The Getaway
The Best Places to Let Loose During Spring Break

A spring break vacation could be exactly what you need to let off steam and have some fun before the stress of finals and graduation sets-in. The perfect destination needs to be affordable, easy to get to and provide you with the break you've been waiting for. Grey winter days are the perfect time to plan a spring break beach getaway. Or you could sip cocoa in a ski chalet. Let's face it, you likely need a major change of scenery.


01 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Friends standing next to Thor's Hammer hoodoo on top of mountain looking at the beautiful view of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Looking for a spring break with lots of space and spectacular views? Bryce Canyon is a magical playground that's ideal to visit in the spring. More moderate temperatures and smaller crowds than in the summer bring shy wildlife and blooming wildflowers into view. This national park is world-renown for its weirdly shaped red, orange, and yellow rock spires — or hoodoos — which are carved by water.

Take a guided tour with a park ranger or set out on your own — there are loads of day hikes for all skill levels. The Queen’s Garden to Navajo Loop trail takes you through the heart of hoodoo land. Longer hikes take you north-south under the rim of the mesa. Not into hiking? Take a 38-mile round-trip scenic drive and see 13 stunning vistas along the way. Enjoy an unforgettable night sky without city lights to dim the millions of bright stars.


02 Cancun, Mexico

young woman relaxing in turquoise waters of Caribbean Sea in front of paradise beach in Tulum, close to Cancun

For a dramatic change of scenery, Cancun offers hot sun and lots of fun on the gorgeous white sand beaches — all the makings of a perfect spring break. There are several all-inclusive resorts with student-specific deals and budget-friendly packages that cover meals, drinks, and entertainment and include a rollicking nightlife for extra night-time fun.

If you get sunburned or need a break from the beach, Cancun is surrounded by some of the world’s most enchanting ruins of ancient Mayan cities, including Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and El Rey. El Ray is right in the city of Cancun, across from its best public beach. Accessible by car and bus in under 2.5 hours, Tulum is a breathtaking ruin set atop a cliff at the edge of the Caribbean Sea.


03 South Padre Island, Texas

Spring breakers running into the ocean Vesna Andjic / Getty Images

For about a month, spring breakers take over the tiny island town of South Padre Island. It's a popular spring break destination because of its wide sandy beaches, sparkling clear water, and 24-hour beach bashes. Only a day's drive from major cities like Dallas or Houston, South Padre is a seaside paradise right in Texas' own backyard.

Isla Blanca Park sits on the island's southern edge and is home to some of the best beaches on the island. Several sports outfitters offer dolphin-watching and deep-sea fishing trips, and kiteboarding is a favorite pastime on these waters. Laguna Madre's Nature Trail is one of the best ways to experience South Padre's wild side, where bird-watching can offer a calming break from the excesses of the beach.


04 Sayulita, Mexico

Surfers heading into the ocean Justin Lewis / Getty Images

Sayulita has become a popular spring break destination, especially for beginner to intermediate surfers and longboarders. Sayulita faces north, so it receives some good swells, and its main beach has mellow, consistent waves. There are many surf schools on the main beach for your first-ever lesson or to get some pointers if it's been a while.

Sayulita has very few, if any, all-inclusive hotels or major hotel chains, but instead, it has beachfront rentals with a chic bohemian vibe. With a happening night-life, you can also enjoy a delicious margarita at a swing bar, stroll the colorful streets, or relax on one of the many beaches. The major local holiday Semana Santa also happens in March, bringing Mexican tourists to the beach and adding some great local culture.


05 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Caribbean, colorful clothes in a kiosk on Playa (beach) El Cortecito. Maremagnum / Getty Images

With warm sunny weather perfect for both relaxation and excitement, Punta Cana is a spring breaker's dream. There are heaps of budget-minded and more posh all-inclusive resorts that completely cater to vacationers looking for an easy and fun spring break package. Whether you're kicking back on the beach or visiting some of the many nightclubs, you're bound to meet like-minded students to share the fun.

There's the hidden oasis of Hoyo Azul cenote for a different kind of thrill, where you can take a refreshing dip in cool spring waters. This natural pool is surrounded by lush rainforest and a 246-foot tall limestone cliff. If you're daring, you can leap from the top into the water or use the natural steps for a more gentle approach.


06 Daytona Beach, Florida

North America, United States of America, Florida, Daytona Beach Eddie Brady / Getty Images

The northeast Florida city of Daytona Beach attracts millions of visitors each year in search of spring break and speed. While Miami has drawn away some of the usual crowd, Daytona Beach still has a reputation as the party place – especially among the NASCAR crowd. If 23 miles of beachfront doesn't tempt you for sun-worshipping and swimming, there's also regular kart and supercross racing. You can also rent a motorbike or bicycle and drive right on the beach to explore!

In place of swanky hotels and trendy nightclubs, this beach has affordable lodging and dining options. In March, the weather is fantastic, with typical daytime temperatures in the 70's.


07 Nassau, Bahamas

Landscape photo of Nassau, Bahamas

If you're looking for a little Las Vegas in your spring break, and the idea of winning next semester's tuition is appealing, Nassau could be the place for you. You can hit Nassau's casinos, sunbathe on the white sand beaches, swim in the crystal clear waters, then hit the resorts for dancing and drinks. Or, you can cruise the world-famous Bay Street with its many shops, restaurants, and bars.

The Bahamas has a history of rum smuggling, so plenty of bars have built reputations on their unique rum-based cocktail recipes. Most resorts offer all-inclusive packages with daily poolside contests and activities to the beats of non-stop music.


08 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Sanny day in Cabo San Lucas tourist destination. Arch rock at clear green sea in Cabo San Lucas Mexico

Famous for its 24/7 partying, Cabo San Lucas barely sleeps from morning to dawn. Located on the southern tip of Baja California, this spring break paradise offers visitors luscious golden sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and a reputation for uninhibited nightlife. Medano Beach is a popular swimmable beach near Cabo, where it's common for revelers to spend the day bar hopping between the many seaside bars.

You can also take a boat from here to witness breathtaking views of the famous Arch of Cabo that lies to the west of this party town. Also known as Land's End, this area is an excellent spot to view sea lions and the sunset.


09 Denver, Colorado

Perhaps you'd prefer mountain views and hot cocoa for spring break. If so, head to Denver, where you can hit the slopes on some of the best ski and snowboard mountains. March is the snowiest time of year in this area, and with a ski season that usually runs through April, you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy glorious views and sunny days. One of the most iconic Colorado travel experiences is riding the Amtrak Winter Park Express ski train.

If skiing or snowboarding isn't your thing, there’s lots more to do in Denver. Hike in the backcountry and take in the gorgeous, mountainous landscapes, or simply explore some of the good food in Denver's gourmet markets.


10 Overseas Highway, Florida

Maybe you're not into crowds but still need a change of scenery. A road trip could deliver the perfect spring break this year. If taking a few days to drive over the ocean surrounded by tropical blue water and clear skies sounds good, the Overseas Highway is the place for you. This trip will take you from Miami all the way south to Key West. In just over 3 hours, you'll hit Key Largo, where you can take a break to go scuba diving among amazing reefs and shipwrecks.

If you're into quieter beaches and good food, the next stop should be at Islamorada, a village made up of six of the Florida Keys.


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