Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Alternative Spring Break Destinations

To help you choose where to take a mid-semester vacation unlike that of your beach-bound peers, U.S. News pinpointed the best alternative spots based on opinions and recommendations from trusted industry experts and travelers. These destinations may not carry the same party-hard reputation as other spring break locales, but they still offer plenty of fun activities and nightlife. We've identified some standouts, but you have to decide for yourself which places belong on top. Cast your vote below to help us determine next year's best spots.

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Belongs on list?
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Why go: While its reputation as a rowdy spring break destination has continued to grow thanks to its affordable resorts and vibrant nightlife, there's much more to Puerto Rico than its festive parties. It's a place where Caribbean, American and Latin flavors collide. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico

Belongs on list?
135 41

Why go: You can certainly find parties along Bourbon Street, but this Mardi Gras mecca also offers ample sightseeing and entertainment in the French Quarter. And if you're looking to dig into Southern fare, the city's Cajun spices and sugar-coated beignets are sure to hit the spot. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in New Orleans

Belongs on list?
94 48

Why go: This could be the place for you if you've had a particularly brutal exam schedule. If you want to spend your spring break fishing and pampering yourself with some quality R&R, consider booking a flight (or mapping out your road trip) to Destin. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Destin

Belongs on list?
73 55

Why go: Austin's laid-back vibes, rollicking music scene and sprawling green spaces lure music junkies and nature lovers. If you want to spend your break embracing the great outdoors during the day and excellent live music at night, this Texas city should be at the top of your list. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Austin

Belongs on list?
46 24

Why go: Myrtle Beach offers warm-weather appeal in March and April, without the level of nightlife debauchery that accompanies other spring break spots. Expect to rub shoulders with college students at this time of year; you'll find more quiet along Myrtle's golf courses. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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55 8

Why go: With its black-sand beaches, tropical rainforests and lava rocks, the Big Island attracts outdoorsy types seeking an atypical getaway. Here, you can spend your morning admiring the scenery while hiking along Waipio Valley and your evening stargazing from Mauna Kea. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hawaii - The Big Island

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68 60

Why go: Las Vegas is the perfect place for high rollers looking to pamper themselves with world-class casinos and a risqué night scene. Here, you'll find plenty of ways to engage in raucous partying. And the best part is that the city can be surprisingly affordable at this time of year. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Las Vegas

Belongs on list?
34 12

Why go: Mexico is a spring break go-to destination for travelers in search of a sun-soaked party. Tulum, however, is a different kind of beach retreat than its nearby brethren, offering quieter sands, low-key accommodations and plenty of Mayan ruins to explore. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tulum

Belongs on list?
47 36

Why go: Sure, spring break is a reprieve from the grind of classes and exams, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little learning during your travels. And there's more to the city than museums and monuments: D.C. boasts plenty of restaurants and nightlife spots. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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