Sometimes you just don’t want the same old, same old spring break. Here are some ideas for more unusual getaways for March, April and May.
Spring means processions in this ancient colonial city, once the capital not just of Guatemala but of all the Spanish possessions in Central and North America. During the month leading up to Easter, locals decorated the cobblestoned streets with alfombrasm, patterned rugs made of colored sawdust and flowers in anticipation of the eight-hour processions that will march through, destroying these colorful carpets with each step. It’s a sight so moving that hundreds come to Antigua each spring to watch these elaborate rituals.
Yachting St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Never heard of this southeastern Caribbean island nation? You’ve seen its aqua waters, swaying palm trees and colorful parrots flitting from tree to tree if you’ve watched the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; much of it was filmed here. And believe it or not, one of the most affordable ways to explore the area is to make like a pirate and rent your own yacht (which costs as little as $700 per person per week). The sailing here is primo, with challenging winds and dozens of islands (most uninhabited) to explore. Dive off the boat for spectacular snorkeling and the chance to swim among massive sea turtles.
Give the Kids the World Village, Orlando, FL
Engaging in a volunteer vacation is perhaps the most rewarding way to spend spring break, and doing so at the “Give the Kids the World Village” is especially so. It’s a resort created for all of the families in the Make a Wish program who choose to go to DisneyWorld and its entirely run by volunteers. You might find yourself helping children navigate the wheelchair accessible on-site playground, or serving banana splits in the ice cream parlor or sheparding the costumed characters who Universal Studios and DisneyWorld sends over to entertain the children too ill to leave the resort. The most magical place in Orlando.
Whistler, British Columbia
No secret: this hasn’t been a good year for U.S. skiers. Across the border in Whistler, however, the dumps have been historic, meaning that it will be most than possible this year to take a late spring break—heading out well into late April and early May—and still get in some brag-worthy schussing. Along with the ski action (including off-piste runs for adrenaline junkies), is the thrill of riding the world’s tallest and longest span gondola, the ability to try luging at the former Olympic park, snow shoeing trails, and such civilized pleasures as fine dining and shopping.
Death Valley, California
Whoever first coined the name “Death Valley” didn’t visit here in spring. At that time of year, there are few places that feel as alive, the entire region exploding with color as the wildflowers carpet the land. Its also a reasonably temperate time to visit, meaning one can hike and climb without risking heat exhaustion. Camping out is the way to go, but be warned: Death Valley is popular in spring, meaning that many of the spots are reserved months in advance.