With spring break rapidly approaching, college students and families alike are looking forward to a break from school, work, and unpleasant weather. While beach resorts and tropical islands are popular among the spring break crowd, they aren’t the only options out there. And while Disney World and Disneyland are appealing for those traveling with younger companions, a day alone at the park can break the bank.
So what is a family in search of a fun week to do? It is time to think outside the box and visit parts of the country that you might not have previously considered. Below are a few options that prove to be far more affordable than your typical spring break destinations, and they are certain to get the conversation flowing and make for excellent photo opportunities. (The bonus is that you won’t even need to get into beach body shape for most of them! Proceed with the comfort food eating while the temperature is still freezing…)
Most people don’t picture an Alaskan vacation for spring break, but they should. Within the next month or so, the temperatures in Anchorage will begin to rise and being outdoors in the Last Frontier will be totally bearable. Because most people opt for warmer climates, the price for visiting this location cannot be beaten. And it’s breathtakingly gorgeous. You can’t beat a vacation where you can go whale watching one day and see a glacier the next.
St. George, Utah
If your family is more the outdoorsy, active type, then this would be a trip that you’ll never forget. With deserts and canyons at every turn, you will never run out of options. The scenery for hikes could not be more beautiful, and you can also visit national parks while you’re there. Snow Canyon State Park has trails, dunes, and cliffs; Sand Hollow State Park offers a gorgeous, large reservoir; and Zion National Park is just northeast with more canyons and streams.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
This will not be your typical Fort Lauderdale or Miami vacation. Cocoa Beach is just south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, so your little astronauts will love visiting the nearby Kennedy Space Center’s rockets. The beach itself has some pretty great surfing thanks to the breaks, and the Cocoa Beach Pier has plenty to offer by way of shopping and dining. Last, but not least, you can see some pretty incredible birds at Lori Wilson Park.
San Antonio, Texas
“There’s no basement in the Alamo!” But there is more to see than just the Alamo in this colonial Texas city. First, rentals offer a lot of space for very reasonable prices, so you and the kids won’t need to cram into one tiny hotel room. If your children are under 10 years old, they’ll probably love the 3-story kids museum, DoSeum. Put your walking shoes on and try out the miles-long River Walk, where you can dine and shop to your heart’s content.
Las Vegas, Nevada
At first thought, Las Vegas might not seem like an affordable family-friendly destination, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Since it’s so popular, there are several flights there every day, making it relatively easy to find a good deal. And as far as lodging goes, you can certainly find excellent discounts if you travel midweek. The kids will love Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, the 200-foot roller coaster at New York, New York, or the 550-foot “High Roller” Ferris wheel at the LINQ Hotel. And for free fun, the Bellagio fountains put on quite a show all day and night.