I've been to all 50 states. Here are the 8 best ones to visit during spring break.
As a travel writer who's visited all 50 states, I'm always dishing out spring-break recommendations.
Head west to Montana or Utah for the spring ski season, or flock east to enjoy Maine's slopes.
Snowbirds who are looking for some sunshine should consider Hawaii or Florida.
As a travel writer who's been to all 50 states, I have many opinions about the best spring-break spots.
Whether you're looking to hit the slopes or sunbathe on the beach, you can find the perfect spring-break destination in the US that'll make you wish your trip would last forever.
Or at the very least, the getaway will tide you over until Memorial Day.
From reggae festivals in Maine to sleigh rides through Montana, there's something for everyone on my list of the best states to visit for spring break.
Montana is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Montana's Big Sky Resort offers 5,850 acres of skiable terrain that's perfect for a spring day full of long runs. Peak season is late December and early January, but the mountains still tend to get snow later in the season.
If you're looking to try something new, consider Nordic skiing, which has a free heel bind and is popular throughout the region.
Visiting Big Sky in the spring also gives you an opportunity to enjoy the Shedhorn Ski Mountaineering Race. The endurance competition is open to experts and novices alike, but you can also watch the race as a spectator.
When I was in Big Sky, I stayed at Lone Mountain Ranch, a property that's over 100 years old and sits just north of Yellowstone National Park.
It was a true immersion into the wild, as the ranch offered horse-drawn sleigh rides to log cabins beneath the stars. My stay enabled me to fully embrace my inner cowboy and appreciate the majestic American West.
Many think Montana's outdoor activities are limited to skiing until summer, but that's not the case. The state is home to some of the world's best fly fishing, and March is ideal for anglers looking for early-season catches.
Hawaii is a great warm-weather option with amazing volunteer opportunities.
Spring break is one of the most appealing times to visit Hawaii. After all, who doesn't long for a trip to tropical islands when temperatures drop?
Travelers should always leave a place better than they found it, and with the introduction of Malama Hawaii in 2020, they can do their part to uphold the islands' beauty and cultural heritage.
The initiative connects tourists with organizations that offer volunteer opportunities in return for special deals, such as a free one-night stay at specific resorts.
Whether you're interested in beach cleanups, reforestation, or wildlife preservation, you can find ways to get involved.
I participated in these efforts during my last spring break on Maui, Lanai, and Molokai, and the experience deepened my appreciation for the islands' spectacular history and culture.
Louisiana is brimming with cultural events in the spring.
New Orleans, Louisiana, is a party whenever you visit.
If you're looking to enjoy Bourbon Street's raucous parties and the Garden District's refined charm without sweating through your clothes, then spring break is the perfect time for a trip to The Big Easy.
Most people are familiar with Mardi Gras, but the celebrations don't stop when the festival ends.
The annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of my favorite musical events.
If you have an interest in literature, check out the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane or the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival, both of which are also in the spring.
Utah has plenty to do on and off the slopes.
Close out the spring ski season in style in Park City, Utah. The slopes tend to be less busy in March and April, so you're usually able to enjoy the sweeping vistas and downhill terrain away from crowds.
Park City also has entertainment for every type of traveler in the spring, whether they're looking to rock out or sing the blues.
Check out Park City Powderfest, a concert and parade that fundraises for cancer research, and enjoy the Spring Concert Series at Canyons Village.
The Pond Skim is particularly entertaining, as wildly costumed skiers and snowboarders attempt to traverse a 100-foot-long pond. It's the perfect spectacle to enjoy with a hot toddy (or three).
Florida feels like a true warm-weather escape.
A trip to the Florida Keys is an unsurprising choice for spring break, but the 125-mile-long island chain really offers an escape from daily life.
The tropical islands aren't far from Miami, but their laid-back energy makes them feel galaxies away from the rest of the US.
You can spend your days sunbathing and enjoying epic sunsets. On a recent spring break, I relaxed in Islamorada and partied in Key West, returning home from the Sunshine State feeling rejuvenated and sporting an epic tan.
Idaho has some of the best skiing in the country.
Many people overlook Idaho. It's often overshadowed by popular mountainous destinations like Colorado or Wyoming, but Sun Valley has some of the best spring skiing and snowboarding in the US.
In the spring, you can observe the experts at work at The Dollar Holler, a big-air exhibition.
Women can also sign up for a Sunset Skin Up Bald Mountain With SheJumps, and visitors of all kinds will enjoy the Baldy Bash spring party.
California's deserts have a lot of festivals and activities that line up with spring break.
If you're looking for a reprieve from the bitter cold, look no further than the California desert.
Palm Spring's mid-century modern architecture and dramatic San Jacinto mountains make it a popular year-round destination. But spring break is the perfect time to visit for travelers interested in music and art.
Most people already know about the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, but it isn't the only festival lighting up the California desert in the spring.
If you're looking for a culture fix while also trying to beat the spring-break crowds, consider the La Quinta Art Celebration or the Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival.
Maine is as magical in the spring as it is in the summer.
Many people associate Maine with summer, and it is undeniably gorgeous when the wildflowers are in bloom. But winter and spring are equally enchanting and often filled with snowcapped mountains and dense forests.
I didn't expect to hear a ton of reggae music when I was in New England, but the annual Sugarloaf Reggae Festival is one of the best, most underrated ski parties I've been to on this side of the Atlantic.
Music lovers can also check out live performances at Widowmaker, a restaurant and bar at the top of a base lodge in Carrabassett Valley, in the final months of the ski season.
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