Where will Your Family Go for Spend Spring Break?
Spring break is a terrific time to book a family holiday. Avoid hot spots like Orlando, and the party beaches of Southern California. Some of the college destinations are a bit too wild for family travel, but there are many alternatives, which offer Spring Discounts or special events to draw family travelers.
Summer travel can be hot and sticky, causing squabbles that can ruin a trip. Spring travel is usually more temperate, and in many places, the wildflowers are an attraction in their own right. Let’s look at few suggestions for family Fun over Spring Break.
Vermont is famous for maple syrup. Every spring, around March-April, the buckets come out as the sap begins to drip. This is Maple Season in Vermont! Families can travel the state, learning more about our favorite pancake and waffle topping. The City of St. Albans hosts an annual festival to celebrate all things maple.
Sugar shacks allow family tours of the facilities where the maple sugar is processed. Even if the kids balk, take at least one of these tours. Family vacations can and should be educational for everyone in the group.
The Vermont countryside is seemingly devoted to maple. Roadside stands proffer candy, cookies, and other maple treats. Check out the area’s “sweet and sour” treats. Depending upon your location, your family will get an interesting mix of maple syrup and a traditional sweet. I have tasted warm syrup on vanilla ice cream, maple dripped over tangy cider donuts, and maple syrup with a pickle chaser. Try something new, and take some home for later.
If your family travels will take you to upstate New York, the Finger Lakes Region is picturesque and offers tons of family based attractions. The region is also famous for the wine they produce.
Budding photographers will click away at waterfalls, gorges, lakes and vineyards. Car enthusiasts might enjoy a visit to the birthplace of American road racing, Watkins Glen. Your spring break might even include a race in progress.
The Corning Museum of Glass is a super family spring break destination. Families can learn about 3,500 years of history behind the solid that is really a liquid. Learn how glass is made, and how it has been used throughout history. Spring break can be fun and educational, without feeling forced, as your family makes glass together, or watch in amazement as skilled glass makers create form and function from the molten glass.
The Virginia coastline offers family groups to kayak alongside dolphins, on the Dolphin Tour offered by Tidewater Adventures. The dolphins arrive in April, just in time for spring break. Dolphins can get quite close, making this a family memory you will treasure forever.
While you are in the area, take the family to our nation’s Capitol, Washington, D.C. Spring break is aligned well to view the magnificent cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The Washington Monument is shrouded in some 6,000 cherry trees, gifts from the people of Tokyo in 1912, in honor of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Family vacations are ideal opportunities to learn together. Free museums and monuments provide great historical perspective and a sense of patriotic pride. Spring break travel for families needs to include something for every member of your family.
Further south, Florida does offer some options that will not be as crowded as a sardine can, or feature topless women. Near Orange City in Central Florida, families can see Manatees, up-close, in the tepid waters of Blue Springs State Park. The nearby zoo also is a great family diversion, with vividly colored animals and some exotic specimens that will intrigue your spring breakers.
If you are closer to the heartland, your family may enjoy a spring break to the painted desert of New Mexico. The scenery is breathtaking, and the shopping is superb. Albuquerque offers big city amenities, but in a calm, almost surreal atmosphere. Artisans from several native cultures create one-of-a-kind pieces of art or handcrafted fine jewelry.
History is alive in New Mexico. Your family spring break will expose your family to cultural traditions from Spanish, Mexican and Native Americans, whose ancestors settled the land. The food, the colors and the activities all bring families closer as they learn together.
Make your family vacation memorable. Get a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon. Albuquerque is famous for their autumn Hot Air Balloon Festival, but anytime of the year, you will see the huge, colorful balloons, rising high into the sky and across the horizon, a spectacle that will delight the whole family. Spring time snow melt is not yet complete, making the mountains brilliantly beautiful.
In Texas, why not visit a historical site, such as the Alamo. Kids know the phrase, “Remember the Alamo!” but like many adults, they do not fully appreciate what the words meant. Your family will explore this tiny fort, and learn about the hardships faced by the likes of Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and hundreds of lesser-known Texans.
Nearby, San Antonio is full of family fun. In April, the annual Fiesta offers spring break travelers an exuberant and lively display. 2016 will mark 125 years for the Fiesta, and promises to give families some extra special entertainment.
Spring break used to be called “ski week” in California and Oregon. Families have been trekking to the slopes of Mammoth Mountain in northern California, where skiing is routinely available until June. The snowfall so far is promising to leave a thick layer of snow this year.
Lake Tahoe makes a lovely spring break destination, with snow play and the lake to entertain. The grown-ups might enjoy a bit of casino action. Some of the best ski resorts are located in this area.
Oregon has Timberline Ski Resort, where they boast a 345-day ski season. Your family will not sacrifice quality snow, and may even get a flurry or two. Skiing is a fabulous family activity for spring break.
Carson City, Nevada began as a frontier town, and in many ways, it still is. Several great museums are good enough to keep the kids engaged. The State Railroad Museum is a family favorite. What child doesn’t like trains? There is a National Mint to tour, as well as easy walking trails that lead you through some of the history of the area. Museums are staples on the family vacations in our home.
A particular favorite of mine is Virginia City, a former silver and gold mining town. Virginia City was a wild and reckless place, with saloons, and mining as the primary activities. Your family can stroll along wooden sidewalks, and explore the most haunted locations in the Wild West. The Washoe Club is a fascinating three-story brick building in the historic area, recognized to be “haunted.”
Take a look through the Bucket of Blood Saloon. The name is misleading. Your family will find the Bucket of Blood to be a charming, insightful look at the life in the old Comstock Days, as portrayed in the TV series Bonanza. Grab a glass of sarsaparilla while you are there.
Traveling for Spring Break is a great family alternative to summer vacation. The weather in most places is beginning to improve, and there is a natural human tendency to want to stretch our legs and get outdoors as spring fever sets in. Treat your family to a spring break vacation, and enjoy traveling and learning together. Every state offers exciting destinations. Does your family deserve a great spring break vacation? Of course they do.