Off The Beaten Path Spring Break Destinations

Off The Beaten Path Spring Break Destinations

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1. Bozeman, Montana

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Use the week off and camp out with friends or family. The Bozeman Parks & Recreation Department is offering all-day camps March 14-18. 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 to learn how to safely deal with Grizzlies should you encounter them. Another interesting location to visit is the American Computer Museum. If you feel like staying in the outdoors, Bozeman offers many fly fishing tours and safaris. The nightlife is as diverse as in any big city. Bars have live music and standup performances, amateur open mic nights, cheap beer, pool tables and poker.

2. Joshua Tree, California

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Why don’t you try rock climbing or an adventure walk through the desert this Spring Break? You will see unique rock formations, called Inselbergs, which are protected. Joshua Tree National Park combines two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado. Few places in the country have a richer history – humans have occupied the area encompassed by the park for at least 5,000 years. Visit the outdoor gallery showcasing the work of Noah Purifoy when you’re in town. You’ll be amazed at what people can create out of random objects and junk.

3. Flagstaff, Arizona

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If you want to see mountains, desert, and ponderosa pine forests everywhere you turn, Flagstaff is the place to go. Hikers, campers and mountain bikers consider it their “mecca.” You can even find cheap hotels to stay in on the iconic Route 66. The city is a known for being a family-friendly destination. You and your loved ones can explore the Lava Tube Cave or visit the Meteor Crater. Families, and especially children, enjoy looking into deep space with telescopes at Lowell Observatory; going on the Scenic Skyride; or skiing at Arizona Snowbowl.

4. Bend, Oregon

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This is the time to prolong winter for at least another week. Bend is a wonderland for ski enthusiasts and people who want to keep sledding or snowshoeing outside of the colder months. Go see the majestic Tumallo Falls, which may still be frozen in April. The best part is the two-mile hike to the falls from the closest parking spot. You can also walk around the lava beds at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument on a self-guided tour. When the weather is nice, people drive to the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway for some beautiful scenes of nature.

5. Lenox, Massachusetts

Lenox offers 15 miles of trails within a hardwood forest known as "Woolsey Woods" for hiking in the spring. Take the time to learn horseback riding, and book rides that last a whole day and travel under the trees along the trails of Kennedy Park and Lenox Mountain. Tourists also go there on a break to enjoy the atmosphere of a small but lively town in New England and to see cultural attractions such as Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare and Company’s new international campus, and Edith Wharton’s restored mansion, The Mount.

6. Taos, New Mexico

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Taos is definitely the more unusual option in New Mexico that offers all the glamour without the possibility of bankruptcy. You can find exhilarating, peaceful and exclusive sites with a variety of pricing options. Spring breakers love to go there for rafting down the Rio Grande River, relaxing in healing natural mineral springs and showing off their designer skills by constructing the best vessel out of cardboard for the Cardboard Derby. Families love it for the opportunity to go hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains or along the Rio Grande Gorge.

7. The Ozarks

The lake in the Ozark Mountains is the largest, non-flood control lake in the country. Its 55,000 acres are all for fisherman and boaters looking for a fun and adventurous trip in the highland region. The spring weather is perfect for bass fishing and off-season discounts on lodging.

8. Juneau, Alaska

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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.

9. Burlington, Vermont

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This is a favorite spring break destination for children. They get to rock climb at Petra Cliffs and test themselves in the indoor rock climbing center with climbing walls, bouldering areas, and rope courses. The ECHO Lake Aquarium offers dozens of interactive exhibitions so the “little explorers” can learn about fish, shipwrecks and sea monsters. Adults can sail Lake Champlain until sunset or go on a beer tour. Additionally, Burlington has a vibrant night life, and you’re never far from a bar with live music or DJs.

10. Haleiwa, Hawaii

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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.

11. Montauk, New York

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Hike along the cliff-top trails to Montauk’s historic lighthouse and see the Atlantic Ocean in a way you’ve never seen it before; sail the Mon Tiki, a U.S. Coast Guard Certified eco-conscious sailing catamaran; or learn how to surf. These are just a few of the exciting adventures Montauk has to offer. Seal hikes, scheduled every weekend through mid-April, are also very popular.

12. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville blossoms in the spring time, both literally (the area is home to a wide array of wildflowers) and figuratively (because the city attracts tons of tourists interested in its thriving cuisine and arts scene). Bonus: Asheville is a short drive away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can indulge in such activities as wine tasting, horseback riding, fly-fishing, zip-lining, and hiking the untouched mountains surrounding the city. You can also go on steam engine rides on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

13. Moab, Utah

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The Arches National Park is a must-see but you have to hurry before the summer crowds start flocking there. The park’s rock formations and scenic hiking trails will amaze kids as well as adults. Climbing, rafting and biking are among the most popular activities. Explore the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail and its traces in the form of bone fragments and impressions of a variety of dinosaur species. Moab is an amazing camping location as its clear skies at night are perfect for star-gazing and astronomy classes.

14. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Go on a Spring Break Safari in Chattanooga that includes a scavenger hunt. Children can tap into their inner Jack Sparrow and play pirates aboard a riverboat or sword fighters on a quest to see the Queen, There are also cave and animal attractions, where adults can get in on the fun. As an alternative, the Tennessee Aquarium and High Point Climbing Center in the city are quick getaways.

15. Telluride, Colorado

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You can still ski in the spring. The snow is soft and the resort is open, offering various discounts. Serene and secluded, Telluride prides itself on its secluded trails, which include such famed terrain as Revelation Bowl, Palmyra Peak and Gold Hill Chutes. With everything from neatly groomed beginner runs to demanding downhill slopes and more than 2,000 skiable acres, the resort welcomes beginners and experts alike. Snowshoeing is also popular. A walk through the quiet alpine meadows of Telluride seems like the perfect place to try it. For all architects out there, Telluride is famous for its Victorian and Greek revival architecture in the historic district. Everyone’s favorite is the 13-minute gondola ride. You can use it up to Mt. Village for free.

16. The Black Hills, South Dakota

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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, South Dakota 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.