Spring Break destinations for families

Spring Break is for Families: The Best Sunny or Snowy Destinations of the Season

Whether hitting the slopes or the beach is your idea of a perfect family adventure, you can enjoy your dream vacation in spring. We asked writer Terry Ward, an expert on family travel who’s visited 14 countries with her two children (ages 6 and 7), to share her top domestic and international picks for the most versatile travel season of the year.

Top Spring Break Destinations 2024


For skiing in Utah, Floridians may think big name resorts like Park City and Deer Valley, but you can save money by targeting a lesser-known mountain town like Ogden instead. It’s close to major ski areas like Snow Basin and Powder Mountain for skiing and a short drive from the Great Salt Lake when you want a change of scenery and a day off from skiing. It’s only 45 minutes from the airport in Salt Lake City too and has affordable chain hotel options (like Hilton and Marriott) where you can stay on points if you have them.

Spring Break destinations for families skiing in Utah


Think beyond the beach in Florida. We recently discovered this lake-filled area less than two hours from Tampa where you can stay in vacation rentals or the pretty Inn on the Lakes. Go out on airboat rides on Lake Istokpoga (the most thrilling air boat ride I’ve done anywhere in Florida!), hike the trails or go camping within Highlands Hammock State Park. Explore cute towns like Lake Placid, home to beautiful murals, cute cafes and a weekend market. You can even take Amtrak here from Tampa! Such a Florida gem.



Floridians focus on North Carolina when it comes to getting away to the mountains on the east coast. But you can fly into Washington D.C., rent a car, drive two hours east and be in the gorgeous little mountain towns of Davis and Thomas in the Canaan Valley. Hit Blackwater Falls State Park and the Dolly Sods Wilderness for spring hiking and to chase waterfalls along the West Virginia Waterfall Trail in April and May (early March, there might still be spring skiing in these parts). You can also make this a city and nature trip: Spend a few days in DC with the kids visiting museums in the nation’s capital and then drive west for outdoor adventures.



The Swiss city of Zurich is one of the easiest places in Europe to get to from Tampa thanks to an overnight nonstop flight on Edelweiss. This route is mostly full of Europeans coming to Tampa for sun and beach, but there are many reasons for us to go the other direction, too.  You could go here for a simple city escape in one of Europe’s prettiest lakefront cities or take the train from the city into the mountains, visiting ski towns like Andermatt, Zermatt and Davos to go skiing. The season goes into April and even later in some parts, where skiing takes place atop glaciers.


Family Travel Do’s and Don’ts

Spring Break destinations for families Croatia


  • Stay somewhere with a kids club. Everyone needs a break to socialize with their own age and stage sometimes.
  • Rent a car. It brings freedom to change your mind on a whim and stay somewhere else instead, or just to let the kids nap during road trips.



  • Avoid all-inclusives and cruises. Even seasoned independent travelers find a lot to love about a family travel experience that wraps all the activities and food into one tidy package. Plan excursions “off campus” to get the local feel in the place you’re visiting, then relax knowing everything is taken care of when you’re back at the resort or on the ship.
  • Be afraid to think outside the Airbnb and VRBO box. Booking.com and Vacasa are other websites offering vacation rentals.

Photos courtesy of Terry Ward | Originally published in the March 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine