The Best Spring Break Destinations We Want to Visit ASAP

Pack your bags, we're outta here!

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Spring break might have T-shirt contest and obnoxious college kids connotations, but what it's really about is getting away and letting loose. This year, take a more refined escape from the daily grind—one filled with great food, fun adventures, and time for self-care. Whether you're traveling with a group of friends or going solo, these are the best places to shake out the winter blues and indulge in a margarita (or two).

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Santa Barbara, California

WHERE TO STAY

Located in Santa Barbara’s art district and kitty-corner to the city’s Urban Wine Trail (we’ll get to that later), The Wayfarer is the perfect spot to position yourself for a stay in one of Cali’s most picturesque towns. It's a short three blocks from the beach for morning runs and sunset walks, and nestled in the thick of the action for good eats and fun nightlife. If you’re spring-breaking with your girlfriends, you might opt for the shared rooms. They have cheeky sleepover vibes with bunk beds that fit up to five people. Alternatively, book a private guest room that comes with a murphy bed that you can tuck away when you want extra room to party. The pool offers whichever sort of vibe you're going for: Try poolside yoga on Sundays or grab a float and a drink during one of their DJ-led pool parties. One thing is for sure: The Wayfarer knows how to have a good time.

BOOK IT

WHAT TO DO

Rent a couple of kayaks or paddle boards from Paddle Sports California and spend the morning paddling around Santa Barbara Harbor with the sea lions. You might have to pinch yourself as you take in the view of the breathtaking Santa Ynez Mountains surrounding you.

When you want time out of the sun, visit SB’s newest addition to the museum circuit, MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Burn off some brain fuel with hands-on science experiments and interactive exhibits spread across three floors, plus a rooftop sky garden that overlooks the city.

Up next: wine tasting. Grab an urban wine trail map and make your way through the 30 or so tasting rooms—all within walking distance. For a down-to-earth spa day, trek out to Gaviota Hot Springs, 30-miles west of Santa Barbara. Hike half of a mile from the Gaviota Park trail head and take a dip in the soothing warm waters. Feeling a bit extra? Visit the Sense spa at the newly opened Rosewood in celeb-studded Montecito. Try the three-and-half-hour Spirit of California Treatment: You'll take a relaxing aromatherapy bath, have an outdoor whirlpool to chill in, and time to sip on sparkling wine, too. On your way out, browse Gwyneth Paltrow’s beach-inspired GOOP boutique (products handpicked by Gwynnie herself), then swing by one of Jenni Kayne’s two Montecito shops to stock up on her perfect striped tees and signature cozy PJs.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

Santa Barbara cuisine is all about the seafood—so naturally a visit to Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant is a must. There will probably be a line, but you can always grab a seat at the bar. Order a glass of vino and some homemade crab cakes and watch the ships sail past in the harbor.

For awesome Mexican cuisine head to Santo Mezcal, which has a top-notch tequila and—you may have guessed it—mezcal collection. Order up the queso fundido with a mix of melted cheeses and pasilla peppers, the ceviche de mariscos with a seafood medley of octopus, shrimp, scallops, and fresno pepper, and the tacos ribeye for a main.

A favorite amongst locals and tourists alike is The Lark in the eclectic Funk Zone neighborhood. Ingredients are locally sourced from California’s Central Coast and the drink menu highlights local winemakers and artisan craft cocktails. Portions are large, so share a snack and a few dishes from each category and a bottle of Santa Ynez pinot noir to keep it all in the family.

Mad River Valley, Vermont

WHERE TO STAY

Hold up—don’t dig out all of your bikinis just yet (but do keep one at the ready for hot tubbing). Early spring means there’s still lots of skiing to be had. Before you totally shed the layers, get all comfy cozy at the super cute Pitcher Inn, set in the Green Mountains, about three miles away from Sugarbush ski resort. Rooms are set in both a main house and a barn, and accommodations include quirky rustic décor, like bed posts made from tree branches. There's a fun list of nearby activities, with Pitcher Inn serving as an awesome base camp.

BOOK IT

WHAT TO DO

If skiing is what you’re after, spend the day at nearby Mad River Glen that boasts 52 trails, all accessible with the use of 5 different lifts or take a shuttle 5 minutes to the popular mountain of Sugarbush.

If skiing isn’t your thing, this vacation is still for you! Peruse antique shops in town filled with vintage treasures. We highly recommend The Warren Store, an old timey general store with a little bit of everything, including a curated boutique upstairs and a deli and grocer downstairs. Got a sweet tooth? Vermont sugaring season starts in late Feb and ends in early April, with a bevy of maple sugarhouses located near The Pitcher Inn. Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip to Vermont without talking about one of the state's main attractions: their microbrews. Take a “beer safari” and tour regional breweries to lock lips with some of the country’s most highly-touted beers.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

For easy pub fare before or after a tough day on the mountain, head over to The Mad River Barn and challenge your friends to a game of pool, shuffle board, or table hockey.

If you’re a pizza lover (and who isn’t?) check out The Blue Stone, a pizza shop that uses hand-tossed dough and sauce made daily. Order the garlic knots, a grilled wedge salad, and the signature blue stone pizza made with Vermont goat cheese, spinach, roasted chicken, and garlic oil.

For a night of fine dining and wine (or craft beer), go home to the rustic restaurant at The Pitcher Inn, offering a sophisticated farm-to-table menu prepared with fresh, homegrown ingredients.

Palm Beach, Florida

WHERE TO STAY

The Breakers is one of the most legendary resorts, dating back to 1896 and founded by oil tycoon Henry Flagler. Checking in is much like being transported to Rome, with a Italian Renaissance-inspired 200-foot main lobby, high arched ceilings, and ornate floral arrangements around every turn. The grounds are something out of a fairy tale: rolling green lawns, hidden gardens, and a private Beach Club, not to mention four pools. Plus there’s two championship golf courses, a tennis court, and a state-of-the art fitness center. In summary: You basically don’t have to leave.

BOOK IT

WHAT TO DO

Remember how we said you don’t have to leave The Breakers? We kind of weren’t kidding. Start the day working up a nice sweat with sunrise cycling on the fitness center’s ocean-facing terrace, sip coffee in the fountain garden while watching humming birds buzz around, and order a few skinny Pina Coladas poolside for a very sophisticated version of the spring break experience.

Later, if you're feeling "active," make your way to Worth Avenue to shop the designer stores and boutiques. Spend the night dancing with the local Palm Beach crew at the polo lounge in The Colony where they host live music seven nights a week.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

Like vintage cars and Lily Pulitzer dresses, there’s no shortage of restaurant options in Palm Beach. This town is all about the see-and-be-seen lifestyle. For seafood towers and strong martinis, visit the Seafood Bar at The Breakers. Make a reservation ahead or post up at the aquarium bar and give pet names to the fish that swim past your drinks.

For a night on the town, visit the Mad Men-esque Leopard Lounge Restaurant, a PB institution decked out in mirrors and animal skin carpets. The menu has a fun retro flare. Order a round of cocktails for the table, the chopped salad, lobster risotto, and the Prime Strip Steak to share. After dinner, head over the adjoining Leopard Lounge Bar, enjoy the live music and have their in-house mixologist create a few bespoke cocktails.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

WHERE TO STAY

If your ideal spring break entails real life cowboys and getting up close with nature, this one’s for you. For the ultimate in serenity, book yourself at Amangani. An extensive on-site library, an ultra-cozy lounge area, and a heated swimming pool and outdoor hot tub are a few of the hotel’s indulgences. Yes, it's pricey, but if you're looking to treat yourself, there's really nothing better.

BOOK IT

WHAT TO DO

For horseback riding, Nordic skiing, fat biking, and wildlife spotting, visit Turpin Meadow Dude Ranch. (Hang out with a cup of cocoa in the rustic flannel-and-leather-clad lodge in-between activities.) The ranch also provides personalized tours of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

For skiers, there’s no better place than Jackson Hole Mountain, but non-skiers should check out the calendar for a full list of events. One not-to-be-missed excursion is a visit to the National Elk Refuge, where you can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride amongst thousands of elk. You may even encounter wolves, coyotes, or eagles.

After a strenuous day of elk peeping or tearing it up on the slopes, book a Teton Healing Journey treatment at the Amangani spa, during which they’ll use dry brushing techniques to open up your pores, followed by a mineral rich mud wrap, and ending with a customized hydrating massage.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

There are plenty of good options for eats in Jackson with great views to match. For a lunch amongst the mountains, take the gondola on Jackson Hole mountain up to Piste Mountain Bistro. Order the smoked mac and cheese or the house-made bison meatloaf and a side of warm cheddar biscuits.

If you’re in Teton Village for après ski, you must visit Spur, which has two bars serving local beers and a heated patio for dining al fresco.

For Italian fare, head into Glorietta Trattoria and try the handmade pastas paired with divine Italian wines. In the mood for steak? Try the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse. Afterwards head to The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, one of Jackson’s best watering holes located in the town square.

Vieques, Puerto Rico

WHERE TO STAY

Fly into San Juan and take a $2 ferry from the mainland to the island of Vieques—home to a cluster of secluded beaches, tropical jungles, and wild horses. If you appreciate a minimalist aesthetic, check out solar-powered Hix Island House. Pack light—all rooms come stocked with plush linens and robes and a fridge full of essentials, like coffee, fruits, and Hix homemade breads.

BOOK HIX ISLAND HOUSE

If you’re looking for accommodations in town, check out El Blok. The boutique hotel is built almost completely from concrete with open air spaces for hanging out. Their rooftop offers 360-degree views of the island—the best place to sip a tropical drink and watch the sunset over the water. Pro tip: Take advantage of their bike rentals and go for a spin around town.

BOOK EL BLOK

WHAT TO DO

This is the time to bust out ALL the swimsuits. Vieques is a mere 21-miles long but has 40-something beaches, ranging from complete solitude to day party vibes. Ask locals about the island’s secret beaches and spend your day exploring. Snorkeling and scuba excursions can be arranged through Black Beard Sports (start with a dive class to get your feet wet).

For after-sunset entertainment, book a tour of the island’s Bioluminescence Bays. In short, the water’s unique eco-system is responsible for making the bay glow bright blue. But make sure it’s not a full moon, as the reflective light could get in the way.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

For a casual bite on a don’t-wanna-leave-the-beach day, stop by Lizzy's Lunchbox and grab an assortment of tacos—from pork to ceviche.

For a sit-town lunch, visit the Tin Box. (If you pass by a tin looking tree house structure, you’ve found it.) Hang out with the birds and take in the garden where the restaurant’s veggies and herbs are grown. Not only is the setting unique, but this isn’t your average Caribbean fare, either. Order the watermelon margaritas with salt on the rim, and something from their southern-inspired menu, like the sweet potato fries and a BBQ smoked pork Po’ boy.

When happy hour rolls around, grab a seat at one of the many restaurants lining the town of Esperanza’s boardwalk, maybe Bananas or Duffy’s. Or, for a casual-nice dinner, order seafood from the bevy of choices at El Blok's restaurant.

Isla Holbox, Mexico

WHERE TO STAY

Super chill boho vibes have put Tulum on the map, but we recommend its lesser talked about (but rapidly growing) sister island: Isla Holbox. It's about a 2-hour drive from the Cancun airport, accessible only by prop plane, boat, or ferry. For design buffs, Hotel Punta Caliza is a striking architectural feat with high wooden beams and a pool that runs throughout the hotel. One entrance by land and one by pool come with all 12 guest rooms. The hotel is family-owned and -run, which makes it all the more enchanting for a low-key spring break.

BOOK IT

WHAT TO DO

What's so special about this island is that is serves as a sanctuary for wildlife and a prime destination for viewing whale sharks (they’re actually super gentle).

For some water sports action, try a class with Holbox Kiteboarding School. The mix of shallow waters and the island's tendency for windy conditions allow you to really set sail.

An early bird? Book a 3-island tour that begins before sunrise. Expert guides will lead you to Isla Pajaros (Bird Island), the Yalahua Lagoon, and a deserted beach, Passion Island. Get your camera ready for snaps of flamingos and pelicans, swim in the Yalahua Lagoon’s cenote (the lagoon's waters are rumored to be a fountain of youth), and collect Passion Island’s bright pink seashells to bring home as souvenirs.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

Isla Holbox has a reputation for good food, and from street-parked food trucks for a fresh juice and tortas to authentic Mexican fare to local watering holes—it doesn't disappoint. Visit Et Voilå for casual street food you can take to the beach.

For traditional Mexican fare head over to Rosa Mexicano, and The Hot Corner gastro bar when you want a drink under a palapa.

For really fresh sushi (yes! sushi!) visit El Sushi. Sit on the terrace and order straight-from-the-sea sushi, sashimi, and niguiri all with a Mexican spin. They’re said to have one of the best spicy margarita’s on the island.

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