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The 12 Best Spring Break Destinations For Families 2024

by Staff

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Melissa Klurman, Contributor

Forbes Vetted


Spring break is great respite from the work, school and cold weather grind of the winter months, but picking a perfect spot for the whole family can be tricky. The best spring break destinations for families will both engage the kids and make adults happy. These destinations will also allow you to avoid overlapping with college spring breakers, who approach the seasonal break with an entirely different wishlist.

Based on years of family trips over spring break, we’ve identified the best all-around options for a spring getaway this year. From cherry blossom peeping in Washington, D.C. to a passport-free island getaway in Maui, these destinations all provide activities for a full range of interests, not to mention amazing accommodations for families, which we’ve narrowed down as well. Below, our picks for the best spring break destinations for families in 2024.

Where To Stay In The Best Spring Break Destinations For Families:


Savannah

Savannah, Georgia

Who Will Love It: Families with children ages 3-12

All-Star Attractions: Savannah Music Festival (March 28 to April 14); Savannah Bananas minor league baseball team

What Not To Miss: A scenic cruise on the Savannah River

Where To Stay: The Alida; The Kimpton Brice; Sonder Telfare Square

Savannah, Georgia is a southern charmer that is perfect for families–walkable and filled with delicious, kid-friendly eats. Make sure to follow the lines to Vincent Van GoGo’s pizza at City Market, decadent ice cream at Leopold’s and the bite-size cookies at Byrd’s Famous Cookies. Adventure lovers can sail on a paddle wheeler for a scenic cruise down the Savannah River, or, with brave littles, take a haunted city tour. Happily, the family friendly Savannah Music Festival coincides with spring break, running from March 28 to April 14. Every day brings rock, jazz, blues, classical concerts. And have we mentioned the Savannah Bananas? This minor league team combines acrobatics and musical numbers for a family pleasing night out.

Where To Stay:

The Alida: With a location right on the river in the heart of the Plant Riverside District area, a heated and chilled year-round saltwater pool with private cabanas, and an all-day restaurant, Rhett, on the ground floor, this is a hit with both parents and kids.

The Kimpton Brice: This newly renovated hotel has a large outdoor pool with plenty of lounge chairs, plus a central location a block from the river and a short walk to most sites—or you can hop on one of the property’s free bikes if your kids prefer to pedal.

Sonder Telfare Square: Sonder offers modern, fully-furnished apartments in several prime locations with perks like full kitchens and in-unit washer/dryers. The Telfair Square location, on a leafy square in the heart of Savannah’s museum area, has three bedroom/three bathrooms options perfect for large families.


San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Who Will Love It: Families with young children who love theme parks; families with tweens or teens who love history

All-Star Attractions: The Alamo; the San Antonio Zoo; SeaWorld San Antonio; Six Flags Fiesta Texas

What Not To Miss: A front row seat to the solar eclipse (April 8)

Where To Stay: Omni La Mansion Del Rio; La Cantera Resort & Spa; Urban Escape Airbnb

Exciting news for science loving families: a total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024, right in the midst of many spring breaks. The path of totality will dissect Texas, the warmest weather state for viewing, and slide right along San Antonio. If you’re not here for the big event, don’t worry—San Antonio offers plenty to do for families. In addition to the well known RiverWalk and The Alamo, the San Antonio Zoo will host a Jungle Boogie Break, March 9 to 17, with extended hours plus music, games, and food. SeaWorld San Antonio is about to open Tikitapu Splash, a multi-level interactive water-play area, as well as Catapult Falls, the world’s first launched flume coaster. And Six Flags Fiesta Texas is about to open the largest DC Universe in the country, with multiple new rides.

Where To Stay:

Omni La Mansion Del Rio: This historic property on the RiverWalk has boat tours located right outside the hotel. There’s an outdoor courtyard pool here, too, plus hotel-wide treasure hunts for the kids.

La Cantera Resort & Spa: The resort is getting ready for the eclipse with activities such as space-themed outdoor movies, themed dinners, and of course, a Total Eclipse viewing party. There are also two kid-friendly pools, family cabanas, and a kids club for ages 4 to 12.

Urban Escape Airbnb: Why get a single hotel room when you can have a whole house? Not only can you stretch out in three bedrooms and four bathrooms at this Airbnb favorite, but you’ll have a private pool and outdoor space, too.


San Diego

San Diego, California

Who Will Love It: Families with children ages 2-12

All-Star Attractions: Balboa Park; the San Diego Zoo

What Not To Miss: Ziplining over wild animals at Safari Park

Where To Stay: Hotel del Coronado; Paradise Point; Legoland Castle Hotel

You’ll be almost guaranteed sunny skies in San Diego during spring break, making it easy to explore this kid-friendly city. Start with a visit to Balboa Park, where you can hop a miniature train before visiting the incredible array of wildlife at the San Diego Zoo—we’re talking everything from African gorillas to Arctic polar bears. If you have kids 8 and up, check out the San Diego Zoo’s sister property Safari Park, where you can bump through the savannah on a wildlife safari adventure or even zipline over the wild animals below. For hands on fun, head just 35 minutes north to Legoland California Resort, with 60 rides and attractions geared to kids 2 to 12. A new dinosaur-themed land here is roaring into action this spring.

Where To Stay:

Hotel del Coronado: There are few hotels as iconic as the red-roofed Hotel Del (as fans call it) nestled right on the beach on San Diego’s pedestrian friendly Coronado Island. There are myriad spring break activities here for families from surf lessons with top SoCal instructors to beach bonfires with s’mores, plus a sparkling new main pool.

Paradise Point: Although it’s located in Mission Bay, this resort feels like a palm-tree filled tropical oasis. The kids will love the five pools and on-site miniature golf, plus you’re close to Balboa Park and the Zoo.

Legoland Castle Hotel: It’s hard to picture a more kid-friendly getaway than this playful property where you can choose from three themed room types — wizard, knight, princess – filled with Legos and cool bunk beds. Outdoor movies, a pool, and plenty of Lego play areas round out the fun.


Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona

Who Will Love It: Families who love baseball

All-Star Attractions: Baseball games at Scottsdale Stadium, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and Sloan Park

What Not To Miss: Spring Training

Where To Stay: Great Wolf Lodge; Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa; Mountain Shadows Resort

Surrounded by a landscape of wildflowers, cacti, and the majestic McDowell Mountains, this luxury desert oasis is the ideal destination for families seeking a warm weather getaway and is great for older kids with budding interests. Baseball fans will want to slide into 2024 Cactus League Spring Training; this season marks the league’s 70th anniversary. Catch the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. Art lovers can check out the free ArtWalk in western-themed Old Town Scottsdale every Thursday, and golfers are sure to enjoy the 200 courses found here. For adventurers, there’s hiking, biking, and Butterfly Wonderland to explore, too.

Where To Stay:

Great Wolf Lodge: Dive into this family favorite indoor/outdoor waterpark themed hotel. Kids love the slides, game room, and fun suites that have bunk beds, tents and mini cabins just their size.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa: Kids can have fun in this resort’s dedicated Fun Zone with mini golf, rock climbing wall, and 2.5 acre “water playground” with 10 pools and a 3-story water slide, or let them build sand castles on the man-made beach.

Mountain Shadows Resort: For kids who want to tee up, this scenic hotel nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain has a Par 3 short course that’s great for beginners (and the Rusty’s Golf Grill serves up kids favorites like nachos, cheesesteaks, and burgers and hot dogs). There’s also two large heated pools, perfect for spring swimming.


Maui

Maui, Hawaii

Who Will Love It: Families who want a tropical getaway

All-Star Attractions: Haleakala National Park

What Not To Miss: A surf lesson on the shores of Kaanapali

Where To Stay: Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort; Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa; Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

If you’ve been thinking about bringing the kids to Maui, this is the year to do it. After a devastating fire in the coastal town of Lahaina last year, 2024 is a great time to finally cross this island paradise off your bucket list while supporting the island and its local businesses. Head out on water adventures with Pacific Whale Foundation’s Eco Adventures to search for dolphins and whales or to snorkel in the crystal waters, drive up to Haleakala National Park for spectacular views (sunrise is especially gorgeous here if your kids are up that early anyway), or attend an authentic luau for dinner and a show. For surf-loving families, there are few better places to ride the waves than on the shores of Kaanapali.

Where To Stay:

Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort: With nine inter-connected pools, waterslides, and beach side swings, not to mention eight dining spots, there’s literally something for every member of the family at this beachside resort.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa: Located in the bustling Kaanapali area near the shops and restaurants of Whalers Village, this hotel turns up the activities and entertainment to 11 with a luau, expert-led stargazing, onsite wildlife including penguins and flamingos, and Hawaiian cultural classes, plus a half-acre pool and a separate children’s water play area.

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa: Located on 23 lush oceanfront acres at legendary Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) on Kaanapali Beach, this resort has the ideal spot for snorkeling (you can borrow masks and fins from the hotel). Plus, catch a nightly show like no other: Cliff divers launching from the top of Puu Kekaa.


Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Virginia

Who Will Love It: History loving families

All-Star Attractions: Colonial Williamsburg; Busch Gardens

What Not To Miss: Cycling the Colonial Parkway

Where To Stay: Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites, Marriott’s Manor Club At Ford’s Colony

Step back in time in Williamsburg, Virginia, where the 18th century springs to life at the world’s largest living history museum. Nearby Yorktown may be best known for the historic battles fought there, but its pretty two-acre beachfront is another draw. It’s not all old-time attractions here, though. Busch Gardens offers high-revving thrill rides and live shows, while outdoor lovers will want to hop on a bike to explore the 23 miles of trails on the Colonial Parkway.

Where To Stay:

Kingsmill Resort: The myriad amenities at Kingsmill Resort offer a golf course and three pools, including one with a lazy river, plus a prime location on the James River means opportunities for boating, too. For families, the condo accommodations provide plenty of space to stretch out.

Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites: Located right next to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, this property is the perfect jumping off point for history buffs. Breakfast is included, and there’s also a splash park and miniature golf, as well as a pool.

Marriott’s Manor Club At Ford’s Colony: With apartment style suites with full kitchens and washer/dryers, this new hotel is a home run for families. Indoor and outdoor pools mean kids can dive in no matter the weather.


Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Who Will Love It: Museum hopping families; cherry blossom chasers

All-Star Attractions: Tidal Basin; National Museum of American History; National Museum of Natural History; National Air and Space Museum

What Not To Miss: The annual blooming of the cherry blossoms

Where To Stay: Salamander Hotel, Yours Truly, InterContinental Washington D.C.—The Wharf

The nation’s capital is the perfect spot for a family spring fling, with plenty of free activities, plus one spectacular free show: the annual blooming of cherry blossoms on the tidal basin. Although flowers can be fickle, the National Cherry Blossom Festival goes on regardless of what mother nature has in mind (March 20 through April 14, with the Parade on Saturday, April 13, 2024). Explore the Smithsonian museums that line the mall, all free of charge, like the kid-pleasers National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, and the newly renovated National Air and Space Museum. Then head to the waterfront District Wharf area for spoils of dining options with scenic views.

Where To Stay:

Salamander Hotel: The Former Mandarin Oriental has a key location near the Tidal Basin for cherry blossom views, plus cruiser bikes to borrow and a sweet indoor pool that your kids won’t want to leave.

Yours Truly: With tweens or teens in tow, head to this boutique property, which features fun amenities like rooms with record players, complimentary e-scooter rentals and a branch of Call Your Mother, DC’s favorite bagel spot.

InterContinental Washington D.C.—The Wharf: Two words: Rooftop pool. Two more words: The Wharf. Families who stay here are sure to enjoy one of D.C.’s most entertaining neighborhoods, with great dining and outdoor performances to refuel the kids after a day of sightseeing.


Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California

Who Will Love It: Active families seeking warm weather

All-Star Attractions: Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert; Palm Springs Surf Club; Living Desert Zoo And Gardens

What Not To Miss: Sky high views of the desert at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Where To Stay: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, The Seguaro Palm Springs

Springtime in Palm Springs makes for a fantastic family getaway. Beginning in March, the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert will be re-opening to the public following a multi-million dollar redo with 40 new exhibits. Looking to cool off? The new Palm Springs Surf Club has mega wave pools and surfing in the middle of the desert, plus a lazy river and splash pads for the less adventurous. Don’t miss the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for sky high views of the desert or The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, where families can explore animal exhibits and even feed the giraffes. And in less than an hour’s drive, you can explore the Seussian landscape of Joshua Tree National Park.

Where To Stay:

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: With 20 different family-friendly activities to choose from—including sand art, cookie decorating, family movie nights and more—this resort feels like spring camp for the whole family. There’s also an on-site water park with a cliff-side hot tub, sandy beach, lazy river, and water-play zones.

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells: This waterpark and lazy river includes two 30-foot dueling waterslides and a 450-foot lazy river, featuring nine pools, including an adults-only pool, a family pool and kids pool.

The Saguaro Palm Springs: Stay in the heart of walkable Palm Springs at this colorful, and affordable hotel. Every room has a balcony, and the large pool is centrally located where it’s easy to keep an eye on kids. Plus, there’s a taco stand right next to the water.


San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Who Will Love It: Families seeking a passport-free island getaway

All-Star Attractions: Plenty of beaches; El Morro, a 500 year old castle fort

What Not To Miss: A day hopping around San Juan’s Condado neighborhood

Where To Stay: Caribe Hilton, La Concha Resort, San Juan Marriott Resort & Casino

Puerto Ricois a stress-free island getaway with no passport needed (it’s a U.S. Commonwealth, so you won’t need to exchange money or worry about cell phone roaming, either). Plus, there are easy, daily flights, including a new nonstop flight on United from Denver and a JetBlue flight from Raleigh-Durham. You’ll land right in San Juan, where there’s a mix of city, history, and fabulous golden beaches. Pick a spot in the Condado neighborhood and you’ll be jumping in the warm Atlantic waters in less than 30 minutes. Then head into Old San Juan to visit El Morro, a 500 year old castle fort which kids love to explore.

Where To Stay:

Caribe Hilton: The family-friendly beach here is the only private sand in San Juan, making it ideal for little ones, plus there’s an array of activities for kids including arts and crafts, mini golf, kayaking and paddle boards, plus a big pool and a playground, too. (Parents, this is also where the piña colada was invented.)

La Concha Resort: Situated directly on the beach, San Juan’s La Concha Resort is a favorite with older kids who can dive into the multiple level pool area and explore the adjoining park for ice cream before diving into the waves.

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino: You’ll have to make one decision here: Set up on the wide stretch of golden sand, or pull up a chair near the massive pool that has a corkscrew waterslide and in-water sprinklers for the kids. If you can get the kids out of the water, there’s also daily arts and crafts and games.


New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

Who Will Love It: Music-loving families

All-Star Attractions: Beignets at Cafe du Monde; jazz at Preservation Hall

What Not To Miss: A streetcar ride to the Audubon Nature Institute

Where To Stay: Sheraton New Orleans, New Orleans Marriott, Holiday Inn French Quarter

Let the good times roll with a family spring break in New Orleans where there’s ample sunshine, delicious food, and more live music, entertainment, and activities than you could fit into one break. Explore the heart of the French Quarter and Jackson Square where street performers keep the good times rolling any time of day. Stop in at Cafe du Monde for deep fried, powder sugar-covered beignets, then head to Preservation Hall for live, all-ages, jazz. Hop on a historic streetcar to Audubon Nature Institute, where there’s a zoo and a newly opened aquarium and insectarium.

Where To Stay:

Sheraton New Orleans: A prime location near the waterfront and the French Quarter, an outdoor pool, and multiple dining options make this hotel a favorite of families.

New Orleans Marriott: In between the French Quarter and the Warehouse District, the hotel is a short walk from Jackson Square and Cafe du Monde. But what makes it a family favorite are two outdoor rooftop pools (the views from here are awesome, too).

Holiday Inn French Quarter: Just a short walk from the bustle of Bourbon Street, this hotel not only has a great location, it also features a heated, outdoor salt water pool in a quiet courtyard.


Clearwater

Clearwater, Florida

Who Will Love It: Ocean loving families

All-Star Attractions: Clearwater Marine Aquarium; sunsets at Pier 60

What Not To Miss: The 10th Annual Sugar Sand Festival

Where To Stay: JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, Hotel Cabana

The only thing more impressive than the crystal clear Gulf Coast waters in Clearwater, Florida is the area’s sugar white, powder soft sand—perfect for digging your toes in and building sandcastles with the little ones. In fact, you can check out the 10th annual Sugar Sand Festival during spring break to watch master sand sculptors create incredible sculpted sand art. Nearby is Pier 60, home to a nightly, family-friendly sunset celebration with musicians, fire breathers, dancers and numerous local vendors. Don’t miss a trip to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to rescued and rehabilitated dolphins, sharks, and more, then hop aboard Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise to live out all of your pirate dreams.

Where To Stay:

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa: Parents can unwind at JW Spa while the kids hang out at The Hideaway Hangout, the onsite kids club for ages 5 to 12. The property also offers residence style accommodations with multiple bedrooms.

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach: A location right on the beach is a big draw here, as is the property’s heated pool. There are a number of family-friendly rooms with one king bed and a set of bunk beds, including a Clearwater Marine Aquarium dolphin-themed room.

Hotel Cabana: Choose from traditional hotel rooms or vacation rentals located in a separate building that have full kitchens and more room to spread out. Either option gives you full access to the pool and beach towels.


Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Who Will Love It: Families looking for a unique ski trip

All-Star Attractions: Access to nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

What Not To Miss: A wildlife safari with Jackson Hole Eco Tours

Where To Stay: The Virginian Lodge, The Cloudveil, Autograph Collection, SpringHill Suites Jackson Hole

Haven’t quite gotten enough of winter yet? Jackson Hole will have its longest ski season in history this year, staying open through April 14, so ski-centric families can hit the slopes for spring break. Beyond the snow, Jackson Hole is positioned between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, so you can get in two national parks with a bit of driving, too. Explore Grand Teton National Park, visit the hidden side of Yellowstone, or embark on a wildlife safari with Jackson Hole Eco Tours where you’ll learn to interpret animal signs, learn about the ecology of the park and see loads of wildlife.

Where To Stay:

The Virginian Lodge: An ideal base camp for families, this resort features a complimentary ski shuttle directly to the mountain, dog-friendly accommodations and an all-season pool. Adventure lovers are sure to love the onsite Outbound Adventure Center, which offers the easiest way to reserve any of Jackson Hole’s abundant outdoor activities.

The Cloudveil, Autograph Collection: This chic hotel prides itself on outdoor-savvy concierges, known as Pathfinders, that can create the perfect family adventure, including dog sledding, sleigh rides to an elk refuge, and wildlife safaris. See our full review here.

SpringHill Suites Jackson Hole: A great fit for larger families, the spacious suites here sleep up to 6 guests, plus there’s a heated outdoor pool and complimentary daily breakfast, all in the heart of town.


About Melissa Klurman, Your Spring Break Family Vacations Guide

I am an award-winning travel journalist who has looped the globe to find the best spots to take kids on adventures (using my own son for guidance) for Family Traveller, Family Fun, Parents, and Working Mother magazines. In addition to Forbes Vetted, you can find my travel writing covering everything from honeymoons to African safaris to foodie finds at Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Saveur, Reader’s Digest, The Points Guy, and TripAdvisor, among others. Follow me on Instagram @mklurman.

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