10 Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

Published 19 Feb 2024

Spring Break vacations are all about having fun in the sun and celebrating a new (warmer) season – and they’re not just for the college crowd! So, shake off winter and feel the first sunny rays of the year by hitting the beach, diving in at the pool, or perhaps heading for a little outdoor adventure – it’s time to rejuvenate. You just need to choose a destination that’s perfectly in sync with your family’s playful holiday mood, whether that’s learning to surf together, visiting all the waterparks, hiking a trail or simply discovering awesome alfresco dining-spots at your resort.

This is our round-up of 10 of the best family-friendly destinations that are guaranteed to bring out your happy, energetic spring-break vibes.

Pennsylvania-based Journalist Karen Cicero provides a round-up of the 10 best spring break destinations for families.

San Diego, California

Best for: Sunny beach days and brilliant children’s attractions.

If you can’t decide between a beach vacation and a city trip, San Diego is the best of both worlds (and usually has good weather to boot!). Your crew could be building sandcastles in the morning, and museum-hopping in famed Balboa Park in the afternoon. Or alternate lazy days under a beach umbrella with day-long visits to attractions like San Diego Zoo and Legoland California (a little outside of town in Carlsbad). Good restaurants, especially for Mexican fare, abound and some of the town’s breweries even have play areas for the kids.

Where to stay: Stay at the Hotel del Coronado, a historic hotel that looks like it’s plucked from a fairytale. Alternatively, the new neighboring Shore House at the Del, which features multi-bedroom villas with full kitchens and wrap-around porches, gets the nod for larger families. Both are beachfront, provide access to the property’s ocean-themed kids’ club that has a partnership with a nearby aquarium, and are within walking distance of many cute independent shops and restaurants.



Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Best for: An abundance of bike trails and golf courses galore.

Active families adore Hilton Head Island, which welcomes them with 80+ miles of paved biking trails, well-maintained public beaches with amenities, and golf courses galore. One of its popular swimming spots, Driessen Beach Park, is getting a glow-up and is expected to re-open on March 1. Your crew will fit right in if you rent bikes, including tag-a-longs, from one of the town’s many outfitters and take them for a spin right on the beach.

Where to stay: The eco-friendly Sea Pines Resort offers a choice of luxury villas or spacious rooms and suites. There’s a golf course, beach club, bike hire, forest walks and a whole host of water sports to try out. A great option for active families. In addition to traditional hotel-style lodging, it offers more than 400 villas and homes for rent.


Santa Cruz, California

Best for: Stunning surf breaks and budget-friendly accommodation.

Spring Break is for surf lessons in this Northern California spot known for big waves. Whether tweens and teens choose to hang ten or watch the pros, the town will pass their vibe check. Whale-watching cruises and the retro beach boardwalk with classic rides will also entertain your crew.

Where to stay: The Dream Inn Santa Cruz prides itself on being a value-priced option for families. With an oceanfront heated pool, fire pits, and a kids’ ice cream happy hour (plus tequila sunsets for the grown-ups), the Dream Inn is, well, dreamy.


Oahu, Hawaii

Best for: Spectacular beaches, waterfalls and family resorts

Aloha to the land of pristine beaches, waterfalls, and rainbows! It’s typically easiest (and cheapest) to get to Oahu than any of the other Hawaiian Islands, so settle in! Start with a few days in the capital of Honolulu, which is home to Waikiki beach, Diamond Head Crater, Pearl Harbor, and other cultural attractions.

Where to stay: In Honolulu, stay at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. When you walk out the back, you’re on Waikiki Beach; exiting through the front puts you on a street filled with cool shops and restaurants. Finish your trip about 90 minutes away on the island’s North Shore that’s dotted with surf shops, shave ice stands and some of the island’s best beaches.


Where to stay: You can stay at the resort where scenes from The Hunger Games were filmed! Besides being the locale for many movies, Turtle Bay Resort boasts an array of beaches, including one with calm water that’s just perfect for its kids’ stand-up paddleboarding lessons. And did we mention that there’s a slide at the pool and pony rides for littles at the on-site stables?


Naples, Florida

Best for: Arts, crafts and culture by the beach.

For a beachy spot that’s also artsy, bring the family to Naples. There’s an art museum and performing arts center in the very walkable (and shoppable) downtown plus an array of cultural programming for the entire family. Of course, you can join the fun if you ever get the kids out of the water!

Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton Naples just completed a major re-imagination that includes amazing pools and cabana options for the whole family. It will be beach, pool, eat, repeat for the family all day as they enjoy all the amenities and fab restaurants. If you can swing it, opt for a room with Club Lounge access. The hotel’s enormous Club Lounge includes a full bar plus an activity room for the kids.


Turks & Caicos

Best for: Relaxation for the grown-ups, organized activities for the kids.

With white sand and turquoise water, this Caribbean island’s Seven Mile Beach couldn’t be any more picture perfect.

Where to stay: If you want some time to enjoy it without the kids (but know they’re having the time of their lives too), stay at the all-inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos. There are supervised programs for babies through teens, and the resort is also autism certified so children who have special needs are encouraged to participate. While the kids are going on treasure hunts or taking part in a reggae jam session, you could be enjoying your lunch at The Jerk Shack without interruption. Then you can all come back together at night for dinner and the evening family-focused entertainment. Bliss!


Palm Springs, California

Best for: Kid-friendly attractions and plenty of sunshine.

March and April are the best times to visit Palm Springs: High temperatures average in the 80s—a far cry from the summertime triple digits. The destination has so much that appeals to different interests—for instance, families with dino-loving kids may want to check out Cabazon Dinosaurs, a roadside attraction where your crew can climb into a T-rex’s mouth. Or you may want to day-trip to Joshua Tree National Park, where kids will want to see Skull Rock and maybe even score a Junior Ranger Badge.

Where to stay: Stay in a casita at La Quinta Resort & Club—most have their own pools!


Come And Find Us: Shop Tom & Teddy at the La Quinta Resort Boutique!

Emerald Coast, Florida

Best for: The softest white, sandy beaches and charming coastal communities.

Dotted with small beach communities like Seaside and Rosemary Beach, this stretch of sand (also called 30A) is a hidden gem of sorts. College spring-breakers flock to nearby Panama City Beach, while this area remains relatively quiet. Every little town has its own personality—Seaside, for instance, with its white architecture and blue water, gives off Santorini vibes. These mini communities are just perfect for families who are looking for a low-key, laid-back trip. Vacation rentals are plentiful as are food trucks, fun shops, and the softest white sand your pedicured-feet will ever meet.

Where to stay: Gibson Beach Rentals has a number of beach-front villas to choose from, including this charming cottage on Miramar Beach, which is full of coastal charm.


Phoenix, Arizona

Best for: Warm sunny days, wonderful waterparks and educational activities

The Valley of the Sun provides plenty of rays (and Vitamin D) in March and April. From the Desert Botanical Garden to the Arizona Science Center, the city and surrounding region are chock-full of attractions that are sneakily educational. What’s more, many of its resorts have water features that will wow kids.

Where to stay: A spring-break oasis nestled in the Arizona desert, the Hilton Phoenix Resort At The Peak is a great choice for families. It has River Ranch Waterpark on site, as well as a mini golf course, a full-service spa and fitness center.


Loreto, Mexico

Best for: Historic sightseeing, snorkeling and fabulous scenery.

Let the college spring-breakers go to Cancun, while you’re in historic Loreto. Located on Mexico’s Baja Historic Peninsula, this destination is more affordable (and, dare we say, more scenic) than Cabo. Your family can explore the cobblestone streets and restored mission, but also swim, snorkel, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard.

Where to stay: Villa del Palmar is well-known for its family-centric accommodation and amenities. There’s something for all ages, including a dedicated kids’ club, family cookery classes, beach sport activities, golf course and spa.


Ready to book your Spring Break vacation?

If we’ve inspired you to plan your Spring Break, then here's our hand-picked Ultimate Spring Break Essentials. Take your pick and get ready for long, sunny days by the ocean and fun family time at the pool.