Still looking for a place to get away for spring break, but don’t want to go to one of the traditional (and crowded) spots? Try one of these unusual but awesome holiday destinations!
When people think of heading to an island for spring break, it’s usually one with a tropical beach – but that’s not the only kind of island fun you can have!
Try a trip to Victoria, located on Vancouver Island, just off the Pacific Coast of Canada. Victoria is the largest city on this not-so-tropical but still enchanting island. The picturesque provincial capital of British Columbia is full of quaint and lively shops and restaurants. You can also visit many excellent museums in Victoria, and, obviously, the Victorian architecture is worth seeing.
With a mild climate and so many trails and parks – including sprawling, amusement-filled Beacon Hill Park – the Capital of British Columbia is a great destination for outdoor activities.
Get out of Victoria for a day trip or two to explore the natural beauty and charm of the rest of Vancouver Island. Take a bus from Victoria to Nanaimo or Tofino, or even cycle around the island if that’s more your speed.
How to get there: Find a cheap ticket to Victoria from Seattle, Vancouver, and beyond!
Where to stay: HI-Victoria
Speaking of biking, the capital of Wisconsin is one of the best biking cities in the world. While on Spring Break, rent a bike to get around town, or even take a trip out to New Glarus brewery, the maker of the coveted Spotted Cow, which you can’t find anywhere outside of Wisconsin. Try it while you have the chance!
Just outside Madison, you’ll also find the Wisconsin Dells, which definitely has more than its share of touristy attractions, but is home to some wonderful natural spaces for hiking and climbing.
And don’t discount the city of Madison itself! It’s a college town, so you’ll find plenty to do while getting away from your own school! Explore the “museum mile,” lots of little boutiques for shopping, and tons of great bars. When in Madison, don’t miss out on a fish fry on Friday night – from classic at the Avenue Club to classy at Tornado Steakhouse. Or visit The Old-Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant for a fish fry and some famous Wisconsin fried cheese curds – perhaps one of Wisconsin’s best known signature foods with people traveling from all around US and in search of the iconic deep-fried cheese curds of the Dairy State.
How to get there: Book a trip to Madison from Chicago, Milwaukee and many other places!
Where to stay: HI Madison Hostel
If you’re a music lover, you should definitely spend your Spring Break in Memphis to take in live blues – and tour Graceland.
Beale Street has been officially declared “Home of the Blues” by Congress, so you know it’s the ideal place to simply wander down the street and stop in any club that catches your attention. You’ll be treated to a local blues show that you won’t forget. At Rum Boogie Cafe, Silky O’Sullivan, and, of course, B.B. Kings’s.
To really make it a special Spring Break, tour Graceland Mansion to see where Elvis lived and visit the famous Jungle Room. This will definitely give you some photos that will stand out on Instagram amid the stream of beach party pics.
Before you leave Memphis, don’t miss the barbecue! Memphis-style BBQ is distinct from other styles, and you can taste it in establishments all over town, including Leonard’s Pit Barbecue (the spot that first put coleslaw to a pulled pork sandwich). Also try KC’s Southern Style Rice, which puts a Chinese spin on the traditional BBQ by turning it into fried rice. Barbecue, Barbeque, BBQ. Spell it however you wish but before planning your trip to Memphis prepare your stomach for culinary extravaganza.
How to get there: Find bus or train tickets to Memphis from New Orleans and all over North America here!
Where to stay: Pilgrim House Hostel
Float away for spring break with a visit to Albuquerque, the Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World!
Though the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is in October, you can still get a ride on a balloon all year round. Riding above the city will definitely make for a spectacular view – and a spring break to remember!
Another way to get up in the air in Albuquerque is to take the aerial tramway up to the peak of the Sandia Mountains. If you’re even more adventurous, you can also hike, bike, and climb the mountain – or even ski if there’s still snow.
Once you come down from the clouds, be sure to sample the New Mexican cuisine, which is a special treat for spice lovers. The New Mexico or hatch chillies are roasted and added to almost everything from burritos to burgers.
How to get there: Book a trip to Albuquerque from Phoenix, Las Vegas and many more places!
Where to stay: Route 66 Hostel
Make a break for the border with a visit to Niagara Falls!
Straddling the U.S./Canadian border, the Rainbow Bridge lets you cross from the U.S. to the Canadian side of the falls (don’t forget your passport!), so you can see which has the best view, though the waterfalls are simply an amazing sight from either side. At night, they are illuminated, making for quite the colourful sight.
For a different perspective, try a ‘Journey Behind the Falls’, where two outdoor observation decks let you experience the incredible force of the rushing water up close and personal. (Depending on what time of the spring you visit, the lower observation deck might be closed due to ice, but that just means you’ll pay less for admission.)
The Niagara area is famous for more than the falls – it’s also wine country! Take a tour and sample the sips crafted by local wineries for a great spring break.
How to get there: Find a trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto, Buffalo, New York City and lots of other locations!
Where to stay: HI–Niagara Falls
White Mountains, NH
You’ll also find waterfalls in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but this destination offers much more for the outdoorsy spring breaker.
The snow in this area can last well into May, so many trails cater to the more experienced hikers, but this way you can have the mountains mostly to yourself for a rejuvenating escape from the stress of college life.
Check out some of the lower elevation trails which are more likely to be free of snow while still giving great views. (No matter which trails you choose, make sure to take proper safety precautions).
The White Mountains also offer many other outdoor activities, from mountain biking to bird watching, making for a great way to start getting back outside after being cooped up all winter long. The White Mountain Region offers an endless list of attractions and we can’t possibly cover them all here.
How to get there: Make your way to the White Mountains from Boston, Providence, and more!
Where to stay: WMHostel
If you want to eat your way through spring break (to make up for all those days of dining hall food), make your way to Montréal, where you can sample the signature dish and determine which is truly the best poutine. As a bonus, this dish of fries, gravy and cheese curds won’t break your student bank account.
You’ll want to start your poutine tour at La Banquise, the 24-hour spot that usually has a line out the door – and always has local beer to go with the poutine! Patati Patata is another must-visit, and Poutineville has a great selection of specialty poutines. And find the fanciest poutine in Montréal (made with foie gras) at the fine-dining favourite Au Pied de Cochon.
When you’ve had your fill of poutine, finish your foodie vacation with a visit to either the Atwater or Jean Talon Market for fresh food from local vendors.
How to get there: It’s easy to get to Montréal from New York City, Québec City, Boston and many other places!
Where to stay: M Montreal
So pick your favourite unusual spring break destination, and get ready to enjoy a spring vacation that will make your friends wonder why they didn’t think of something more original than hanging out at the beach!