8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break
It's hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner, and that means planning your spring vacation. Unfortunately, traveling during peak travel weeks like Spring Break can be costly if you don't shop around. But there are plenty of destinations that offer superior value and family-friendly activities your kids will love.
Here are eight warm-weather destinations that fit the bill for the perfect Spring Break trip. (See also: 4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grown-up Spring Break)
1. Orlando, Florida
The sheer number of hotels and resorts in and around Orlando makes this family-friendly city a superb option for Spring Break. Finding a good deal is easy with so many properties to choose from. Plus, three-star hotels start at just $130 per night.
Orlando is also thick with activities for the entire family, and they extend far beyond just expensive Disney parks. Not only can you splurge for tickets to the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, but you can take your kids to water parks, Sea World Orlando, and museums like Ripley's Believe it or Not. And if you have a rental car, several family-friendly beaches are just a few hours away.
2. Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida is easy to get to since many major airlines offer nonstop flights from major hubs. Plus, a three-star beachfront hotel can cost as little as $130 per night during the last week of March.
Aside from the beach, kids will have plenty to do in and around Tampa. The city itself is home to a Busch Gardens theme park, an aquarium, and the famous Lowry Park Zoo.
3. Orange Beach, Alabama
Orange Beach's location along the gulf coast makes it an easy drive from many parts of the Midwest. Orange Beach is only 14 hours from Chicago and 11 hours from St. Louis, for example.
This beach town is brimming with cheap rental condos you can book on Airbnb or VRBO.com. There are also dozens of inexpensive family-friendly restaurants in Orange Beach, as well as the neighboring city of Gulf Shores.
You can play mini golf, visit the local petting zoo, or take a dolphin sighting tour. But what you'll really want to do is sit back and relax on the world's whitest, sandiest beach while your kids play in the surf.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is another warm weather spot where cheap hotels are plentiful. You can find numerous hotel deals at three-star properties for less than $100 per night.
For example, the Sand Dunes Resort & Spa sits on the beach and hosts its own small water park with a lazy river, yet costs less than $90 per night during the last week of March. Even the 3.5 star Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort costs less than $100 per night during Spring Break, and that's despite its beach access and on-site amenities like a water park, tennis, and golf.
If you tire of your resort, you can keep the kids busy on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, at one of the seasonal water parks, or the Family Kingdom Amusement Park.
5. South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island is home to numerous vacation condos, plus plenty of low-cost hotels perfect for families. The Schlitterbahn Beach Resort, for example, complements its beachfront location with a huge lazy river and water park, yet comes with rates as low as $130 per night.
South Padre Island is home to the famous Gravity Adventure Park theme park, baby sea turtle releases, and beach sports galore. There's also a Birding and Nature Center so you can observe birds and other wildlife in their natural, wetland environments.
6. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Despite the huge fires that tore through much of Gatlinburg and the Smokies recently, the city is once again open for business. Not every attraction is open quite yet, but most are.
You can still enjoy the beautiful mountain backdrop, head out for a hike, or visit Riley's Aquarium of the Smokies. The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, Space Needle, and Mirror Maze are all open, too. Most of the major restaurants and haunts for locals were also unscathed by the fire, as well.
Obviously, Gatlinburg needs to bring tourism back, and this means low prices for the time being. Right now, Expedia shows affordable prices ($100 or less) for nearly all three-star Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge hotels for the last week of March.
7. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City may not come with the warm weather you hoped for during Spring Break, but it can be downright cheap. At the moment, numerous hotels and vacation condos can be found for less than $100 per night.
Fortunately, there's plenty to do in Atlantic City far from the flashy casinos. Take the kids out to explore the Atlantic City Boardwalk or to the Steel Pier Amusement Park. You'll also find many family-friendly restaurants, arcades, and more.
8. San Diego, California
San Diego may not seem like a frugal Spring Break spot, but it has enough lodging options and activities to make the cut. Plenty of hotels in San Diego and surrounding neighborhoods cost less than $100 per night during Spring Break.
The big value in San Diego is just how much there is to do. The city is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and LEGOLAND. And the area's beautiful beaches, stretching from San Diego all the way down to La Jolla will blow you away. With the proximity to the beach, you can spend days playing in the surf and relaxing with the whole family.
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