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Right now as I write, the temperature reads a bone-chilling -8 degrees in our hometown, colder today in our town than in Alaska. These horribly cold days are why we northerners start researching spring break destinations and begin the spring break countdown on December 26.

If you’re like I am, you want to have a great family get-away without the partying scene. We’ve taken numerous spring break trips where we have discovered a delightful setting for our family. Here are three family-friendly spring break destinations.

If your kids are nervous about traveling, here are 8 children’s books to get them excited about your trip!

Top 3 Spring Break Destinations Perfect For Families

If you’re like I am, you want to have a great family get-away without the partying scene. Here are three family-friendly spring break destinations.

San Diego

San Diego has a little bit of everything: culture; water; theme parks; sports; shopping, and music. I must admit I regressed into a childlike state when we visited Sea World here. Even after a dozen years since visiting, I still drink from my giant Shamu cup. The zoo is phenomenal, as well, as it is big enough to spend an entire day or even two. Then there’s Legoland 30 minutes north, and to the west of San Diego is the ever-famous Coronado Island. While some folks choose to stay on the island, we took a ferry and spent an entire day there. Finally, we visited the Old Town where we experienced local art, shopping, and great food.

San Diego has many places to stay, from inexpensive chain hotels to jaw-dropping resorts such as The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the Fairmont Grand del Mar, and the Hotel del Coronado. For our thrifty family, we realized a chain hotel was more than sufficient since we spent so little time there anyway.

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Hilton Head, SC

Growing up, our family vacationed in nearby Myrtle Beach in the summers, but during spring break, college kids take over the Grand Strand, so I advise heading a little further south to Hilton Head. Its beaches provide lots of sand for building castles, plenty of bike trails, and beautiful scenery for you to check out while the kids are playing in the sand. Of course you’ll want to visit every part and then some, from the Harbour Town Lighthouse to the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge where you can spy on deer, alligators, and other wildlife.

Hilton Head is similar to San Diego where you have an enormity of lodging selections, from campgrounds to chain hotels, from vacation home rentals to resorts. Whatever your budget is, you’ll find an appropriate place to stay for a week or more.

St. Augustine, FL

Top 3 Spring Break Destinations Perfect For Families

When our family visited St. Augustine, our spring break was just late enough that we missed the whole college scene. We had a great time in our nation’s so-called oldest city. We visited both the Fort Matanzas National Monument as well as the Castillo del San Marcos National Monument, both historical forts where we pretended to run from the bad guys, then we were captured and imprisoned.

St. Augustine also has a great downtown area with family-friendly restaurants, and in the center of town, a playground area. After a nice family cookout and picnic, we climbed all 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  Finally, if it’s important to the parents, you can sip from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly where we stayed when we visited St. Augustine, but I do remember we rented a small condominium. Between using the pool there, stepping onto the beach, and preparing breakfast and lunch there, this spring break proved to be quite affordable.

So there you have it: one destination on the west coast, two destinations on the east coast. The top 3 family-friendly spring break destinations. We are grateful we could enjoy these spring break locations with our kids when they were little, and we know you’ll have a great time at any of these locations as well. You’ll find plenty of activities that delight both age groups.

Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley
Tammy Tilley, mom of two adult children, cares deeply about parenting issues. Although she’s looking in the rearview mirror of her hands-on parenting days, once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent. She enjoys sharing a few memories and a touch of advice about spending energy on the things that matter. Tammy has a BA in English from Anderson University (IN) and a MS in Education from IUPUI.