The Getaway
Soak Up Spring Break Fun Without The Crowds

You don't need a jam-packed party destination to enjoy a memorable spring break. While many people have the typical tourist stories about visiting Cancun or Miami, why not take a unique trip that will stand out? There are plenty of under-the-radar spring break spots in the United States, Caribbean, and Europe that will scratch your itch for travel and adventure. The best part? You'll avoid the tourist markups and long wait times at attractions — talk about a win-win!

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01 Charleston has New Orleans' character without the party vibes

Historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina, USA f11photo / Shutterstock

If you're drawn to the charm of the old south and its antebellum homes with cobblestone streets, you'll love exploring Charleston during spring break. Forget Uber; you can hop in a horse-drawn carriage for a tour of the city's many colorful and historic buildings.

Fort Sumter in Charleston is where the Civil War began, and taking a tour is a great way to explore and learn about history. Charleston also has many plantations that survived the Civil War, including Boone Hall Plantation, where scenes from The Notebook were filmed.

Since Charleston is a waterfront city, you'll still get your day at the beach without the horde of tourists. Walk down to the Waterfront Park at the harbor and take in the smell of salty sea air. Or grab a towel and a picnic and head down to Sullivan's Island Beach for a relaxing day in the sand.

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02 Grand Cayman is here for Caribbean relaxation

Seven Mile Beach, Kayak and Palm tree from the side IreneCorti / Getty Images

If you're looking for a getaway that involves the peaceful sound of waves and your toes in the warm sand, then you'll love Grand Cayman during spring break. Seven Mile Beach is world-famous for its soft white sand and stunning blue ocean views. For a more adventurous time, rent snorkeling or scuba diving equipment to spend the afternoon swimming with marine life at the Kittiwake Shipwreck and artificial reef off the coast. Don't forget to take a walking tour through the tropical forest to reach the underground Cayman Crystal Caves, a geological wonder filled with stunning crystal structures.

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03 St. Petersburg features chill Florida charm

Young adults on a park bench over the bay at St. Petersburg Michael Warren / Getty Images

Located near Clearwater, Florida, St. Petersburg is a smaller destination filled with just as much to do. Stay in downtown St. Petersburg and explore local museums like the Dali Museum, the western-themed James Museum, or glass sculptures at the Imagine Museum. You can even take a tour to see the city's murals and local art installations.

Stroll down the St. Petersburg Pier, where you can enjoy local street performers and the smell of fresh ocean air. Enjoy lunch at the many restaurants overlooking the water, and then saunter downtown to shop for local, handmade goods.

Because no trip to Florida is complete without a day at the beach, St. Pete Beach on the gulf coast is a short drive away for a day with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand.

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04 Albuquerque is clear of crowds and full of history

Old Town shops and restaurants in historic Albuquerque Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

There's no better way to avoid crowds than the great outdoors. Take a trip to the southwest and explore Albuquerque's historic Old Town Centre and spectacular adobe buildings. You'll discover the culture and traditions of Native Americans and can indulge in their Pueblo-inspired dishes.

To really get away from other people, hop on a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the sights from the sky. Albuquerque is the hot air balloon capital of the world, and if you plan your trip during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, you'll get to see more than 500 balloons light up the sky.

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05 Anchorage is a stunning crowd-free getaway

Denali (Mount McKinley) national park, Alaska, United States sunsinger / Shutterstock

The perk of visiting Alaska in spring is that the weather is starting to warm, but the night will still give you enough darkness to view the northern lights. Since snow will begin to melt, it's also the perfect time to visit one of their many state parks and see the beauty of wild Alaskan nature for yourself. Check out America's tallest peak at the Denali National Park, or hop on a boat cruise at Kenai Fjords National Park for whale watching.

If you're chilly after a snowy day of exploration, make sure to stop by Chena Hot Spring Resort to refresh yourself in the thermal hot springs.

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06 Asheville features tranquil outdoor exploration

family in Blue Ridge Mountains Margaret.Wiktor / Shutterstock

Get away from spring breakers and head into the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can rent a secluded cabin in the wilderness or stay in the charming downtown area of Asheville. The historic Biltmore is the most prominent attraction, but there's plenty more to explore, like the River Arts District for local, handmade artisan products. And thanks to the proximity of the mountains, you'll have plenty of waterfalls and hiking paths to discover before heading back down to civilization.

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07 Bocas del Toro is a peaceful tropical excursion

man snorkeling underwater Damsea / Shutterstock

This under-the-radar destination in Panama is a great spot to get your tropical fix without the crowds. Animal lovers will be thrilled to swim with wild starfish at Starfish Beach. Or hop on a boat tour to Sloth Island, where you'll be able to spot sloths climbing through the trees. Of course, there's plenty of world-class snorkeling and diving to be had. When you need a rest from all the adventure, a day at Red Frog Beach enjoying the sand and sun will be sure to refresh you.

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08 Bologna is where you vacation like a local

Two Towers (Due Torri), Asinelli and Garisenda, symbols of medieval Bologna towers cge2010 / Shutterstock

This incredible Italian city is an underrated gem. You'll explore like a local while walking through medieval architecture and picturesque streets. The lack of tourist crowds means a lack of waits at the local eateries, and you'll get the ultimate authentic experience. Since Bologna was one of the wealthiest cities during the medieval era, it still boasts many of those historic towers. Climb to the top of Asinelli Tower and take in the panoramic views.

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09 Dunedin is a quiet beach town with plenty of Florida fun

Wooden Swings gently rock on a windy day at the honey moon island beach Florida Florida Chuck / Shutterstock

Despite the lesser crowds, this cozy coastal town boasts world-class beaches and a charming downtown area that will keep you entertained during spring break. Take a day trip to the stunning Honeymoon Island and spend a day at the beach collecting seashells and dining on fresh-caught grouper sandwiches. This small town has nine breweries within walking distance and is chock-full of local shops to peruse.

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10 Portland combines food with Oregon outdoor exploration

Father and his small son looking on Multnomah Falls waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA Andriana Syvanych / Shutterstock

Take a trip to Portland for spring break, and you'll get the best of city life and nature exploration. Work up an appetite and check out Forest Park with over 70 miles of trails to explore, then head back to Portland and indulge in donuts — the staple of the city. Portland isn't just known for donuts but for food in general, with over 500 food trucks throughout the city! You'll be able to balance the indulgence with exercise thanks to the many hiking areas around the city like Columbia River Gorge, where you can check out scenic areas like Multnomah Falls.

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