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10 Spring Break Spots for Grown-Ups
Retreat to an enticing, crowd-free locale without hordes of college spring breakers at your side.
Skip more heavily populated beach spots in favor of alluring alternative spring vacation destinations, from Arizona to Argentina.(Getty Images)
Who said college kids get to have all the fun over spring break? Adults can enjoy some rest and relaxation on a laid-back escape, too. And now is the time to plan a seasonal getaway, whether you're seeking low-key retreat with sugary sands and tranquil waters or a desert landscape with awe-inspiring trails and natural wonders. If you're ready to map out your spring trip, here are 10 ideas to get you started.
If you have the urge to hit the trails and take in striking desert scenery, head to Sedona. For active types, the Arabella Hotel Sedona is ideal thanks to its proximity to scenic routes and the striking Red Rock formations. In addition, there's the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, wine tasting along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and backpacking tours, along with canyons to explore by bike. What's more, you'll find a variety of top-notch restaurants, including Elote Café, a James Beard Award recipient. And if its a health-conscious getaway you're after, the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock has a wellness package that includes dining credits, a private training session and unlimited fitness classes, including aqua yoga and tai chi classes.
Belle Mont Farm on Kittitian Hill is a luxury sustainable resort on St. Kitts surrounded by 400 acres of lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Groups of eight can book the four-bedroom farmhouse, which includes a large central pavilion with a private 100-foot infinity pool, a kitchen, a curated wine selection and a personal chef who can create an in-home farm-to-table dinner or lead a cooking class. Other on-site amenities and perks include Irie Fields, a Par 71, 18-hole golf course that embraces its natural landscape with fresh fruit and the Mango Walk Wellness Centre, which offers private wellness experiences like custom body scrubs produced from locally sourced herbs.
Los Cabos, Mexico
While 20-somethings will flock to Cancun this spring, Los Cabos in Cabo San Lucas will provide a cosmopolitan beachside alternative. Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, the area offers plenty of sandy spots and opportunities to hit the greens on a host of challenging championship courses. Plus, you can enjoy whale-watching season through mid-April. After embracing the great outdoors, enjoy top-notch cuisine and unwind at one of the area's many luxurious resorts.
Key West, Florida
Each year, riotous college students retreat to Key West during spring break's annual rite of passage, but there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path areas where you can enjoy seclusion and serenity. Explore the area's eclectic art galleries, shops, renowned museums and Dry Tortuga Park. Another must-see, particularly for literary fanatics, is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the legendary writer spent more than a decade during the most prolific period in his career. For unique accommodations, try NYAH (Not Your Average Hotel) a few blocks from the bustle of Duval Street, where you'll find adult-only accommodations that cater to large groups, along with three pools, two Jacuzzis and a daily happy hour.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
For a once-in-a-lifetime Italian retreat, escape to Monastero Santa Rosa, a 17th-century monastery-turned luxury boutique hotel and spa located in the charming fishing town of Concei dei Marini. Here, you can enjoy VIP perks (think: a chilled bottle of Prosecco and fresh fruit). Plus, breakfast is complimentary, as is the use of the Thermal Suite, which boasts mosaic heated benches with pomegranate whirlpool baths, a domed herbal steam room, a stone and wood sauna, a hydrotherapy pool and a heated infinity pool, among other amenities.
Lake Murray Country, Columbia, South Carolina
The beautiful Midlands region is a central epicenter in the Palmetto State. From paddleboard excursions to zip lining, there's plenty to see and do. As for accommodations, there are a host of cost-effective vacation rentals and cabins at Dreher Island State Park. And no matter what your ideal itinerary involves, you can't skip checking out the area's 50,000 acres of water. Afterward, refuel at Liberty on the Lake in Irmo, South Carolina, which has 48 beers on tap, baby back ribs and other staples. And it if a laid-back setting with live music is what you're after, head to the Frayed Knot in nearby Chapin, South Carolina, which offers an inviting setting and cozy fire pits.
A short, but sweet break between Chicago's frosty winter temperatures and sweltering summer heat, spring is an excellent time to venture to the Windy City and explore its can't-miss attractions. Chi-town's newest upscale hostel, The Hollander, is an ideal place to stay. It's modern and edgy building located in the Wicker Park neighborhood offers easy access to galleries, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and live music venues. Or, if you're craving a high-end, boutique experience, the Dana Hotel and Spa offers an enticing place to hang your hat with in-room iPads, Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin sound systems, rainforest showers, in-room wine chillers and even a rooftop cocktail lounge.
Uco Valley, Argentina
Some say the best-kept secret in Argentina's Uco Valley is Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort, which is situated across a 790-acre estate and vineyard. The property's "Adventure & Wine" program caters to those craving a relaxing spring getaway. The program includes parcel tasting through the vineyards with a sommelier and chef, a cocktail class, tapas-style dinners paired with signature wines, a winery visit, horseback riding and free time to explore the beauty of Mendoza, Argentina. Whether you want to relax in the outdoor infinity pool in the middle of the resort's lagoon or partake in a sunrise yoga class, there are plenty of ways to soak in your surroundings, with the dramatic Andes Mountains as your backdrop.
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
If you're itching for the chance to unwind and recharge on a relaxing trip, slip away to Friday Harbor, a storied seaport surrounded by the Dream and Fish Hook Lakes. Here, you can fish, bike, canoe, kayak and hike, among other recreational pastimes. At the end of the day, retreat to the Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, and take your pick of cozy log cabins, the entire Lake House, a campsite or a refurbished retro airstream trailer with its own lakeside deck.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
No passport? No problem. You won't need a passport to unwind and recharge along St. Thomas's beautiful beaches. Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is popular for its weekly snorkel hunt on Thursdays, where participants have the chance to win a coveted treasure: bottles of local rum. Even if you don't win a prize, you can still sip on a bucket of Bolongo's signature VooDoo juice, and dance your cares away at Iggie's Beach Bar & Grill. What's more, Iggie's hosts a weekly Carnival Night with plenty of live music, Caribbean cuisine and entertainment.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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