PHOTO: The New York skyline on a beautiful day, perfect for a family spring break jaunt. (Photo via Flickr/Peter McConnochie)
Spring break is a treasured time for family getaways. The kids are out of school, and families can choose from a wealth of beach, mountain and desert locations. Or, they can explore new experiences with entertainment, historical or big city vacation venues.
With good planning, spring break with the family can add up to one incredible trip with memories to last a lifetime. Here are some amazing places to consider when planning spring break travel.
Aulani-A Disney Resort
Speaking from experience after our four-generational family spring break vacation here, Aulani is a hard experience to beat. The resort is located on Oahu’s western shore, along the beautiful Ko’ Olina coastline about 17 miles from Honolulu. Its central location makes it easy to plan other island adventures, though a family can easily find enough to do without ever leaving this magnificent resort.
Disney Imagineers worked hand-in-hand with local Hawaiian artisans to create the authentic Hawaiian feel of the Aulani resort whose name means “messenger of the chief.” Inspired by the natural wonders and rich traditions of Hawaii, Aulani proudly celebrates the beauty, history and welcoming nature of its Hawaiian people.
Waterslides, three onsite pools, a lazy river, on-site snorkeling and a gorgeous white sand beach on a private lagoon for swimming, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding are just some of the activities for family members to enjoy. With all there is to do here, it’s a great way for families to unwind, relax and reconnect.
Practically perfect weather and near-constant sunshine make this Pacific destination a favorite of families from all over the world looking for a vacation paradise.
With a world-class zoo and safari park, SeaWorld, Legoland, an amusement park, miles of beaches to relax or catch a wave, boardwalks, museums in the historic Prado, families will never run out of things to do before their spring break vacation is up- which is why so many return to finish what they left behind.
It’s no wonder San Diego’s known as America’s Finest City. It’s a reputation that’s well earned.
A deep harbor is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum open to the public. Just a short jaunt away, The Maritime Museum of San Diego consists of several historic sailing vessels docked along the Embarcadero including old tall ships, passenger ferries and even a Russian submarine.
With its theme as an “ancient city rising from the sea” Atlantis is probably the most popular resort destinations in the Bahamas, and families love it for a variety of reasons. If your gang is into water, this is definitely the place to be.
The resort, consisting of six hotels located on Paradise Island, Nassau features the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, a water park, 11 unique pools, river rides, fresh and salt water lagoons, lazy river, powdery white-sand beaches and clear turquoise ocean waters. It’s hard to beat that.
Adults will appreciate the opportunity to play in the largest casino in the Caribbean, the 18-hole seaside golf course and an impressive collection of luxury boutiques spas and shops and restaurants from first-class chefs.
New York City
It may sound surprising to some, but the Big Apple (New York City) is actually a fantastic choice for a spring break vacation. With its world-renowned museums like the incredible American Museum of Natural History, impressive skyscrapers with breathtaking views, top-notch entertainment, famous restaurants, parks, shopping, communities, cultures, and sports, there’s no shortage of things to do here.
History can be a whole lot of fun in New York, and there’s plenty of it to go around with iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. Central Park offers respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, and a Central Park carriage ride is a must-do.
Getting around the city is pretty easy with the subway system. Another option is always hailing an NYC cabbie!
Hilton Head Island
For those seeking a bit of a quieter spring break getaway, Hilton Head—located at the southernmost tip of South Carolina—is a great option. Its central location makes it easy for day trips to historic Savannah or Charleston.
The 12-mile-long, 5-mile-wide island is one of the most popular resort areas on the eastern seaboard. This veritable playground features 14 miles of sandy beaches, over 20 world-class golf courses and more than 100 miles of bike paths. It’s literally a water and sports-lovers paradise.
To us, the island’s never felt crowded. Rather, it presents as a lazy, laid-back, relaxing paradise where cares float away with the ocean waves. Boardwalks provide the opportunity to walk out for better views of the ocean and the picturesque salt-water marshes. The red and white striped Harbourtown Lighthouse is the island's signature landmark surrounded by colorful island shops and restaurants. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve offers a close-up look at the tidal marshes without having to get mucky.
Above all, Hilton Head features some of the best restaurants serving sumptuous Lowcountry cuisine including she-crab soup and shrimp and grits.