Researching spring break ideas? Here are a collection of spring break destinations guaranteed to make lasting memories for an entire week or a long weekend, and they are all within reach of Atlanta.
Our 17 recommendations for your 2019 spring break getaway include towns in Georgia that promise not to break the bank, cities just over the border, and a handful of places that require an (affordable) jaunt on a plane.
Nestled in the Upper Western section of South Carolina’s Freshwater Coast, the Old 96 District is home to amazing outdoor adventures, a haven for history buffs and the location of the most remarkable attractions and places of interest. Explore more than 150 miles of hiking, biking and walking trails. Or paddleboard across one of three pristine freshwater lakes. Step back in time to relive a time in history that changed our culture and country.
Spend your Spring Break at a different kind of Beach this year. Through mid-March ski, shred and tube your way down the mountain. Head to Beech Mountain Resort to experience snow-centric activities for every skill level! Guests can gently cruise the snowy slopes of the tubing runs, glide around the ice-skating rink, or soar down the mountain on novice, intermediate and advanced trails for skiing and snowboarding. Sip coffee by a roaring fire in the Resort Village, savor items from their trendy menu, and delight in the unique views offered throughout the snowy season on this beach made of snow. For those with later Spring Breaks, don’t worry, the fun doesn’t stop when the snow stars to melt. When the skis and snowboards get put away the bikes and hiking boots come out. Take in the breathtaking spring colors by bike or by foot and discover all the hidden wonders Beech Mountain has to offer. Visitors can choose between the 12 trails spread throughout the town of Beech Mountain, each showcasing the true beauty of this captivating town. Beech Mountain in the perfect Spring Break destination for adventure seekers snow or shine.
Just Down The Road
If your family loves the outdoors, then Blue Ridge is where to point your car for the perfect Spring Break. Fall Branch Falls is easy to get to, and a great place to spend your day. We adore the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, exploring Mercier Orchards, or hiking over Swinging Bridge. We'd recommend a cabin on the lake or a stay in the treehouse.
Ellijay is also a mountain town, with a bit of a different vibe. We adore the square, with shops and restaurants that will impress event the snobbiest foodie. The locals are wonderful - with open minds and open hearts. From music to art to photography, their love of the arts captivate visitors. Take the kids to Expedition Bigfoot for a super unique experience! Our favorite family hike in the area is Tumbling Waters at Carter's Lake, without a doubt. Oh! And not too far is Gibbs Gardens, the ideal place to see Cherry Blossoms on the north side.
Henry County is "comfortably south" of Atlanta, and it sometimes gets over looked. Don't make that mistake, because it is jam-packed with tons for families. We LOVE it here! Spring is the perfect time to see animals at Noah's Ark, or hike the trails in Stockbridge. Take flight in a Huey helicopter, visit a family-friendly brewery, or play some disc golf. And don't forget Panola Mountain State Park - heck, you can even sleep here!
Even further south of the city is Georgia's prettiest small town of Milledgeville - and 110% worth the road tripping effort. Fill up on a chocolate chip pancake breakfast, then bike around the Oconee River Greenway. It's always more fun knowing a SweeTreats ice cream is waiting for you at the end! Take the trolley tour, visit the Old Governor's Mansion, stroll through the arboretum, or relax on Lake Sinclair.
Callaway's newly renovated accommodations are the ideal "home base" for exploring this Georgia gem. With so much to do, you can stay active or relax and unwind (maybe a little of both?) Golf, tennis, hiking and biking, geocaching, boating...the list is enormous and perfect for some "spring training!" Spring is when Callaway comes alive with color and grandeur (and some great events!) Wow - and we haven't even mentioned the beach or the spa yet!
Augusta is more than just the Masters. A lot more. Visit the Augusta Canal for interactive learning and a water tour, take a kayak ride at Savannah River Rapids Park, or even take in an Augusta Green Jackets game, the kids will adore it. The trolley tour is super fun for kids, and the number of family-friendly (delicious) restaurants will mean you're never hungry! Oh gosh, don't miss Phinizy for hiking, and whatever you do, get a taste of the dessert at Boll Weevil. If you are traveling I-20 from Atlanta, be sure to make a pit-stop at Farmview Market where you can enjoy the only farm-to-table quick serve restaurant in Georgia and pick up a picnic of high quality, locally-sourced goods from trusted farmers and artisans.
Across State Lines
Lake Murray Country, SC
As you’re looking for things to do in Columbia, SC…I encourage you to think BIGGER and consider all that Capital City/Lake Murray Country has to offer. I took the boys on a whirlwind tour of the area, and loved every second we were there. I’m not gonna lie – I was shocked! People in Atlanta don’t regularly discuss Spring Breakin-ing in this region…but we’re hoping to change that with our list of what to do, where to eat, and where to sleep.
Biltmore Estate in Asheville
You know Biltmore as America’s largest private residence located in beautiful Asheville, NC. The Richard Morris Hunt-designed French Renaissance manor was once the home of George Vanderbilt and his family. The Estate and its Fredrick Law Olmsted manicured gardens are not necessarily the first place you might think of when I say North Carolina Family Vacation…but you should!
Martin County, FL
One of our favorite things to do here was a naturalist-led catamaran tour of the everglades - and we DROVE the catamarans! Other fun ways to explore outside include hiking at Jonathan Dickenson State Park and strolling the beautiful beach at Blowing Rocks Preserve. We saw antique cars at the Elliott Museum, and fed turtles and sting rays at the Coastal Center. And I highly recommend a stay at Old Colorado Inn in Stuart - that private pool was heavenly!
Orange Beach, AL
I visited Orange Beach for the first time ever in 2018, and I was mesmerized by the white sands and crystal waters. I'd even dare compare it to Cancun - glorious! From sensational seafood and cajun eats to family condos right on the beach...we loved every inch of it. We spent most of our time in OB, but Gulf Shores is adjacent and offering just as many ideas for a family vacation. But seriously, if the beach is your thing...this one is the BEST warm weather choices for families in Atlanta.
Myrtle Beach, SC
From miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches to entertaining shows and attractions here are 33 superb things to do in Myrtle Beach that you don’t want to miss. Need a comfy but entertaining place to lay your head.? Here are 5 resorts in the area that are family approved. And if you can extend your stay, we highly recommend a day or two in Historic Georgetown, too. It's just South of busy tourist area.
Westgate River Ranch, River Ranch, FL
On our list for three years now, Westgate is a fantastic glamping getaway in Central Florida. Stay in a large, luxurious glamping tent (or even a tee-pee!) Use your golf cart or bikes to head around the property - hiking, a weekend rodeo, climbing wall and zip line...horseback riding or airboat fun...there is just so much at Westgate. You'll gather together with other glampers at night around the community fire, swamping stories as the kids climb in the trees and play tag under the stars.
Only A Plane-Ride Away
We have a trip planned to California for break this year, hitting San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo. We asked our readers for some tips while planning and boy did they come through. A few of our favorites – rowing boats on Stow Lake, playing video games at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco, surfing and redwoods in Santa Cruz, and whale watching in Monterey. We are taking a kayak tour in Morro Bay where we hope to see sea otters in the wild! There are so many options, we may never make it south to San Diego, so we consulted this list of great California beaches from Trekaroo.
Monument Valley, UT
Driving through Monument Valley National Park and stopping at the breath-taking rock formations is definitely a must do out west, but for a truly spectacular experience you’ll never forget, book an overnight glamping trip to Hunt’s Mesa. The ride there is an experience in itself. There are no roads, we road straight up rock formations in an old Tahoe, but the risk was worth it. Our guide, a Navajo medicine man, told us stories under a brilliant star lit sky. We watched the colors of the valley change to gold and grey for both sunset and sunrise. On our way out, we were treated to a private backcountry tour of the valley climbing gorgeous arches and peeking into long ago deserted hogans.
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
The Grand Canyon is on most people’s bucket list, for good reason. But a lesser know, equally amazing site is about 100 miles north in Page AZ. This is where you’ll find the Antelope slot canyons. A slot canyon is narrow canyon formed by wear of water rushing through the rock, creating a gorgeous pastel world below the ground. When you go, book an early tour. It’s single file to get into the canyon, which makes the line grow as the day progresses. You can wait a few hours to get in, and some of that can be in the hot sun, so bring sunscreen, hat and water too. But I promise, it will be totally worth it. While you are in the area, be sure to visit Horseshoe Bend as well.
This Caribbean Island was devastated by Hurricane Maria, but they are back open for business and desperately need your visit. And who could resist? It's warm, beautiful, and doesn't require a passport! have no fear; hurricane season doesn't start until June and the beaches are still gorgeous, and hands-down better than any silly water park. Ha! And yes, you can still visit that bar from the Despacito video. And the pina colada was invented there...why are you not booking tickets now?
Park City, UT
Utah is home to 19 different ski resorts, with Park City being among the most popular. In late season, the crowds begin to thin out, but the snow is still great. In fact, you can sometimes ski in March with short sleeves - and that's just what we're doing this year. I'm hoping we can do some dog sledding and take out a snow mobile. And forget Georgia's mountain biking - how about SNOW biking! Woot! Don't miss a stroll through Park City's downtown for museums, shops and great eats. Could our upcoming vacay be our favorite spring break ever?
Need more ideas? We love these budget-friendly options from our friends at Global Munchkins (oh! we love the all inclusive resort!!) And here are some spring break ideas out west from our friends at Pit Stops for Kids. Finally, we are in love with these ideas for Coast Rica from our friends at Trekaroo.
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.