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17 Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

Spring break is one of the best times of the year! It’s the optimal time to get away from school and responsibilities for a week while relaxing and rejuvenating. It’s also a great time to take a break from the usual routine, visit theme parks and national parks, or check out some gorgeous beaches with your family.

It’s easy to feel bombarded with the seemingly endless options on top destinations for family fun. But don’t fret! We’ve devised the following list of the best spring break destinations to pop on your radar for your next trip away.

Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

1. Florida Keys, Florida

Aerial view of Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is one of the USA’s most popular spring break destinations for good reason. It offers plenty of places to stay and attractions to suit the young and old alike. Simply getting here is an adventure—the iconic road trip over the ocean features bridges spanning for miles, unlike anywhere else in the world.

If you want fun in the sun, head to this area’s beautiful beaches. Sombrero Beach effortlessly makes it into the list of finest beaches in the Florida Keys and is a must-see for any family visiting the area. Take the time to relax or have fun building sand castles and camping on the many white sand beaches.

For something a little more adventurous, explore the depths of Key Largo’s Christ of the Abyss for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Feel a rush as you plunge into Marathon Key’s Thunderbolt wreck site. Follow suit and dive to discover the USS Wilkes-Barre in beautiful Key West.

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the first undersea park in the United States. It offers colorful aquatic life landscapes with a glass-bottom excursion, diving, and snorkeling with easy access from Key West. Other coral venues include Dry Tortugas, Coral Reef Park Co, and Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Best Resorts in the Florida Keys

2. Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach is a fantastic place to start when looking for ideal family vacation ideas. This vibrant city has beautiful beaches and incredible restaurants, making for the perfect Florida getaway.

With Panama City Beach’s welcoming atmosphere, you will have no trouble letting your hair down and forgetting about the realities of work and school waiting for you all back home. Check the calendar for the spring break schedule for college students and book accommodations accordingly to avoid the potential crowds and rowdiness.

Aside from its incredible beaches, Panama City Beach has plenty of other attractions perfect for a fun family vacation. For example, head to Shipwreck Island Waterpark, where guests can splash in water slides and wave pools.

The area is also an excellent spot for snorkeling, catamaran sailing, kayaking, parasailing, and dolphin watching, allowing guests to explore the waters off the coast. Guests can also take in Panama City Beach’s vibrant nightlife, with plenty of options for live music and shows.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

3. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

A Wisconsin Dells boat tour exploring the stunning Wisconsin Dells landscape.
bogdanstepniak / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

A popular road trip destination for Midwesterners, look no further than Wisconsin Dells in south-central Wisconsin for an incredible family vacation spot in the Midwest. The Dells have numerous activities for all family members, including arcades, shopping, golfing, unique history tours, and more.

Wisconsin Dells boasts some of the most incredible water parks in the country. With names like Noah’s Ark, Mt. Olympus, and Kalahari, you know you’re in for a good time. These parks are perfect for families looking for excitement during their time away together and especially for parents looking to tire out lively children for a peaceful evening.

Riding the Ducks at Wisconsin Dells is a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty. Or, hop on board vintage World War II amphibious vehicles for a river tour that takes you through the downtown district.

A fantastic opportunity to experience adorable wildlife is to head to Deer Park. Deer Park is home to a large herd of deer you can get close to and even feed snacks! Or, head to the Riverwalk for a perfect stroll or a bike ride to see the city’s natural beauty.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Small Towns in Wisconsin to Visit

4. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Valley California

The best things to do in Yosemite National Park vary depending on your interest, but for active families, you’ll find an overwhelming amount of fun. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, rafting, and fishing. Or, take it easy with a relaxed stroll to admire the scenery at a slower pace.

No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have a great time in Yosemite National Park. The Yosemite Valley Railroad operates daily passenger excursions between Yosemite Valley and El Portal, California.

The El Portal route offers views of the Merced River Canyon and Half Dome. The Yosemite Valley route provides views of Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point.

Glacier Point is a viewpoint in Yosemite National Park, with a spectacular view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and other park features. Hiking the Alpine Meadows is also a great way to experience meadows filled with wildflowers and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.

The Half Dome Village is great for spending an afternoon with your family. For entertainment, there’s a great ice cream shop and ice rink. The village is also a top spot for various shops and restaurants, so you will have no trouble finding something to suit everyone’s taste. 

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: National Parks in the USA to Visit

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

Surfboards at Waikiki Beach Honolulu

Honolulu, Hawaii, holds a firm position on our list of destinations, offering the opportunity for the best family spring break possible. With its sunny beaches, local culture, and many activities, there’s something fun for everyone.

The USS Arizona Memorial honors the lives lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. It’s an enriching experience to add a little learning opportunity to your vacation, even on a break from school. Visitors can walk through this beautiful and solemn site and learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Amoana Beach Park is also an excellent spot for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. Take the chance to enjoy some swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and kayaking on the beach.

The tour off the coast of Oahu is perfect for families, with plenty of stops and activities that everyone will enjoy. You can explore the Hawaiian islands‘ majestic beauty while enjoying family time together. Alternatively, take a whale-watching tour off the coast of Oahu for an unforgettable experience to remember right into your old age.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Hawaii Travel Guide

6. Savannah, Georgia

Ellis Square in Savannah, Georgia - Popular destination for travelers.
Jayron32 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

The weather is usually warm and sunny in Savannah during spring break. So, kids can have plenty of fun in Savannah by visiting the historic squares and buildings, going to the beach, or exploring the many parks and gardens.

This charming district has beautiful old homes and churches, fascinating museums, and shops. Enjoy a carriage ride through Savannah’s Historic District to see the fantastic scenery.

The Savannah Zoo is an excellent place for a family day out. Various animals call the zoo home, including lions, tigers, and bears (OH MY!). There are also plenty of areas where kids can run around and explore, making it the perfect place to wear them out. 

The Tybee Island Lighthouse is located in a beautiful setting on the Georgia coast, and it offers lovely views of the ocean and coastline. The lighthouse is also open for tours so visitors can learn more about its history and how it operates. The area also has several shops and restaurants, making it a great spot to enjoy a day or evening out with the entire family.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Georgia Travel Guide

7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Beach and Barefoot Landing at Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is one of the best spring break destinations overall, especially on the East Coast. It’s a wide swath of land known for its wide, sandy beaches and provides numerous family-friendly activities. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, sandcastle-building, and kayak tours, to name a few brilliant activities.

Ripley’s Aquarium is a fantastic place to take the family for fun and learning. It suits even the most amateur marine enthusiast, with exhibits featuring everything from mighty sharks to tiny seahorses! There’s also a touch tank where kids can get up close and personal with some of the aquarium’s star creatures.

Wonderwork is a great place to take the family for a fun-filled day of indoor activities. This amusement park for the mind has over 100 interactive exhibits to entertain the youngest child to the most adventurous teenager.

The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is another excellent place to take the family. This Ferris wheel is the tallest in the Southeast and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Grand Strand. There’s also a carousel, a playground, and various restaurants nearby.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Outer Banks vs Myrtle Beach: What’s Better?

8. Titusville, Florida

Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a hub for space exploration and history.
Reinhard Link from Germany / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Regarding family spring break ideas, Titusville is a great destination to pop on our list. Thanks to its beautiful beaches and family-friendly attractions, everyone can have fun. You’ll also avoid the hoards of college students at places like South Padre Island on this spring break trip.

An exceptionally trendy pastime in Titusville is fishing. Go on a trip to the Indian River, where many varieties of fish lurk beneath the water’s surface, for an exciting day out and see what you can catch.

For the budding astronaut or those interested in the stars and beyond, visit the Kennedy Space Center to learn about America’s space program. Tour the facility, see exhibits about the history of space exploration, and learn about the current missions conducted by NASA.

There is an interactive children’s museum and a planetarium that regularly puts on multimedia shows about space for all to learn something new. If your family is interested in science and astronomy, the Kenedy Space Center is a must-visit destination.

Check out Port Canaveral and Cape Canaveral National Seashore, just minutes from Kennedy Space Center. This area is brilliant for activities like surf lessons or aerial trekking for adventurous families.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Tips for Traveling with Toddlers and Kids

9. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head, South Carolina Beach

Hilton Head, South Carolina, is an excellent option if you’re looking for a family-friendly spring break destination. There are pristine beaches and parks, with great outdoor activities like shrimp fishing and golfing excursions.

The Sandbox Children’s Museum is a brilliant place to take your kids for a day of learning and fun, with exhibits on science, nature, history, and more. The museum offers special events and activities throughout the year, so there’s always something new to explore.

One of our favorite things in Hilton Head is visiting Adventure Cove. There are thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad for the little ones.

For something more chill, cool off in the wave pool or relax on the beach. No matter what you’re looking for, Adventure Cove has it all!

If you’re after a little adrenaline boost, ziplining is a great way to see the area from a new perspective. Hilton Head has several zipline companies, so you’ll find one right for you. Try ziplining at the Zipline & Aerial Adventure; it’s a popular activity to do in South Carolina.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: South Carolina Travel Guide

10. San Diego, California

Balboa Park, San Diego

San Diego is a fantastic city for a family spring break vacation! There are plenty of fun things to do in the city, and it’s also close to some great beaches. The San Diego Zoo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

At the San Diego Zoo, you’ll see creatures from around the world, from lions and tigers to pandas and elephants. For further indulgence in the natural world, set sail on a whale-watching excursion in search of wild dolphins, gray whales, and other local marine animals! Kids and grown-ups alike can get the adrenaline kick of trying to be the first ones to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats.

Balboa Park is a must-visit destination for families visiting San Diego. With 17 museums, beautiful gardens, and plenty of places to eat and shop, there are options to suit several interests at this 1,200-acre park.

Have you been to LEGOLAND, California? This indoor amusement park in Carlsbad, just outside San Diego, is great for kids of all ages. Kids will love riding the rides, playing in the waterpark, seeing unique LEGO models, and building their creations at the Lego Playroom.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Is San Diego Safe To Visit?

11. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis is a great place to consider for a family spring break vacation in the US. There are many fun things to do here, from exploring a lively and thriving art scene to visiting national and nearby state parks and zoos.

Visit the Indianapolis Zoo, which includes many activities and attractions like a 4-D theater, a carousel, and a playground to entertain the little ones. Oh, and not to mention over 1,500 animals!

Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, one of the country’s finest museums for kids. The museum offers many activities and exhibits to entertain your family for hours. Then, head to White River State Park to continue the educational theme and enjoy its museums and interactive exhibits.

Watch an event at Indianapolis’s sports venues, like the NBA’s Pacers and the NHL’s Ice. Plus, you can also check out a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway! After that, take the kids to the NCAA Hall of Champions, where interactive exhibits showcase college athletics all over the US.

While in the area, grab an Indianapolis Attraction Pass, which covers numerous top attractions for an all-inclusive visit to Indy.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Places to Visit in the Midwest

12. Washington D.C.

Washington D.C Monument

There are plenty of great family vacation ideas in Washington, D.C., and what’s more, many of them are accessible and affordable. Some available activities include exploring the city’s museums (there are a ton of free museums here), visiting the National Zoo, and touring the White House.

Washington, D.C., is full of famous monuments and memorials; most are free to visit. Some top-tier monuments and memorials to visit with your family during spring break are the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Visiting the Smithsonian Museums is one of the most enriching experiences in Washington, D.C. The National Zoo is also an excellent place for families with kids of all ages to visit. There’s plenty to see and do, from visiting the animal exhibits to riding the zoo’s train or carousel.

Another brilliant activity is to explore the zoo’s gardens, which have various plants and animals to admire. And don’t forget to stop by the Amazonia exhibit to learn about rainforests and the animals that call them home.

Make sure you check out the schedule for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which may align with your spring break schedule. This highly popular festival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see Washington, D.C., in its full beauty.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Book A Last Minute Spring Break Trip

13. Maui, Hawaii

Beach in Maui, Hawaii

With its beautiful beaches and warm weather, Maui is perfect for a relaxing family spring break trip. There are plenty of fun activities in Maui, from zip-lining to snorkeling.

Visit Haleakala National Park, which is most well-known for its majestic Mount Haleakala, which towers 10,023 feet above sea level. There are plenty of kid-friendly hiking trails and picnic areas to explore in the park.

Wailea Beach is one of the most popular on the island. The powder-like sand will feel refreshing between your toes as you wade out to sea. There are even popular snorkeling spots nearby where you can view tropical fish without swimming too far from shore.

This Lahaina Town is the place in Maui to enjoy live music, shopping, family-friendly restaurants, and surfing centers. At the Maui Waveriders, they offer fun surfing lessons for your entire family.

Check out Maui Ocean Center, an aquarium known for its family-friendly exhibits. Exhibits include shark tanks and tide pools brimming with sea life. Young kids will especially enjoy the Sea Jellies exhibit, where they can touch some of the ocean’s most unique creatures.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Maui? Things to Know

14. St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands

Lindpoint Trail entrance in St.Thomas

If you’re looking for a relaxing escape to the beach, you’ll find plenty of beautiful spots to lounge on in the USVI. Visit Magens Bay, a family-friendly beach perfect for cooling off in the shallow waters while looking out at spectacular views of St. Thomas’ most beautiful coastline.

But if you’re looking for a more active holiday, explore the island and its jungles, go sailing, go for some top-tier snorkeling, and much more. St. Thomas has several walking trails that can cater to all fitness levels.

The Lind Point Trail is perfect for kids and those looking for shorter hikes with stunning views. For longer and more challenging trails, try the Sibonné Mountain Trail.

Few places can beat Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, for family-friendly fun. This park features fascinating marine life, including dolphins, sea lions, and turtles. 

One of our favorite family-friendly destinations for indoor entertainment is the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum in St. Thomas. This museum is full of interactive exhibits that will entertain kids of all ages for hours.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

15. Cincinnati, Ohio

Panoramic view of John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati skyline

Cincinnati is a perfect spring break destination that offers fun activities for everyone, from baby to grandparent! The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination for families wanting to slot activities into their vacation that can cater to everyone in their group. You can see over 4,000 animals at the zoo, making it a great place to learn about different species. 

The Cincinnati Museum Center is a great option for something more educational. This center groups multiple museums, including the Cincinnati History Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Children’s Museum. A planetarium and IMAX theater are also on-site, making it a great day out.

EnterTAINment Junction is also an excellent place you won’t want to miss! Ride the trains, play in the arcade, and go on numerous other rides. There’s also a food court where you can get something to eat. It’s a great place to spend a day or two, and you’ll never run out of things to do.

Top Picks for Accommodation:

See Related: Places to Visit in the United States

16. Las Vegas, Nevada

Aerial view of Las Vegas Boulevard
Javen / Adobe Stock

When thinking of great family vacations for spring break, Las Vegas might not be your first thought. However, I went when I was 16, and you’ll be surprised by how many amazing family-friendly activities Vegas has!

Something I would consider an absolute highlight was the helicopter ride I took with my parents over the Grand Canyon National Park. We were picked up in a striking limousine before experiencing the most incredible birds-eye views from our helicopter that I still remember fondly today! Plus, you can take a day trip to historic sites like the Hoover Dam.

Las Vegas is also bursting at the seams with incredible shows to experience. The Blue Man Group made me experience the immense depth of imagination live shows can achieve, and We Will Rock You had me singing all my favorite Queen hits.

The city is also packed with many unique hotels and family-friendly resorts where you could spend days hotel-hopping. For example, the Bellagio is famous for its dancing fountains, and The Venetian is famous for mock gondola rides. My hotel, Circus Circus, has a theme park and circus tent, with regular shows to entertain kids and adults alike.

See Related: Cheap Things to Do in Las Vegas, Nevada

17. Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

Magic Kingdom castle in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Shawn.ccf – stock.adobe.com

When looking into ideal family spring break destinations, how about the happiest place on Earth? With abundant family-friendly amenities and kid-friendly activities for younger kids and kids of the 21+ variety, there’s family fun for everyone at Disney!

As amusement parks go, Disney World is a top-tier option with incredible rides, exhilarating waterparks, amazing shopping opportunities, and diverse food options to suit all palettes. I still can’t bring myself to revisit the aptly named Tower of Terror on more recent Disney excursions. But rides like It’s a Small World are solid family favorites and much more suitable for younger kids.

The resort also has a range of family-friendly hotels nearby, making for a convenient visit, like the luxurious Four Seasons hotel offering complimentary shuttles to the parks. Or, you could do as my family did, book a nearby villa with a private pool and then rent a car to drive to the park daily.

See Related: How to Get Discount Disney Tickets in Orlando, Florida

Tips for Planning Your Family Spring Break

While planning your family vacation, the most crucial part is to prepare yourself financially and mentally to get the best out of it. Make sure you enjoy every moment of your spring break vacation and make plans as early as possible to have peace of mind when your vacation arrives.

Here are a few basic things to consider before going on your spring break family vacation:

  • Plan early, determine the best time to go, and create a budget plan.
  • Pre-book things like your hotel and more popular activities that might sell out quickly.
  • Pack all necessities for intended activities like swimwear, bug spray, etc, and any necessary medicine.
  • Ensure you have travel insurance to protect your trip. Use a marketplace like VisitorsCoverage to compare policies based on your needs. Trust me, you don’t want to have the entire family upset if your flight gets canceled.

Here are a few easy steps on how to come up with the best spring break destination ideas for your family:

  • Consider revisiting certain locations to repeat great experiences or to create new ones.
  • List ideas of destinations or national parks within your state, city, or town.
  • Get everyone involved in idea generation to ensure the whole family can have a great time.
  • Ask friends for spring break ideas on their previous visits.
  • Use our free travel itinerary generator to craft your spring break getaway.

Use this summary table of some of our best picks and the approximate trip cost to aid in your spring break trip planning.

Rank Destination Average Temperature (°F) Top Feature Average Cost (USD)
1 Key West, Florida 76 Beaches 1600
2 Maui, Hawaii 83 Local Culture 2500
3 Las Vegas, Nevada 69 Entertainment 1500
4 Orlando, Florida 78 Theme Parks 2000
5 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 73 Fun Attractions 2200

FAQ

What is the cheapest place to go on spring break?

The cheapest place to go on spring break is typically within your own City or Town. However, some destinations may be more affordable than others. Start with the goals surrounding your city, then move further out to find areas within your state.

What is the most popular spring break destination in the US?

Florida is the most popular spring break destination in the United States. Sunny beaches, great golf courses, and plenty of nightlife options make it popular for vacationers of all ages. If you want more action and excitement, check out one of Florida’s larger cities, Miami or Orlando.

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