20 Spring Break Destinations for Grown-Ups
If you’re looking for a spot to relax and unwind without running into college students, these places cover that perfect balance of serenity and adventure.
Santa Barbara, California
If you’re looking for a trip that’s full of sunshine and sophistication, travel to this beach-clad U.S. city that calls itself the American Riviera, thanks to its Mediterranean-like climate and coastline. Stay in the affordable and centrally located Hotel Milo, which tastefully blends contemporary beach-chic décor and classic Spanish Colonial architecture, as well as beachy accommodations, outdoor pool, and lush gardens. Wine lovers will love the close proximity to Santa Barbara’s finest vintners and a weekly wine tasting offered by the hotel called “Milo Uncorked.” Make sure to save time for a stroll down State Street, Santa Barbara’s most famous avenue, as well as a visit to Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which is most famous for its Spanish-Moorish architecture scattered throughout the city. Check out the 15 spring break destinations you haven’t thought of yet.
Lake Como, Italy
If increased odds of a George Clooney sighting isn’t enough to sweeten the deal, maybe the scenic views offered by this fabled resort town will. Springtime is the perfect season to visit Lake Como, as the day-time temperatures typically average between the mid-50s to mid-60s. All of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shops that may have been closed for the winter are now open and the bus and ferry system that provides excellent (not to mention panoramic) public transportation is at its most efficient. The enchanting picture-perfect villages that hug the hillsides along the lake are the biggest attraction and most boast hotels for a range of budgets. One of our faves is the recently renovated Hotel Villa Flori, which sits directly on the lake and is only a few minutes from town. It was built in the 19th century by Marchese Raimondi and served as the coveted residences of a series of noble Lombard families, before it was transformed into a hotel in 1958. Other don’t-misses include Trattoria Bracconieri restaurant, which seemingly hangs off a cliff and has jaw-dropping views, Bar delle Terme for crowd-watching, and a fancy Italian meal or aperitif and Piazzetta on Argegno’s quaint postage-stamp of a piazza for contemporary Italian fare.
Charleston, South Carolina
This charming and historic city blends the right amount of Southern sophistication and hospitality with trendy, new-age offerings. During the spring break period, many of the students are away, leaving the city more open and uninhabited for tourists to explore and the temperatures couldn’t be more perfect during April and May. It usually hovers between 60 to 70° F. Take a walk down The Battery, with a miles-long walking path lined with Southern-style mansions and views of Charleston Harbor. If you love shopping, you won’t want to miss King Street, filled with high-end boutiques and recognizable retail stores. Stay at 86 Cannon, a boutique hotel in the heart of the city that will give you all the charming, old-school vibes you’ll want to feel when visiting such a historic and romantic place. Book one of these 52 dreamy hotel rooms with the best views in the world.
Canary Islands, Spain
For a sunny and relaxed vibe akin to the Caribbean, without crowds of loud and intoxicated college students, consider Spain’s Canary Islands. With an average temperature of 75 degrees year round, this archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa is a top vacation destination for Europeans. It’s also oozing with rich history and culture. Stay at the Sheraton La Caleta situated in the south of Tenerife in Costa Adeje, right on the oceanfront. In addition to lazing on the sand, you can hang out in one of the hotel’s three outdoor swimming pools set among tropical gardens, play a 9-hole mini golf course, or relax in their exclusive spa, Eutonos, which also houses their fitness center, as well as a vitality pool, steam room, sauna, ice igloo, and several plunge pools. Off the hotel grounds, there’s plenty to explore as well, including hiking, parasailing, kayaking, whale and dolphin watching, and stargazing around Mount Teide, the largest volcano in Europe. You’ll also want to consider one of these 15 best places to go in Europe for spring break.
Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock
For perfectly pleasant temperatures that stay between the mid-70s to mid-80s, along with crystal clear skies that hardly ever see rain, head to Scottsdale, Arizona. The downtown area is vibrant both during the day and at night, with tons of restaurants, bars, and a rich Arts District filled with galleries. Nature lovers will enjoy the expansive McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which is one of the largest of its kind and boasts nearly 400 miles of scenic trails. You can hike, bike, jog and horseback ride along the countless pristine paths. For sporting fans, Spring Training is underway in February and March with Major League Baseball stars hitting the field. Stay at the newly opened Andaz Scottsdale, which offers bungalow-style guest rooms and 1950s-inspired artistic suites—it’s youthful and eclectic, with local art woven through the architecture and design.
If you’re looking to escape overcrowded beaches and late-night partying, but still experience a relaxing vacation full of breathtaking sights, head to this one-of-a-kind destination. The capital of Italy’s Veneto region, Venice is built on more than 100 tiny islands that are connected by picturesque pathways and beautiful bridges. To fully soak up the charm that is this historic city, stay at Baglioni Hotel Luna, which is just a stone’s throw from the Piazza San Marco, the city’s main square that’s celestially lit up at night. You’ll also be walking distance to many other key sights including Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Clocktower, Bridge of Sighs, and countless bars and restaurants at every turn. If an overseas trip isn’t in the budget, book one of these 12 spring break trips that cost less than staying home.
This luxurious beach community in Maui is home to one of the island’s best beaches, Keawakapu, championship golf courses, pampering spas, exotic cliffs and a plethora of scenic views. It is truly a tiny corner of paradise far off the beaten path of most college students looking for a rowdy time. Stay at the luxurious Fairmont Kea Lani, which sits right on the beautiful Kohala Coast and offers a laundry list of cultural, spa and dining experiences, not to mention three swimming pools, including one that’s adults-only, and two activity pools that are connected by a 140-foot water slide. When you’re not soaking up the sun by the beach or pool, venture to the South side for some shopping, horseback ride on the history Ulupalakua Ranch property, or look out for dolphins at La Perouse Bay. Also, don’t miss the sunset at Keawakapu Beach—it will be the cherry on top of your entire trip! Here’s where to find the best beaches in America to hit this summer.
For music lovers looking for a fun getaway, head down to Nashville, Tennessee, home to iconic music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry House and the Country Music Hall of Fame. As if the live music filling the streets wasn’t enough to garner a good time, Nashville’s recently passed to-go cup bill, which allows patrons and party goers to carry open containers of beer or liquor within one block of the city’s legendary lower Broadway area, certainly can. Stay at the brand-new Bobby Hotel which is just steps from the famous Printer’s Alley in downtown Nashville. Along with four dining spots, including a cafe, all-day restaurant, cocktail bar, and rooftop, you have easy access to the city’s world-class art museums, music scene, and discover local bars.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
This tiny province in northwestern Costa Rica is best known for its vast beaches and biodiverse parkland, including pristine mountain ranges, dry tropical forests, and plenty of national parks. Its capital city, Liberia, is the region’s economic and urban center full of shopping, restaurants, and scenic architecture. Stay at Villa Buena Onda, a two-story, eight-bedroom boutique hotel, a 10,000-square-foot former private villa on 2.5 acres of dry tropical rain forest. It’s an easy 25-minute ride from the main airport and features the very best offerings for those looking to relax and let go of the stresses of work and day-to-day life. It has a modern saltwater swimming pool that overlooks the ocean, a waterfall/grotto area, and stunning views of the Papagayo Bay. The hotel also offers Costa Rican cooking classes free of charge, where guests can join the chef as he takes them into the kitchen and teaches them to prepare traditional dishes. Don’t miss these other popular spots in Central America.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cancun may be the hot spot for college kids and spring break partying, but just 40 minutes south is Playa del Carmen, where you get the same weather, turquoise waters, and fantastic offerings. For a full and immersive experience that caters to the adult looking to relax, unwind, and enjoy gorgeous weather, stay at the resort community of Mayakoba, which is home to four celebrated hotels: Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and Andaz Mayakoba. Each of the hotels have a unique appeal for different types of travelers. Fairmont is perfect for families, Banyan Tree and Rosewood are both luxury properties catering to romantics and Andaz, the newest of the bunch, has more of a hip vibe for those looking for an edgy experience. Within the resort community, there’s plenty to do, including shopping or dining at El Pueblito, a village modeled after the historic plazas of Mexico, cooking classes at El Pueblito’s Cooking School, golfing at Jim Mclean Golf School on Mayakoba’s golf course, and relaxing beachside or at one of the four spas on-site.