It’s that time of year again: spring break is upon us. If you’re in college or in your early 20s, you’ll probably find yourself on a beach in Mexico or Florida in a few short weeks, doing keg stands, getting a sunburn, dancing all night, and sleeping all morning. If you’re older, then chances are you will decidedly not be doing these things.
But when you look at it, spring break has a lot of positives: it’s an opportunity for a trip to a beautiful destination, where you can drink without having to wake up to responsibilities the next day, explore, and eat to your heart’s content. (Of course the negatives of your standard college spring break can sometimes also include blacking out, drunk vomiting, and catching any number of venereal diseases. These things are not as fun.)
So if you find yourself north of age 30 and still crave a bit of fun and beauty, and maybe even a fair bit of alcohol and food at this time of year (minus the unnecessary vomiting), then you might consider hitting up a new city for an adult spring break. Here are some excellent options.
8. Washington, D.C.
By day you can spend countless hours exploring the beautiful buildings in our capital. There might still be some cherry blossoms on the trees, and the museums (which are free) have incredible art and artifacts for your viewing pleasure. You can check out Georgetown’s gorgeous campus (which will be free of students, who will be on those other types of spring break), and go for a walk along the Tidal Basin. By night, you have a great number of restaurants and bars to choose from that are nothing to sneeze at.
7. Portland, Oregon
If hot temperatures and beaches aren’t your idea of a good time, then Portland might be a good option for you. With daytime temps in the 60s, you can enjoy the incredible views with just a light jacket. Visit the Oregon Zoo one day, the Planetarium the next, and maybe even the Japanese Garden. A short day trip outside of the city will take you to wine tasting in Willamette or the Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls.
6. Sedona, Arizona
Once you’ve done the obligatory day trip to the Grand Canyon, you’ll be free to explore some ancient ruins or Antelope Canyon. If you’re adventurous, take a Jeep or ATV tour. Or, you can combine serenity with adventure, and take a yoga class right on Sedona’s red rocks.
5. Salem, Massachusetts
There’s far more to Salem than witch trials (although the Salem Witch Museum should definitely not be missed). Head over to Pickering Wharf to see the beautiful lighthouse, have a picnic in Lynch Park, or go on a night Hauntings and History tour of the town. You’ll never be bored here.
4. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah brings us back to a destination where food and drinks can be your focus. First, to get a good feel for the city, consider a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour through the historic section. But definitely make sure you leave time for a culinary tour, because there is no shortage of incredible places to eat here. Don’t forget that celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Hugh Acheson have restaurants here. And if you want a real plate of Southern food, don’t miss Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.
3. Montreal, Quebec
You might have to brush up on your French, but it’ll be worth it, because Montreal has the feel of walking down a street in Europe. You won’t want to miss the breathtaking beauty of Notre-Dame Basilica, or the Observatoire Place Ville Marie for killer views. By night, it’s of the utmost importance to grab a plate of poutine (French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy) and a glass of wine.
2. Charleston, South Carolina
Consider a carriage tour of the historic part of the city for a better understanding of the land, and then head to the sea for a harbor history tour. But you might not want to miss a food walking tour as well, because Chucktown, as it’s called, has some incredible restaurants. Spend some time at a winery, or on a bar tour. You won’t ever get thirsty or hungry here.
1. Santa Barbara, California
Wineries, wineries, and then some more wineries. If you saw the movie Sideways, then you should be familiar with California’s wine country in Santa Barbara. You can hit any number of large or small spots, including Solvang. But that’s far from where the fun stops in this destination. It is arguably one of the most beautiful places to ever set foot–especially at sundown. You can have your adult spring break sipping a perfect glass of California Sauvignon Blanc while staring at the incredible coast: this is a far cry from cans of Budweiser on a party boat.