Temperatures can be pleasant in the southeast U.S. during the Spring Break months. Sea Island, for example has average high temps in March of 70°, 75° in April, but of course days vary; early March highs swung from 65 to 81°. Evenings are cool and ocean temperature averages 66° in spring.
(Generally, “spring break” for families in the US and Canada means a ten-day school-break in March or April; dates vary in different areas. College age spring break is a very different thing.)
Here is a list of several popular spring break locales from various internet sites:
Because of its isolated location, Key West doesn’t attract nearly as many spring breakers as other Florida shorelines. But what it lacks in miles of beaches, it makes up for with quirky nightlife on Duval Street. Key West, already known for its carefree spirit, makes it a great choice for spring breakers. Contrary to popular belief, it does have an open container law, but the police are known to look the other way if you act responsibly. Start your night off with a great deals on mixed drinks at Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street, which might give you enough liquid courage to head to the Garden of Eden, a clothing optional bar right down the street.
Myrtle Beach is on the coast of South Carolina, 98 miles north of Charleston; South Carolina is the #2 state for tourism after Florida. Myrtle Beach has 60-mile stretch of beaches (the “Grand Strand”) and great fun parks for kids. Mid-March annual Canadian-American Days stage some special events. Note, however, that Myrtle Beach is also popular for college spring break! Families should check their hotel or resort carefully to make sure they’re not amid springer-breakers: many properties have “over 21” rules for booking rooms; also, read visitor comments for last year’s spring break weeks.
Fifteen miles from Atlanta, 3200-acre Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s number-one tourist draw, combining natural attractions (woods, lakes, and the famous “stone mountain”) with man-made amusements such as sky ride, scenic railroad, laser light show. It’s the largest outcropping of exposed granite in the world, and even that has a man-made attraction too: the world’s largest sculpture carved into the stone (a gigantic Confederate Memorial.) Stone Mountain Park has an annual week of Spring Break Fun in early April.
Indoor water park resorts make great drive-to family getaways. This one is the Southeast’s “largest indoor and outdoor waterpark resort” (at time of writing – there’s always a new “biggest” one); families like the tube slides, tots area, wave pool, surfing, and Runaway Canyon 450′ waterslide with tunnel thrills, 360-degree loops, and water curtains. Location is in Sevierville on local Highway 66, “the gateway to the Smokies”.
About.com’s for Southeast US Travel has suggestions for spring trips, including some big names in upscale travel, such as The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island and The Homestead, in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. Families who like indoor water park resorts will be glad to hear there’s a Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg Virginia.
The temperature averages in the high 70s during March and April on this barrier island in Georgia close to Florida. Accessible by car, the island has scenic beaches, birds and other wildlife, and a historic district that harks back to the Gilded Age when wealthy families holidayed there. Today, families can bike on trails, enjoy the beaches, take a guided tour, or try out a water park. Lodging includes the high-end Jekyll Island Club Hotel (built by the Rockefellers and Vanderbilt’s) and affordable options too. The island is state-owned, and 65% of it must stay undeveloped.
Why go: With temps in the 70s and 80s (perfect for daytime pool parties) and fewer tourists, spring is a prime time to head to Sin City. Plus, since this is a shoulder season, it may be easier to score affordable rates at some of the Strip’s swankiest hotels.
When you’re not lounging on Miami Beach’s wide shorelines, make the most of the city’s event calendar, which includes Miami Beach Gay Pride and the Ultra Music Festival. Dodge exorbitant cover charges by getting to the clubs early in the evening.
Punta Cana is ideal for spring breakers who like all-inclusive resorts but care little about venturing away from their hotel grounds. Nightlife options are not abundant, but if you’re in the mood to dance, head to the Imagine Punta Cana Disco.
Why go: If you’re looking for a bit of Las Vegas in the Caribbean, the Bahamas might just be for you. When you’re not testing Lady Luck in Nassau’s twinkling casinos, barhop in Freeport. Having trouble finding affordable lodging and airfare? Consider a cruise.
Why go: Puerto Vallarta is tailor-made for night owls. Sip cocktails at a bar along the Malecón, dance to a salsa beat in a Havana-style nightclub or let loose at one of the many hosted foam parties.
Why go: Cancun has all the makings of a quintessential spring break getaway. Along with its clean, white-sand beaches, it boasts budget-friendly, all-inclusive packages and a rollicking nightlife scene (don’t miss Coco Bongo).
Why go: Longing for a taste of the Caribbean without the hassle of international travel? Puerto Rico is your answer. In the spring, the weather is sunny and breezy, and the winter crowds have dispersed.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If Miami Beach is out of reach, Daytona may be the next best thing. Though it doesn’t offer trendy nightclubs and swanky hotels, Daytona does boast more than 20 miles of beachfront, along with plenty of inexpensive lodging and dining options.
If you’re looking for nonstop beach and pool parties, budget-friendly lodging and celebrity-hosted events, South Padre Island is for you. But if crowded sands sound like a spring break nightmare, you’ll want to retreat elsewhere.