By Carolyn Owen
Feature Image by Kathy K.
There’s just something about springtime. We don’t know if it’s the flowers coming in, the birds singing, or just the peace of knowing that a light jacket is all you need when you walk outside in the morning. Springtime reminds us that a beautiful world is out there, ready to be explored. The American tradition of “Spring Break” is something we should all be able to get behind– greeting the season with a little bit of fun. Whether you’re spending it on the beach, or on the slopes for the tail-end of ski season, it’s the perfect time to get outside and stay there for a few days. Read on to see our American map of must-see spring break destinations to kick off this year’s warmer season:
The Pacific Northwest: Haystack Rock
If you’re anywhere near Oregon, Haystack Rock is a must-see this Spring Break. This coast is home to colorful sea creatures and tide pools. As a beloved Pacific Northwest Landmark, Haystack Rock’s home is maintained and protected by the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP). These volunteers are near the rock on Fridays, and could present a learning opportunity to any spring breaker kiddos that want to learn more about sea life! When you’re done learning, you might be hungry. Roast some hot dogs over your Ranger in a designated picnic area and watch the sun go down! You’ll remember this Spring Break destination for years.
West Coast: Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree State Park is a California landmark where two deserts become one. Find diverse wildlife in the midst of the Mojave and Colorado Desert ecosystems. Whether staying nearby, or camping within the National Park, Joshua Tree is home to amazing stargazing views you won’t see anywhere else. Bring your whole campsite kitchen, there are no grocery stores or restaurants on National Park property. See what we recommend for staying fed while camping here.
The Southwest: Horseshoe Bend
If you’re making your way through Arizona this Spring Break, don’t miss one of the most photographed marvels in the American Southwest. Located near Page, Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is a go-to spot for seeing mind blowing sunsets along the Colorado River. Perfect for a day-hike, make sure to bring tons of water, and a camp stove in case you need some midday chow.
The South: Lake Ouachita
Arkansas’ largest lake is a marvel, with over 40,000 acres of clear, blue water. Pack your camp stove: Lake Ouachita is home to campgrounds, and the best swimming, kayaking, and fishing spots. You could spend a whole day on the water after waking up to the sound of native Arkansas wildlife! You’ll want to check out the natural hot springs within the State Park, as well as the nearby town “Hot Springs, Arkansas”. You really could spend your whole Spring Break here if you wanted to– Hot Springs is a charming little town with tons to do, and a great place to stay for day-trips into the nearby must-see Arkansas wilderness (Little Missouri Falls, Hot Springs Mountain Tower, and Ouachita National Forest, just to name a few). Don’t miss out on this one!
The Midwest: Hocking Hills
Springtime is the perfect time to visit this natural Ohio beauty if you’re on the hunt for some waterfalls and wildflowers. Spring showers make the waterfalls here extra luscious, and are truly a sight to see in a state that is relatively flat. Get your adrenaline pumping with a day of ATVing, or slow down with a campfire song and some bird watching. Hocking Hills is perfect for families and solo travelers alike.
The Northeast: Lake Placid
Who said Spring Break had to be on a beach? Lake Placid is a sought after ski destination that’s perfect to enjoy in March. Located in the Adirondack Mountain range of New York, Lake Placid is family-friendly for ski novices, and also has more challenging slopes for more experienced snow bunnies. Pack up your car with your Ranger in tow, and you’ll have an Après Ski scene for the books.