With late night cramming (and other late nights), classes and the general swirl of college life, did Spring Break sneak up on you? If you’re ready for a break from the books but not from your budget, fear not. The travel experts at Cheapflights have done your homework for you, finding 25 destinations where Spring Break flights are still affordable, even this late in the semester. More specifically, we’ve chosen five wallet-friendly destinations for a spring break trip from each part of the country, so no matter where you are studying, we’ve got you covered.
New York, New York: No matter how many times you’ve been to New York, there’s always something new and exciting to see and do in the city that never sleeps. From Times Square to the top of the Empire State Building, there’s an eyeful waiting for you everywhere you turn. Whether you stick to the classics like exploring Central Park or getting last-minute discount tickets to a Broadway show, or you set your sights on more modern hot spots like Williamsburg and Nolita, you’ll have plenty of tales to tell from your time in the city.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Toronto continues to become more and more of a tourism draw, especially with the strong buying power of the U.S. dollar. The multicultural city is filled with just about any type of food you can imagine (from Indian to Greek to Ethiopian) and offers exciting nightlife to those 19 and over in the form of small, chilled out bars in unique neighborhoods like West Queen West, Ossington and Leslieville.
Miami / Fort Lauderdale / Palm Beach, Florida: In the mood to work on your tan during Spring Break, while, at the same time, being in close proximity to good food, fun bars and a dash of culture? Set your vacation sights on the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area. In Miami, make sure to check out El Tucan, a lively cabaret performance that, after 11 p.m., turns into 21+ plus dance-your-face-off scene with delicious cocktails.
Palm Springs, California: Much more than just a golfing hot spot, Palm Springs is a warm weather oasis, both literally and figuratively. The resort town boasts plenty of outdoor fun, with great hiking, as well as horseback and ATV tours. And, for indoor fun, there are plenty of chances to shop, eat and bar or casino hop your way through the laid-back, friendly city.
Savannah, Georgia: Haunted mansions (well, purportedly haunted), Instagram-worthy architecture, ultra-friendly locals and a charming, leafy Historic District make Savannah a good choice when it comes to where to spend your Spring Break time. Get your fill of sun at the nearby beaches and food and fun along the Riverwalk.
Nassau, Bahamas: You can easily put beach hopping at the top of your Spring Break to-do list with a quick flight to Nassau. In addition to soaking up the sun or splashing around in turquoise water, get into the island mindset at an open air bar, where you can sip daiquiris (the drinking age is 18) and enjoy incredible fresh and affordable seafood. Don’t forget to make time to shop the duty-free shops on Bay Street or pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts from the lively Nassau Straw Market.
Puerto Rico: While the drinking age in Puerto Rico is a student-friendly 18, the crowds and scene are much tamer than other hot spots. Nonetheless, thanks to the charm of Old San Juan, with its cobblestone streets and cute cafes, the natural beauty of El Yunque National Park and the endless beaches, you won’t be bored in Puerto Rico.
Fort Walton, Florida: Sometimes you want a beach vacation with a lot of action, and sometimes you just want a stretch of warm sand to yourself for a while. Fort Walton is ideal for those who want a bit of both. Located an hour and a half from Spring Break central, Panama City Beach, Fort Walton gives you the best of the Florida sun and sand and puts you in the orbit of the full social scene. How close to the chaos you want to go is up to you…
Daytona Beach, Florida: The original Spring Break spot, Daytona still knows how to have fun. The sprawling beaches are great for tuning out school, and the nightlife – 0r even the afternoon life at certain poolsides – is your chance to tune in to fun.
New Orleans, Louisiana: There’s much more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras. This is a city for foodies, history buffs, music lovers and all around intrepid explorers. From the bustle of Bourbon Street to the laid-back fun of uptown, there’s a reason this city’s slogan is Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll).
Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles is a tough city to pin down. Known for beaches, shopping and the location of many paparazzi shots of your favorite celebs shopping in The Grove, the city is also home to some really interesting museums like the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), low-key bars and restaurants (or over-the-top nightclubs depending on what you’re in the mood for) and some of the best restaurants in the U.S.
Portland, Oregon: Portland is a very manageable city to explore, meaning you can easily pack a lot of the city’s best sights and attractions into a short stay. Nearby mountains, craft breweries, art galleries, parks, farmers’ markets and adorable cafes and bars await Spring Break travelers with an appetite to get outside and explore.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Whether you want to spend your break in the city or head for the slopes, Salt Lake City has you covered. Loaded with art and architecture and anchored byHistoric Temple Square, downtown offers endless corners to explore. But adventure seekers are more likely to find their fun at the world-class ski resorts surrounding the city. Spring ski (and apres ski) season is at its prime during Spring Break.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will want to consider a trip to Vancouver for Spring Break. You can ski, hike, snowboard and mountain bike all in a few days if you want. There’s also great food, a good bar scene (available to those 19 and over), laid-back locals and a convivial vibe that makes even first-time visitors feel right at home. (The U.S.-friendly exchange rate might make it feel even better than home.)
Reno, Nevada: If you’ve never thought about visiting Reno, make this Spring Break the year you do it. Probably most well-known as a gambling spot, Reno is also home to many ski resorts, bars, restaurants and chances to shop until you drop.
Denver, Colorado: Feeling like you need some sunshine during Spring Break? The Mile-High City gets 300 days of sunlight a year. But getting your daily dose of vitamin D isn’t the only thing Denver is good for. The city is also known for its many brewpubs and tap rooms (over 100 in the metro area along), progressive marijuana laws and overall social vibe. And, of course, outdoor fun awaits in every direction.
Las Vegas, Nevada: You already know that Vegas is the place to be to try your luck at the roulette table, but there’s more to Sin City than gambling. Stop by the Neon Museum and Boneyard to find out what happens to old Vegas signs, play some pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame, ride the SlotZilla zip line and spend some time bar-hopping or just exploring downtown Las Vegas.
Niagara Falls, New York or Ontario, Canada: Niagara Falls, no matter which side you’re looking at (American or Canadian), are always an epic sight. But the area is also filled with other things to see and do. If you’re feeling lucky, you can check out the Niagara Fallsview Casino, sample some wine at one of the surrounding wineries like Inniskillin, take in the views from the Skylon Tower Observation Deck, or ride the Clifton Hill SkyWheel, one of the best ways to view the Falls. Stay on the Canada side for better buying power and to take advantage of the lower drinking age.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Get a taste of Europe without leaving North America with a Spring Break trip to Montreal. You’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring Old Montreal, browsing cute shops and cafes and feeling like you made a pit stop in Paris. Other Montreal must-dos include browsing the massive Jean-Talon Market, getting the most of your strong U.S. dollar by shopping Sainte Catherine Street (one of North America’s longest shopping arteries) and diving into a plate of poutine, washed down with a local beer, before trying your luck at the casino.
Clearwater / Tampa, Florida: Get your sun and sand fix over Spring Break with a visit to Clearwater and Tampa. You’ve got the gleaming white sands of Clearwater Beach to stretch out on, or the three miles of sand only reachable by ferry at Caladesi Island State Park, both easily accessible from Tampa and Clearwater. In addition, both cities offer much in the way of green space, shopping, water sports and eco-adventures.
Chicago, Illinois: The Windy City is the place to be for art, architecture, food and shopping. Starting with food, there are well over 5,000 restaurants in the Chicago area. If you’re into beer, the city hosts over 30 beer festivals through the year. Beyond food and drink, there’s iconic Millennium Park, the 18-mile long Lakefront Trail, over 500 parks and gardens to explore and tons of shopping along Magnificent Mile, a 13-block stretch of Michigan Avenue.
Austin, Texas: Music-lovers ought to seriously consider visiting Austin over Spring Break since there are more than 250 live music venues here – and it’s known as the live music capital of the world. When you need a break from music, sip some craft beer, or tour a brewery, feast on some eats from one of the city’s many food trucks and shop the boutique-lined 2nd Street District.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Myrtle Beach is no slouch when it comes to Spring Break offerings. Amusement parks, water parks, plenty of bars, Spring Break events and, of course, easy beach access, should keep you busy. And, if you are looking to save money, tour companies like Myrtle Beach Tours offer affordable group accommodation options especially for Spring Break travelers.
Phoenix, Arizona: While Phoenix may not be the first place you think of when you think Spring Break, it has a lot to offer last-minute travelers. Phoenix is a diverse destination, home to desert, mountains and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Hike your way to the top of Camelback Mountai, try one of the 50 miles of trails in South Mountain Park and Preserve or catch a baseball game. The Cactus League spring training season kicks off at the end of February, with games scheduled throughout March for 15 MLB teams. Not a baseball fan? No problem. March is one of the busiest months of the year in Phoenix, with festivals and events like the Arizona Renaissance Festival, the Arizona Wild West Festival and the Good Life Festival, which includes music from national and local acts, among many others.
Nashville, Tennessee: If you’re into live music, Music City is, of course, an ideal destination. And with a number of honky tonks, dive bars and barbecue joints downtown within walking distance of each other, Nashville is the perfect place for an alternative spring break.
Where are you hoping to spend Spring Break? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image: Caleb George