Grab Your Sunscreen and Shades! Here Are 30 Spring-Break-Worthy Destinations For 2019
Spring break is a special time of year for so many reasons. It's a chance to escape the daily grind and enjoy some R&R, yes, but it's also a celebration of the changing of seasons. You survived the year's frostiest months, and the time has come to dust off your favorite sun dress and take a vacation. No matter the type of excursion you're seeking — from budget friendly to super luxe, off the beaten path to Instagram hot spots, family friendly to party nation — we've got your back! Keep reading for the best Spring break destinations of 2019.
Data from CheapOair shows a huge spike in European destinations among travelers ages 18-25, and Croatia is among the top of the list. And for good reason! Small but bursting with geological diversity, there is no shortage of breathtaking sights. Start in the cultural hub of Zagreb, then make your way to Plitvice Lakes National Park (where caves, waterfalls, and sapphire lakes await), then head to Dubrovnik, where you can embark on a three-hour Game of Thrones walking tour.
Texas Hill Country
From quirky towns to boutique farms and Live Oak groves to babbling creeks, Texas's famed Hill Country is unlike anywhere else. The rollings hills of the rugged region are sprinkled with nature preserves, regional parks, stellar sunset views, and more than 50 wineries. For accommodation, there are a ton of rustic B&Bs in the heart of Hill Country, or, if you want to splurge on luxury and pampering, check out the out-of-this-world spa at La Cantera Resort & Spa.
Great Exuma, Bahamas
This shark-shaped island in the Bahamas offers crystal clear water as blue as the sky above you – and with fewer crowds than the main islands and Nassau. Its long stretches of sugary beach are perfect for snorkeling, sailing, or merely unwinding in the sand.
Stay on a slice of ivory beach at the Grand Isle Resort & Spa, where you can swim with Exuma's famous pigs or go "stargazing" to scope some of Hollywood's most famous sights. Any Jack Sparrow fans in the house? Check out the location where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed!
Harbour Island, Bahamas
It's nothing but laid-back vibes on this secluded, car-free island in the Bahamas. Just about everything is bright and pastel-colored, from the white and pink sand to the quaint little cottages to the seemingly endless fields of pineapple. Indulge in unpretentious glamour in the Coral Sands resort — I recommend the bright and sunny bungalows!
Mexico's beaches tend to nab all the Spring break glory, but if you're itching to experience something new this year, skip the coast and head to its capital city instead. "The City of Palaces" is a stunning juxtaposition of historic and modern, and it's rich in culture — colonial architecture, whimsical neighborhoods, cheap and delicious food, museums, and more.
Famed for its artisanal food culture, microbreweries and coffeehouses, affinity for the outdoors, and supergreen lifestyle, Oregon's largest city has all the ingredients for an exceptional week in the Pacific Northwest. Dom Scarlett, travel expert at TravelPirates, told POPSUGAR,
"If beach vibes aren't, in fact, your vibe, Portland, Oregon is a top spot for those looking for a top-notch foodie city with a wide assortment of cultural excursions. From the famous Voodoo Donuts to the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park, the City of Roses will keep you fed and busy."
Caye Caulker, Belize
Crystal-clear blue waters? Check. A forest reserve brimming with wildlife? Check. A bountiful marine reserve perfect for prime diving and snorkeling? Caye Caulker has that, too.
"Belize is on the rise as a top travel destination — Spring break or otherwise," Scarlett told us. "While a trip to one of Belize's small islands, Caye Caulker, will give you warm weather and gorgeous, turquoise beaches, it's also a nature-lover's paradise."
The largest city in Canada's Quebec region, Montreal, is a dazzling metropolis along the Saint Lawrence River. Its boroughs all have their distinct personalities, from baroque French colonial to mystical and Gothic.
"Montreal is the perfect spot for a group getaway, as the city is one of our top picks for those seeking a city with excellent nightlife options," Scarlett said. "If you visit during the beginning of March, you may catch the city's Montreal en Lumiere festival, where foodie culture (poutine or smoked meat sandwiches, anyone?) and illuminated art combine to bring some light and festivities downtown."
Scarlett also recommended Nashville, aka "The Music City," for food, music, and all-around fun-loving Spring breakers: "The city is home to many famous honky-tonk bars, incredible foodie options like hot chicken and sweet, molasses-y ribs, and the wold-famous Grand Ole Opry."
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A total hotbed for creative and immersive arts, this historic city is also famed for its world-class New Mexican fare (blending Pueblan and Mexican cuisines) and proximity to awesome skiing. And if you haven't yet experienced the Meow Wolf art collective, that's reason enough to make the trip!
"The interactive, immersive — and collaborative — art experience opened in New Mexico two years ago, but it still draws countless art-lovers to experience its non-linear storytelling," added Scarlett.
Yosemite National Park, California
Gabe Saglie, Travelzoo's Senior Editor, is loving Yosemite National Park as an off-the-beaten path hotspot for Spring 2019. He told POPSUGAR, "Get back to nature with plenty of room to spread out in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. You'll be able to see wonders of the world like the famed giant, ancient sequoia trees, Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall, and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. More than just the lush outdoors, Yosemite Village is comprised of shops, restaurants, museums, and more."
Tourism in Alaska usually doesn't pick up until after May, but there are so many reasons to experience the state's stunning natural wonders in the Spring.
"Most people might not initially think of Alaska as a Spring break option; however, this is actually the time when you should go," Saglie told us. "Alaska's Northern Lights season is between mid-September and late April, peaking in March. There's also plenty of other activities such as dog sledding, climbing Manatuska Glacier, and more."
Just be sure to pack your heavy coat, as average temperatures in March still fall between the 20-30 degree mark!
Cabo San Lucas
If you want to be in the center of all the world-famous Spring break action, and you've never lounged on the sands of Lover's Beach, then the Southern tip of Baja California will serve you a week to remember. A popular spot for college Spring breakers, Cabo is as magnificent and scenic as it is rowdy and fun. Accommodation options are seemingly endless, from high-end resorts to hostels starting at only $12 per night.
"The Garden Isle" lives up to its nickname; a dense tropical rain forest covers a huge portion of Hawaii's oldest island. You'll be treated to views of dramatic, serrated cliffs; sparkling emerald valleys; and miles and miles of untamed coastline. Plus, the crowds tend to be thinner than its more popular island neighbors, so if you're searching for serenity and seclusion, rejoice!
If your Spring break happens to fall over March 17 this year (or if you can score the time off work), then where else will you experience the most epic St. Patrick's Day celebration of all time? The festival aside, Ireland's capital is a fantastic place to trade everyday life for revelry – think delicious comfort food, super friendly locals, and nightly live music in nearly every bar in town. Don't forget to wear green!
Tulum boasts the same sparkling beaches that Mexico is famous for but without the masses of Spring breakers taking up all the best beach property. Called the country's next zen location, Tulum is the perfect place to drink in the sun, take oceanfront yoga, and get a taste of authentic Mexican fare. Be sure to have the fish tacos at Taqueria La Eufemia!
Consistently one of the country's top Spring break destinations, Miami has earned this title with its Art Deco architecture, laid-back vibes, and world-famous nightlife scene that keeps rocking until the sun rises.
Not stoked with the idea of spending your entire vacation fund on accommodations? There are a host of super trendy and affordable options on Hostelworld, many with vintage South Beach vibes!
If you're craving adventure, how does a hike through the rain forest to find an 80-foot waterfall sound? Or, if your idea of Spring break is sunbathing on a beach and soaking up every ounce of vitamin D you can get, this Caribbean gem has that, too. Puerto Rico offers all the pleasures needed for an unforgettable week, and usually for much cheaper prices than many of its Caribbean neighbors.
Come the first week of April, college basketball fans will flood to Minneapolis to catch the Final Four. But even if you aren't into hoops, the "Mini Apple" is brimming with Springtime mirth. Leave extra room in your luggage for a shopping spree at Mall of America (and remember, no sales tax on clothing!) and be sure to check out Candytopia. For all the Willy Wonka fans out there, Candytopia is opening at MOA in March, and features 17,000 square feet of Wonka-style edible installations. Yes. Yes, please.
Crested Butte, Colorado
With an elevation approaching 9,000 feet, this easy-going mountain town in the Colorado Rockies dependably has powder that lasts through Spring. The small town heats up at night when historic salons, wine bars, and breweries come to life.
Taos, New Mexico
While this historic town in New Mexico is most famous for its ski valley, Taos still offers plenty of springtime fun once the snow begins to melt. Phil Santoro, cofounder of VacationRenter, told POPSUGAR, "What most people don't realize is that Taos has it all this time of year, and when it comes to traveling with kids, this city is as good as it gets. You can go rafting on the Rio Grande, visit some of the finest hot springs on the planet, and even go on llama adventures – that's right, llama adventures."
This relaxing Tennessee mountain town serves as the doorway to the Great Smoky Mountains, where adrenaline-pumping adventure, family-friendly attractions, and stunning natural wonders await. You can stay in town or on the outskirts in a cozy mountain cabin (bonus if you can score one with a hot tub!).
"Why head to the beach when you can head to the mountains?" added Santoro. "Gatlinburg, and the greater access to the Smoky Mountains, are exciting and affordable places to visit in early Spring. As Winter comes to an end, most of the attractions and activities are back open for business as the Winter chill thaws into Spring warmth."
A sparkling metropolis enveloped by water and mountains, Vancouver almost feels like a rain forest within a bustling city. Explore public markets, incredible green spaces (there are more than 230 to choose from), and its world-famous art galleries.
Samantha Brown, host of PBS' Places to Love, told POPSUGAR, "Though you may think of this city as quite cold, most Spring days reach the 50s and 60s, certainly warm enough to kayak in English Bay, take a leisurely stroll through Stanley Park, head up for a hike in the mountains, or dine on some of the best Asian food in North America. As a bonus, there's a lull in tourism before prime summertime hits, so most hotels offer great rates."
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy's world-famous Mardi Gras celebration culminates on March 5 this year (Fat Tuesday), but there is a glassful of other reasons to head down south after the parades subside (like the best Cajun food you've ever tasted and walking the stunning French Quarter). Plus, if a party is what you're after, Bourbon Street doesn't stop just because Mardi Gras ends.
Also, as Brown pointed out, NOLA isn't an adult-only holiday; it's a great place to bring the kids along, too. "There's great food (who doesn't like a beignet?), enchanting streets, and so much weird and wild history that both kids and adults will revel in."
Just two hours south of Miami lies the Dominican Republic, a wildly diverse Caribbean nation that offers beautiful beaches, jaw-dropping sunsets, and scores of all-inclusive, Spring-break-ready resorts. Once you leave the coast, you'll be treated to dramatic vistas of lush rolling hills, highlands, and dense, wildlife-packed rain forests.
Holy biodiversity! If adventure is the number one item on your Spring break agenda, Costa Rica has the terrain (and activities) to make your dream a reality. Don't let its small size fool you; this Central American country is bursting with natural wonder, from beaches to volcanoes to its superdense jungles. Plus, get ready for adorable spider monkey sightings.
Short Spring getaways to Spain are becoming increasingly popular, as more budget airlines are offering cheap international fares and the country itself is one of the more affordable in Western Europe. There's so much to see, and luckily most of the country is easily accessible via train, so you can hit Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Granada, Valencia, and others for not a lot of cash. If you're there between March 15-19, the Las Fallas (the fires) festival turns Valencia into a land of bonfires, fireworks, and endless fiesta!
March and April are two of the best months of the year to visit this sprawling fresh-water lake that straddles the border between California and Nevada. Spend your days kayaking in Emerald Bay, hiking trails through the mountains, or (if conditions permit) go shredding the nearby slopes. Accommodations range from rustic to luxe; check out the cabins on Airbnb or splurge on a spa vacation at The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa.
Big Sur, California
The halfway point between Southern and Northern California, Big Sur will make you feel like you're a world away. This rugged stretch of coastline is dotted with steep seaside cliffs jetting out into the Pacific, 80-foot waterfalls, and miles of majestic California Redwoods. Sparsely populated, it's a stellar place to camp, hike, and reconnect with Mother Nature.
Road Trip in the USA
Road trips are becoming more and more popular with millennials and serve as a stellar alternative to a one-destination Spring break. This way, you can see more places in a shorter amount of time, and you have the freedom to stop and stay when you want, where you want. There are a TON of route options, from cruising the PCH to getting your kicks on Route 66. Get road trip inspiration here!