Seven best spring break destinations for families

Celebrate the end of winter blues—find spring break ideas for families and plan your getaway.

Family traveling on a beach
Mom in a national park with her baby.

At long last—it’s time to shake off the winter blues and embrace the sunshine. Spring’s arrival is a perfect time to gather the family up and plan a getaway together—smelling the budding flowers, snapping a photo op at a national park, or digging your toes in the sand. So, where to?

Forget the usual hotspots like Miami and Cancun—there are plenty more spring break destinations the whole family will enjoy. Check out our top picks for this year’s spring break travel, chosen with kid-friendly activities like water parks, children’s museums, and beautiful beaches in mind. Plan your trip, pack some snacks, and don’t forget your sunblock—get ready to enjoy spring break to the fullest.

The backyard of a family friendly vacation rental in Palm Springs, California with a pool.

1. California

With Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and San Diego's endless attractions further south, California makes a happy go-between for all ages.

If you’re up for an adventure, hit the hiking trails at Yosemite National Park, watch the meadows sprout with the first flowers of spring, and if luck has it, catch a few glimpses of wildlife waking from a long winter’s rest.

For a warm spring break destination, take your pick of day trips in Southern California. Enjoy educational fun at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, take a spin on amusement park rides at Belmont Park, or relax and watch surfers catch a few waves at the beach.

Beach shot of the Galveston pier.

2. Texas

Texas is full of spring break destinations for families—from coastal South Padre Island to historic San Antonio and beyond.

South Padre Island, Texas’ only tropical island, packs plenty of fun, like lighthouse tours, nature centers, and warm Gulf waters, of course. San Antonio is the perfect place to sneak in a little education on your spring break vacation with a stop at The Alamo or a day at the DoSeum children’s museum.

If you’re looking for more excitement, Galveston’s historic boardwalk sparkles with arcades and rides, and the Moody Gardens theme park clusters rainforest, aquatic, and discovery attractions within its three pyramids.

Landscape image of Copper Canyon, Colorado near a vacation rental.

3. Colorado

Hoping to fit in some last-minute skiing? You’re in luck. The Arapahoe Ski Basin boasts the longest snow season in the state, typically lasting until early June or July. While expert skiers will enjoy the high-altitude adventure, there are also a variety of runs and programs for beginners and children.

Spring is also a beautiful time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. With fewer crowds and mild weather, it’s the best season to hit the park’s 355 miles of hiking trails. Take on your next outdoor adventure together from a cozy Rocky Mountain cabin with plenty of elbow room.

Picture of children hugging near a vacation rental on Myrtle Beach.

4. South Carolina

The only thing sweeter than spring is a little sunshine and southern charm. Welcome in the warmer weather with a picnic on the sand in Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head.

Myrtle Beach has no shortage of fun activities. Delight in coastal attractions and water sports of every kind with family fun at the boardwalk, nearby aquariums, water parks, and if your little ones are feeling brave, Myrtle Beach’s Alligator Adventure.

Savor a calmer vacation in Hilton Head, where you can walk the nature reserves, tour The Sandbox Children’s Museum, and take in panoramic views of the beautiful beach from Harbour Town Lighthouse.

Pier Park in Panama City Beach

5. Florida

Satisfy your beach craving in a big way. Surfing, snorkeling, and parasailing are all made possible in the palm tree paradise of Panama City Beach. This 27-mile stretch of white-sugar sand and emerald Gulf waves promises a great family vacation to remember. Plan a day of water sports together with surf lessons, paddle boarding, or snorkeling at St. Andrews State Park. The city’s Pier Park doubles as a shopping wonderland and amusement park destination.

For a quieter beach retreat, plan your stay on Amelia Island. Without the crowds and commercialization, you’ll settle into the natural scenery and sounds of the tide with ease. Take the family on a guided horseback ride along the waves, birdwatch and look for coastal wildlife along nearby Egans Creek Greenway, or build sandcastles together on the beach.

Grab a soft serve, stroll the pier, and make new memories together with an oceanfront stay.

The deck overlooking the Smoky Mountains at a vacation rental in Sevierville, TN

6. Tennessee

Start your morning with a cup of coffee on the porch, watching Smoky Mountain mist snake through the trees. Tennessee is an exciting spring break destination for families, offering something to do around every corner. Take your little adventurers on a horseback ride through the mountains, race zip lines, or spend the day at the Dollywood theme park.

In Nashville, pull on your cowboy boots for dancing, tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, and dig into a delicious barbecue dinner at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint.

Chattanooga, right along the state’s border with Georgia, is full of hiking trails, tasty ice cream shops, and Lookout Mountain’s famous Seven States viewpoint.

Costa Rica vs. Belize for a Family Vacation

7. Costa Rica

Ocean? Check. Jungle? Check. Entertainment? Check. For an overseas family vacation unlike any other, look no further than Costa Rica.

Early March is an ideal time to visit, before the country begins its rainy season in May. Choose your adventure day by day between rainforests, cloud forests, hot springs, and volcanoes. Kids will love catching a glimpse of the area’s monkeys, butterflies, and more than 850 species of birds. Get a taste of the tropics with white water rafting, snorkeling, cave tubing, or sipping deliciously fresh fruit smoothies after a day of fun in Jacó or Tamarindo.

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