As the weather starts to get warmer and the trees begin to bloom, many families–especially those who have been stuck in cold climates all winter–feel the urge to get out of town. Spring break is one of the most popular travel periods for families across the nation, and there are seemingly endless destinations you can head to during the week your kids have off from school. Of course, some locales are better suited for spring break vacations than others, and you want to make sure you’ll be happy with your choice. Here is a look at six family-friendly destinations in the western United States where your family can have a blast this spring.
A bit cliché for a reason, Southern California has endless activities for children and families. Kids of all ages (and kids at heart) can spend several magical days at the Disneyland Resort in the heart of Orange County. You can also head to Los Angeles and take in iconic sights like the Santa Monica Pier and the Hollywood sign. Further south, San Diego has boundless activities, from the gorgeous San Diego Zoo to Balboa Park. And of course, no California vacation is complete without spending some time at the beach–there are hundreds of different options all along the coastline.
Many families in the U.S. live in climates that don’t get snow (or at least not enough to really enjoy), so you may want to spend your spring break having fun in the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Visit some of the world’s best ski towns, from Vail to Aspen to Breckenridge. You can also check out some of the cities and towns east of the mountains. Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs are all home to gorgeous views and exciting tourist attractions for the whole family.
While Northern California will be a little chillier than the areas further south, San Francisco is a fantastic place to visit for spring break. Head to see some of the City by the Bay’s best-known landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Wharf, and Alcatraz. You can also make the trip a learning experience by visiting one of the many museums the city has to offer–the Exploratorium is always a hit with kids. Extend your vacation by driving a few hours outside the city and exploring Yosemite National Park and/or Sequoia National Park.
Sin City has really cleaned up its act over the last few decades, and now it is well known for being a great family destination. Older kids and teens, especially, will enjoy all the excitement Las Vegas has to offer. From its themed resorts filled with exciting dining and shopping to the thrilling amusement parks and roller coasters that dot the Strip, there’s really something for everyone (even those who can’t gamble). At night, you can take in one of the many family-friendly shows, including several Cirque du Soleil spectaculars.
There are few states that offer the types of varied destinations available in Arizona. From the snowy mountains of Flagstaff down to the arid deserts of Phoenix and Tucson, you can experience any climate you want during spring break. Take the time to visit the Grand Canyon–truly one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the entire world. You can also spend some time relaxing in one of the state’s many resort towns. Sedona and Scarsdale both have reputations as great family destinations. Sports fans will love the fact that that Arizona is a hotspot for baseball spring training, and March is chock full of Cactus League games.
It’s a bit of a stretch to lump Hawaii into the same category as these other destinations, but it is technically in the western U.S. Any of the islands that make up the nation’s 50th state will make for thrilling travel destinations, but the best places to hit with your family include Oahu and Maui. Where else in the country can you spend one day on a gorgeous beach and then go hiking near an active volcano the next? Hawaii is a fantastic travel locale for families because it has so many options for everyone. It’s also got great weather year round, so you’ll love escaping to the 80-degree temperatures in March.