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Myrtle Beach, SC
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Myrtle Beach

The best spring break destinations in the U.S. for every type of traveler

Whether you're a student, the parent of one or just an adult in need of a vacation, here's where to head for spring break

Lauren Dana
Written by
Lauren Dana

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s not too late to plan your spring break getaway—and you don’t even have to leave the country to enjoy an epic escape. Nor do you need to be a student to take advantage of a spring trip. But with so many places to choose from across America, planning the perfect vacation to suit your—or your family’s, friends’ or SO’s needs—can feel overwhelming. Whether you prefer an oceanfront retreat, a wellness-centric hideaway or a family-friendly oasis, we’ve got you covered: Read on for the best spring break destinations in the U.S. for every type of traveler.

RECOMMENDED: Cheap family vacations in the U.S. for 2024

Best spring break destinations in the U.S.

Best for beach lovers: Huntington Beach, CA
Photograph: Samudio

1. Best for beach lovers: Huntington Beach, CA

With over eight miles of pristine, palm-fringed shoreline, Huntington Beach is the quintessential SoCal beach town—and I’m already dreaming of my next trip back since visiting in December. Oh, and did I mention it’s just an hour’s drive from Los Angeles?

Also known as Surf City, USA, Huntington Beach is a haven for surfers thanks to its year-round swell. Get your Zen on with Yoga on the Beach, which offers donation-based classes, or embark on a boat tour of the harbor before noshing on fresh seafood at Bearflag Fish Co. or grabbing a latte at Philz. At the end of your action-packed day by the beach, watch the sun slip into the ocean while sipping craft cocktails at Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge or the Treehouse Lounge.

Best for wellness: Sedona, AZ
Photograph: Courtesy Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

2. Best for wellness: Sedona, AZ

For a wellness-centric spring break getaway, look no further than Sedona. The majestic city is famous for its energy vortexes—the most famous being Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon—which are said to be conducive to healing and meditation. As such, it’s not uncommon to find folks meditating along these vortexes, which also offer stunning hiking opps. Sedona is also home to a handful of top-rated wellness resorts, including Mii amo and The Wilde Resort & Spa. Of course, no trip here is complete without a Pink Jeep Tour.

Best for families: Myrtle Beach, SC
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Myrtle Beach

3. Best for families: Myrtle Beach, SC

With its 60 miles of coastline and vibrant entertainment offerings, Myrtle Beach is one of the country's best family-friendly spring break destinations. Beyond the pristine stretches of sand, travelers can ride the SkyWheel (which towers 200 feet above the buzzy 1.2-mile-long boardwalk) or go mini-golfing (the destination is home to over 50 courses). Broadway At the Beach is dotted with shopping, dining and entertainment venues, including Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and WonderWorks, which offers over 100 interactive exhibits for children of all ages. It’s also worth noting that Myrtle Beach is a certified autism-friendly destination through the Champion Autism Network (CAN), which means there are sensory-friendly experiences, specially trained staff and more.

Best for outdoor adventure: Asheville, NC
Photograph: Jared Kay

4. Best for outdoor adventure: Asheville, NC

Flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains, this hip mountain town and its surrounding area offer thousands of hiking trails, including the fan-favorite Craggy Pinnacle, which offers stunning mountain scenery while winding through a lush rhododendron thicket. Alternate adventures—think: mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting, kayaking, tubing, off-roading and ziplining—also abound within easy driving distance of downtown. Spring is also a great time to visit Asheville since it marks the start of wildflower season—best experienced and enjoyed, of course, on foot. We recommend renting a car to visit nearby outdoor attractions like Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest and Mt. Mitchell State Park.

Best for foodies: San Antonio, Texas
Photograph: Visit San Antonio

5. Best for foodies: San Antonio, Texas

Often overlooked in favor of Austin or Dallas, San Antonio is a surprising haven for foodies. The destination—also known as the Culinary Capital of Texas—was named a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2017, making it one of only two U.S. cities to receive this designation (the other is Tuscon). Local favorite favorites include Rudy’s Seafood, Clementine, and 2M Smokehouse. Burn off your meal by strolling the San Antonio River Walk, which spans over 15 miles and is lined with shops, theme parks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, nightlife and more. The Alamo, a historic Spanish mission and fortress dating back to the 18th century, is also a must-visit.

Best for partying: Miami
Photograph: Shutterstock/Tono Balaguer

6. Best for partying: Miami

No spring break list would be complete without Miami. This sultry city by the sea is teeming with bars, lounges and nightclubs to appease partygoers of all ages. For pre-dinner drinks, hit spots like Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery, Cafe La Trova (which was named as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2023), or the uber-swanky Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club. Then, keep the good vibes going at party-centric eateries like Kiki on the River or Bâoli Miami. The night is still young, though: From there, go club-hopping at LIV, E11EVEN or Basement. Alternatively, those who prefer to party during the day can check out Nikki Beach, Strawberry Moon, Oasis or Hyde Beach.

Best for skiers: Reno Tahoe, NE
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Reno Tahoe

7. Best for skiers: Reno Tahoe, NE

It’s not too late to enjoy a spring ski vacation, so as long as you know where to go. That said, look no further than Nevada’s Reno Tahoe region, which is near several ski hotspots—most notably Lake Tahoe, comprised of six ski resorts complete with fun for all experience levels plus some seriously stunning lake views—and makes the perfect home base. Beyond the slopes, travelers can hike to nearby Monkey Rock (flanked by postcard-worthy vistas and towing trees), grab a bite at the Reno Public Market (where you’ll find everything from BBQ to ramen) or enjoy some indoor fun at the interactive Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. Animal lovers of all ages also need not miss the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary. Open seasonally from March through November, the sanctuary is home to majestic creatures like wolves and bears.

Best for romance: Savannah, GA
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Best for romance: Savannah, GA

Georgia’s oldest city is nothing short of charming with its leafy public squares and parks, many of which are full of lush magnolias, palmettos, crepe myrtles and sycamore trees. This, combined with the city’s historic architecture—styles range from Federal and Georgian to Greek Revival and Gothic Revival—only adds to the romantic atmosphere. Upon visiting with my husband last February, we practically fell in love with Savannah the moment we arrived. One of my favorite memories was strolling along the river hand in hand with frozen daiquiris from nearby Wet Willie’s. For a truly memorable date night, reserve a table at The Olde Pink House to enjoy classic southern fare in a historic Colonial-style mansion.

Best for art lovers: Santa Fe, NM
Photograph: Shutterstock/Zachary C Person

9. Best for art lovers: Santa Fe, NM

Located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, this dynamic destination dates back to the 1600s. It’s also home to one of the country's most eclectic art, architecture and design scenes. In addition to its adobe landmarks, including the historic Plaza, Santa Fe has over 250 galleries and studios to explore. Start by making your way down Canyon Road, lined with over 100 galleries, shops and boutiques. The Railyard District is another hotspot for art lovers, as is the Shidoni Gallery and Sculpture Gardens. If museums are more your thing, don’t sleep on the New Mexico Museum of Art on the Plaza or The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

Best for a city escape: New York, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Best for a city escape: New York, NY

Maybe I’m a bit biased, but in my opinion, there’s no place like New York. What’s more, the concrete jungle offers something for everyone. World-class entertainment and music theater? Check. Fascinating history and culture? You bet. Cuisine from dozens, if not hundreds, of countries? Of course. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or an NYC veteran, don’t sleep on iconic—albeit tourist-heavy—sites like Central Park, The Met, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Brooklyn Bridge. Also, the Big Apple comprises four additional boroughs outside of Manhattan, each of which is well worth exploring. Finally, for the best city views, head to one of these rooftop bars.

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