Spring is such a great time to travel and explore with kids. Here in the US, the weather is finally getting warmer, the green is returning and everyone’s ready for an adventure. With the kids out of school for spring break, it’s a great time to plan a trip to explore a new place. Whether you love cities or small towns, theme parks, national parks or water parks, ice skating, skiing, or beach bonfires, mini-golf, exploring kid-friendly museums or hiking trails, we’ve got spring break vacation ideas for your family.

A few of our Creative Team members chose their favorite spring destination for outdoor adventures with kids to highlight here. We’re sharing the best spring break destinations for families, plus insider tips on where to stay, what to eat, what to do when you’re there, and how to explore with kids on your trip. These family vacation destinations are located throughout the US (plus, a couple bonus international picks!), so hopefully, there’s an outdoor adventure near you!

Best Spring Break Destinations for Outdoor A

Spring break vacation ideas with kids

Spring is the perfect time to try a new outdoor adventure with your kids. After a long winter battling cold temperatures, illnesses, and holiday madness, spring is always a welcome breath of fresh air (literally). My family always emerges from winter with a new appreciation of nature, warm weather, and a desire to spend as much time outside as we can.

Each spring we crave new adventures and can’t wait to explore new destinations. Today, we want to encourage you to take advantage of the warmer temperatures this time of year and get outside with your family this spring! We’re sharing 10+ fun, unique, and outdoorsy family-friendly spring break destinations that we know your kids will love! Each of these locations was hand-picked by one of our team members as a favorite family spring break getaway destination for outdoor adventures with kids.

Anna Maria Island FL spring break with kids

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island is located in the Gulf of Mexico, just East of Bradenton, Florida, and is the be. It’s a quiet little resort city with lots of local charm and Southern style. The highlight of the island is, by far, the beach – Anna Maria has the most incredible white, fluffy sand. It’s almost like walking in powdered sugar! Pine Avenue in the center of this small town has the coolest little coffee shops (Ginny & Jane E’s), fabulous donuts (The Donut Experiment), kitschy boutiques, and great seafood bistros (The Sandbar, The Waterfront), and tikki bars. There are a few hotels, but we highly recommend renting a house/cottage close to the beach, as that’s where you’ll want to spend most of your time.

In the morning, head to the beach with the kids to hunt for shells, chase the birds, and check out the tide pools during the low tide. Each morning’s low tide will leave the beach a little bit different, so you never know exactly what you’ll find. Some days, you’ll have massive tide pools to explore, filled with giant conch, crabs, sand dollars, snails, sea slugs, shark’s teeth, and beautiful shells. On other days, the tide pools will be completely gone, forcing you into the waves to find your daily fix of shells and sea life.

Rent bikes or a golf cart and explore the island with the kids. In the evening, check out the wooden pier on the bayside of the island and watch local fishermen catch sharks and rays! Or head to the beach with a flashlight and chase ghost crabs. And make sure to look up – the stars here are gorgeous!

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Sara McCarty at @sara_mccarty

Asheville, North Carolina

If you’re looking for a fun and unique outdoor adventure to do with your kids this spring break, how about riding down a waterfall?! Western North Carolina is known as the “Land of the Waterfalls” and the Asheville area has multiple waterfalls you can ride down! Not only are these locations fun, active and outside, but best of all, most of them are totally free or very low cost. It’s a great place to hike, explore, cool off, and have some real fun!

For accommodations, check availability at the Whistle Pig Farm in Candler. This unique farmhouse sits on seven acres with a gorgeous view of the mountains. For great eats, don’t miss out on Biscuit Head and the Wicked Weed Brewing Pub!

Our top five waterfalls in the Ashville area are:

(1) Looking Glass Falls in Brevard

A 60-foot waterfall with roadside parking. View the falls from many locations and balance on the rocks at the base of the falls. You can also swim here!

(2) Hooker Falls in the Dupont State Forest

Easily accessed by a ½ mile stroller-friendly trail. This waterfall is 12 feet tall and fairly wide, cascading down into a swimming hole! Kids could play here for hours!

(3) Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest

It is a 60-foot rock slope that you CAN RIDE and ends in a deep pool of water. Be prepared because it is COLD! Don’t want to ride? Watch the fun or bring a net and play in the pool of water at the bottom.

(4) Bust Your Butt Falls

True to its name it will be a bit of a rough ride but definitely memorable. There is roadside parking and a little jaunt down some fairly large rocks until you get to a flat area. Swim across the water, use the rope to traverse up the rock face, and slide down the falls!

(5) Skinny Dip Falls

This is a waterfall you access on foot via the Blue Ridge Parkway. You’ll find the trailhead across from milepost 417. From there take the beautiful ¾ mile moderately strenuous hike and you’ll find cascades and pools galore. The waterfalls and surroundings area are gorgeous and there is even a rock to jump off into a pool of water below.

Not into sliding down waterfalls? That’s ok! There’s plenty of other outdoor activities for family fun in the area including hiking, horseback riding, historic tours, golf course, amusement parks, water parks, and more. 

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Ginny Yurich at @1000hoursoutside

Fun Outdoor Spring Break Destinations for Families - Bentonville AR

Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville, Arkansas is the perfect combination of outdoor adventure, good food, great coffee, culture, and the arts. You may not think of those things when you think of Arkansas, but it’s there! This little city is brimming with outdoor activities for families! Be sure to check out our Get Out Guide – Bentonville for everything outdoorsy in the area! 

While best known as the birthplace and headquarters of Walmart, Bentonville is rapidly becoming the mountain biking hot spot of North America! Trails abound throughout the city, and in the surrounding mountains. Crystal Bridges, a world-renown (and totally FREE) art museum also has miles of trails with large scale sculptures in the North Forest. Be sure to come back at night to watch the “Bucky ball” light up. Just next door to the art museum is The Amazeum, a wonderful kids museum with a HUGE indoor climbing structure. We also love Climb Bentonville for a chance to try our hand at climbing, they have auto-belay system so the whole family gets a chance to climb.

For food in Bentonville, you can’t go wrong with Onyx Coffee Labs – at any of their locations throughout North West Arkansas. Or try hanging out at The Holler, their veggie burger is phenomenal. The restaurant Louise, at Thaden Field has a great breakfast plus you get to watch planes and helicopters take off while you dine. For places to stay, 21c Museum hotels is great for a luxury hotel stay, but there are tons of great AirBnB properties around the area as well. We highly recommend the properties by Bloodworth Hospitality and Stay NWA. For a more rustic experience- check out the cabins and camping at Devil’s Den State Park!

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Nichole at @coleyraeh

Door County, Wisconsin

Located on a peninsula northeast of Green Bay, Door County is surrounded by Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. Door County is filled with natural attractions, state and county parks, and quaint fishing villages with unique eateries and shops. There are many different kinds of accommodations here, from camping to luxury resort spas to bed and breakfasts and rental cottages. For hiking, biking, fishing, camping, water sports, and picnicking, check out Potawatomi State Park on the shores of Sturgeon Bay or Peninsula State Park on the Green Bay side. These parks contain miles of hiking and biking trails, weaving in and out of serene woods, along waterfront bluffs and down to rocky points. You won’t want to miss the breathtaking ledges of Cave Point County Park, where you can stand right over top the crashing waves of Lake Michigan (be careful with little ones!).

Door County is famous for its cherry orchards, which are spectacular to view in full bloom in the late spring. A favorite family destination is The Farm, a historic farm and petting zoo (Sturgeon Bay). Scattered throughout the county are picturesque fishing villages nestled in the coves along the shore. They are packed with quaint little restaurants and shops. You’ll definitely want to check out the unusual and delicious Door County traditional fish boil, available at several local eateries (consider the Old Post Office in Ephraim). For coffee, try Door County Coffee Company (Carlsville). If you make it all the way to the tip of the peninsula, you can ride a ferry to nearby Washington Island, which is mostly natural areas and parks. Door County is full of natural beauty and countless outdoor experiences for your whole family.

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Leslie Alvis at @c_l_allofus

Spring Break Outdoor Adventures with Kids

Mount Scott, Oklahoma

Mount Scott is located just outside of Lawton, Oklahoma, in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. The Wildlife Refuge has over 59k acres of land (only 22k available to the public), offering tons of outdoor adventures for families and miles and miles of hiking trails to explore. It is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system. The wildlife here roams freely through much of the refuge. It’s not uncommon to stop along the road and wait for a bison or two to cross right in front of you.

Mount Scott has a 3+ mile winding paved road to the most stunning lookout with views of the Oklahoma plains. The views are breathtaking. Each trail in the refuge offers its own treasures to find. For example, on Crab Eyes trail you can search for rock formations that look like crab eyes staring back at you! If you are looking to stay in the refuge a while, there are a couple of campgrounds (Doris Campground being the main one). The refuge has a variety of spots for tents, trailers, and RVs, including some primitive spots. We are regularly greeted in the mornings with turkeys or deer outside our tent. If you are looking for more of a cabin-style, the nearby town of Medicine Park has many traditional B&Bs, Airbnb’s, along with cabins to rent.

While you are in Medicine Park, you can check out the quaint shops and coffee shops (Cobblescone Coffee and Pastry) while you enjoy a stroll along the river. The Riverside Cafe is a great stop for a bite to eat, and you can sit outside on the patio and enjoy the beautiful views. Meers is another nearby town known for its self-proclaimed “World Famous Meers Burgers.” People drive from all over to have one of these burgers – the line out the door will be a testament to this statement. If you are looking to play in the water, fish, boat, or just getting your feet wet, there are a few small lakes and bodies of water in the area. Lake Lawtonka has beautiful views of Mount Scott. The Mount Scott area is a great destination to visit and spend some wonderful family time outdoors together.

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Kristen Ryan at @kristcx

Spring Vacation Destinations for Outdoor Adventures with Kids

Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona

Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona is a river gorge known as the little cousin of the Grand Canyon. It is about 12 miles long and features amazing hikes, picnic areas, scenic views, and places to swim. Spring is Sedona’s busiest visitor season, with average high temperatures in the mid-60s to low 80s and chilly evenings perfect for bundling up. This wonderful weather, coupled with pops of color from budding desert flowers and rust-colored trails, makes for pleasnat and comfortable hiking and sightseeing in Oak Creek Canyon for the whole family.

Enjoy a scenic drive from Sedona to Flagstaff along Highway 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. You’ll see towering red canyon walls, a rushing creek and lush forest while the switchbacks make the drive beautiful and exciting. Since this is just a short drive for us, some of my most favorite memories were here. You can spend a whole day splashing in the creek with your kids, admiring the surrounding beauty! It truly never gets old. Just make sure to bring water shoes, and pack a picnic.

If you have time, a visit to Slide Rock State Park is a must! It’s exactly what it sounds like, a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. Located just off 89A in Oak Creek Canyon (about 7.5 miles north of L’Auberge), Slide Rock State Park is set on a 43-acre historic apple farm with a naturally-occurring water slide. The famous “Slide Rock” is a stretch of slippery creek bottom that runs 80 feet long. Algae on the rocks creates an adrenaline-pumping slippery ride! It’s quite an adventure for the entire family!

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Kathleen White at @faithboundtravel

family spring break destination - San Diego, CA (Hotel del Coronado)

San Diego, California

With near-perfect weather and sunny days year-round, San Diego, California is an amazing spring break destination for all kinds of great outdoor adventures with kids. Favorite family-friendly attractions include SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LegoLand California, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Balboa Park, Maritime Museum, Botanical Garden and the Water Conservation Garden. San Diego’s iconic bright red trolley cars can get you through the downtown core and all the way out to places like Old Town, Mission Valley, La Mesa, and Chula Vista. 

San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline offer families a variety of beaches that are perfect for swimming, surfing, sandcastle building, and any other family beach activity. Shell Beach, at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park, offers excellent tide pooling at low tides. Plus, kids can watch seals and sea lions play, rest and sun themselves on a big rock offshore. Kids will love Torrey Pines State Beach in nearby La Jolla. It’s right off the highway with bathrooms, showers, lifeguards and a safe spot for kids to play by the lagoon. The bluffs above the beach are part of the 1,750-acre Torrey Pines State Reserve Park, which has eight miles of hiking trails offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Spend an afternoon on the ocean in one of the many whale-watching cruises offered in the area. Head out to Coronado Island to explore for a day. Be sure to check out the historic and iconic Hotel Del Coronado (one of the best family-friendly resorts in the US) and catch a killer sunset on the beach while you’re there.

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Sara McCarty @sara_mccarty

Best Spring Break Destinations for Outdoor Adventures with Kids

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Starved Rock State Park is located just southeast of the village of Utica, in Deer Park Township, LaSalle County, Illinois. The park sits along the south bank of Illinois River and is an easy road trip from both St. Louis and Chicago. Starved Rock hosts over two million visitors annually, the most of any Illinois state parks. It’s a quiet little secluded area with lots of history and amazing canyons. The park has 13 miles of hiking and 18 canyons to explore, but the highlight is by far the waterfalls. The Starved Rock State Park Lodge is connected to the park with a delicious restaurant inside and cozy rooms/cabins. Campsites are also available.

My family’s favorite canyons were St. Louis Canyon & Wildcat Canyon, so be sure to check those two out at least. St. Louis offers the best waterfall and is within a short distance from the visitor center. This is by far one of the coolest local(ish) state parks our family has ever visited. The park is huge, with many different viewing points and areas to explore, so it usually doesn’t feel crowded. Spring is a great time to check out the park, as it’s finally warming up and everything will be blooming! If you get a warm day, bring a towel and an extra pair of clothes because most likely the kiddos will want to go in the water and do some further exploring. We sure did!

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Brandi Rondinelli @soulshinephotographer

National Park Spring Break Vacation Ideas for Kids

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, AZ is one of the best family-friendly spring break destinations in the US. Located just over 100 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the US/Mexico border, the city is brimming with charm, art, and some of the most delicious and authentic Mexican food. Aside from mouth-watering tacos, the highlight of Tucson could arguably be Saguaro National Park.

The park is divided into two separate and distinct portions, east and west. The eastern side of the park (the Rincon Mountain District), is larger, more remote, and has an extensive mountainous area. While the Saguaro cacti are less dense here, they are still large and impressive. This side of the park is perfect for hiking and starting the Junior Ranger Program. On the western side of the park (the Tucson Mountain District), you will find gigantic Saguaro as far as the eye can see. While smaller with less extensive hiking, driving Hohokam Road is certainly worth a trip. We suggest finishing the Junior Ranger Program in the western part of the park.

Once you’ve had your fill of cacti, a stop at the Tucson Children’s Museum (great for kids 0-12) is a solid idea. To dip your toes into a bit of Tucson’s history, a visit to the San Xavier del Bac Mission is pretty humbling (great for older kids). The church is nearly 225 years old, is completely tour-able, and visually impressive from every angle. You can even attend Mass if you’re feeling up to it. There is no shortage of VRBO, Air B n B, and hotels to choose from. We highly suggest Hotel McCoy. It’s a 1960s mid-century modern art hotel that is as hip and delightful as it is functional and cool. We opted for a room with double bunk beds (!), and each morning we were greeted with an oatmeal bar even my mom would find impressive, as well as a hearty stock of Pop-Tarts for the kids.
In the evenings, the bar area serves only locally brewed beers, as well as Jones Soda. Last, but certainly not least, the food! Tucson is the United States’ first Capital of Gastronomy, which, in layman’s terms mean, the city is exploding with mouth-watering dishes. Among some of the best restaurants, Mi Nidito (get there early and expect to wait) all the food is great, as are the margaritas, The Tucson Tamale Company (we recommend the tamales), Street Tacos and Beer Company (think Chipotle’s older, cooler cousin).  If you’re looking for a spring break trip filled with sunshine (minus scorching temps), a side of National Parks, and a serving of delicious food and drink, Tucson will not disappoint!
Photo credit & destination chosen by: Desiree Macke at @desireemacke
best spring break destinations for families - oklahoma city

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a great spring break destination for families. There are many museums, unique things to see and do, and fun places to play. The weather is ideal during March and April — warm enough to enjoy some outdoor adventures without the humidity and heat of the summer. It’s also a total foodie destination! Here are a few of the best things for families to do for spring break in Oklahoma City. 
  1. For art, plan on visiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. They have an incredible Chihuly glass exhibit and many other wonderful galleries. For kids, they have activity bags that you can check out to enhance your experience. There are bags for ages 3 -6 years old, and another bag for 7 to 9. Kids 17 and under are free. 
  2. For history, plan on visiting the American Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. They have an incredible outdoor area with many examples of indigenous homes and a replica of an old Western town. The museum also has an extensive Western Art collection and a really fun exhibit on the history of the rodeo. The First Americans Museum is beautiful, and a must-visit. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is also worth viewing for older children. A word of caution: some of the museum exhibits depict the trauma in the immediate aftermath of the event and can be shocking for young children. The subject matter can be difficult, but the museum is done very well. 
  3. For hands-on fun and learning, check out the OKC Science Museum. This museum is massive and has a really neat mirror maze! It’s great for kids of all ages and will keep you busy all day long. 
  4. Bricktown is a super fun area to play, with an arcade and restaurants. There’s also mini golf and other fun things to do. Plan on taking a ride on the water taxi for a really cool experience. 
  5. For outdoor fun, check out the Children’s Garden at Myriad Gardens, explore Scissortail Park, ride the Ferris wheel at Wheeler Park, and plan on playing at Riversport, OKC. 
For a full week-long itinerary in Oklahoma City, check out this family-friendly things to do in Oklahoma City post by team member Nichole Holze. 
spring break travel with kids - best spring break locations - belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye in Belize is one of our very favorite spring break destinations for outdoorsy families and nature-lovers. This stunning island offers a plethora of outdoor activities that cater to every adventurous spirit. From snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life to diving into the crystal-clear waters to explore underwater caves and tunnels, there’s never a dull moment on Ambergris Caye. Families can also indulge in thrilling water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing, which are perfect for bonding and creating unforgettable memories amidst the breathtaking Caribbean backdrop.

Immersed in the laid-back atmosphere of Belizean life, families can explore the charming streets of San Pedro Town, where colorful buildings line the waterfront’s white sand beaches and traditional live music fills the air. The island’s diverse culinary scene offers a tantalizing array of fresh seafood dishes infused with local spices, providing a culinary adventure for even the pickiest eaters. From sampling Belizean delicacies to learning about the culture through music and dance performances, every moment spent on Ambergris Caye is an opportunity to embrace the warmth and hospitality of its people.

Excursions abound in Belize and there’s so much to do! Whether you want to zip-line through the lush jungle canopy,  go on a wildlife safari, visit the zoo to spot exotic birds and animals, explore the ancient Mayan ruins, swim with sharks and sea turtles, feed the tarpon, or go tubing through a cave, adventures on the mainland and island are easy to do through the many reputable guide services – for snorkeling/diving, we liked Amigos del Mar and for mainland excursions, we liked Tuff E Nuff Tours

We recommend staying at Coco Beach Resort, just north of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. This report offers families laid-back luxury with phenomenal service, family-friendly amenities, and everything you need at your fingertips. Families can enjoy the pools, hot tub, restaurant, swim-up bar, spa, complimentary bikes, paddleboards, kayaks, fish from the beach, and soak up the sun. 

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Sara McCarty @sara_mccarty

Best Spring Break Outdoor Adventure Destinations for Kids

Achill Island, Ireland

Achill Island lies off County Mayo on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland. It is characterized by rugged mountains and the smell of peat bogs. The island is known for tall sea cliffs and spotless, sandy beaches, which have the most beautiful views. Its breezy shoreline makes it a popular spot for water sports and with a population of only 2,000 – the beaches are so often very empty so you have the whole place to yourself to run wild!

There are a great many gorgeous beaches on Achill. Keel Beach is our favorite for wave jumping and surfing and kite surfing! Keem beach is our favorite for stunning views and dolphin spotting. Imagine an unspoiled sandy beach that looks like it belongs on a tropical island, but is in the middle of Ireland’s cold cliffs. That is exactly what Keem Bay looks like! And Dugort is the best for rock pooling.

If you’re slightly adventurous, I highly recommend you cycle from Westport or Newport to Achill and enjoy Mayo County’s Great Western Greenway Trail. This is a car-free bike ride with views across the Atlantic. And if you’re super adventurous you can climb Croagh Patrick, one of Ireland’s most stunning mountain climbs. It towers above the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the rugged west coast. On a clear day, it offers panoramic views of the hundreds of tiny, islands in Clew Bay, the Wild Atlantic Way, the gorgeous tourist town of Westport and surrounding mountain ranges. Expect it to take around 3-4 hours to climb and be aware that it is still the site of a pilgrimage today. But even if you prefer relaxation over adventure – Achill’s beaches and green countryside offer some gorgeous views steeped in history. It’s a great kid-friendly spring destination for the whole family.

Photo credit & destination chosen by: Jemma at @thimbleandtwig

great spring break destinations for families and kids

Additional spring break destinations for families

If you’re looking for other ideas, here are a few full-length posts on a few more of our favorite outdoorsy places to explore with kids! Each of these locations would be great for a spring break trip with outdoorsy kids. 

  • Everglades National Park, FL – Everglades National Park offers a perfect spring break getaway for outdoorsy families, providing a unique opportunity to explore one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world through thrilling airboat rides and guided nature walks. With its abundance of wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and tropical birds, families can create unforgettable experiences while immersing themselves in the wonders of nature. (Pair this with a road trip down to the Florida Keys for an even more amazing trip!)
  • Outer Banks, NC – The Outer Banks is an ideal spring break destination for outdoorsy families, offering miles of pristine beaches perfect for surfing, kite flying, and beachcombing adventures. With opportunities for kayaking through scenic marshes, exploring historic lighthouses, and discovering diverse marine life, families can create cherished memories while experiencing the beauty and tranquility of this coastal paradise.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT – Bryce Canyon National Park is an exceptional spring break destination for outdoorsy families, providing breathtaking scenery with its unique hoodoos and rock formations, perfect for hiking and photography enthusiasts of all ages. Families can bond while exploring the park’s extensive trail system, taking in panoramic vistas, and participating in ranger-led programs, immersing themselves in the wonders of this natural wonderland. 

Where are you adventuring this spring break?