young girl lying on beach pebbles wearing bathing suit, sun hat and sunglasses smiling. USA spring break destinations

11 best spring break destinations for families in USA (2022)

Spring break is just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning your next family vacation. The best spring break destinations for families are different depending on what you are looking for. Whether you want warm beaches or exciting outdoor adventures, there is a destination perfect for your family. To help narrow down the search, we have compiled our list of the top 20 best places to for spring break in 2022!

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BEST SPRING BREAK DESTINATIONS FOR FAMILIES, USA

Table of Contents

There are many great places to choose from in the USA when planning a family spring break trip. Whether you are looking for a beach getaway, an outdoor adventure or cool mountain destinations, there is something for everyone on the list. We’ve broken it out into the

The best family beach vacation spring break ideas

Let’s start off with family beach vacations. Most people are looking to escape the cold, and head somewhere warmer for spring break. There are a lot of options ot choose from, but our top three picks include:

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • San Diego, California
  • Hawaii – Oahu

Myrtle Beach – South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is popular year round and known as a prime location for golfing, kayaking and boating.  During spring break, families flock to the area for its beautiful beaches and mild weather. The family-friendly options in Myrtle Beach include an aquarium, mini golf courses and nature tours. Enjoy pristine sand dunes along with a variety of shops and restaurants right on the beach. Myrtle beach is one of the best spring break ideas.

When traveling with children, there are so many awesome things to do. Here is just a taste with

Family friendly things to do in Myrtle Beach you won’t want to miss:

1) Ripley’s Aquarium: This attraction houses over 2,000 sea creatures including sharks, rays and octopi! You can also see daily events such as feedings and touch tanks where you can get up close with some smaller marine life. For kids who love animals, this place will be heaven! It’s part of the large Broadway on the Beach complex along with shopping, dining, go-karts, outdoor play areas and more. So you could make a day of it.

2) Mini golf: This is a classic family activity and Myrtle Beach has no shortage of mini golf courses. From pirate-themed to glow in the dark, there’s a course for everyone.

3) Nature tours: There are a variety of nature tours to choose from in Myrtle Beach, many of which are family friendly. Go kayaking on the Waccamaw River, explore a pirate’s hidden treasure or take a guided tour through the maritime forest. There’s also horseback riding on the beach.

4) Myrtle Beach State Park: This park offers a variety of activities such as fishing, crabbing, kayaking, swimming and nature walks. You’ll need a special fishing permit to fish. It’s also pet friendly so you can bring your furry friends along for the fun! From March – Nov it’s usually open 6am – 10pm.

5) The Oceanfront Boardwalk: This is a must-do for any family visiting Myrtle Beach. With amusement parks, arcades, restaurants and more, there’s something for everyone on the boardwalk.

6) Cherry Grove Fishing Pier: Be part of a long standing tradition and try your reel at fishing off the pier. There are also off-shore fishing tours that cater to all ages if you’d like to get out on the ocean.

When traveling to Myrtle Beach with children, it is important to keep in mind that the South Carolina coast experiences a wide range of temperatures throughout the year. If you are traveling in warmer months (March-October) make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats and water to stay hydrated. The average high temperature in March is 71 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s important to pack clothes for a variety of weather conditions.

Don’t forget to pack all beach vacation essentials.

Baordwalk leading to Myrtle Beach, family under bright colored sun umbrella, ocean waves in distance.

Family – Friendly places to stay in Myrtle Beach

Of course when traveling you’ll want to make sure you are staying somewher family friendly. Here are some great options:

The Breakers Resort, Myrtle Beach – Budget Friendly Resort

If you’re looking for an oceanfront resort with a variety of family friendly amenities, look no further than The Breakers Resort Myrtle Beach. This hotel offers access to the beach and is located in close proximity to many other attractions within downtown Myrtle Beach such as Broadway, and  the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.

Kids love the pirate ship, and the new indoor waterpark, with a lazy river. Parents love the easy beach access and walkability to attractions, plus the kitchenettes in some units. There’s indoor / outdoor & children’s pools, plus coffe shops, and dining options right on site.

Coral Beach Resort & Suites, Myrtle Beach – Beach Resort Magic

The Coral Beach Resort & Suites is a beachfront resort with endless hours of fun waiting for you and your family. Kids love the water amenities which include a splash park with submarine, and indoor / outdoor pools. There’s also a bowling alley, rec area with arcades and pool, ice cream parlour and plenty of onsite dining options.

North Beach Resort home – Home Away From Home

This North Beach Resort home is perfect if you need a little more space, and don’t mind the 8 minute walk to the beach (or use the free shuttle).

This gorgeous 3 bedroom beach cottage sleeps 7, has a full kitchen, inner courtyard and access to the North Beach Resort amenities (8 pools, swim-up bar, 5 hot tubs, lazy river, world-class spa, gym, free shuttle, 2 on-site restaurants, fire pit, children’s activities and more).

Includes the use of sand toys, a baby pool, beach chairs, umbrellas, a cooler, kite, water toys, beach towels, kids toys and more. I am dreaming of a family beach vacation right now!

Two pages of the free beach vacation checklist. Young kids holding hands running down the beach.

San Diego – California

Located in sunny California, San Diego is a family-friendly destination offering a variety of exciting activities for all ages. Explore the city’s biggest attractions including Belmont Park and SeaWorld. Enjoy beaches with views of the famous Coronado Bridge or go for an exciting ride on one of their roller coasters!

This coastal city is perfect for a family vacation with plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, from the San Diego Zoo and theme parks to whale watching and boating.

Top kid-friendly (and adult friendly) attractions in San Diego include:

1) Beaches – While the beaches aren’t as balmy as say Florida for spring break, it’s still a popular beach destination. Make sure to bring or rent a wetsuit if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the water. Some favourites for building sandcastles & taking walks along the sand include Coronado Beach, Moonlight State Beach and Del Mar’s main beach (also close to the picnic perfect Powerhouse and Seagrove Parks).

2) Belmont Park – Belmont Park is an institution on Mission Beach. This amusement park has something for everyone, including rides with a view. The younger kidlets will like the carousel and Belmont Train ride. There is even a boardwalk that runs between Mission and Pacific beach, so take a walk or bike between the two. Belmont’s Park Ride & Play Pass is included with the Go San Diego Pass

3) SeaWorld San Diego – SeaWorld is another popular attraction in San Diego with rides, shows, and animal exhibits that are sure to please everyone in the family. Enjoy one of the live educational presentations about dolphins, sea lions, and orcas.

4) San Diego Zoo – The San Diego Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country and is a family favourite from toddlers to teens. It offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits with animals from all over the world. Be on the look out for elephants, koalas and even polar bears. Just make sure to leave a good amount of time, as this 100 acre park also has an aerial tram and 4-D Movies.

5) Legoland California – For all your lego lovers, and the nostalgia in all us older folks. This a theme park specifically geared towards kids with rides, shows, and attractions. The Dragon Coaster is popular.

6) Sea Lions & La Jolla Cove – If you are looking for sea lions, clear water and some of the best sunsets around, you can’t go wrong with La Jolla Cove. You’ll need to walk a few minutes south to the Children’s Pool to see them. This was one of our highlights during our visit.

PRO TIP: Check out the Go San Diego Pass if you are planning on seeing multiple attractions, it can save you time and money. The San Diego Zoo, Legoland, SeaWorld, and Belmont Park are all included in the Go San Diego Pass.

– You can get an All-inclusive pass (1 to 7 days) – See as many attractions as you like during the day. If you are looking to go to Legoland and SeaWorld, this is the pass for you.

– The Explorer Pass – Choose from 2,3,4,5 or 7 attractions, and you have 60 days to use the pass.

With beautiful weather year round, San Diego is a great destination any time of year for the entire family. The last time I was there was around Christmas time, and I loved it, even in winter. Can’t wait to go back.

spring break beach vacation ideas for families - La Jolla Beach, San Diego . Rocky shore with clear ocean.
La Jolla
photo: “alancrosthwaite / deposit photos”

Family Friendly Places to Stay in & near San Diego, California

When looking for the best places to stay in San Diego, California you’ll want to combine fun activities for kids, with relaxation for the adults. Our top 3 list tries to strike a balance between them in highly rated. well reviewed choices for families.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar – Luxury

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the top choice for luxurious accomodations, between their spa and kid friendly activities onsite and nearby it combines the best of all worlds.

They have their supervised Explorers Club for kids 5 – 12 years old which has drop in and scheduled activities and their main pool is kid terrific with a sandy area. Book a treatment at their 5 star spa and you get 2 hours of the Explorers Club for free.

Check out the 37 miles of trails to hike and bike close by in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. You can grab a bike and helmet from the hotel. Or take a riding lesson at their equestrian centre.

La Jolla Shores Hotel – Moderate

La Jolla Shores Hotel is perfect for those looking for a more relaxed family spring break vacation in a family owned hotel, that won’t break the bank. The La Jolla Shores Beach area is the place to be for learning to surf, stand up paddle board or explore the nearby La Jolla Underwater park by kayak.

The beach and hotel are separated by a boardwalk, so it’s perfect for spending days at the beach, and running back and forth to your room. Eco-friendly hotel with onsite restaurants, a free shuttle to La Jolla area, and a smaller outdoor pool.

Bahia Resort Hotel – Budget Friendly

The Bahia Resort Hotel has been voted on of the best budget hotels in the US, and it’s easy to see why. With its convenient Mission Bay location and easy access to beaches, water sports, comfortable rooms and the resort spa at the Catamaran next door. It’s only a 10 minute walk to Belmont Park and Mission Beach. Kids love the waveless beach, small playground, arcade and swimming pool.

All these hotels are located in close proximity to San Diego attractions which makes them great for families looking to explore the area.

Hawaii – Oahu

Oh Hawaii, how you hold a piece of my heart. The Hawaiian Islands offer a diverse range of activities for family spring break. You can enjoy beautiful beaches, go snorkeling or diving in the coral reefs, visit volcanoes and rainforests, and much more. Here we will focus on Oahu. You can also check out our full article on why we think Oahu is the best Hawaiian island for family vacations.

Great family activities to enjoy on your Hawaii family spring break vacation

1) The Polynesian Cultural Center – The Polynesian Cultural Centre is a family attraction, located in Laie on the northern shore of Oahu, which offers guests a chance to learn about the culture and history of Hawaii and other Pacific islands. It features recreations of traditional villages, performances by dancers and musicians, as well as a number of interactive demonstrations.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a popular tourist attraction on the island and offers parking, buffet style meals with luau, night shows and more. If you are short on time, a day tour of the Cultural Centre, Pearl Harbour and Dole Plantation is a great option.

2) Visit Pearl Harbor – Pearl Harbour is a must for all families in this moving tribute to the historic battles between Japan and the United States during World War II.

3) Hike Diamond Head – Classic family friendly hike up a volcanic crater. Stunning views of the island await your hard work to get to the top.

4) Go Snorkeling or Diving – Hawaii is home to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, with crystal clear waters and a wide variety of marine life. The best places for families to go snorkeling on Oahu are:

  • For beginners – Hanuama Bay or the Lagoon at Ko Olina
  • To see turtles – Aweoweo Beach Park 
  • Child friendly – Hanuama and Kuilima

5) Go whale watching – The Hawaiian Islands are home to humpback whales, and during the spring these whales can often be seen breaching near the coast.

6) Visit Waimea Valley – Take a free self guided tour through the  gorgeous 1,875-acre garden oasis, made up of 35 botanical gardens with 5,000 kinds of plants, dozens of archeological sites, and a lovely waterfall. You can also experience a luau and lei making. There is admission charge to the Valley.

PRO TIP: If you are planning to do multiple excursions to popular attractions like Diamond Head, Polynesian Cultural Centre, Pearl Harbour, Waimea Valley and more:

Grab the Go City Oahu pass for a great deal on attraction tickets. Save Money on admission to multiple attractions with a 1, 3, 4, 5, or 7 day pass.

Now that we have your activities figure out, it is time to find a place to stay for the nights.

Honolulu & Waikiki Beach

The best family friendly places to stay on Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu has many different popular areas to stay, from the central and busy Waikkiki Beach, to Ko Olina and the popular Aulani Disney Resort to the quieter north shore.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – Moderate

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is located on Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach. Walking up you get the feeling of a Hawaiian Village, but with waterslides, kids playground, and waterfalls.

They have 5 pools! There is also a kids day camp called Camp Penguin, for kids 12 and up. Did you know that Elvis Presley stayed here on the 14th floor when shooting Blue Hawaii in 1961?

Staying in Waikkiki means you are close to a number of family friendly attractions such as the Waikiki Aquarium, Diamond Head, Honolulu Zoo and Kapiolani Park. Guests love the on-site restaurants and the nightly entertainment such as the family friendly luaus.

Aulani Disney Resort – Moderate

If you have kids and you’ve been researching places to stay with kids on Oahu, then you will likely be familiar with Aulani.

The Aulani Disney Resort is a perennial favourite with families because it is located right on a super kid friendly beach and of course Disney characters. Get in the Disney spirit, Aloha style.

This resort has all of the Disney amenities you would expect from a Disney resort – including character dining, a Disney cast, lots of entertainment for kids and a bug emphasis of enjoyment for all guests.

Think pools, luaus, sheltered beach perfect for kids snorkeling, and a free kids club. Aunty’s Beach House is a place where kids 3 to 12 can explore the culture, art and music of Hawaii with daily themed activities. There is a tween zone for 10 to 12 year olds.

Turtle Bay Resort – Luxury

Turtle Bay Resort is located on 8 km of gorgeous beachfront on Oahu’s North Shore. It offers family friendly accomodations from traditional bungalows with kitchens, to hotel rooms and many delicious dining options to choose from. Close to the Polynesian Cultural Centre and many other fun activities. Not to mention cool activities on site like yoga classes, scuba lessons, surf school, 2 championship golf courses, pools and more.

4 pictures of US spring destinations; Diseny Castle with Minnie Mouse kissing Mickey on the cheek, boardwalk leading to a beach, sandy beach against rocky shoreline, and Dad and young child wearing backpacks looking at a lake, snow capped mountains in the distance.

The best USA national parks to visit for family spring break

When looking for an outdoor adventure to embark on during family spring break, look no further than America’s national parks. With 63 different parks to choose from, there is definitely a park perfect for your family. From exploring mountains in Colorado to hiking through the red rocks of Utah, there’s something for every taste and ability.

  • Yosemite National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Zion National Park
PRO TIP: Buy an annual America the Beautiful Park Pass to save money on National Park and Federal Rec Sites entrance fees. The Pass covers entrance fees for driver and passengers, which is especially useful if you are planning on visiting more than one park in a year or taking a long road trip.

Yosemite National Park – California

Yosemite is the perfect family destination with activities such as hiking, skiing and camping. You can explore Yosemite’s famous waterfalls on your hike or  take a scenic drive to see the park’s beautiful landscapes.

In spring, Yosemite National Park is known for  its spectacular wildflowers, best seen along Cook’s Meadow Loop in the Yosemite Valley, Wawona Meadow Loop in Wawona, and Wapama Falls in Hetch Hetchy. Yosemite does get busy between April and November, so make sure you book ahead!

family friendly things to do in Yosemite:

1) Take a hike to the Lower Yosemite Falls – This is an easy, short hike that is great for children and offers beautiful views of the falls which roar during spring.

2) Climb the Mist Trail – This hike is a bit more challenging ( moderate to strenous depending on how far you go), but offers stunning views of Vernal and Nevada Falls. In spring and early summer there is slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray, hence the name ;). Best for older kids or families used to a lot of hiking.

3) Cook’s Meadow Loop– This is a popular destination in spring for the wildflowers. This family friendly hike is a 1 mile / 1.6km flat easy loop. You’ll also see stunning views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Sentinel Rock.

If you are looking for a one or two day itinerary to Yosemite check out our post, which goes over all the pro tips, activities & everything you need to know!

The best family friendly places to stay in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park offers some historical stays in hotels right in the Valley, with breathtaking views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point. While they are on the pricier side, the views and easy access to the park are worth it.

If you are looking for more budget friendly options try:

  • Year round camping – at The Upper Pines Campground (tent & RV) and Camp Four (tenting only).
  • Sierra Meadows Cabins – Cute 1 room microcabins for “glamping” and larger 1 – 2 room cabins for families, right outside the South entrance to Yosemite.

The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite

The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite is an iconic building with fabulous architecture set right in Yosemite Valley. You definitely want to visit, even if you don’t stay here.

This hotel has a prime location within Yosemite Valley with some of Yosemite’s best hiking trails at its doorstep. You do pay for the convenience, but it is worth the views and access alone.

Guests love the location & views, the dining room and lounge, especially the 7 or 8 foot tall fireplaces, delicious meals, and service.

Yosemite Valley Lodge

Families and groups of travelers love the Yosemite Valley Lodge, located at the Falls. Views of Yosemite Falls await you.

The Yosemite Valley Lodge has been welcoming guests since 1927 and offers rooms, suits and cabins. Guests love their location as it’s within walking distance to many sights, it’s great food options, the free bike rentals, the pool, and clean comfortable rooms.

Six pages of Free Road Trip Plnner printables Grab here.

Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the USA’s most popular parks with visitors coming to enjoy its scenery, wildlife and hiking  trails. Travelers can take in the scenery from a scenic drive, or hike to catch views of the park’s world-famous landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Rocky Mountain is a great park for family spring break with its diverse landscapes including forests, lakes, mountains and meadows. Wildlife is abundant in the park so keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep.

There are plenty of hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy to difficult, so everyone in your family can find a hike perfect for them. Spring activities include camping, fishing and horseback riding.

Five family friendly things to see and do in Rocky Mountain National Park

1) Take a hike to Alberta Falls – This popular family friendly hike is only 0.6 miles and offers great views of the Glacier Creek thundering down these falls.

2) Bear Lake – Popular easy interprative trail that circles the subalpine Bear Lake. It’s only 0.6mile loop, with no elevation gain, so easy for the youngest members of your crew. Or if you are looking for a wheelchair and stroller accessible trail try the Sprague Lake Loop. This 0.5 mile loop has many benches and lookouts along the lake to stop along the way. Both trails are close to each other, so you could do both in half a day easy.

3) Do a little fishing: Fishing is a popular past time in Rocky Mountain, with four species of trout brown, brook, rainbow, and cutthroat. Visit the NPS website to learn about the regulations and the best places to fish.

5)  Take a guided tour & become a Junior Ranger: Rocky Mountain National Park offers ranger led tours for different age groups. All USA National Parks offer some form of ranger led tours, so it is a fun idea to check these out before you go on your National Park vacation. From guided hikes, to night sky watching, to snowshoe hikes (January to March) and programs at campgrounds & visitors centres, there is fun for the whole family. Check availability as some activities may not be available due to the pandemic.

Kids can become Junior Rangers by completing age appropriate activities in the park and learning about the history, geology, wildlife, and fauna. Stop by one of the Rocky Mountain National Park Visitor Center locations, and grab a booklet. Once you’ve completed it, return to a visitors centre, where they’ll haveyour kids recite a National Parks motto and get a unique badge.

Make sure to take the family on a scenic drive along The Trail Ridge Road, when it’s open. You’ll need at least 2 hours, though the recomendation is half a day. This is the highest continuous paved road in North America, cresting at 12,183 feet above sea level, which offers spectacular views of the Rockies. Open as a through road seasonally, so check the NPS website for current road status.

Bear Lake rimmed in snow and treeline against a mountainside, dusted in snow. Spring break destinations.
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Photo: “zhuzhu / deposit photos”

The best family friendly places to stay Rocky Mountain National Park

When visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado your best bet for places to stay are Estes Park to the east, and Grand Lake to the west. Both offer many options for resting your weary head at night and it’s a quick commute to the centre of the park. There is no in park lodging.

Estes Park offers a wider selection of good hotels, inns and B&B options, plus it is closer to the main attractions of the park. Grand Lake is more low-key, and quieter, so lodging prices are typically less.

The Inn on Fall River & Fall River Cabins – Este Park

Located along a stunning river, the Inn on Fall River is halfway between Estes Park and Rocky Mountain, and is a great choice for families. Families love the cabins, location, views, upper level lounge with fireplace, easy access to the park, and friendly service.

Rams Horn Village Resort – Este Park

The Rams Horn Village Resort offers luxury family friendly cabins with fireplaces, porches, BBQs all amongst awe-inspiring mountain views, for reasonable prices. Families love the onsite hot tubs, views, wildlife sightings, spacious cabins, well stocked kitchens and easy access to the park.

Gateway Inn – Grand Lake

On the west side of the park you will find the quieter Grand Lake and the Gateway Inn.

Families love the Gateway Inn mountain lodge for it’s views of the beautiful lake and mountains, terraces, close location to the park, and really affordable and comfortable accommodations. There is an onsite bar and restaurant, hot tub and sauna.

PRO TIP: When taking road trips with kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, make sure to pack a variety of fun road trip activities to keep them happy in the car.

Zion National Park – Utah

Zion is another great destination for families with its many hiking trails and narrow sandstone canyons.  In spring, its temperate weather is perfect for hiking and looking out for spring wildflowers and roaring waterfalls.

family friendly things to see and do in Zion National Park

1) Take the family on an hike to the Lower Emerald Pool – This easy hike is family friendly and offers beautiful views of Zion’s famous waterfalls. Kids will love walking through the mist as the trail goes under the falls. It’s an easy, paved 1.2mile / 1.9km roundtrip

2) Visit the  Canyon Overlook Trailhead – The trail head is Canyon Overlook Trail is a rocky, uneven trail that ends at a wonderful viewpoint for Pine Creek and Lower Zion Canyon

3) Hike the  Weeping Rock Trail – This easy hike is family friendly and offers hikers beautiful views of the park’s many waterfalls.

The best family friendly places to stay Zion National Park

Nearby accommodations run from mountain lodges, hotels, homes to bed and breakfasts. The closest town to Zion Canyon is Springdale, and then St. George, which is about an hour away. 

Zion Canyon Lodge – Best in the Park

Zion Canyon Lodge is the only lodging (besides camping) available in the park itself. While more rustic accommodations, it gives you access to the park, and stargaze worthy skies right from your front door.

Cable Mountain Lodge – Best Location

The Cable Mountain Lodge is a gem, and just minutes walk from the Zion Canyon entrance. Families love the pool and hot tub, suites with kitchens, free wifi and private beach. After a long day of exploring the park it is a cozy, comfortable place to stay, surrounded by gorgeous views of the canyons. There is also a restaurant and small grocery store and free parking onsite.

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham – Pet friendly / Mid Range

The La Quinta Inn & Suites are a budget friendly, mid-range option that is pet friendly. Located in Springdale, this family friendly hotel is perfect for kids who love a good pool swim (let’s face it, kids like the pool the best), free breakfast & Wifi.

Best Western Plus Zion Inn & Suites – Best of Springdale / Mid-Range

The Best Western Plus Zion Inn & Suites is a great choice for families that want to stay in Springdale, only minutes form the park entrance. Families love the pool, hot tub, free breakfast, great views of the Watchmen mountain and easy access to the free shuttle to the park.

We have a few more posts on Zion if you are looking for more pro tips, tricks, itineraries and activities to do:

The best warm USA destinations for family spring break vacations

It’s not always easy to decide where to go on family vacations. With so many places in the world, it can be hard to know where are the best destinations for family spring break.

There are lots of factors that come into play when deciding whether or not a destination is right for your family. Some people might want to stay at a hotel with an outdoor pool and hot tub while others might want more of a home-away-from-home experience. There is no one perfect place for everyone; however, there are some great options out there! It all depends on what you’re looking for and how much money you can afford to spend on your vacation. Here are 20 of our favorite warm USA destinations

  • Disney World, Orlando Florida
  • Jekyll Island, Georgia
  • Phoenix, Arizona

Orlando, Florida & Disney World

It is hard to imagine a warm family spring break destination list without mentioning Orlando, Florida and Disney World!

Disney World is a classic family vacation destination that is a must-visit for those looking for a fun-filled theme park spring break. Over 50 million visitors a year can be wrong! With four different theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom – as well as two water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon – this amusement park is the perfect place for a warm spring break family vacation.

But Orlando, Florida has so much more than just Disney…..I know it’s hard to believe.

Kid friendly activities in and around Orlando

1) Walt Disney World Resort – A trip to Florida with kids would not be complete without at least a day or two or three at Disney World.

As mentioned, this is one of the most popular family destinations in the world and for good reason. With four theme parks, two water parks and over 30 resort hotels, there is something for everyone at Disney World. Popular kids rides include The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight.

For older kids try the Tower of Terror or Expedition Everest or any of the Star Wars rides. There are also plenty of places to eat, both in the parks and at the resorts.

2) SeaWorld Orlando – SeaWorld Orlando is a must-visit for animal lovers. Kids will love watching the park’s famous killer whales in one of their many shows, which include Shamu Rocks and Blue Horizons.

3) Universal Studios Florida – This park features rides based on some of the world’s most popular movies, such as The Simpsons, Shrek, Despicable Me, and more. Other rides include Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride.

4) Kennedy Space Center – Kennedy Space Centre is a must for any space enthusiast as it features two visitor complexes that allow visitors to explore what’s beyond Earth. Experience activities such as the rumble of lift off, exploring planets and get up close to the Saturn V, the largest rocket ever flown. Kids will love seeing real life space shuttle Atlantis and going on a simulated space flight. This is on our bucketlist and are planning a trip there soon. Try a skip the line pass to avoid waiting in line with antsy, impatient kids or sign everyone up for an astronaut training experience. How cool would that be!

5) Legoland Florida – Legoland Florida is the largest Legoland in the WORLD! This park is perfect for kids aged two to twelve and includes a water park, Lego-themed rides, shows and attractions.

PRO TIP: If you are planning to check off visits to popular attractions and tours then Grab the Go City Orlando pass for great deals on attraction tickets. Save up to 50% on the price of admission to multiple attractions with either their All-inclusive or Explorer Pass

– The All-inclusive pass ( 2, 3 or 5 days) – See as many attractions as you like during those days. If you are looking to go to Legoland, Kennedy Space Center, Madam Tusseauds, and Fun Spot theme park this is the pass for you.

– The Explorer Pass – Choose from 2, 3, 4, or 5 choices of attractions, and you have 60 days to use the pass.

Walt Disney World & Minnie and Mickey Mouse
Photo: “MaleFiori / deposit photos”

Family friendly places to stay in Orlando / Disney World

If your focus for your Orlando trip is Disney World, then you’ll have to work out your itinerary and figure out which park(s) you’ll spend the most time at, and how you will be getting around to the different parks. With young kids / toddlers Animal Kingdom is a favourite.

It’s not possible to stay at a Disney resort close to all four theme parks. So you’ll have to choose the one or two parks you are most likely to spend more time at. Disney breaks out their resorts into Deluxe, Moderate and Value Resorts with different levels of Disney experiences, themes, amenities, and price points.

  • Deluxe Resort – Luxury resorts with full choce of amazing amenities, close and easy transportation to the parks, themes are on point, and a high price tag.
  • Moderate Resort – Less expensive than the Deluxe resorts but offer more amenities including transportation options and comforts than the Value resorts. You can still experience the Disney magic, but don’t have to break the bank to do so.
  • Value Resorts – They are slimmed down immersive experience, with more in your face Disney decor, but they are the least expensive option if you still want to stay onsite. Perfect if your room is somewhere you just want to lay your head at night, and don’t mind extra travel time to get around the parks.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Deluxe Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is part of their deluxe resort theming, so expect awesome kid-friendly amenities, proximity and easy transportation to the parks. Located in Bay Lake, it’s a short walk to Epcot, Disney Boardwalk and Hollywood Studios, and it’s close to the Skyliner Station.

This New England style resort, is one of the top resorts for family, with bright, airy rooms with balconies, and plenty of beach theme fun including the incredible 3 acre water park Stormalong Bay. Lazy river (hello kid fav!), whirlpool area, waterfalls and 2 slides in a shipwreck, one for 2-9 and a longer slide for 6+.

Yummy breakfasts & character interactions can happen at the Cape May Beach Cafe. For the kids don’t miss out on the infamous ice cream sundaes at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop alongside burgers, sandwiches and salads. Plenty of free kids activities at the resort, so check their calendar.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Deluxe Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is perfect if you are looking for a themed family friendly resort, along the Magic Kingdom monorail line. Only 2 stops from Magic Kingdom and one stop away from where you can catch another monorail to Epcot. Or take a boat to Magic Kingdom.

Kids love the Polynesian theme, the many themed resort activities like Lava pool parties and movies under the starts and the Pool – complete with a volcano. Parents love the option of watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach, after a long day.

The popular Ohano restaurant is onsite, so your kidlets can have a Lilo & Stitch character experience while eating the all you can eat breakfast served right at your table. Rooms are large and if you want to splurge, they even have overwater bungalows (2 bedrooms and a plunge pool!)

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter -Moderate Resort

Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter comes highly recommended as a family friendly moderate resort. Experience the Cajun & Creole influences and eat beignets (the only place in Disney you can do so!) Rooms sleep 2 to 4 and they offer garden, river or pool views. Check out the waterslide at Mardi Gras pool or their hot tubs.

Only downside is they don’t have a sit down restaurant, but you can take a ferry to Disney Springs for all the food & shopping you want.

Art of Animation – Value resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the more expensive of the value resorts and the only one that offers interior hallway access. Their rooms are Little Mermaid, Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo inspired so are fun for little kids and fun & nostalgic for the adults. Plus you’ll find larger than life sketches and statues to wander through. Their family suites can sleep up to 6 people. Amenities include 3 dining options, and the largest pool in a value resort (Big Blue Pool).

Jekyll Island, Georgia

This small island off the coast of Georgia is a hidden gem and perfect for a quiet family spring break. With miles of pristine beaches, lush forests and plenty of activities such as kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, biking, Jekyll Island offers a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Jekyll Island is located midway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida. It once was a retreat for wealthy Georgians, but was bought by the state in the 50’s.

Fun Kids activities on Jekyll Island

1) The Beach – with 10 miles of pristine shoreline, and limited development in this state park, you will be sure to find plenty of space to look for beach treasures, and dip your toes in the sand and water. Try Driftwood Beach for climbing on these natural sculptures or Great Dunes Beach Park for family friendly fun; beach volley ball, picnics, bocce, play areas and easy parking.

2) Dolphin tours – Kids will love learning about the dolphins that call Jekyll Island, Georgia home. Dolphin Tours are fun for every age. You’ll also get a chance to learn a little bit about the history of the area, check out the coastal waterway, salt marshes and wilderness beaches, and maybe even see a sea turtle, manatee, osprey or othe coastal birds.

3) Georgia Sea Turtle Center – The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a must-see for all families visiting Jekyll Island. This center offers an up close and personal look at these gentle giants, as well as interactive exhibits and programs perfect for kids of all ages. Tickets cost $8-$10 and go towards helping offset their operational costs, including the rehabilitation of their turtle patients.

4) Historic Downtown – Take a stroll down Jekyll Island’s historic district and explore the charming shops and restaurants. With everything from ice cream to souvenirs, there is something for everyone in this quaint little town!

5) Horseback riding – Horseback riding is a favourite visitor past time, especially along Driftwood Beach.

Family friendly accomodations on Jekyll island, Georgia

All that fun will be exhausting, so you’ll want to be sure to find somewhere comfortable to rest at night. Jekyll Island has may types of lodgings including beachfront accommodations, historic properties, campgrounds and more. We’ve put together 3 highly recommended options for all budgets.

Jekyll Island Club Resort – Luxury

The Jekyll Island Club Resort is an historic luxury escape perfect for the youngsters. Here’s why. Kids will love learning to play croquet on the front lawn, taking a dip in the pool while the adults enjoy lounger chairs and eating snacks from the pool bar and grill. Other kid friendly activities include; children’s splash pad & water park, family history tours, & s’mores roasting. Plus the Sea Turtle Center is located just behind the resort.

Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island – Mid-Range

The Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island is a family-friendly ocean front hotel that offers rooms and 2-rooms spacious suites, most with ocean views. Famillies will love the outdoor pool and hot tub, fire pits, exercise room, and onsite restaurants.

Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island – Budget Friendly

Hampton Inn & Suites is located in the heart of Jekyll Island and offers budget friendly family accommodations. Guests love the boardwalk to the pool and beach, complimentary daily breakfast,  and comfy rooms. If you are hoping to rent a bike to tour the island, you are in luck as they have bike rentals onsite.

Phoenix, Arizona

A desert destination that is perfect for those looking to escape the cold weather. Valley of the Sun makes for a perfect getaway for a sun-soaked family spring break vacation. Phoenix has something for everyone from zoos, and amusement parks to botanical gardens, museums and tours. Plus it’s a greatplace to start, before heading out on a road trip to some of the best national parks in the area.

Not to miss kids activities in Phoenix

1) Phoenix Zoo – The zoo is home to over 3000 animals and 400 species of animals, including reptiles and birds. Kids can interact with the animals like giraffes at feeding time (bring cash to buy lettuce to feed them), or join a guided tour for an educational experience. Bring your kids swimsuits and they can enjoy the splash pad from March to October.

2) Enchanted Island Amusement Park This amusement park is a great way to spend the day as a family. The younger kids will love the train rides, and bumber boats. The older kids will get a kick out of the parachute tower and climbing wall.

3) Desert Botanical Garden – Take an peaceful stroll along one of the 5 nature trails spotting short, tall, flowering desert plants. Located in Papago Park, this garden is home to over 50,000 desert plants from all around the world. Kids can learn about different species through hands-on exhibits and activities. Make sure to bring water, sunscreen and a hat for everyone. It is a sunny desert climate after all!

4) Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park – This small walkable museum offers a glimpse into the lives of the Hohokam people. Kids can explore and learn about their culture and history through interpretive trails, replica dwellings, agriculture, and arts.

5) Children’s Museum of Phoenix – Engage your kids curiosity and imaginations with innovative activities in their art studio, pretend grocery store, fort-building section, Noodle Forest, an indoor climbing centerand more. There’s even areas for 3 and under. Check out their tip sheets to make the most of your visit.

6) National Parks near Phoenix, AZ include:

  • Petrified Forest National Park – Pertrified National Park is located in northeastern Arizona and is home to one of the world’s largest collections of petrified wood. Visitors can enjoy a number of hiking trails, including the 28-mile long Painted Desert Trail, or take a guided tour through the park. You can also get a chnce to see fossils, badlands, buttes and mesas, ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and wildflowers. From Phoenix it would take about an hour and a half to get here.
  • Saguaro National Park – This park is located in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, near Tucson and home to its namesake, the largest cacti in the US. Saguaro National Park has two districts – East & West – that are separated by the City of Tucson.  Visitors can enjoy scenic hikes or take part in ranger-led programs that teach about the area’s plants and animals. From Phoenix it would take about two hours and 20 minutes to drive here.
  • Grand Canyon National Park – The Grand Canyon is located in northern Arizona and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Visitors can enjoy a number of activities such as hiking, rafting and camping. From Phoenix it would take about four hours to get here. Or take a small group day tour to the Grand Canyon, and have everything handled for you.

Family friendly accomodations in Phoenix & Area

Phoenix and area have some of the best kid friendly resorts and places to stay around. Some amenities may not be open due to COVID so double check before you book.

Hyatt Regency – Gainey Ranch – Luxury Resort

Technically the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch is in Scottsdale, about 30 minutes from Phoenix, but there are some great reasons why your family will love staying here. This luxurious resort has a 2.5-acre water playground complete with a sand beach and 3-story, high speed waterslide, kids club, spa & swim-up bar for adults, and rock-climbing wall.

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona – Mid Range

The Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale caters to kids, so much so, they may not even want to leave. Try out their indoor water playground, dance parties, arts and crafts, MagiQuest scavenger hunt, mini golf, ropes course and so much more. Parents will love their spacious suites, hot tub, buffet breakfast and easy entertainment for the kids!

Hilton Phoenix Resort at The Peak – Mid-High Range

Cool off in style at the Hilton Phoenix Resort and it’s four acre water park River Ranch. Many water slides, a lazy river, and water features to enjoy. They also offer suites which are great for families who want a little space.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix North-Happy ValleyBudget Friendly

The Homewood Suites is a great budget friendly option and is located near some of the top family-oriented Phoenix attractions, such as the Desert Botanical Garden and the zoo. You can use their free shuttle service to take you to nearby attractions. Onsite there is a fitness centre & swimming pool, and pet friendly rooms. Lots of dining options, grocery stores and shopping nearby.

Phoenix is home to a variety of family friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained during your spring break vacation.

USA Spring Break Ski Destinations

If you are looking for a cooler USA spring break destination, consider one of these ski resorts. With family friendly slopes and activities such as snow tubing and sledding, these are perfect for a spring break getaway. Plus warmer weather, and well-established snowpack make these ski resorts.

  • Park City, Utah
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah is a popular ski resort town located in the Wasatch Mountains. With slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders close by, as well as a number of dining and shopping options, Park City is perfect for a family ski vacation. The Park City Mountain Resort is a laid back resort with more than 300 runs and 41 lifts, that give both skiers and snowboarders a plenty of slopes to enjoy, including six terrain parks and two half-pipes. There’s also Deer Valley & Canyon Resorts for more skiing & winter sports nearby, so you get 3 hills to try out. You can ski at the resorts usually from November to April.

family friendly activities in Park City, Utah

1) Utah Olympic Park where you can try out the bobsled, luge and skeleton and a guided tour to learn all about the park and unique stories of Olympic achievement.

2) Woodward Park City – Slide down their multiple lanes – snow tubing will leave smiles on your whole family’s faces.

3) Dog Sledding – A dog sledding tour is one experience you and your family will never forget!

4) Skiing – Three resport options in the area give plenty of options to enjoy some skiing or snowboarding.

Park City Utah, view from the mountain
Photo: “Prostock / deposit photos”

Family friendly places to stay in Park City, Utah

Waldorf Astoria Park City

Waldorf Astoria Park City, is located just steps away from Park City Mountain Resort and offers one of the best family ski vacations in Utah.  While not technically ski in/out this gorgeous lodging is located at the  base of Canyons Village, just steps away from a dedicated gondola.

With a destination spa, fine dining options as well as an outdoor heated pool, this resort is perfect for enjoying your time together during spring break. Kids will enjoy their childrens programs, an amazing pool which is a must with kids, and are pet friendly.

Marriott’s Summit Watch

Marriott’s Summit Watch is a great family friendly choice for hotel in Park City. There are a lot of perks of staying there. The location is the best, right in downtown Park City, you can even walk right to ski lifts. Families love the indoor / outdoor pools, regular family activities and suites with kitchens.

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

Breckenridge Ski Resort is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, about an hour from Denver. With slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders as well as a number of dining options, this resort is perfect for family ski vacations.

Breckenridge is well known for its ski resorts, and year round alpine activities. With over 180 ski trails spanning 3,000 acres of terrain, there are a lot of opportunities for snowy fun. Kids will love the Adventure Center, be sure to check out the video arcade and ice skating rink.

Non-skiing activities kids will love in Breckenridge

1) Snowshoeing & Cross Country Skiing – Try the free city trails or try a day pass / tour out of the Breckenridge Nordic Centre or the Gold Run Nordic Centre.

2) Mountain Top Children’s Museum Hands on exploration through different exhibitions and discover Rocky Mountain Wildlife, arts & creation, wonder lab, and toddler friendly areas Kidstruction Zone and tot zones and more.

3)  Frisco Adventure Park Tubing Hill – This family friendly tubing hill with different lanes – some are mellower, others steeper with more rolling terrain. The hill is accessed by a surface lift.

Family Friendly Accomodations in Breckenridge, Colorado

Gold Run LodgeLuxury Mountain Oasis

Luxury Mountain Oasis in the Gold Run Lodge is your choice for a pure mountain sanctuary on a one acre wooded lot! This 5 bedroom ski home is perfect for year round getaways and is located in the Highlands neighborhood in Breckenridge on the Breckenridge Golf Course and Gold Run Nordic Center It’s only a short drive to the ski slopes and downtown.

Sweet Condo Walking Distance to Slopes & Main Street – Mid Range

This sweet 2 bedroom and 2 bath, two-level condo is in a prime family vacation location, within walking distance to the Quicksilver ski lift, Breckenridge Ski School and the many shops, restaurants on Main Street as well as the popular Arts District and Riverwalk.

Enjoy Stress Free Vacations with Free Travel Planner Printables. Six pages free planner pages fanned out.

11 Best Spring Break Destinations For Families In USA (2022)

As you can see, there are many great options for family spring break vacations in the USA. Whether you are looking for a beach vacation, a ski resort or somewhere to explore nature, there is something for everyone here. We hope that this list has helped you find the perfect destination for your family. What are you waiting for? Start planning your spring break today!

Other family friendly travel tips and destinations:

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