destination, such as Cancun, South Padre Island, or Daytona Beach. These perennial favorites draw throngs of beachgoers and revelers year after year with promises of surf, sun, sand and fun. But for the rest of us? Spring break is an opportunity to get creative with our travel plans, to set foot on the roads less traveled, and to shake things up each year. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite spring break destinations for 2023 that are sure to make this your best getaway yet.
Best Spring Break Ideas for Families
When it comes to planning a family-friendly spring break getaway, the key is to look for places that offer easy, direct transportation (no connecting flights here!) along with a wide variety of activities once you arrive. This strategy means you’ll get everyone in and out with minimal fuss—especially important for trips of shorter durations—and you’ll have plenty of diversions to keep everyone blissfully occupied throughout the trip, even if you choose to sit a few of the activities out yourself. Think: theme park destinations, all-inclusive resorts that offer a variety of water sports amenities, or trusted properties that manage their own robust kids’ clubs, so that mom and dad can carve out time for their own relaxation, too.
Top Spring Break Destinations for Families
- San Diego, CA: from SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo, to picture-perfect beaches that rim the coastline, there’s plenty here in sunny southern California to keep kids of all ages entertained. And, with the major airport conveniently located right near downtown and the beach, you can easily minimize travel time, leaving more time for fun during your vacation.
- Orlando, FL: Walt Disney World is clearly a major attraction here, but there’s so much more to do beyond the premier parks. Check out Universal Orlando’s twin theme parks and CityWalk entertainment complex, visit the many kid-friendly attractions that line popular International Drive, or just laze around your resort enjoying the Florida sunshine. It’s easy to fly in and out of Orlando and arrive at your destination in minutes.
- Nassau, Bahamas: A bit farther flung, but still easily accessible from most regions, Nassau offers daily direct flights from a number of major U.S. hubs. Once on the island, you and your family can enjoy world-class beaches, dreamy warm weather, exciting global dining concepts, and a range of duty-free shopping opportunities.
Best Spring Break Ideas for Foodies
No matter who you’ll be spending your next vacation with, sometimes it’s best to let your taste buds do the planning. From food tours and cooking courses to entire cities that are culinary destinations in their own right, this vacation strategy is all about mapping out your itinerary to accommodate the many mouthwatering meals you plan to enjoy throughout the trip. (Just be sure to book your reservations well in advance! Nothing kills a culinary trip faster than not being able to get a coveted table at your top spots.)
Top Spring Break Destinations for Foodies
- Charleston, SC: With fresh local ingredients and a culinary style unlike anywhere else, this genteel South Carolina city has enough award-winning restaurants and unassuming food stalls to fill an entire spring break—and then some. Be sure to sample authentic Lowcountry cuisine, like okra stew, she-crab soup and shrimp and grits.
- Austin, TX: Americans take their barbecue seriously, so determining just one “best” city for smokehouse classics would be a pretty tall order—but Austin demands your consideration. The BBQ here really is some of the best in the world, and the city also boasts first-rate Tex-Mex fare, along with an incredible late-night dining scene.
- Chicago, IL: The Windy City may not be the first place that springs to mind for a trip in March or April, but the spring weather here can be unexpectedly mild. And in any case, with its own delicious stamp on pizza, Italian beef—oh, and an incredible 23 Michelin-starred restaurants as of 2022—this is one foodie destination where it’s more than worth braving the chill.
Best Spring Break Ideas for Romance
For couples looking to get away in the early part of the new year, spring break can mean a surprising slew of deals at many luxury destinations and properties that don’t appeal to the usual college crew. To maximize your couples time without running into the crowds of partygoers, the trick is to browse for quiet locations that aren’t known for their late-night revelry. Think: sleepy beach towns that offer all the spoils of a sun-filled tropical getaway you crave, without the nightlife that draws the usual crowds (and drives up room rates) this time of year.
Top Spring Break Destinations for Romance
- Providenciales, Turks and Caicos: Whether you choose to stay on the main island (known familiarly as Provo) or you prefer to venture out to one of the surrounding islets and cays, such as the ultra-luxury COMO Parrot Cay Resort, it’s hard to find a more idyllic tropical setting than here. Laze around on the powdered sugar beaches or take a dip in the transparent turquoise waters, then enjoy dinner al fresco at any number of excellent restaurants that line the spectacular Grace Bay Beach.
- Washington, D.C.: Though it’s a popular family-friendly stop any other time of the year, thanks to its many museums and historical attractions, in the spring, romance actually fills the air in the nation’s capital—quite literally, thanks to the exquisite cherry blossoms that bloom around the last week of March and into the first week of April. It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque backdrop for a romantic escape.
- Sedona, AZ: Spring break is an unmatched time of year to visit the American Southwest, offering mild weather and an array of outdoor activities with a fraction of the high season crowds. In particular, Sedona is an excellent choice for romance thanks to its stunning location along Red Rock Canyon, along with its collection of dining and spa amenities throughout the town.
Best Spring Break Ideas for Adventure
Grand Canyon, AZ
While some vacationers save up their outdoor adventures for the summer months, savvy travelers know that spring break can provide even more temperate weather, along with fewer crowds and, at times, even more affordable rates on airfare, hotel and activities. To get the most bang for your buck on an adventure-packed spring getaway, start with all the ideas you’ve been wanting to do in the summer—such as road trips, hiking and camping adventures, or even more active pursuits like skydiving or chasing rapids. Then, do some light research to see which of those summer favorite activities could also be seasonally appropriate in March or April. You just might save yourself some time and money, all while avoiding the summer vacation crowds.
Top Spring Break Destinations for Adventure
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: If you’ve been putting off that big trip to the Grand Canyon, spring break is your chance to experience the natural wonder of the park with a fraction of the other visitors vying for space on the viewing decks. For a real adventure, don’t stop there—book a low-flying helicopter tour, or a guided, overnight camping trip at the base of the canyon.
- Mammoth Mountain, CA: Spring break may be the dawn of warmer beach days to come, but there’s still time to squeeze in a few more ski runs—particularly if you head to this popular California winter sports mountain, where the season commonly extends well beyond spring break and into May, June, or sometimes even July!
- Oahu, HI: Head to Hawaii and hang ten this spring—or take a few lessons to learn how. Whether you hit up popular Waikiki Beach, or head to the more remote, rough and tumble North Shore, you’ll find top-notch surfing conditions and a wide variety of dining, nightlife and accommodation options to round out your trip.