Finding the best spring break destinations for families isn't hard when you set your sights on these scenic ideas. Not only do they feature an array of nature-based excursions, but they also have family-friendly and affordable activities to try! Find something for all ages on your spring getaway with these incredible vacation spots.
The Ozarks is a gorgeous place to visit - and for those looking for some fantastic family fun, Branson is your best bet! Your first stop: Silver Dollar City. This 1880s-themed amusement park has roller coasters, water rides, shops, live shows, and even caves to explore.
Next, enjoy a showboat ride on the Branson Belle, a live dinner show at Dolly Parton's Stampede, and stop by The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure. Families can also go shopping at the Branson Landing and go hiking and zip lining through the Mark Twain National Forest.
For accommodations, Big Cedar Lodge guarantees a great stay and easy access to Table Rock Lake! While there, check out the amazing restaurants at the Top of the Rock. The views are absolutely breathtaking and the attractions make for a unique experience for the whole family. Parents can even get in a round of golf or can sneak away to the Cedar Creek Spa for some much-needed pampering.
San Antonio, Texas
Home to The Alamo and famous for its Spanish heritage, San Antonio is a spectacular city to visit during spring break! Families can enjoy classic attractions like Sea World, the San Antonio Zoo, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and The DoSeum. They can also choose the path less traveled and go underground at Natural Bridge Caverns.
Of course, the trip wouldn't be complete without a day float down the Comal River or a stroll down the iconic 15-mile Riverwalk. This is a great spot to enjoy the views, peruse an array of shops, and indulge in the fantastic fare that the Alamo city has to offer.
For some solid shopping, venture a bit farther out to the San Marcos Premium outlets and, on the way back, stop at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar for wonderful food and riverside sights.
The cool crisp air in this ocean-side city makes for a refreshing choice for families looking to relax and get away this spring break. Stay on Cannary Row for walking access to fantastic restaurants, shops, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Ten minutes down the road you can find the beautiful Carmel Beach and more shopping and restaurants.
While most activities require minimal travel, you'll want to have access to a car for this vacation. This will allow you to take in the iconic 17-Mile Drive and all the attractions that you can stop at along the way! You can also venture further south to explore the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This is a great spot for hiking, kayaking, and swimming.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Known for its breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains, String Town is the perfect mix of a rustic escape into nature and a metropolitan adventure! Best of all, you get the benefits of Gatlinburg just 20 minutes down the road, with fewer tourists and a more affordable stay. Families can enjoy relaxing hikes in the woods, go zip lining through the tree canopy, and even go white water rafting with the older kids.
You can also take a chairlift ride up the mountainside to get a beautiful bird's-eye view or you can get a more panoramic picture in a helicopter! Then, come back to town to visit Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, and visit The Island in Pigeon Forge for some carnival style fun.
Finally, make a point eat at the iconic Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. Seafood Restaurant. The experience is one of a kind, and the food is top-notch.
Ruidoso, New Mexico
The Land of Enchantment is another nature-filled family spring break idea that has a little something for everyone. On top of hiking, zip lining, and horseback riding, families can also enjoy snow tubing at Ruidoso's Winter Park. For the older kids, also consider heading thirty minutes west of Ruidoso to Ski Apache to partake in skiing and snowboarding.
An hour south of Ruidoso is Alamogordo, home to the White Sands National Park. This is an amazing sight, where visitors of all ages can go hiking, cycling, and even sledding down these snow-white gypsum dunes. While in the area, make sure to stop at PistachioLand and get a picture with the world's largest pistachio! You might go nuts for the seeds too.
Key West, Florida
Tourists always mob Destin beaches over spring break. Key West is more remote, making it a more enticing choice. The key to getting the most out of this trip is to fly your family into Miami early in the day. Then, take the Overseas Highway for one of the most scenic oceanside drives of your life!
Once you get to Key West, visit the Southernmost Point of the Continental United States, tour the Truman Little White House, and then enjoy the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
The Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is also great spot to explore for a day. You can relax on the beach and tour Fort Taylor. They also rent out snorkels, fins, and masks so that tourists can search the seaside for animal life. For food and shopping, take a stroll down the famous Duval Street.
Finally, designate a day to enjoy the Bahia Honda State Park Beaches on Big Pine Key! This gorgeous locale is less than 45 minutes away from Key West, and it's well worth the drive.
San Francisco, California
For the families with slightly older kids, the Golden City is a fabulous spot to visit! If you rent an Airbnb, your stay can be quite affordable. Explore Alcatraz Island, take a walk through Chinatown, visit the breathtaking Japanese Tea Gardens, and get the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience.
You can also take a stroll down the Crookedest Street in the World, enjoy the views at the top of Coit Tower, and spend an afternoon at Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 indulging in shopping and the freshly caught fare. Of course, a trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a picture at the Golden Gate Bridge and a Trolley ride through town, so include those stops on your list.
If you are looking for another fantastic outdoor destination, the Aloha State is a show-stopping spot. Soak in some sun, savor the sand, and enjoy the rich Hawaiian culture. Visit the Dole Pineapple farm, enjoy free hula performances and lei-making classes at the Royal Hawaiian Center, visit Sea Life Park, and explore the Honolulu Zoo.
You can also spend a day at either Lanikai and Waikiki Beach, hike up the Diamond Head Summit Trail, visit Pearl Harbor, and sign up to snorkel for a day.
Did we mention that this island has a handful of man-made lagoons that are tailored toward the littlest members of your family? If you're looking for fun in the sun, but are worried about the waves, the Ko Olina lagoons are the perfect place to park your beach chairs.
The City of Seven Wonders is another spring break vacation idea that's worth adding to your bucket list. The Grand Canyon is a massive valley that's not only larger than the state of Rhode Island, but it's also over 50 million years old.
It sits an hour and a half north of Flagstaff, so make sure that you have a car for the day. There are a myriad of awe-inspiring trails to hike, but parents should know that these aren't suited for preschool and toddler-aged kids.
However, you can ride the rails and see the Canyon in a very unique way while on the Grand Canyon Railway. Once back in Flagstaff, families of all ages can explore underground lava tubes, explore The Adventure Course at Fort Tuthill, and indulge in astronomy interests at the Lowell Observatory. The Arizona Snowbowl is another fun spot to partake in winter sports.
The crystal blue waters of the Islands of Song are hard to beat. Families will love the accommodations at the Atlantis Resort. They have private beaches, pools, a water park, casinos, golf, animal experiences, and even concerts! If you're brave enough, you can also ride on their famous Leap of Faith water ride. The 60-foot drop that takes you through a shark-filled lagoon is guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
For those who want to venture a little further away from this oasis, consider stopping by Big Major Cay and playing with some piggies on Pig Beach. This is a bucket list item that many people never get the chance to check off.
You can also take your parr-ty to the Pirates of Nassau pirate museum and ship replica, as well as the Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Center. Finally, for those families looking to soak in some historic sights, visit the Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle.
What to Look for in Spring Break Destinations
Many families prefer to visit destinations in the southern states this time of year because of their warmer temperatures. When trying to find the best spot, look for locations that have activities for everyone in your family and accommodations near the main attractions you hope to enjoy. All 10 of these family spring break ideas are ideal for all ages and have fun pursuits to keep everyone entertained!