A handpicked selection of fantastic US spring break destinations for families: family friendly places for a spring family getaway in the US with kids all ages will love.
Spring is one of our favorite times for a family getaway in the US.
As schools pause for a well deserved rest, we love to give the children (and ourselves) a break from their usual routine and spring weather is particularly suited to the type of adventure we love: city trips and outdoor pursuits!
Our favorite way to get away from our daily routine and have quality family time is by going somewhere completely different from what we know (thin urban, rain, cars).
The desert down in Utah, the beaches of Hawaii, the enchanting forests of Northern California – all these are fantastic destinations for a spring family getaway and populate of vacation dreams.
The choices of fabulous places for family spring getaways in the US are endless and you don’t necessary have to travel cross country for great family time in an outstanding location.
Today, we’ll share some of the most incredible spring break destinations for families in the US that you and the kids will love!
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How we chose these spring break family destinations in the US
When picking the best destinations for families in spring, we focusses on a few criteria.
Weather – one of the great things about spring is that you can visit destinations outside of summer scorching temperatures.
Especially with young kids, extreme weather conditions can get annoying if not plain dangerous: for this list, we picked places that you may not be able to visit at different times of the year but are perfect for children in terms of experience, learning and fun.
Water safety – if your kids are like ours, they probably adore the beach so we chose nice beach locations that are safe for them.
We selected places known for having shallow, safe waters and do not get strong currents (Always check local conditions, you can never be too careful with open waters!)
Family friendly vibe – we love places that make children feel welcome. This could come in the form of child friendly facilities or on the lack of potential disturbances like loud nightlife.
Must see cities – the US has some of the best cities to visit with kids, with outstanding museums and a diverse population and cultural stimulations.
Spring is often a great time for city adventure, so we included some of our very favorite!
15 incredible US Spring Break Destinations for Families with kids
Redwood National Park, California – perfect spring getaway for families who love nature
Redwood National Park is one of the best spring family getaways in the US, especially if unparalleled nature and solitude are what you’re after.
Home to cirques of centuries-old redwoods, which are the tallest trees in the world, a visit to this incredible national park is all about driving and hiking amid towering canopies.
With over 130,000 acres of forest to cover, you and the kids will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing what to do!
A must-do is driving the Avenue of Giants, a historic route lined by titan trees through the park with lots of fun stops along the way, including forest hamlets, picnic areas, waterways, and several trailheads if you’re feeling up for a hike.
A few recommended hiking trails for kids include:
the Fern Canyon Trail, where you’ll get to walk amidst a canyon and feel as though you’re in a Jurassic Park setting;
the Trillium Falls Trail, which will have you strolling under an ancient redwood grove before arriving at a 10-foot waterfall that cascades down over moss-blanketed walls.
While some of the kid-centered activities tend to take place in summer, the spring is a fantastic time to visit this stunning corner of the country and kids won’t forget getting up close and personal to these friendly giants!
See also: the best West Coast National Parks to visit with kids
Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado
If, like us, you have a kid who loves dinosaurs, Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado is one of the most exciting destinations to visit in order to please the paleontologist in the family!
Dinosaurs once roamed northwestern Colorado, and they left plenty of traces behind.
During your visit to this exciting location, you’ll get to see real-life dinosaur fossils encapsulated in the rocks at Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall.
Moreover, you can also book a ranger-led hike in order to see dinosaur remains on the monument’s rocks, all while getting a pretty deep insight into the titans that once called Colorado their home!
We regularly take ranger led activities in National Parks and we all learn so much!
The rangers have a special ability to talk to all ages and the whole family always leaves inspired and full of new knowledge about nature and its wonders,
As if that weren’t enough, this spot is also an excellent place for your kids to learn about Native American history.
Aside from all things dinosaurs, you’ll also find plenty of 1000-year-old petroglyphs and pictographs left behind by the Fremont people guaranteed to get your kids asking questions and wanting to learn more about part of history we, as European, are shockingly ignorant about.
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Utah is one of the most breathtaking places we have ever visited and one of our all time favorite family destinations in the US.
In previous articles, we have talked about why we adore Zion National Park with kids and family friendly Bryce Canyon.
Find all our Utah family travel guides here.
Today, we add another Utah wonder: Dead Horse Point.
While you may want to wait until the kids grow up to explore the more popular Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point is a beautiful alternative for those visiting as a family.
Home to expansive canyons, dramatic desert vistas, and fabulous hiking trails, this glorious state park is ideal for experiencing Moab’s desert allure, especially during the springtime, when temperatures are perfect for exploring.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore a cave or two or opt to spend a night in a yurt.
Dead Horse Point is considered one of the best places in the USA for stargazing, so you’ll be in for a real treat the family won’t ever forget!
Top tip! If your kids love space, make sure you pack a portable telescope for children: they are perfect for travel and make stargazing nights even more jaw-droppingly awesome!
Sanibel Island, Florida
Florida has some of the best family beaches on the East Coast and a fantastic destination for a family spring break.
Sanibel Island may be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with fun activities that make it one of the best spring family getaways in the US.
With nearby Fort Mayers, it is one of the best places in Florida for families with kids!
Home to beautiful beaches, a national wildlife refuge, and tons of family-friendly activities, Sanibel is a perfect spot to get a mix of underwater adventures and experiences out in nature.
A few of the must-dos during your visit include dolphin spotting, joining a workshop at Sanibel Sea School to learn about marine conservation, kayaking through mangrove swamps and checking out the Shell Museum,
Also, take a ferry to Cayo Costa State Park for a snorkeling experience like no other!
Another super fun activity to do while in Sanibel is to go treasure hunting for seashells.
Because the island runs perpendicularly to Florida’s coastline, its beaches are covered in seashells galore. Joining a “Sanibel Stoop”, as locals like to call the act of shelling, is a must while visiting!
Need to know! Shells are part of the marine ecosystem and taking anything can be disruptive to the delicate balance of nature in the area.
While it is generally considered ok to collect dead shells in Sanibel, we recommend you start your vacation with activities that allow you to learn about marine conservation.
As well as fun and informative, they will ensure you do not make damage during your visit! Remember, when in doubt: ‘take only memories, leave only footprints’.
Family spring getaway in Monterey, California
If you follow this blog, you may already know that we are in love with California. We simply love everything about the places, especially that wild costal scenery that seem too beautiful to be true!
Find all our family guides to California here.
With kids, one of the easiest and best places for a spring getaway is Monterey.
Not only is Monterey one of the best warm spring break destinations for families in the US, but it’s also a wonderful place to combine fun on the beach with lots of educational opportunities for the little ones.
Home to glorious beaches, beautiful parks, excellent museums, and tons of wildlife centers, Monterey is a charming coastal city in California that is renowned for its laid-back vibes and its wealth of marine life.
During your visit, you and the kids will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing what to do. Whatever you do, make sure the Monterey Bay Aquarium is at the top of your bucket list.
Not only is this one of the most family-friendly attractions in the city, but it’s also a fantastic way for the kids to discover and learn about marine life and the importance of conservation while also getting the chance to meet some of the animals up close.
The Aquarium is stunning and perfect for kids of all ages: just make sure you bring a change of clothes as some of the hands on activities will make little ones wet!
If you have more time, you can also weaver a stop in Monterey in a longer road trip along Highway 1 with the kids.
We took it more than once and it truly is one of the most beautiful drives in the world!
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Fresh mountain air, blooming flowers, miles of beautiful mountains, and cascading waterfalls are the staples of a visit to Shenandoah National Park during spring break.
Extending along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia, this glorious national park isn’t short of incredible activities for the little ones, including scenic driving, getting to become a ranger for a day, chasing a few waterfalls, and even summiting a mountain!
The best way to get acquainted with the park is by driving Skyline Drive, which runs the length of Shenandoah and will give you access to several of its landscapes, including wetlands, waterfalls, and mountains.
If you want to dive deeper into the park, hiking is another excellent choice, with lots of family-friendly trails for everyone to enjoy such as the Rose River Falls, a 3.9-mile loop that will take you to a 67-foot waterfall and a dreamy swimming hole.
If your kids are the adventurous type, they can also get the chance to summit Hawksbill Summit, the highest point in the park – despite what you may be thinking, this hike is very manageable with kids, so don’t be afraid to give it a go!
Shenandoah is stunning and one of our favorite family friendly National Parks on the East Coast.
Sedona, Arizona – the perfect family spring getaway in the US Southwest
If you’re looking for warm spring break destinations for families in the US, look no further than Sedona.
We first visited Sedona in summer, on the way back from visiting Monument Valley with the kids, and we immediately understood why people are in love with Sedona. there truly is something special here!
Way back in time, geological forces created rifts into the Colorado Plateau, which formed the other-worldly looking landscape this fascinating region of Arizona is today.
Think desert spires piercing the sky, massive river canyons, and mazes of bright red rock formations to get an idea of what the scenery here is all about.
In order to explore Sedona’s desert magic, make sure you visit Red Rock State Park, where you can hike Eagle’s Nest View with the kids and get to see Cathedral Rock, one of the most famous landmarks in Arizona.
Another fun way to explore is by taking a Pink Jeep Tour, where you can relax on a (bright pink) jeep while taking in the landscape of red rocks.
Finally, make sure you also check out the Sedona Heritage Museum, where the kids can learn all about the city’s history, ranging from its cowboy scene to its Native American heritage.
You can find here >>> our favorite things to do on a first trip to Sedona
Jekyll Island, Georgia
A bit of a hidden gem, this tiny island off the coast of Georgia is perfect if a quiet spring break with the family is what you’re after.
Boasting miles of untouched beaches, verdant forests, and plenty of activities to enjoy the scenery, getting bored at Jekyll Island is a pretty hard thing to do despite its small size.
The first child friendly place that comes to mind on Jakyll Island is Driftwood Beach: as the name suggests, the beach is covered with driftwood and small kids will adore it as a natural playground while older teens will adore the photo ops of this scenic spot!
This is, however, just the beginning.
Activities for kids include enjoying the beach, going on a dolphin-spotting tour, visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and exploring the historic district of the island’s downtown area.
All this, makes Jekyll Island one of the best US vacation destinations for families in spring.
The Holiday Inn Resort is a good base to enjoy the area.
Olympic National Park, Washington – one of the best US spring break destinations for families who love uncontaminated nature
As one of the most diverse national parks in the country, Olympic National Park is a beautiful place to get the entire family’s explorer heart on.
Within its borders, you’ll find the Pacific Coast, alpine terrain dotted by beautiful lakes, and some of the largest temperate rainforests in the country.
While exploring Olympic, make sure you head to Hoh Rainforest and take the family-friendly trail through the Hall of Mosses, where you’ll get to walk amid mosses and old-growth trees inside the rainforest.
Other fun activities include taking a dip at Sol Duc Hot Springs, looking for seastars at Kalaloch Beach, or getting your kids to become “Ocean Stewards” or “Junior Rangers” by completing a booklet they can grab at any visitor center in the park.
Does your fantasy bring you to Hawaii, when you dream of the ultimate family spring getaway? Mine sure does!
Palm-fringed beaches, roaring volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, and Jurassic Park-like landscapes make Maui more than just a perfect spring break destination, but also a wonderland where the kiddos will get to feel as though they’re true explorers.
When it comes to activities, you’ll have a pretty hard time choosing what to see and do.
From snorkeling in search of colorful coral to hiking on the lookout for waterfalls and the best volcano views, there are plenty of unique experiences on Maui’s menu.
Spring also brings in warm waters, which call for Humpback whale season!
These marine giants choose Maui’s coast to breed and birth from December through April, so be sure to book a whale-watching tour in order to witness these wonderful animals in their habitat.
Top tip: if your kids are new to snorkeling, you may find this guide to the best snorkel sets for kids useful.
Joshua Tree National park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is one of our family’s favorite places in the whole world and a fantastic destination for a family vacation in the US with kids in spring.
The park is in a breathtaking position where two desert systems meet and it is a treasure trove of animals and landscapes kids and adults will adore.
In spring, you can spend hours outdoors (something almost impossible in summer due to the high temperatures) and you can then relax in the evening in one of the many family friendly accommodation options in Palm Springs.
If you want to tap into the magic of Joshua Tree, read here >>> our guide to Joshua Tree with kids. We are sure you will love it as much as we did!
Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina’s quaintest city is one of the best spring break destinations for families in the US.
Not only is the weather in Charleston pretty mild during the spring season, but it’s also a fantastic city to explore no matter your family’s interests.
For one, it’s an awesome place for all things history, with plenty of historical buildings and museums dotting its downtown as well as tons of beaches lining its shores.
If you’re visiting with kids, we recommend taking a historic carriage tour through the city, visiting the SC Aquarium, checking out the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, and visiting The Angel Oak.
A great place to stay in Charleston with kids is the Homewood Suites by Hilton: located in historic downtown Charleston, if has nice family suites and a pool, perfect for treating your kids to water playtime after a day sightseeing!
New York City, New York
Our family adores New York City so we simply could not make a list of the best US spring break destinations for families without mentioning it and giving it a glowing report!
We love it so much, we even enjoy it in summer, when the heat makes is seriously hard to take so you can imagine we are simply head over heels in love with New York City in spring!
If you want to see how we got on last time, read or post about how we made the absolute most of a day in NYC with kids!
At this time, the city is simply perfect for kids and full of magical adventures.
With the mild spring temperatures, you can make the most of kid-friendly Central Park; you can admire the incredible city skyline from the water or the top of the Empire State building (our favorite viewpoint!).
You can also leisurely walk tot eh High Line or find refuge in the city’s fabulous museums, perfect for children ad well as adults thanks to their varies and always interesting collections.
Our favorite location for a NYC stay with kids is central Manhattan.
Last time, we stayed in the perfectly positioned Redbury Hotel: super close to the Empire State Building and with an Italian restaurant (Marta Manhattan) that catered perfectly to our pizza loving kids!
New York City is the type of place you spend a lifetime without running out of things to do but you can also mix time here with less urban destinations in New York state.
This area is fantastic for children and so varies, you are sure to find something you’re family will love!
Find here >>> inspiration for planning a trip to New York State with kids
Washington DC, fantastic family city break for spring
The name of our sites probably gave it away: we love educational trips and what can be more educational than visiting the nation’s capital?
Washington DC is simply packed with things to do for kids and children of primary school age and up are sure to get inspired by such an important and inspirational city.
Also, spring brings to Washington DC those stunning cherry blossoms you see in all the best photos of the city!
A family visit to DC must include the city’s many museums, famous for their wonderful collections and, in many cases, for their generous free admission policy.
The Smithsonian, National Mall and of course tours of the White House and the Capitol are a must-do while in DC with kids and will be interesting for both children and adults.
More fun activities to do with the kids in Washington DC are fat tire tours, fantastic at any age, the International Spy Museum, the Newseum (if you have a broadcaster in the making, this is not to be missed!).
With so many things to do in several parts of the city, you may want to consider a hop-on hop-off bus tour like this one: a fantastic way to cover a lot of ground without stress and always fun for kids of all ages!
Family Hotels in Washington DC you may love are:
Courtyard by Marriott, with great family rooms: perfect also if you are tagging along a business trip!
Willard InterContinental Washington, an IHG Hotel, a great family hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, with family rooms, babysitting services (extra charge) and kids board games/dvd.
Chicago is a stunning and fun city for kids but summer and winter temperature are too extreme for family fun. Spring is, however, perfect for city sightseeing!
There is so much to see and do and we have so many friends from the city, tempting us with amazing lists of things to do in Chicago with kids, we believe this is the perfect family city break in spring.
Among the many kid-friendly attractions in Chicago for a fun-filled family getaway, there are:
A river cruise: a must-do in Chicago for all ages!
Millennium Park: a fantastic area with splash pools in summer and ice skating in winter and the home of iconic Cloud Gate
Navy Pier, home to a Ferris wheel and Chicago’s Children Museum
Shedd Aquarium, which has several exciting activities for kids including penguin encounters and stingray feedings
The Kimpton Gray Hotel is a good family-friendly hotel to visit Chicago.
I hope you enjoyed this handpicked selection of fantastic US spring break destinations for families and it helped you plan your next family getaway. Safe travel planning!