As March fast approaches, many of us are presented with a golden opportunity that only comes but once a year, and even then, only until we aren’t saddled with jobs and other adult responsibilities. This hiatus from life that started as a college swim trip to Ft. Lauderdale in the 1930s has since evolved into a celebrated ritual that now occurs at learning institutions throughout the country. For many of us, spring break may also mean helping our college-aged offspring head off with classmates on a sun-soaked adventure to a place like Cabo or Miami. But for those seeking alternative destinations that deliver in terms of value, gorgeous weather and the potential for amazing experiences, we’re highlighting a few excellent options you may want to explore.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona: Located just ten miles from the California border along more than 45 miles of lake shoreline and river waterways, this hotspot features white sand beaches, clear warm waters, clean air and a gorgeous mountainous terrain. Set against a backdrop of the Chemehuevi Mountains, Lake Havasu also boasts great restaurants, casinos, world-class concerts, plenty of shopping and an exhilarating party atmosphere including raucous rides on the multitude of party boats floating down the Colorado River. Other major attractions include London Bridge, Havasu 95 Speedway and plenty of festivals, regattas and other signature events. Check out Go Lake Havasu to find more reasons Lake Havasu is considered to be one of the best spring break destinations for students on the West Coast.
Seville, Spain: The enchanting city of Andalusia is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Spain any time of the year, but spring is an exceptionally great time go. From its thousands of fragrantly perfumed bitter orange trees in full bloom, to its thriving nightlife and wealth of springtime festivities, this time of year has an allure that is unique to the historic city. Home to architectural marvels from the Grand Cathedral to the Alcazar, Seville is also celebrated for its resplendent flamenco shows and many artistic treasures. For those who don’t find the practice of bullfighting repugnant, you can also experience this “art” in the medieval city. Learn more about what Seville has to offer visitors here.
Cozumel: For an authentic tropical island experience with plenty of opportunities for adventure or relaxation, this destination located off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea is a terrific choice. Once there, enjoy the various water activities for which Cozumel is known, including kite surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling amid the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Those looking to kick back away from the crowds can visit any of the balnearios (luxurious seaside resort towns), or soak in some ancient history exploring the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio. For the party set, check out establishments like 1.5 Tequila Bar and Lounge and Carlos ‘n Charlie’s Beach Club on Playa San Francisco, and maybe even consider the Cozumel Bar Hop.
Las Vegas: About a nine and half hour drive from San Francisco and one of the least expensive destinations to fly to, Las Vegas enables spring breakers the opportunity to indulge at a variety of price points. Aptly named "The Entertainment Capital of the World," there is almost nothing you can’t legally find in Las Vegas. In addition to outrageous nightlife opportunities and world-class entertainment and restaurants, it offers countless attractions and thrills, including some of the country’s most celebrated pool parties. If you’ve got the time to break away to immerse yourself in some natural beauty, Red Rock Canyon is an intensely beautiful region to explore, just about thirty minutes away.
Punta Cana: On the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic lies the Caribbean resort town of Punta Cana. As U.S. News & World Report tells it, the sugary sand is so soft and golden that it might seem to be synthetic. The clear blue waters are ideal for a wide range of activities including excursions from snorkeling and swimming with dolphins to catamaran cruises and party boats. To explore the countryside, consider a safari tour or horse-back riding along the stunning landscape. Providing thousands of hotel rooms at affordable rates, Punta Cana tends to draw vacationers who prefer all-inclusive resorts. But this is not to say that there aren’t plenty of places to visit nearby. The capital city of Santo Domingo, Los Haitises National Park and Samaná Bay are only a couple of hours away, while the tropical islands of Saona and Catalina are just a short distance from the mainland.
As with all forms of travel, the safety and well-being of your son or daughter is likely a top consideration when it comes to spring break. Be sure to check with the State Department’s website before booking travel to a foreign country, and sign up for their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which enables the State Department to contact you in case of a family emergency, or to notify you of a crises near your travel destination. Find more spring break safe travel tips here.