By Camille Meyers, on February 1, 2020

Unusual Spring Break Destinations for Families

If you’re looking to go on a trip this spring but avoid the crowded beaches and partying college students, consider traveling to a unique spring break destination with your family. It’s easier to stay within your budget for spring break travel with cheaper airfare and accommodations, and there’s plenty of remarkable places to see. Take your kids to discover somewhere new with these 6 unusual spring break destinations for families.

1. Austin, Texas – Family Spring Break in Texas’ Capital

Kayaking on spring break in Austin, Texas

Between outdoor adventures and a historic downtown, Austin makes for a great family spring break in Texas. Rent a kayak to paddle around the glassy waters of Lady Bird Lake or enjoy a picnic on the shore. Starting in late March, nature lovers gather on and around the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset to witness thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats fly out to feast on insects.

If you’re traveling with teens, take a Segway tour of downtown to visit Austin’s must-see landmarks, including the Texas State Capital and the Texas Walk of Fame. The South by Southwest festival invigorates the already musical city of Austin with even more concerts and festivities at the end of March. If your family is into music, this is the unique spring break destination for you.

2. Washington, D.C. – Exploring Monuments and Museums

Kid photographing the capital building in Washington DC

Spring break is one of the best times to take a family trip to Washington, D.C. Summer can get hot and humid in the Nation’s Capital, but spring offers pleasant weather for walking around the National Mall. Plus, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the gorgeous pink flowers with family-friendly events like a parade and kite flying demonstrations.

Most of Washington D.C.’s top museums are free, making it a cheap spring break destination for activities and entertainment. Of course, if your little one’s feet get tired from walking around museums all day, you can keep up the sightseeing with trolley tour. Avoid the tourist crowds and explore the beautifully lit monuments at night.

3. St. Louis, Missouri – Educational Fun Spring Break Destination

Family at the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri

Filled with hidden treasures to delight travelers of all ages, St. Louis, Missouri might just become one of your family’s favorite unusual spring break destinations. Make seeing the best sights of the city even more exciting by downloading a scavenger hunt app to help you explore. Solve puzzles, search for photo opportunities, and bond as a family while learning about St. Louis.

If your family includes toddlers to tweens, make sure to visit the Magic House, also known as the St. Louis Children’s Museum. This renovated Victorian mansion teaches children about the world through creative exhibits and imagination stations. For children of all ages, the quirky City Museum is a must-see in St. Louis. This former shoe factory invites you to walk through a life-sized model of a whale, climb an elaborate multi-level jungle gym, and admire the world’s largest underpants.

Missouri is often called The Cave State, so make sure to take in some of the area’s natural wonders. Onondaga Cave State Park offers easy walkways to explore cave formations just 45-minutes from the city. And of course, no family spring break trip to St. Louis would be complete without admiring the views from the top of the St. Louis Arch.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico – Exploring Art and Culture

Exploring nature on spring break in Santa Fe, New Mexico

With walkable streets lined by boutique shops and art galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico may seem like an unusual spring break destination for families. But with attractions ranging from Loretto Chapel’s mysterious staircase to immersive art experiences, this desert town offers plenty of kid-friendly activities for discovery and learning.

Children 16 and younger are free at the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Both provide fascinating exhibits and hands-on activities for kids. If you’re looking to get outside, head to the nearby Pecos National Historical Park to see the dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples.

The House of Eternal Return by the artist collective Meow Wolf is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Have you ever opened a refrigerator to find a glowing portal into another dimension? Discover hidden slides, walk through a neon forest, and solve a mystery in this one-of-a-kind immersive art experience for kids of all ages.

5. Whistler, BC, Canada – Family Spring Break in the Snow

Ziplining in Whistler, BC, Canada on an unusual spring break vacation

Grasp one more chance at winter fun before the snow melts. March is the best time to ski or snowboard over fresh powder on the slopes of Whistler, BC in Canada. Plus, with gorgeous sunny days, you might just end up with an enviable racoon goggle tan.

However, Whistler offers plenty of family-friendly activities other than skiing or snowboarding. Marvel at breathtaking views as you speed down the mountain on 4 exhilarating zipline routes. Or slow down and take in the unique art, history, and culture of the region at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Stay in a mountain lodge to spend your evening sipping hot coco by the cozy fireplace while playing boardgames or reading with your kids.

If you’re looking for a non-beach spring break vacation for the whole family, grab your passports and head to Whistler.

6. Atlanta, Georgia – Spring Break on a Budget

Family on spring break vacation in Atlanta, Georgia

For family travel on a budget, make an unusual spring break destination of Atlanta, Georgia. Since the Atlanta Airport serves as a hub for major airlines, you can often find cheap flights to the city. And you can check out this guide on free things to do in Atlanta with kids to help build your itinerary.

You can also save money on plenty of Atlanta’s top attractions with the CityPASS. Your kids are sure to love playing with the green screen at the CNN Center and sampling beverages from around the globe at the World of Coca-Cola.

Nicknamed the Hollywood of the South, Atlanta makes a great spring break destination for TV- and move-buff families. Taking your kids on an Atlanta superhero tour to see film sites from Black Panther and The Avengers may be the highlight of their spring break trip.

What are your favorite unusual spring break destinations for families?