Disney? Been there. Ski trip? Done that. Skip the usual and opt for a totally under-the-radar travel destination for spring break this year. Whether you spend your time scaling rock walls in Zion National Park or participating in a family AcroYoga session in the Florida Keys, the kids will not stop talking about these totally unusual places to travel. Scroll down to get inspired.
Visit a Zero Waste Community
Looking to teach the kids a little bit about how we can reduce our carbon footprint? Plan your next spring break adventure to the town of Taos, New Mexico. Here you will find the community of Earthship Biotecture, where the houses are made out of natural and recycled materials (think wine bottles and tires), and are designed to produce electricity, food, and water. You can take a tour of this unique community and some are even available to rent via Airbnb. Extend your Taos trip by taking the kids to see the Taos Pueblo and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
Find out more: earthshipglobal.com
Vacation by Bike
Tired of spending your vacation packed in the minivan with the kids, the suitcases and the snacks all over the floor? Head out to Mackinac Island in Michigan where cars are totally forbidden. Ditch your vehicle and hop aboard one of the ferries that will take you to the island. There, transportation is limited to bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. Rent one of the 1,500 bikes from single-speed to tandems, fat-tires to kids bikes. Set out to explore Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, which were captured by British forces in the War of 1812. Reward all your exercise with a stop at one of the island's many fudge shops.
Find out more: mackinacisland.org
Head Out on a Volcano Vacation
Are your kids totally mystified by the majesty of volcanoes? Stop watching YouTube videos and go see one in person! From Mount Shasta on the mainland to far away spots like Hawai'i and Costa Rica, it's a vacation that the kids will not soon forget. Check out this list of totally cool volcano vacations, and get your bags packed for major adventure.
Take a Surprise Vacation
Really let go and allow the professionals at Pack Up and Go do the work for you. Simply give them your budget, travel dates, traveler details, and a few travel preferences. A week before your trip you'll get information on weather, what to pack and where to go to begin your journey. A few days before your trip you receive an envelope in the mail (which you do NOT open until the start of your trip) that contains details on your accommodations, your city guide, and curated recommendations. On the designated start of your journey, you head to the specified location, open your envelope and you are off!
Find out more: packupgo.com
Go Rock Climbing
Looking to up the adrenaline for your next spring break vacation? Beginners of all ages can book a rock climbing adventure like this one in Zion National Park. With your certified guide to show you the ropes (so to speak), you'll learn the basics of belaying and how the gear works. All the while you will be taking in the gorgeous scenery and making memories to last a lifetime.
Find out more: zionrockguides.com
Reclaim Your Zen
Looking to add some "om" to your spring break? Head to the Florida Keys or Key West where you can enjoy a family-focused wellness retreat. Choose from activities like family AcroYoga, paddleboard yoga or kids meditation. Sprinkle in sightseeing to Dry Tortugas National Park or the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. They even offer "conscious childcare" where the babysitter comes with drums, astrology, and art to entertain the wee ones. End your voyage with a family drumming session to move the spirit and wake the soul.
Find out more: fullcirclewellnessretreats.com
Visiting an eco-resort is a great way to relax in a gorgeous setting and let your kids learn about the planet at the same time. You can opt to head towards the tropics for a big splurge or check out several spots right here on the mainland. You’ll have a blast learning about nature, keeping busy with endless activities, and even though your surroundings will probably be fairly luxe, your carbon footprint will still be kept to a minimum. Find out where our favorite eco-resorts are by clicking here.
Go on a Wine Tour
A wine tour for Spring Break? With kids? Why not?! Nowadays, there are plenty of wineries that offer major perks for kids so Mom and Dad can relax and enjoy a sample or two. If you don't plan on taking a trip to Napa, Fredericksburg or another well-known wine region, a day or overnight trip will still do the trick. Wondering where to start? We've got the best family-friendly wineries right here.
Explore the Wild West
Kids who love the Wild West will be gunnin' to explore the IRL towns that inspired their imaginary heroes. From Tombstone to Dodge City, there are plenty of places to explore and things to do: you can ride horses, mine for gold, watch an epic (fake) gun fight and explore historical battlegrounds. Discover the best Wild West towns for visiting with kids by clicking here.
Take a History Lesson
Your kids may be on break from the books, but there's no reason why they still can't soak in a little knowledge while hanging with the family. Head to a cool historical spot and spend your time together strategically—your kids will be having so much fun, they won't even realize they're learning, too. Did we mention you'll automatically be upgraded to a super-parent status once they've replayed their travel tales to their teacher? Here's where you'll find the most awesome spots to learn about past presidents.
Travel by Train
Forget a car or plane. Take a trip down the rails for a vacation your kids won't ever forget. There are plenty of daytime and overnight jaunts to choose from (see our faves here), or you can opt for a 3-7 day adventure across regions of America. Whether it's the Grand Canyon route or a historical journey along the east coast, train travel is one for the memory books. Discover the best cross-country train trips by clicking here.
What’s the most out-of-the-box vacation you have taken with the kids? Share with us in a comment!
—Kate Loweth & Gabby Cullen