3 Trip Ideas For Spring Break

For college students across the nation, spring break serves as an opportunity to recharge before finals season. But spring break is also a great chance for you to see a new part of America, and enrich your experience living in the United States.

It’s never too early to make travel plans, so here are some great ideas to get you started…

Beach Vacation

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

If you’re living in the northern part of the US, March may still feel like winter. What could be better than getting away for a little slice of summer? Spring break is the perfect time to head south for a beach vacation, and here are some of the most famous beach destinations in the United States:

  • Clearwater Beach, Florida. Clearwater Beach sits on a barrier island, and is characterized by white sandy beaches stretching along the Gulf. Attractions include Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the Sunset at Pier 60. Other popular beaches in Florida are Panama City Beach and South Beach.
  • Kaanapali Beach, Hawaii. With three miles of white sand and crystal clear water, Kaanapali was once named America’s best beach by Dr Beach. Kaanapali includes the open air Whalers Village, a world-class shopping complex. Plus, it has a variety of exceptional shops and restaurants, a renowned whaling museum, and free Hawaiian entertainment. Another attraction in Kaanapali is the Kaanapali Kai golf course, where you may see a breaching whale as you try to line up a shot.
  • Coronado Beach, California. Located in San Diego, Coronado Beach is a 1.5-mile-long sandy beach set against the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. With its peaked red roof and classic Victorian architecture, it’s a popular destination for swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and beachcombers. However, other activities at Coronado include surfing, biking, touring, golfing, and more. There are also plenty of other choices in California, including Santa Monica Beach, La Jolla Shores Beach.

Road Trip

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Road trips are cheap and flexible ways to travel—and in a country as large as the US, driving is a perfect way to take in many of the sites you’d miss by flying.

Not only that, a road trip allows you to customize your own schedule, and there are many websites, including Road Trip USA and RoadTrip America, that provide free road trip planners, lodging information and trip advice. If you’d like a more well-trodden path, here are some route recommendations for spring:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina & Virginia. This parkway runs for 469 miles, which is America’s longest linear park. Some highlights of this route: Humpback Rocks, Blue Ridge Music Center, Peaks of Otter, and Waterrock Knob.
  • Highway One, California. Also known as California State Route 1, Highway One runs about 655 miles. It’s broken into five pieces by US Route 101, and the two cities at each ends are San Diego and San Francisco. It’s one of the most famous coastal highways in America. Popular destinations on this route are San Diego, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. If you want to drive all the way from San Diego to San Francisco to see the 10 famous stops, it usually takes 5-7 days.
  • Sun Juan Skyway, Colorado. Sun Juan Skyway is a component of Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway, and forms a 233-mile loop. On this route are several popular mountain towns including Durango, Silverton, and Ouray, and popular sites include Mesa Verde National Park and the Anasazi Heritage Center.

Train Trip

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

In many countries, like China, trains are a major means of transportation. However, in the United States, travel by train is less popular by comparison. Therefore, it’s a much more relaxing, laid back way to travel the country.

Trains usually have dining services and luxury sleeping cars. Plus, the picturesque routes feature amazing views most other forms of travel won’t give you the chance to see.

Amtrak provides a variety of travel routes, and the price of train tickets varies depending on when you book, just like booking plane tickets. Here are several long-distance routes to consider for spring break:

  • Empire Builder: Chicago to Seattle/Portland. This is Amtrak’s busiest long-distance route. It operates daily, and the length of the trip is 46 hours. Some scenic highlights for this trip include Glacier National Park, Mississippi River, and Rocky Mountains.
  • California Zephyr: Chicago to San Francisco. This one of the most scenic routes of Amtrak. Travel length is about 50 hours. Scenic highlights include the Rocky Mountains, Moffat Tunnel, Colorado’s Gore, Byers and Glenwood Canyons, and Donner Lake.

Although these lines are starting from Chicago, you can actually get on the train at other stops, and the stations served are included in Amtrak’s website.

No matter what you choose for your spring break getaway, make sure to try something different! See something new, go somewhere new, and find a great spring break adventure!

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Shirley Du

Shirley is a graduate student at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She has been in the United States for three years, and comes from a city near Beijing. Her interests include traveling and doing volunteer works.

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