Once the kids are in school, the window of time to travel begins to diminish considerably as the calendar becomes packed with bake sales, talent shows, and parent-teacher conferences. But then, like clockwork, spring break rolls around and the opportunity to get away presents itself.
Of course, there’s no rule that says you have to jet off somewhere. A staycation at home or a nearby hotel can be super fun, and everyone loves a few days at Grandma’s house. But if you’re keen to escape and just need a little inspiration to figure out where, scroll on for our picks for the best spring break destinations for families.
1. Naples, Florida
Miami draws college-aged spring breakers who party till dawn, but just across the Everglades Parkway on the southwest coast of Florida exists a decidedly more low-key Sunshine State destination that’s far more geared toward families. Naples has a lot to do for kiddos and parents, starting with the beautiful beaches that are great for morning strolls, collecting shells, and building sandcastles. Add to that excellent restaurants, great shopping (because little ones always seem to need an extra outfit on vacation), stunning sunsets from the Naples Pier, and family-oriented hotels.
Where to Stay in Naples
Naples has plenty of family-friendly accommodations at a range of price points. For a splurge, The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón boasts a pool with slides, splash pads, and a lazy river and even lets LOs role-play as nature detectives.
2. Park City, Utah
For snow bunnies of all generations, it doesn’t get better than spring break in Park City where the winter sports season runs through mid-April. It’s the perfect spot to bring the whole family for some powder-filled fun on and off the mountain. Enroll youngsters in ski school and hit the slopes, from bunny hills to double black diamonds, or ditch the downhill action entirely and head to the spa for some pampering.
Where to Stay in Park City
Located in the center of Canyons Village, Pendry Park City, is an upscale, family-friendly ski-in/ski-out hotel with a pizza parlor, a kids club with tons of age-appropriate activities, and two-bedroom residences with bunk beds.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
While some people view the Netherlands’ capital as a place to party, parents who’ve ever googled “the best activities for kids in Amsterdam” know it’s a heritage-rich city with many attractions for younger visitors. A boat ride along the canals is an exciting way to see the sights and learn about history. Keep the education theme going with a trip to the NEMO Science Museum. Budding artists will love checking out the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. With an extensive network of cycling paths, it’s an ideal destination for family bike rides.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Pulitzer Amsterdam is an upscale, surprisingly family-friendly canalside hotel overlooking the Prinsengracht.
4. Grand Cayman
With blue skies, temps in the low 80s, and direct flights from many major U.S. airports, Grand Cayman isn’t a hard sell for families seeking a sun-splashed spring break in the Caribbean. Snorkeling excursions, swimming with southern Atlantic stingrays, and taking glass-bottom boat tours rank among the highlights for kids and teens. Starfish Point is especially great for toddlers and young children to interact with marine life in a safe setting with calm, shallow tides.
Where to Stay in Grand Cayman
On the western end of the island sits its crown jewel, Seven Mile Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand, turquoise water, and family-friendly resorts such as The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa.
5. San Diego, California
It’s not quite bust-out-your-swimsuit warm in the early spring in San Diego, but we’ve never heard anyone complain about the sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s. The weather is picture-perfect for taking advantage of all the outdoor fun, from family walks along the beach and surf lessons to picnics in Balboa Park and visits to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. March and April are prime months for whale watching. You’ll also find a wealth of kid-friendly museums—including the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Fleet Science Center—as well as the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Where to Stay in San Diego
6. Honolulu, Hawaii
Located on the south shore of Oahu, Honolulu presents a multifaceted island experience. It’s not just beautiful beaches, although the iconic crescent-shaped Waikiki Beach does wow. Families can immerse themselves in the local culture at a traditional luau. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial teaches visitors about World War II history. Honolulu is also home to the largest airport in the Aloha State, which translates to the most direct flights from the mainland. (Anyone who’s ever flown with kids knows the sanity-maintaining value of not having to change planes).
Where to Stay in Honolulu
7. Vancouver, Canada
A city getaway can be a really exciting change of pace during time off from school. Vancouver hits the mark of an urban escape with art, culture, and interesting neighborhoods while also providing access to nature. It has tons of green spaces—most notably the famous Stanley Park—playgrounds, beaches, and miles of paved waterfront pathways. Definitely swing by the kids’ market at Granville Island. If your children are into aircraft, it’s worth stopping to watch the seaplanes take off from the harbor. Tots as well as older kids will have a blast at Science World and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Sonder at Revival in the West End gives families more flexibility than a hotel room thanks to studios and one-bedroom apartments with kitchens.
8. Mayakoba, Mexico
Situated along the shores of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Mayakoba supplies a way more chill alternative to the hard-partying spring break scene in Cancún. This 620-acre gated community comprises crystal-clear lagoons, lush jungles teeming with native floral and fauna, serene beaches, and award-winning resorts. Proximity to Playacar Mayan Ruinas means the chance to take an educational day trip with the whole crew.
Where to Stay in Mayakoba
The splurge-worthy Fairmont Mayakoba is a phenomenal choice for a luxurious family vacation. Parents can enjoy poolside tacos and margaritas, hit the championship links, or sneak off to the spa while the younger generation is busy doing biologist-guided boat tours, scavenger hunts, and eco-bingo.
9. Bruges, Belgium
An unexpected choice no doubt, Bruges is an amazing and beautiful place to bring history to life for kids. The fairytale capital of West Flanders brims with canals, cobbled streets (that will admittedly put any travel stroller to the test), and enchanting medieval buildings. Legends of Bruges operates free historic walking tours with a local guide who covers all the can’t-miss attractions, from Grote Markt to the Belfry of Bruges. It won’t be hard to sell the kids on traditional Belgian dishes like vol-au-vent and, of course, chocolate.
Where to Stay in Bruges
The family suites at the Boutique Hotel Sablon comfortably sleep four people, and you can’t beat the super-walkable central location.
10. Jackson, Wyoming
Wyoming’s premier vacation destination offers an abundance of outdoor adventures. It’s located near three mountain resorts with well-groomed runs for all skill levels, plus lifts and lessons for beginners. Since the winter season goes from late November through early April, there are ample opportunities to go skiing and snowboarding during spring break. Don’t forget to snap family photos in front of the Town Square arch made of shed antlers and hit the western shops. Jackson is also a short drive from wildlife watching in Grand Teton National Park.
Where to Stay in Jackson
Consider a dude ranch like the Spotted Horse Ranch. Between the horseback riding and cookouts, the kids will forget all about their iPads (at least for the week).
11. Washington, D.C.
You don’t have to be an aspiring politician to get a lot out of a spring break trip to the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C. is flush with monuments, memorials, and interactive museums for the whole family. Bonus: Many of the Smithsonian-affiliated attractions are free. The month-long annual cherry blossom festival kicks off in late March and features a lineup of outdoor events for all ages like Petalpalooza, a full day of art installations and music capped off by a fireworks show.
Where to Stay in Washington, D.C.
Spacious rooms, an indoor pool, and a canine ambassador make The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown one of the best kid-friendly city hotels.
12. Orlando, Florida
Even if you don’t think Walt Disney World is the most magical place on Earth, your offspring probably still do. Yes, it’s going to be crowded over spring break. But buying Genie+ will cut down on time spent waiting in line for popular rides. Learn more tips for planning a trip to Disney World here. And we’ve even done the work of putting together Disney outfit ideas for your days at the parks.
Where to Stay in Orlando
In addition to the popular and pilgrimage-worthy theme parks, Orlando has some really fantastic family-focused resorts like the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, which delights with its enormous water park (think splash zones, interactive fountains, water slides, and pools), plus breakfast with Goofy. The spa even does mini makeovers for little princesses and knights as well as facials and massages for parents.