20 Off the Beaten Path Adventurous Spring Break Destinations from 20 Off the Beaten Path Adventurous Spring Break Destinations
20 Off the Beaten Path Adventurous Spring Break Destinations
Adventurers who are willing to think outside the box enjoy many more options than those who prefer to stick with more traditional choices.
How about mountain biking down a volcano this Spring Break? Set in Cotopaxi National Park, this snow-capped volcano is one of the tallest in the world that remains active to this day. The second highest mountain in all of Ecuador and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi is a top spot for recreational climbers. The trek to the top is spectacular and summiting in the soft light of dawn is an experience unlike any other. The view at the top of the volcano is surreal.
The Black Hills, South Dakota
If it’s an adventurous road trip and camping that you seek, why not look to Mount Rushmore? There, you can hike through the mountains, see the rugged beauty of the Badlands and explore one of the world’s longest cave systems. If you choose to go on a bike ride, consider the Mickelson Trail. It follows the abandoned Burlington Northern line that took trains from Edgemont up north to the Black Hills and gold mines of the Deadwood area. At approximately 110 miles, you’ll see a lot of different country ranging from unique granite rock formations to hay bale-dotted farmland. A few highlights are riding through blasted hard-rock tunnels and over 100 converted railroad bridges.
Spring Break is not as popular in Europe as it is in the U.S., so going to the Old Continent this time of year is still considered (fairly) low season. This gorgeous area is best experienced on a bike. Ride and Seek is an astonishing bike tour that will have you enjoy eight villages classified as some of the most beautiful in France, hence the name “Les plus beaux.” The itinerary includes a big challenge – climbing Mont Ventoux. Be enchanted by the rich Roman heritage of the region and sample the sophisticated wines of Côtes du Rhône.
Use the week off and camp out with friends or family. Explore the famous parks and trails in Montana that offer plenty of options for thrilling adventures. Before you go into the wild, though, get up close and personal with the bears in the zoo. If you feel like staying in the outdoors, Bozeman offers many fly fishing tours and safaris. Bars have live music and standup performances, amateur open mic nights, cheap beer, pool tables, and poker.
Tofino, British Columbia
On the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia lies Tofino, a sweet and sleepy surf town that comes alive in the summer, but has its own unique charm all year round. With extensive beaches, waves perfect for surfing and bodysurfing, thick forests great for hiking, and calm waters for kayaking, this is the perfect spot for an active vacation. Tofino is also a great spot for whale watching. The waters of Clayoquot Sound are spring feeding grounds for gray and humpback whales as well as orcas.
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Surf, enjoy the culture, see waterfalls and wildlife, sit in a pool drinking mocktails, stuff your faces with delicious tacos, and have lots of fun whether you are a college student or taking a vacation with your teenage kids. There are plenty of beaches offering big waves for surfing but there are also shores with smaller waves to learn on such as Playa Hermosa. Santa Teresa definitely has an off the beaten path vibe, but the nightlife, although laid-back, is still entertaining.
Most people are interested in Marrakech as a destination that won’t break the bank. For a more relaxed pace of life and untouched by tourism sands, consider going to the charming coastal town of Essaouria. Located on a peninsula surrounded by forests and overseeing the ocean, travel guides always recommend the ancient Mogador as a beautiful place for tourism and surfing in Morocco.
Death Valley National Park, California
Spring is the best time to visit Death Valley National Park because it’s comfortably warm. You can enjoy the beautiful borders and out-of-this-world sand dunes and peaks. Go to Dante’s View for sunrises and Zabriskie Point for sunsets. Visit in the spring to see some amazing wildflowers bloom. The park is a favorite place for hikers. Most routes are up canyons or along ridges. Camping is another favorite because you have a lot of choices – more than 3 million acres of wilderness and almost 700 miles of backcountry dirt roads.
Visit Cuba before the island becomes inundated with tourists. Varadero Beach is one of the best in the Caribbean and the longest in the country – more than 13 miles. Many also call it “the most beautiful.” All-inclusive packages are offered by nearly every resort. Other fun adventures in Cuba include cave and scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking, and zip lining.
This is a trip for nature lovers who want to embark on an adventure in the heart of the amazing Amazon rainforest. Rurrenabaque is remote (one of the most secluded in South America), which is always a plus to travelers. It’s actually really far away from civilization, which means unique jungle experiences. Make no mistake – you won’t find any luxury, but this is part if this trip’s charm. The place makes up for the lack of comfort in wilderness. Dolphins, caimans, and howler monkeys are a few of your friends along the way.
If you want sea, sun, gardens, good food, sightseeing, historical buildings, and nightlife – but not in a big city – Malaga is your destination. It is in the Andalucía region of Spain. The city is one of the warmest in the country. Did you know that the famous Picasso was born in Malaga? Naturally, there is a museum named after him that is absolutely amazing and worth a visit (it is free on Sundays).
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
One of the most beautiful in the world, this national park is more like a scene from a fairytale than an actual place on earth. The 16 crystal clear lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and vaulted caves are not only real—they’re natural formations. Water rich with minerals winds its way down waterfalls and along rocks, continuously changing the landscape as diverse wildlife (bears, wolves, rare birds and butterflies) live in the vast forest that surrounds the lakes.
Belize is not just a scuba diving and snorkeling heaven. There is plenty to do on land as well. It offers adventures for families and nature lovers with its reserves that are filled with wildlife. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a lush, tropical forest that is most famous for its jaguar reserve (the only one in the world ), even though it’s rare for visitors to actually catch a glimpse of the big, spotted cats. Fly through the unspoiled Rain Forest Canopy on the longest zip line in Belize in the Bocawina National Park. It has 14 platforms and nine different runs.
Haleiwa is a North Shore town in Oahu, Hawaii. Go gliding if you’re a fan of flying. You can also turn your Spring Break into a surfing retreat, and explore Oahu's famous surfing beaches and see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles up close. Take a break from surfing for snorkeling, kayaking and swimming at waterfalls. Visit the Dole Plantation and bring the kids for a fun Pineapple Express train ride.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
If you are a curious traveler, Lake Atitlan is the perfect destination for you. Take a tour around the beautiful lake, climb Volcano Atitlan and Volcano San Pedro, hike through the Onion Fields and take pictures of the amazing scenery. Visit the towns surrounding Lake Atitlan for unlimited experiences, providing you with both relaxing and partying atmospheres.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Sand sledding in Colorado’s rough Sangre de Cristo Mountains is an adrenaline-pumping option to spend Spring Break. There are 19,000 acres of dunes going up 750 feet. Make sure you get on slopes that are at least 20 degrees. You’ll be sliding down regardless of your skill level. The park has the tallest dunes in the country. It’s always peaceful at the Piñon Flats Campground.
Go there before the world gets out because Ireland is becoming popular for the popular college and school vacation. This year is special because the country’s national feast day falls into Spring Break week. Your trip can easily include everything from culture and heritage to nature and nightlife. And don’t worry, many tours include stops at the Guinness Brewery, Blarney Castle, and the Jameson Distillery.
This coastal village is full of history, adventure opportunities, beautiful weather year-round, and great prices. Walk the City Walls and enjoy the magnificent view. Take a tour of the old town, visit Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, and spend a couple of days at Rosario Islands. You can choose from adventurous activities like snorkeling, SCUBA diving, hiking, biking and more. Check out Cartagena’s famous museum, The Museo del Oro y Arqueología, and take salsa lessons.
Malton, North Yorkshire, England
Malton and Norton/Wikimedia Commons
This place is for people whose priority as travelers is to try different and delicious foods. Malton is not a typical tourist town; it’s an urban place like any other that just happened to have amazing and fresh produce. Visit in the spring in time for the Malton Monthly Food Market (every second Saturday of the month). Malton’s Gin Festival is April 27-29.
Kids can go on a special Spring Break Camp and enjoy Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and tide-pooling. Adults go to find peace and quiet in a beautiful secluded community where they can stay in rustic cabins and swim in refreshing Alaskan waters. Expect to find small animals right outside your lodge. Juneau is the place to see wildlife in the spring as male blue grouse begin their mating rituals; trumpeter swans, the heaviest living bird native to North America, return to the creek of Eagle River; and bears are waking up from hibernation.