Slather on the sunscreen and prepare for bliss at one of our favorite spring vacation destinations.
Made famous by the ‘80s movie Dirty Dancing, this 720-acre lake in western North Carolina provides the perfect setting to
relax outdoors. Whether you pack a picnic or fish from a dock, plan to spend most days outside. Family favorites include horseback
rides across mountain creeks (check out Cedar Creek Stables) and the climb to the top of nearby Chimney Rock, but the real highlight is the crisp water. Lake Lure Adventure Company rents boats and kayaks, guides fishing tours, and provides water-skiing lessons. Or, grab an inner tube and just float the
There is no shortage of waterfront rentals or snug mountain cabins. Nestled on the northern shores of the lake, Rumbling Bald Resort rents vacation homes for any size family. For smaller families or couples looking for a romantic hideaway, the Gaestehaus Salzburg Bed & Breakfast rents affordable lodge rooms and charmingly rustic cabins.
The party pinnacle of Spring Break isn’t just for college coeds; it’s for anyone looking for world-class dining, action-packed
nights, and never-ending beaches. The beaches are perfect for suntans and lazy days, but take time to explore Miami’s energetic
streets. Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, with their signature Art Deco sparkle, offer endless shopping and nightlife options.
Little Havana centers around Eighth Street (Calle Ocho), where authentic Cuban shops and food, like the famous Versailles
Restaurant at 3555 SW. Eighth Street, are plentiful. For modern bistro fare, try Michy’s, where half portions start at just $7.
The boutique Townhouse Hotel boasts minimalist, ultra-modern guestrooms just steps from the Atlantic Ocean at a great value. Worthy of a splurge, Loews Miami Beach packs plush suites and glittering skyline views.
Not all of Florida’s beaches are full of towel-to-towel traffic during Spring Break. Just south of Sarasota, this 8-mile-long barrier island has three distinct tropical escapes: Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, and Turtle Beach. Every imaginable water sport is available from Siesta Sports Rentals and Siesta Key Parasailing, ranging from boogie boarding for the kids to parasailing for the kids at heart. Make time to leave the powdery sands to
wander the dozens of boutiques and specialty shops in Siesta Key Village, a main street running across the island. Be sure
to take advantage of the waterfront dining options, like the extravagant Ophelia’s on the Bay and the family-friendly Turtles Restaurant.
High season on Siesta Key continues through April, but relatively inexpensive accommodations are available at Turtle Beach Resort, located on the quietest of the three beaches, and Siesta Beach Resort & Suites, a good place if you’re interested in saving money and don’t plan on spending a lot of time indoors.
This vibrant, artsy coastal town exemplifies laid-back beach style. Kid favorites include tours of the NASA StenniSphere Center, and parents can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Old Town district, home to specialty shops, art galleries, and antique
stores. Pick up a guide to the historic area at the Depot Visitor Center, or explore the tree-lined streets on your own. For a weekend breakfast, try the Mockingbird Café, a gourmet coffee shop just two blocks from the water.
The Trust Bed & Breakfast, located within walking distance of the beach, rents rooms that are reminiscent of the comforts of home. The house itself is worth a look for the many antiques that furnish the rooms. Find a little more glitz and glamour at the Hollywood Casino, where you can place bets, play a round of golf, or sleep in―all in a day’s work at this 600-acre resort overlooking the marina.
The beaches and golf courses of this Atlantic escape vie for king of the island. About 80 miles north of Jacksonville and
85 miles south of Savannah, St. Simons has multiple golf courses, pristine coastlines, and plenty of outdoor activities to fill those sun-drenched Spring
Break days. If you’re bit by the shopping bug, venture to the island’s southern tip to Pier Village to pick up an extra pair
of sandals or an easy beach read. Local restaurants specialize in seafood dishes, and The Coastal Kitchen offers a raw shrimp and oyster bar.
Lay your head in luxury at the beachfront King and Prince Resort, where Southern hospitality and deluxe amenities are at their best. Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals* offers condos and villas for couples or families on any budget, including daily and weekly rentals.
*Book March 1-15 for $100 off stays of 5+ nights. Valid for stays in March and April, 2012. Cannot be combined with any other specials or discounts and does not apply to existing reservations. Some properties excluded. Other restrictions may apply. Use online coupon code SLESCAPE or call 855-452-1847 to speak to a Hodnett Cooper vacation specialist today.
While the mountains of western Maryland don’t usually evoke images of Spring Break vacations, the shimmering waters of Deep
Creek Lake do. Quiet coves line the shores of the 3,900-acre lake nestled between two mountain towns, McHenry and Oakland.
Swimming, fishing, and boating are typically the order of the day (try Aquatic Center for boat and Sea Doo rentals). At night, kick back at the Mountain State Brewing Co., which serves their handcrafted ales and signature flatbread pizzas.
Peak season hits during winter, which means lower rates during the spring. The Wisp Resort provides easy access to scenic chairlift rides and mountain biking trails. Bed and breakfasts and cozy lodges provide authentic mountain getaways. The Savage River Lodge rents 18 cabins and delivers fresh muffins to your doorstep every morning.
Ten miles of beaches and seventy-degree weather add up to Spring Break glory. Ditch the car on the island and bring (or rent)
a bike to get a close-up look at Kiawah’s woodlands and shorelines. Not only is pedaling the best way to see the island, it’s
also a mean workout. While nearby Charleston is great for shopping and dining, everything you could ever want to sample is
right on the island, from the sophisticated French fare of Hege’s Kiawah to the old-fashioned ice cream floats at Vincent’s Drug Store.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort rests on the beach and comes with the usual trappings of a luxury resort, like lavish spa treatments and on-site dining, but ResortQuest manages rental properties, including beachfront houses, for every wallet size.
The emerald waters and white-sand beaches of Alabama’s coastline make it a prime location to park a beach chair during Spring
Break. Cruises, like those offered by Sailaway Charters, explore the shores and nearby inlets, and there’s a good chance of seeing a family of dolphins surfing the boat’s wake.
There’s no need to wipe sand off your feet to try the fresh oysters at King Neptune’s Seafood or wander down the boardwalk at The Wharf.
The beach is the star of Gulf Shores, so aim to stay only a few steps away from the warm sand. Plenty of vacation rental companies serve the area, and companies like Flip Flop Vacations and Young’s Suncoast provide a variety of sizes and types of condos, villas, and houses.
Enjoy the ruggedness of the Smokies from the comfort of a lakefront cabin. The lake’s 555 miles of shoreline provide plenty
of space for privacy, and the variety of activities alone is enough to spend Spring Break on Douglas Lake. Water sports abound,
as do horseback riding and fishing opportunities. To children’s delight, nearby Dollywood is a mecca of thrill rides, Southern food, and renowned stage shows. Only 50 miles away, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an outdoorsmen’s paradise. In the springtime, wildflowers bloom along pedestrian paths, which can be explored on foot
or by bike. Of course, venturing out of a comfy cabin only to fish on the lake is always an option.
Find fully furnished one- to five-bedroom cabins or cottages through Smoky Mountain Lake Rentals, which offers some rentals where you can go from lake to hot tub in mere minutes.
Flip flops and board shorts are the uniform of choice for this coastal Texas getaway. Plant a beach umbrella in the warm sand and take a snooze under the afternoon sun. There’s no better time than Spring Break
to brave the waves by taking a surfing lesson, offered daily by South Coast Kiteboarding. For low-key water action, head to the Texas State Aquarium, where more than 300 species are housed and a hands-on stingray exhibit awaits.
To be close to the city action, stay downtown at the bayfront Omni Corpus Christi, which is near the must-see USS Lexington Museum and is walking distance from restaurants and nightlife. To get maximum Gulf Coast views, opt for a condo on the beach. El Constante has two-bedroom rentals and considers April 1 to be the start of the off-season, which means lower rates.