Spring Break Destinations: Off the Beaten Path
Spring Break is quickly approaching and families, couples, and solo travelers are gearing up for the much awaited chance to get away. We all know the well known Spring Break destinations, but this year I encourage you to think outside the box and visit a lesser known, but just as exciting destination.
Why Should You Skip the Well Known Spring Break Destinations in favor of these lesser though of destinations?
Spring Break is a great reason to take a trip (not that a reason is ever needed!). There are some very well known, popular destinations for a spring break vacation (such as Cancun, Punta Cana, Jamaica, and so on…), but what about the lesser known, but equally as relaxing, adventurous, exciting (whatever you may be searching for) destinations? Any why should you consider them?
If you choose a destination that is lesser known it is a given that there will be fewer crowds. You won’t be dealing with the craziness of the crowds that flock into places such as Cancun over spring break. There will be fewer crowds, giving you more time to relax and explore your destination. Crowds are not for everyone, and this is a great way to avoid them!
The popular spring break destinations are likely to have higher prices, from lodging, air travel, attraction prices, all the way down to the cost of beverages and souvenirs. These destinations are popular and fill up with people-the merchants take advantage of that. Visit a lesser known destination and you are likely to get better prices all around.
Experience Life As A Local
At these lesser known destinations you are bound to be surrounded by more locals than tourists, giving you a chance to really experience the culture of the destination and experience what it’s like to live at that destination. You will be able (if you choose to) interact more with the locals and learn the best local restaurants, shops, and locations around the area.
With less crowds there will be less lines and less craziness. You won’t have to fight your way through hundreds of people to see an attraction, therefore making it possible for you to either spend more time just relaxing or more time to experience more of the destination and visit more attractions.
I don’t know about you, but for me large crowds are stressful! They are not a reason for me not to visit a destination, but if I can avoid them you better believe that I will! With less crowds there will be less stress, making the trip more enjoyable for you and your travel party.
So, What Destinations Should You Consider for Spring Break?
Skip the near by, but overcrowded country of Costa Rica and explore Belize for some exploration of nature reserves, snorkeling, and diving. Belize is a small country located in Central America that has gorgeous shorelines on the east coast, jungles to the west, and the world’s second largest barrier reef.
In Belize you can go exploring at Actun Tunichil Muknal, visit Mayan ruins at Caracol, enjoy one of Belize’s cayes, go diving along the Belize Barrier Reef, visit the Belize Zoo, go snorekeling with Manatees, enjoy a helicopter ride over the Blue Hole, and experience some of Belize’s unique cuisine.
Todos Santos is a quaint little town along the Pacific Coast that is a great alternative to Mexican destinations such as Cancun and Tulum. It is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination, however it still presents with a relaxing, charming atmosphere. If you are looking for a ocean side town where you can relax and maybe hit the waves Todos Santos may be the spot for you!
In Todos Santos you can hit the beach and soak up the sun, test your skills with some surfing, take a hike along the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, take a day trip to Los Cabos, and spend some time walking cobblestone streets for shopping, dining, and visiting local art galleries.
Carlsbad, California is a costal city outside of San Diego, California that is well known for its Tamarack Surf Beach and many beach side activities with less crowds than the well known cities.
In Carlsbad you can enjoy some surfing (obviously!), visit the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, get some thrills at Legoland California, take in the vivid colors of The Flower Fields, spend a day at the South Carlsbad State Beach for some swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, or simply lying on the beach, visit Carlsbad Village for some shopping and dining options, or go on a food tour.
Hilo, Hawaii, is one of the most locally populated areas in Hawaii. It is located on the Northeastern side of the Big Island and is known for its combination of natural beauty and a modern vibrant town. Hilo is home to many gorgeous waterfalls, rock pools, and rainforests.
In Hilo you can visit Wailuku River State Park and view Waianuenue (or Rainbow Falls), explore the Boiling Pots (basalt-lava rock pools), visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, spend some time relaxing on Coconut Island, take a drive along the Hamakua coast, go on an ATV tour, take a helicopter tour, or explore some hot springs.
Nicaragua is a country located in Central America that is known for freshwater lakes, volcanoes, beaches, and natural landmarks. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, history, architecture, or just a few days to relax you can find it in Nicaragua.
Visit the Somato Canyon for some adventure, boating, and tubing down the canyon’s river, visit the Masaya Volcano, an active volcano, hike Cerro Mogoton, Nicaragua’s highest peak, take a ferry to Isla Ometepe for some horsebike riding, hiking, swimming, bird watching, kayaking, or mountain biking, visit the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, hit the beach for a day, or visit the 365 mini-islands of Las Isletas.
Chattanooga is a city in southeaster Tennessee along the Tennessee River and Appalachian Mountains. Chattanooga has lots to offer for members of your travel party, including a waterfront, mountains, shopping, dining, history, and arts.
In Chattanooga you can take a boat tour of the Tennessee River, see the darker side of Chattanooga on a ghost tour, visit the Chattanooga Zoo, visit Audubon Acres for some hiking, take a stroll through the Art District, hike Lookout Mountain for stunning views of the city and surrounding areas, or go underground and enjoy the Raccoon Mountain caverns.
Riviera Maya, Mexico is located just South of the well-known destination Cancun, Mexico. It spans over approximately 100 miles of coastline. Riviera Maya is full of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, ancient Mayan city remains, mangroves, lagoons, and nature reserves.
Riviera Maya offers many great activities/adventures, including pristine beaches, cenotes, underground rivers, ziplines, ATV’s, and ancient Mayan ruins to explore. If you are looking for some nightlife, shopping, and dining options be sure to visit Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is the largest town in the Riviera Maya, so it is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for some civilization. You can also take a short ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel to enjoy some scuba diving, snorkeling, and Chankanaab Lagoon.
Stavanger, Norway is a city located in southwestern Norway that has rich roots as a oil capitol. Today it is one of the largest cities in Norway, but maintains its history through preserving many historic buildings and cobblestone streets.
In Stavanger you can wander the cobblestone streets of Old Stavanger and take in the sights of over 200 historic wooden buildings, visit Skagenkaien for some shopping, great food, and nightlife, visit one of Stavanger’s many museums, spend the day relaxing at Sola Beach (or if you’re a little bit more adventurous opt to go windsurfing), visit Jæren to view some natural coastline and go hiking at the recreation center, go shopping along the colorful Øvre Holmegate street, or take a day trip to Lysefjord and take in stunning views of rock walls, waterfalls, and small islands.
Piran, Slovenia is a costal city on the Adriatic Sea that is comparable in architecture to Venice, but without the tourist crowds. It has much to offer, including a charming town square, colorful architecture, and beach access.
In Piran you can take a dip in the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, walk along the city walls and get impressive views of the city and sea, visit Tartini Square for some history and architecture, grab some fresh sea food, visit the Piran Cathedral, or sit back and enjoy the sunset.
Portofino is a small fishing village along the Italian Riveria coastline that is home to colorful homes and boutiques, fresh seafood restaurants, and a picturesque harbor.
In Portofino you can visit Piazza Martiri Dell’Olivetta, the main square, for some shopping and dining, visit the Sun Church of St. George and Castello Brown for some staggering views, take a private boat tour, go for a hike through the Portofino Regional Park, and enjoy some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants.