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4 Top Spring Break Spots for Teens

These spring escapes will fit the needs of the whole gang – including fickle teens.

U.S. News & World Report

4 Top Spring Break Spots for Teens

Caucasian children jumping for joy on beach

From Barbados to Costa Rica, these standout spots offer a winning combination of age-appropriate entertainment, postcard-worthy landscapes and adventure.(Getty Images)

Spring break travel with teens and tweens can be tricky. After all, to appease the whole group, a family vacation has to offer a unique blend of downtime and age-appropriate activities to keep younger travelers engaged and happy. For this reason, we pinpointed standout vacation spots that are packed with enriching and educational experiences to keep teens both entertained and enlightened every step of the way. With that in mind, here are top places to take your teens this spring.

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head has plenty of appeal for a family escape. Here, you and that gang can enjoy lounging by the pool or rent bikes and ride along the beach. The resort also features its very own spa for teens who want to take advantage of treatments, such as manicures and pedicures. The surrounding area of Hilton Head also offers zip lining, kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding and more. Stop by Coligny Plaza for shopping, food and local entertainment. Best of all, the Hilton Head community of Sea Pines is a great spot for locals and visitors alike. So, while you explore, teens can climb to the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse to get a stellar view of the area before spending the afternoon hanging out with friends or family members.

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Costa Rica

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and a 1,100-acre tropical rainforest, Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort boasts an expansive golf course, five rainforest microclimates brimming with sloths and lush plant life and picturesque views overlooking the Herradura Bay's sandy landscapes. The property's prime location is ideal for nearby activities, like horseback riding or zip-line and canopy tours.

One attractive perk for teens is the resort's Spanish classes, which are offered to guests on a complimentary basis every day at 2 p.m. Held by the palm-lined pool, classes are offered for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced speakers for one hour from a local who guides guests through conversational listening and speaking.

And for environmentally-conscious travelers, the property's Reforest the Rainforest initiative, part of The Scarlet Macaw Reinsertion Project, allows teens to participate in the resort's ongoing efforts to preserve the rainforest while creating a habitat for the area's 150 species of birds and local wildlife. Guests can also participate in the complimentary program by planting a tropical almond tree, beneficial for the preservation of the iconic macaw, and can request to receive photo updates on the growth of their trees after their trip. Plus, the resort offers complimentary, waterproof GoPro cameras on loan to guests, so they can easily capture and share their vacation experiences.

Teens can also immerse themselves in the local culture during their stay. The resort's new cooking classes allow teens to taste local staples, like Gallo pinto, Costa Rica's most famous dish, typically served for breakfast, consisting of a mix of rice and black beans with tender chicken and sweet plantains.

Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
St. James, Barbados

Filled with a wide range of activities geared toward teens, Tamarind by Elegant Hotels is an ideal choice for families. When they're not soaking up the sun on the 750-foot crescent beach, teens and tweens at Tamarind have their pick of amusements. For example, teens can try their hand at stand-up paddleboarding, hit the mall for a teens-only shopping excursion or indulge in a relaxing massage for an island-inspired spa day. And while youngsters enjoy time on their own, parents can spend quality time together at the Mediterranean-style pool or the Club Tamarind Family Lounge before regrouping with the whole gang for a memorable meal at Daphne's, an Italian restaurant that serves up modern classics with local flavors. Another selling point for younger travelers: Tamarind's aerial cinematography classes, where guests can learn how to fly and operate a camera drone under the guidance of a skilled professional. Offered seasonally, this hands-on experience lets guests fly drones along the beach. Plus, participants can take home a DVD of aerial shots and video footage of the gorgeous property – a great way to remember their vacation.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos' crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches are just a couple of enticements for families. For parents who want to instill a sense of responsibility in their kids, Beaches Turks & Caicos offers a volunteer program that gives students the opportunity to earn up to 10 community service hours and give back to the communities they're visiting while on vacation. Through the program, teens can participate in a Reading Road Trip and visit a Sandals Foundation adopted school to lend literacy support to local children in the community by reading books and practicing reading comprehension activities. Teens can also participate in the Pack for a Purpose program and collect and deliver 5 pounds of much-needed school and toiletry supplies to local children.

And there's plenty of downtime at the resort, too. Club Liquid, a dance club with a cool South Beach vibe, is designed with teens in mind, and offers teens-only hangout areas that transition to an adults-only dance club later in late evening. Plus, the spa at Beaches offers teen-friendly treatments available through Ginger Lilly, a spa concept exclusive to teens and tweens as a part of the resort's Red Lane Spa experience that features customized treatments that infuse products from Pevonia SpaTeen. Additionally, Red Lane Spa carries a complete line of SpaRitual nail lacquers with 12 signature colors just for teens.

Beyond taking advantage of teen-centric amenities, younger visitors can enjoy unlimited scuba diving and water sports at Beaches Resorts. The introductory resort program is perfect for those who've never dived before, with all the instruction and equipment required for dives up to 40 feet, enabling teens to explore underwater splendors the next day after they are properly instructed and well-versed in safety protocol. 

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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