12 Last-Minute Spring Break Trips to Book Right Now
Start with a hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and if you can time your visit for April 24th through April 27th, see the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. Then, catch some thrills at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park or plan on scoping out one of these spring events around town — maybe the grown-ups can even sneak off for Wine Weekend if your trip overlaps with the dates (April 12th - April 13th). For your lodging, try Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg or The Greystone Lodge On The River.
Greenville, South Carolina
Take yourselves out to the ball game with Boston Red Sox Class A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, or take younger kids on a scavenger hunt for nine bronze mice downtown with Mice on Main, inspired by the beloved book Goodnight Moon. Treat the gang to milkshakes (adults, sip on the boozy versions) and dinner at Grill Mark's, lazing on the outdoor patio as you recap the day's highlights. When you're ready to catch some ZZZs, make your temporary digs Hilton Greenville or Home2 Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown.
Kids will clamor for extra time at Gathering Place, a new $465 million, 100-acre public park along the Arkansas River, but if you can pry them away, head to the Philbrook Museum of Art and Woody Guthrie Center. Then, feast at Mother Road Market, a recently opened food hall on Route 66 with 27,000-square-feet of space and hits ranging from Andolini's Pizza to Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue. By the time you check into The Fairfield by Marriott or The Campbell, you'll already be antsing to return to the food hall the next day to shop at the Kitchen 66 General Store. Or, skip the reprise and book it to Shuffles, Tulsa's board game cafe (Attention: There Will Be Milkshakes).
South Walton, Florida
Respite from the daily grind is yours at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa where you can spend your days hanging by the indoor and outdoor pools, playing golf, and kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Venture off the resort to visit some of South Walton's 16 eclectic beachfront neighborhoods or hit up the Timpoochee Trail, a superb bike path that weaves its way along state parks and coastal dune lakes. However you spend your days, don't leave without a pit stop at Cowgirl Kitchen, a Rosemary Beach staple with breakfast tacos, waffles, and overstuffed sandwiches.
Less than an hour outside of Austin, this laid-back town will enchant you with bronze casting tours at Deep in the Heart Art Foundry, a historic downtown, and Bastrop State Park, filled with loblolly pines. Come dusk, settle in at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, which boasts an on-site water park, camp fires with s'mores, and tractor hayrides. Don't leave town without a candy fix and Blue Bell scoop at Sugar Shack.
From March 26th - March 30th, Nahsville welcomes its annual Tin Pan South songwriters festival, now in its 27th year of good tunes and vibes. Cozy up at Hotel Preston which even has a 'Fetch' dog park for your four-legged friend. During your trip, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Children’s Theatre, and the recently opened SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland, your new favorite indoor water park. For some tasty 'cue, beeline to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and Peg Leg Porker, before satiating your Goo Goo Cluster hankering at The Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar.
Now reopened following a $25 million renovation due to Hurricane Irma, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is a Sunshine State oasis you'll want to return to for years to come. 90 minutes outside of Miami International Airport, you could easily spend your entire break reading a book on the beach or in your oceanfront suite or bungalow. Should you choose to amp things up, however, our votes are chartering a fishing trip, grabbing a water trike or clear kayak, and playing some tennis, golf, or beach volleyball. Wind down with a drink and sorbet sunset dipping into the sea at The Beach Café at Morada Bay.
Perched on the Chesapeake Bay, your crew might never quite know how to pronounce this city, but it will delight and surprise you in countless ways. Wander through the Chrysler Museum — known for its giant contemporary glass collection — and catch a daily demo or educational class at the museum's Glass Studio. Then, wander through the Hampton Roads Naval Museum or the downtown area where there's no shortage of galleries, shops, and restaurants. For dinner, make reservations at Four Eleven York, an elegant restaurant housed in a 200-year-old carriage house. Or dine at Saltine, a seafood-centric spot inside Hilton Norfolk The Main, a centrally located property with a rooftop beer garden.
New Orleans, Louisiana
We could marvel at the architecture in NOLA for days on end, but this trip, you can also squeeze in tons of festival outings, a bike tour of the city, and a steamboat ride down the Mississippi with Steamboat Natchez. Call it a day at Le Pavillon Hotel (park yourself at the rooftop pool) or the The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, a few blocks from the French Quarter.
A former turn-of-the-century shoe factory turned boutique hotel in the original brick warehouse? Sign us up, Craddock Terry Hotel. Enjoy a day on the trails and canoeing or kayaking on Clemmons Lake at Ivy Creek Park. Check out the photo-friendly Love Sculpture and hit up the nation's third oldest farmer's market, Lynchburg Community Market. Perfect day complete, go all in for a resplendent spread of pasta and thin-crust pizza at La Villa Italian Restaurant. Adequately stuffed, tomorrow sounds like a good opportunity to greet the day with Mama Crockett’s apple cider donuts.
Duck, North Carolina
This outer banks town is ripe for adventure. With the Sanderling Resort as your launching pad, embark on excursions like flying a reproduction of the Wrights Brothers' 1902 glider with The Wright Brothers Experience, a wild horses tour, or dune hang gliding. After all that moving around, you've earned yourself a traditional Southern coastal meal at Lifesaving Station followed by a final round of drinks or s'mores 'round the fire at the Beach House Bar.