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Top spring break destinations for the whole family

From toddlers and teens to pets and grandparents, we can help you plan a spring break the entire family will love. | By Montoya Hudson | November 15, 2021

Planning a spring break vacation for the entire family is a wonderful way to make everlasting memories. We've created this list of top-notch family spring break destinations so you can find the perfect trip for the whole crew -- even your dog!

Incorporate everyone into your family spring break with these exciting ideas:

  • Puppies can paddle: Tour Fort Lauderdale on a paddle board with your favorite four-legged friend in tow

  • Seniors on the green: Play on world-class golf courses with your grandparents in Phoenix

  • Toddler luau: Don a grass skirt and floral lei and learn to hula with your tiny tot in Honolulu

Where to take your pet

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Spend your spring break in sunny Fort Lauderdale where even the furry members of the family can get in on the fun. The city has more than 20 miles of pristine beaches, but Canine Beach was made with your pup in mind. Here he can lounge in the sun, dig in the sand and splash on the shore. Bark Park at Snyder Park has a doggie playground and a clean lake for swimming.

Want to explore the water a bit more? Book a paddle boarding tour with SupPup Paddleboarding; they even have specialized equipment so your dog can come along for the ride. Further your fun with a meal at BarkYard n’ Brews where dog park meets restaurant. Dogs can frolic in the open greenspace while the rest of the family dines on bar favorites and sips craft beverages, making this a great family spring break destination for everyone.

Where to Stay: With its scenic walking grounds and waterfront views, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina makes sure both you and your dog can appreciate all of what the city has to offer.

Denver

In a city with more dogs than children, it's no wonder that Denver is one of the top spring break destinations for families traveling with a pet. Hike one of the many trails in or near the city; Red Rocks Park is recommended for families with dogs because of its low incline, but be sure to bring water and keep your dog on a leash.

Visit Cherry Creek State Park for its off-leash area where you and your dog can explore more than 100 creek-side acres, or Railyard Dog Park where the sandy soil is easy on canine feet. The entire family can wet their tongues at the Watering Bowl, a laid-back restaurant designed specifically with dogs — and their two-legged parents — in mind. Grab a delicious treat like doggie ice cream or “snickerpoodle” cookies for your furry pal at Three Dog Bakery.

Where to Stay: The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton not only provides top-notch service for its human guests but the staff also go above and beyond for their four-legged guests, too.



Where to take your grandparents

Phoenix

Phoenix is known for its luxurious resorts, lush golf courses and desert landscapes, making it one of the best family spring break destinations if you’re traveling with grandparents. You could easily spend the entire spring break partaking in the amenities at your resort, but there’s plenty to do in the city, as well.

If your group is into golf, take full advantage of the area’s world-class golf courses by playing a few rounds on the green. Gardner enthusiasts should visit the Desert Botanical Garden to see the native flora of Arizona in full display. There are a lot of trails (and a lot of walking) but the entire garden is wheel-friendly.

Animal lovers of all ages will love viewing the 6,000-plus marine animals at the OdySea Aquarium, the largest aquarium in Arizona. You can explore more than 70 exhibits and learn about 300 species. And while it covers a lot of ground, the aquarium is both stroller and wheelchair friendly, and extra wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where to Stay: Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort caters to all generations with curated resort activities, two golf courses, five dining options and seven pools to choose from. There is even a full-service spa where the adults can indulge in self-care.



Key West, Florida

Key West is the southernmost tip of the United States, about 60 miles from Miami, and is a fabulous family spring break destination if you’re traveling with multiple generations. Explore the turquoise waters of the area by joining a fishing charter or taking a sunset cruise. Spend your afternoons lounging in hammocks on exclusive beaches (like the one at Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort) while the family builds sandcastles on the shore.

Looking for some indoor fun? The Key West Aquarium is a hit with family members of all ages, especially its interactive touch tank. The family can also learn a bit of history by visiting the Truman Little White House where former President Truman spent some of his winters.

Where to Stay: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort offers lavish accommodations and resort activities designed with the entire family in mind. Enjoy two heated outdoor pools, a fitness center, babysitting services, bicycle rentals, sunrise yoga, sandcastle guidance from the resident “sand sculptor” and the largest private beach on the island, reserved exclusively for guests.

Where to take your toddlers

San Diego, California

San Diego is quite possibly one of the most kid-friendly cities in the country, making it a great destination for vacationing with toddlers over spring break. See all of your kiddos' favorite animals by visiting more than 12,000 animals at the San Diego Zoo. The zoo also has single and double strollers to rent, diaper changing stations in almost all of its restrooms and the Health Services office has a nursing-friendly privacy curtain.

Let your kid’s imagination soar at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. There are hands-on exhibits specifically designed for toddlers, plus toddler play areas where they can climb, crawl, jump and pull to their heart’s content.

Moonlight Beach has gentle surf that’s great for little ones, plus bathrooms, a playground and a snack shop. And while the name might be misleading, you aren’t going to want to swim at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, as it’s the favorite hangout spot for the resident seals. However, your toddler will still have a blast here playing in the sand and barking along with the seals.

Where to Stay: Located just a few miles from the city’s main attractions, Hilton San Diego Bayfront offers babysitting services, cribs, a heated pool (with a slide!) and a frozen yogurt bar.

Honolulu

Say “aloha” to a fun spring break with your toddler by heading to Honolulu. The relaxing pace of island life makes it easy to enjoy a vacation here with the tiniest members of your family. Spend your vacation at Waikiki Beach digging holes in the white sand, frolicking along the shore and splashing in the calm surf.

Tap into your wild side at the Honolulu Zoo. Toddlers will love exploring each of the specially designed habitats for the 900-plus species that call this zoo home. Get a taste of the local culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center where the family can play Hawaiian games, learn to hula and witness a haka (or traditional warrior dance).

Where to Stay: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is toddler friendly with amenities like a special family pool, nightly luau performances and a koi pond that’s a hit with the little ones. Plus, you can’t beat the oceanfront location!

Where to take your teenagers

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun may be known for its lavish nightlife, but it is also an incredible destination to visit with your teenagers. All ages will love spending the day at one of the city’s beautiful white sand beaches like Playa Delfines. You can get some sunshine, play a game of sand volleyball or go Jet Skiing or parasailing.

For a touch more adventure, take the whole crew off-roading in ATVs, go ziplining through jungles or dive deep into the area’s unique cenotes (swimming holes). Book a tour to explore the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza; a lot of tours include lunch at a local restaurant and a stop at a cenote.

Where to Stay: With its on-site waterpark, all-you-can-eat dining options and a special activity club for teenagers, Hilton Cancun is the perfect place to spend your spring break with your teens. The property also has two-bedroom suites so teenagers (and their parents) can have room to spread their wings on holiday. Hilton offers Confirmed Connecting Rooms within its other room categories, as well.

Orlando

Adulthood may be around the corner for teenagers, but a visit to the Theme Park Capital of the World will provide childhood memories they won’t soon forget. Indulge your teen’s sense of whimsy with a stop at one of the famous theme parks, but know that there is plenty to do outside of them, too.

Your risk-taking teen will love putting their skills to the test at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, which boasts a giant zip line and 97 aerial challenges. To see native flora and fauna, take a swamp tour or an airboat ride: Keep your eyes peeled for alligators!

If you have the time (and a car), head to the Kennedy Space Center to watch a rocket take off into space. It’s located about 50 miles east of Orlando.

Where to Stay: Centrally located to most Orlando attractions, Hilton Orlando has a three-acre lazy river, an on-site waterpark, sports courts for a game of basketball or tennis and even an escape room.

Make your family spring break memory

Whether planning a spring break trip with your teen or toddler, or with family members that have two legs or four, these destinations are sure to create endless memories for all.

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Montoya Hudson is the founder of the popular blog, The Spring Break Family. She loves to share tips on travel, health and all things related to the family.

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