We don’t know about you, but a vacation after the long and dreary winter months has always been a favorite of ours, especially if it involves sitting on a warm beach somewhere. With Spring Break just around the corner, travelers are looking ahead and planning their next vacation while the kids are out of school. Yet, when the topic of spring break is mentioned, the first image to come to mind is probably one full of crowded beaches, crazy college students, and loud music that blasts throughout the night. Most people avoid the beach all together, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There are plenty of beaches and warm weather that are not overcrowded with spring breakers for the calmer crowd to enjoy.
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Located just 15 minutes south of Charleston (also a nice quiet destination for Spring Break), this surf town is full of charming shops and expansive beaches. While most spring breakers flock to popular Florida cities, Folly Beach is off-the-radar when it comes to spring break destinations. The town is home to Folly Beach Pier, which stretches more than 1,000 feet into the ocean, as well as a variation of watersports, fishing, and nightlife typical for any beach town. Just be sure you grab a bowl of shrimp and grits at least once during your trip!
Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
In this little beach town, the only thing that’s wild are the ponies that sometimes frolic on the shoreline. Known as the “Crystal Coast”, Atlantic Beach is the perfect getaway if you are looking for a quieter, more relaxing spring break. With miles of beautiful coastline, there is plenty of beach for everyone, as well as other activities like paddle boarding or biking around the pristine Rachel Carson Reserve. Atlantic Beach is not a well-known travel destination in general, but is very family-friendly and perfect for capturing those Instagram-worthy photos.
Grand Isle, Louisiana
The city of New Orleans barely has time to recover after Mardi Gras before coeds swarm the town for spring break. That is why, instead of heading to the City of Jazz, travelers looking for a more languid vacation can look no further than Grand Isle, located on the only inhabited barrier island in the Gulf. The town is known for its beaches and birding habitat, which can both be seen at the Grand Isle State Park. The park is also home to trails, campsites and a fishing pier. Other attractions include The Butterfly Dome, home to native butterflies and plants, as well as The Wake Side Cable Park, where cables tow water sports enthusiasts along jumps and obstacles. Whether you choose to relax on the beach or go for a nature hike, Grand Isle has something for all ages.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
While this beach is a little closer to the party scene, it is still relatively free of wild college kids and spring breakers. Gulf Shores does have a few college students visit, but usually consists of the ones that also want a relaxing spring break. Gulf Shores has plenty of pristine shorelines and, during the spring break period, alcohol possession is banned on the beaches to keep it family-friendly. Along with the endless white sand there are plenty of other activities like golf, ziplining, and visiting the pier in Gulf State Park. The nightlife is a bit livelier than the other locations on this list, but does offer a variety of amazing seafood and live music. Gulf Shores is the perfect place for those young adults looking for a fun vacation without all the craziness or a family looking for a place with numerous activities.
If you absolutely cannot stay away from Florida beaches for Spring Break but still want to avoid the large crowds, Destin is the place for you. Located in Florida’s Panhandle on the Emerald Coast, this fun beach town is known for its beautiful white beaches, golf courses, and numerous family-friendly activities. From the shops and restaurants along Destin Harbor Boardwalk to Big Kahuna’s Water Park, visitors would hardly believe the party crowds in Panama City were only an hour away. With toes-in-the-sand beaches and emerald green waters, Destin is the perfect places for families and solo travelers alike.
There are also a few other hidden gems in Florida that are worth mentioning for Spring Break:
St. Augustine: Located a little further south on the Atlantic side, this historic town lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S., with historic Spanish architecture and colonial buildings as evidence. For those looking for a chance to unwind while also gaining some cultural knowledge, St. Augustine is the place to be.
Seaside: situated along Florida’s infamous highway 30A, this quiet community looks straight out of a magazine. Known for its pastel-colored houses, white picket fences, pristine beaches, and quaint town center, Seaside has much to offer everyone. It is a little more pricey than the other spots, mostly for its popularity and high-end resorts, but well worth the value when visitors see everything they can experience. It is also relatively close to Destin, and home to Seagrove Beach and Santa Rosa Beach.
Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Unlike other Florida beaches, summer is the off season in this area, as both Fort Myers and Sanibel are known for being “snowbird” towns and home to people’s winter estates. While there is not much to do other than relax on the beach, Fort Myers and Sanibel Island are two of the best places to see dolphins and manatees in their natural habitat. If you truly want to see what island life feels like, this is the vacation for you.
When traveling with your family for Spring Break or even just traveling with a group of friends looking for a relaxing vacation, it can be hard finding a warm destination that isn’t home to countless bars and nightclubs overflowing with coeds. We here at CTC want you and your traveling companions to have a fun vacation no matter what that looks like. Have questions or want more details about these locations? Need help planning your Spring Break trip? Contact us! Our travel advisors would be more than happy to chat with you!