March 03, 2021

Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Though spring break is commonly associated with beach-bound college coeds, there are plenty of getaways that provide a kid-oriented atmosphere, from theme parks to jaw-dropping natural wonders. To determine which are ideal for travelers with children in tow, U.S. News considered entertainment options and family-friendly dining and lodging choices – along with user votes – to create this ranking of the best family spring break destinations. Vote below for your favorite spots to keep them on next year's list. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and U.S. Department of State before traveling.)

San Diego
#1 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Beaches, museums and a SeaWorld theme park are just some of the kid-friendly offerings found in San Diego. March and April fall within the city's gray whale watching season, plus both months feature superb weather (think: mostly sunny skies and daytime temperatures in the 60s) made for family picnics in Balboa Park. But no visit to America's Finest City would be complete without checking out the world-famous San Diego Zoo and its affiliated safari park in nearby Escondido.

#2 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

With its millennia-old sequoia trees, formidable waterfalls and unique rock formations, California's Yosemite National Park wows visitors of all ages, especially during the less-crowded spring months. For hikes with your little ones, consider trekking the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. Or, drive up to the Glacier Point lookout for jaw-dropping views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. When your legs need a rest, head to the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center for Yosemite-themed crafts and activities.

Grand Canyon
#3 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

A plethora of adventure activities and breathtaking landscapes make this Arizona national park an easy sell to families. For an extra memorable vacation, sign up for a rafting excursion on the Colorado River, spend an hour or two hiking the popular Rim Trail or traverse the Bright Angel Trail by mule. Also save time for one or more of the park's educational Junior Ranger programs, which cover topics like archaeology, space and caves.

Honolulu - Oahu
#4 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Honolulu's beaches, cultural attractions and historical sights regularly woo families. If you're craving a local experience, learn to surf Waikiki Beach's calm waves or dine on regional fare during a traditional Hawaiian luau. And if you need a break from the sand, head to the Honolulu Zoo or check out can't-miss memorials like Pearl Harbor and the Battleship Missouri. Since a visit in late spring means some of the sun-seeking winter crowds have dispersed, you'll likely find more affordable rates at many of Honolulu's hotels.

Orlando-Walt Disney World
#5 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Where else can you and the kiddos ride the Hogwarts Express, hug Mickey and spot alligators within one vacation? Walt Disney World Resort is a solid spring break choice for families thanks to its warm and dry weather, and its multitude of unique events, such as Animal Kingdom's annual Earth Day celebration. Plus, Orlando, Florida's hotels boast tons of suite-style accommodations, including rooms with fun "Jurassic World" and "Despicable Me" themes. Keep in mind, though, that spring's terrific weather means parks tend to be crowded and lodging options are often on the pricier side.

Washington, D.C.
#6 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Free family-friendly activities abound in our nation's capital. Older children can enjoy educational exhibits at must-visit sights like the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. And if little ones are in tow, families will want to check out the 2,000-plus animals that live at the Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Another bonus: A late March or early April visit will likely coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which features stunning blooms and plenty of fun outdoor events for the whole family.

#7 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

Although Disneyland Resort doesn't boast as many family-friendly accommodations as its central Florida counterpart, there are still many convenient lodging options that make it easy for families to access the park. Plus, the surrounding Anaheim, California, area offers plenty of other pursuits geared toward young ones, including Knott's Berry Farm and Adventure City. Not to mention, a spring visit features daytime highs in the 60s and 70s, temperatures that are ideal for exploring the parks.

#8 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

A stay in the Bahamas is all about relaxing and reconnecting with your family. Kids will love spotting rays at the Atlantis Marine Habitat or swimming with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island, while adults will enjoy lounging on pristine white sand beaches or sampling rum at John Watling's Distillery. Spring is a popular time for travelers of all ages to visit these sunny islands, but those with kids in tow who want to keep away from college spring breakers will find plenty of family-friendly resorts available.

Hilton Head
#9 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

This relaxing South Carolina destination offers an array of swimmable beaches and countless walking trails where you and your kids can explore nature. Other kid-friendly activities include horseback riding, biking, kayaking and engaging with the hands-on exhibits at The Sandbox - An Interactive Children's Museum. You can also enjoy a family golf lesson on one of Hilton Head's world-renowned courses. Regardless of how you choose to pass the time, you'll have access to several large resorts with family-friendly amenities, most of which offer cheaper rates in spring than those available come summer.

Myrtle Beach
#10 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

While this South Carolina hot spot is popular among college spring breakers, it's a great family destination as well. The animal exhibits at Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and Alligator Adventure will capture children's attention, and a day at Family Kingdom Amusement Park will make for some spring break excitement. Plus, active kiddos will revel in the chance to kayak or parasail (among other water sports options) when they're not building sandcastles on Myrtle Beach's 60 miles of sand.

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