Here in Virginia, Indian summer is but a memory as winter temperatures have swooped in. From Thanksgiving through the holiday season, I rather enjoy the seasonal change, as it gives me a chance to wear snuggly sweaters and sit beside the crackling warmth of the fireplace. But a little of that goes a long way. Before long I’m ready for a getaway to someplace warm and start thinking about Spring Break destinations.
The problem is that everyone else is yearning for warm weather, too, thus winter and spring bring high-season occupancy and prices to favorite destinations in the Caribbean and Florida. The good news is that there are great alternatives that offer warm weather, beaches, engaging activities, and family-friendly fun without the crowds.
Alternative Spring Break Destinations:
Sun Drenched SoCal
Southern California is a fabulous alternative to the Caribbean for Spring Break destinations. First, the airfare is likely to be as much as half of what you’d pay to the Caribbean during prime season, making it more economical for families. There are many upscale hotels and resorts from Los Angeles to San Diego, perfect for a romantic couples’ getaway.
You’ll find plentiful beaches, boutique shopping, and a delectable variety of dining venues. Top attractions such as the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and LEGOLAND bring out the kid in all ages. A full menu of outdoor activity includes cliff hiking in Torrey Pines State Park, cycling the wide bike paths of San Diego, sport fishing, and whale watching.
- Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica Beach (City Life, Beach, Wellness)
- Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica Beach (Landmarks, City Life Beach)
- Terranea Resort, Los Angeles, South Bay area (Adventure, Local Immersion, Wellness)
- Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, Coronado Island
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, La Jolla area (Golf, Seclusion, Wellness)
- Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, San Diego, Affluent and secluded community (Golf, Seclusion, Wellness)
Scottsdale, Arizona’s clean air, year-round warm weather, open spaces, great nightlife and the arts attract more than 7 million visitors annually. You can play golf, hike, climb mountains, relax at spas, shop at world-class stores and take part in the many outdoor festivals held there.
No visitor to Scottsdale should miss an opportunity to tour Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter retreat. Visit the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center to see bobcats, coyotes, wolves and other rescued wildlife. In January, you can attend the PGA’s Waste Management Phoenix Open—billed as the largest spectator golf event in the world.
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Golf, Adventure, Wellness)
- Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (Adventure, Golf, Local Immersion)
- Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa (Adventure, Seclusion, Wellness)
Austin is a unique blend of laid-back attitude and frenetic exertion. It’s a small, friendly city where college students, cowboys, and computer professionals comfortably coexist and the unofficial motto is “Keep Austin weird.” The music scene is famous – home to the PBS show Austin City Limits, two-stepping at the White Horse, rock at the Continental Club, and an eclectic mix of sounds in the Sixth Street bars. Along with music, food is a highlight in Austin. Barbecue (Texas-style smoked beef brisket) and Tex-Mex are favorites, and while there are plenty of fine dining restaurants, inexpensive food trucks are ubiquitous.
The pink granite state capitol building and museums on the University of Texas campus are worth visiting or join the active locals walking, running and biking along the Barton Creek Greenbelt. If you visit after mid-March, don’t miss one of Austin’s most distinctive attractions – watching the bats emerge from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk.
- Four Seasons Austin (Adventure, City Life, Landmarks)
- Lake Austin Spa Resort ( Ecotourism, Seclusion, Wellness)
- W Austin (Wellness, Local Immersion, City Life)
Whether you’re traveling with school-aged kids, young adults on college break, or with another adult who also need a break from the regular grind, why not try one of these alternative Spring Break destinations this year? These three U.S. destinations have plenty of sunshine, ample activities, and they don’t require a passport (for U.S. citizens). Contact a Covington travel advisor to design your custom getaway today.