It may be snowy and cold in your neck of the woods right now, but soon springtime will emerge, and the kids will be home from school for a much-needed break. From foodie locales to adventure-filled romps under the sun to the most sublime beaches, here are three top family-friendly destinations to explore on a spring break vacation to usurp all others.
Best for Epicures: Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancun
Whether you have a deep passion for cooking and baking or you simply enjoy eating food, especially when someone else makes it, choosing a spring break destination that is cuisine focused is a smart idea. Not only will parents thoroughly appreciate the dining experiences, but also, kids will gain an education as well as relish special menu items made just for them. Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancun offers culinary delights that are not only belly-filling delicious indulgences, but also, they’re presented in a way that will entertain everyone in the family.
Visit for breakfast and order handmade churros from the churro cart and make a reservation for dinner to enjoy homegrown traditional specialties—Blanca Blue Restaurant offers exceptional Mexican fare with a different ambiance at both mealtimes. Each dish, including the enchanting desserts, is delivered in a memorable way and you can expect a high level of personalized service.
You’re in for a real treat at Bocados Steak House, an absolute must-visit eatery for an upscale dining experience. Your server will be your steward, offering curated recommendations throughout the evening that will satiate everyone in your family. Dine inside to enjoy the contemporary décor or feel the warm ocean breeze on the outside patio.
Instagram-worthy, Food Truck delivers colorful elevated fare with the most stunning beachside backdrop. Perfect for that mid-day nosh session, pop by for a seafood platter, fish tiradito, freshly grilled chicken or shrimp, or fried tacos. If the kids get squirrelly, they can play at the beach while you wait for the sustenance to arrive.
The Japanese infusion restaurant, Hiroshi, offers a wide variety of mouthwatering delicacies, all with a signature Mexican flair. Expect creative, flavorful, and spice-filled dishes that are unlike anything you’ve tasted before. And, as with all restaurants on-property, vegetarian and vegan family-friendly options are available.
It’s true that the award-winning Davino Restaurant at the sister property, Villa del Palmar Cancun, serves up Italian fare with market fresh ingredients, but it’s the beverage program here that really shines. From fun coconut and pineapple drinks for the kids to a lovely wine list for the adults, your family will enjoy a night out here—in spades.
Good to Know: Because this hotel, which offers round-the-clock room service, is new to the Cancun scene, there are still spaces yet to open their doors to guests. The highly anticipated Dao and the Rooftop Pool & Bar, for example, will welcome visitors soon.
Best for Adventurers: Saint Kitts and Nevis
Beach destinations are, of course, wonderful, particularly during spring break when most families are yearning for some sunlight and vitamin D. What makes the dual-island Caribbean country of Saint Kitts and Nevis special, however, is the access to big adventures all over the islands. If you’re the type that can handle one or two days at the beach, but then you’re ready to explore and do more, then this is the destination for you.
Hike a Volcano and See the Crater
For fit and intrepid hikers, you’ll love climbing Mount Liamuiga, the highest point in St. Kitts and Nevis and, amazingly, one of the tallest peaks in all of the Caribbean at just under 3,800 feet. You’ll climb on a root-strewn, often muddy trail as you make your way through the rainforest and up the side of this stunning dormant volcano where at the top you can peer into the lush crater.
The real treat, beyond the hike itself, is following guide, O’Neil Mulraine, one of the fittest 65-year-olds you’ll ever meet. For well over 40 years, O’Neil has been educating visitors about the native plants and wildlife in the forest, paying special attention to homeopathic plants growing on the forest floor.
Good to Know: This hike is best for older kids and adults—teenagers or experienced hikers. Other great nature hikes include the Bat Cave and Waterfall, located in Bloody River and Stonefort; Dos D’anse Pond, located in Wingfield and Old Road; Lawyer Stephen’s Cave and Waterfalls, located in Olivees; and Shitten Bay, located on the southeastern peninsula.
Ride a Jetski to a Snorkel Spot
For all-things water sports, lean on St. Kitts Watersports. From jet skiing to snorkeling to kiteboarding to parasailing to kayaking to flyboarding to standup paddle boarding, you’ll find something to excite you and keep you out on the water for the better part of the day. Owner, Jeff Andrade, can curate bespoke adventures and personalized lessons if you’re a beginner, have younger kids in tow, or would prefer a more hands-on experience.
Good to Know: If your kids have difficulty unplugging from their devices, water-sports are most certainly the antidote. And, if you’re on a guided adventure, rest assured that someone else will take the photographs.
Explore the Island’s Viewpoints
Head out of Basseterre, the capital city, and make your way over the crest of the knoll to Timothy Hill Overlook. It’s here that you’ll marvel at peninsular views, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Nevis Peak shines bright in the background, often with clouds curlicuing the peak. This backdrop is the perfect setting to snap photos with multigenerational families.
Good to Know: Another great viewpoint, popular with cruise ship passengers, is Black Rocks geological site. Located on the Atlantic coast, outside the town of Sadlers in Sandy Bay, these lava deposits are quite the sight to see.
Opt Outside and Get Dirty on an ATV Tour
A highlight on any adventure-forward itinerary, Spectrum ATV Tours leads guests around Sugar City in a super fun way. Snap photos in a shipyard, ride past local villages, and see the island in the open-air on four wheels. If you’re lucky enough to have the guide named Ivan, you’ll see him stop along the way to climb barefoot up a palm tree to retrieve a coconut for you.
While on the tour, you’ll cruise by the Wingfield Estate Sugar Plantation Ruins, where Old Road Rum Company is making great strides in connecting culture, history, and a modern aesthetic for discerning travelers.
Good to Know: Ask your guide about ATV wheelies, either for a demonstration of their skill or to try out yourself on a wild tandem experience.
Sip Cold Drinks and Watch the Sun Set
More relaxing, but still an adventure of sorts, book a sunset cruise, via sailboat or catamaran, to take in the views from a different perspective. You’ll see where luxury yachts, complete with basketball courts and wide viewing platforms, dock for the night. And, with a fruity drink in hand, you’ll enjoy watching the sun dip below the horizon, with your family in tow.
Best for Beachgoers: Maui, Hawaii
The island of Maui, the valley isle, boats over 30 miles of beaches, some of which are among the most beautiful on the planet. To bring your screen saver to life, and see an otherworldly shoreline in the real world, bookmark the following seashores. One of most magical destinations to visit in the new year, your family will most certainly have the best time exploring these wide sandy locales in Maui.
Makena State Park: Located in South Maui, parents love that there’s a lifeguard on duty at Big Beach during the day and kids love that they can go snorkeling, shore fishing, body boarding, or swimming. The beach, sandwiched between two black-lava geological formations, is one of the largest undeveloped beaches in Maui, making it quite special.
Good to Know: The area also includes Little Beach, which is a small cove without a lifeguard.
Ka’anapali Beach: Unquestionably one of the most-loved areas on the island, Ka’anapali Beach, located in West Maui, is near Whalers Shopping Village plus plenty of restaurants and boutiques. Great for kids, families can book a sunset cruise, parasailing adventure, or snorkel cruise from this location.
Good to Know: Keep an eye out for the cliff divers at Puu Kekaa, which provide an exciting atmosphere while you relax at this beach.
Hookipa Beach Park: Located on the North Shore, this beach is fun to visit to watch the expert windsurfers and board surfers. During the winter months, for example, the waves can reach a height of 30 feet. The best part for kids: there are a bunch of gigantic sea turtles located in a protected area.
Good to Know: These massive creatures can be seen right at dusk or dawn as they rest on the beach.
Baldwin Beach Park: Situated in North Maui, this beach is super convenient. There are public bathrooms, showers, and picnicking areas. A watchful lifeguard is on duty during the day. Historic Paia Town is nearby, as well as plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. It’s easy to whittle away the day at Baldwin Beach.
Good to Know: This is the beach to visit for bodyboarding, bodysurfing, sunbathing, and relaxing.