It’s that time again: Spring Break 2014 is rapidly approaching, and with it hordes of tanned and ready college kids looking to let off steam. While it can be quite the experience taking part in the mass migration to some of the busiest Spring Break hotspots, you’re more likely to enjoy lasting memories of a celebratory vacation at one of these seven destinations. From the beaches of California and Hawaii to the cultural offerings of New Orleans and upstate New York, schedule a trip to one of these destinations for Spring Break 2014.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Those craving some solid beach time can avoid the Miami-bound hordes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The city’s boardwalk is commonly ranked as one of the best in the US, while its pretty sand, surf, and wildlife make it the ideal beach break.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Just off the coast of Fort Myers, Sanibel Island captures the best of Florida – glorious sunsets, perfect beaches, warm water, and a relaxed pace – but without all of the crowds. The small barrier island faces into the Gulf of Mexico, and is a draw for its shelling, boutiques, and mangrove forests.
Finger Lakes, New York
Just because it’s Spring Break doesn’t mean you’re obligated to head somewhere tropical. Those looking to stay on the East Coast have a wealth of options in New York’s Finger Lakes region. A few hours from New York City, the area is known for its gallery scene, acclaimed vineyards, and gorgeous nature.
Santa Cruz, California
For visitors to California, Santa Cruz has it all: some of the most stunning beaches on the West Coast, a thriving downtown with plenty of boutiques and restaurants to choose from, palm trees aplenty, and did we mention the wineries? Plan on equally alternating your beach time with your vino drinking.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Another good East Coast option, Cape Cod offers beautiful, lighthouse-dotted Atlantic vistas. Rent a beach house for maximum relaxation, and make sure to indulge in a lobster roll (or several): the crustaceans are in season all year long.
New Orleans, Louisiana
All right, so New Orleans is still popular among the tequila-swigging, wet t-shirt-wearing Spring Break set. If you’re after that kind of partying you can live it up on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, though there are still plenty of other attractions on hand, from the locals-filled restaurants in Faubourg Marigny to the gorgeous sights of the Garden District.
The third largest of Hawaii’s islands, Oahu is uniquely accessible (Honolulu is home to the islands’ main airport) but also beautifully unspoiled. Stop for culture in the capital city, and then head to the lesser-visited Lanikai Beach – regularly ranked among the world’s best.
Featured image by © Chad McDermott/iStock/Thinkstock
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.