By Brad Benson
Summer is around the corner …but not here quite yet. Before you can bask in the Summer warmth of your own backyard, you’ve got to survive a hit-or-miss final two-ish months. But thankfully, a week-long escape called “Spring Break” is on the horizon -and is just what you need to get you through the final stretch; but don’t settle for the same-ole-same-ole Spring Break destination. Here are a few alternative spots that’ll add a lil’ extra spring to your break!
Iceland is so far North that it’s a relatively quick flight from nearly anywhere in the U.S. –and what it offers is other-worldly! Exotic landscapes, vibrant culture, and enough geothermal hot springs to warm-up your week, Iceland is the ultimate alternative Spring Break destination. And its established status as international, exotic locale ensures that an accessible, laid-back, and relaxing experience awaits!
The Azores are a little bit of Portugal a little bit closer to the U.S. -and with non-stop flights from New York beginning in May, they’re about to get easier than ever to get to. Bonus: the destination remains a relatively under-the-radar escape, so your visit will surely incite intrigue and allure from the poor souls left on this side of the Atlantic.
It’s not the Caribbean –but it’s close. Bermuda is by its lonesome self in the middle of the Atlantic but just a hop, skip, and a jump from the East Coast by plane. The Country’s pink sand beaches were made for Instagram, and a bevy of attractions and resorts will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean …minus the crowds!
Looking for a European vibe without crossing the pond? Look no further than Montreal, Canada. Its quaint & colonial city center, burgeoning food scene, and cultural touchstones make Canada’s second city a hot spot for those in-the-know. And its proximity to the East Coast makes transport by plane, train, or car a viable option!
If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring experience, head south-west to America’s wonder of the natural world: the Grand Canyon. But not by the old-fashioned way (by car or plane), rather take a journey on the Grand Canyon Railway. The train offers a novel step back in time, and beautiful, comfortable amenities make getting there half the fun!
New Orleans is the least American of American cities –and as it continues to rebound from the trials of 2005, the charming City is embracing and building more of what makes it so unique. The music, the architecture, the cuisine, the nightlife: everything combines to set New Orleans apart, and with sights & lodging to fit any taste and budget, The Big Easy is not to be missed!
Even if you’re not a beach person, Mexico has much to offer including its sprawling capital Mexico City. As the largest city if North America (and with a recent influx of high-tech industries) the City offers world-class museums, safe and efficient public transportation, a diverse foodie scene, and a starkly different yet inviting love of life that envelops even the temporary visitor.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Let’s face it: Puerto Rico has had it rough recently, but its valuable tourism industry is ready and waiting to welcome visitors once again. Old San Juan is a charming, cobblestone-paved, tree-lined city center. Both close to the beaches and exotic jungles, it’s a perfect base to explore new experiences. It’s a refreshingly different city and country, but bonus: as an American territory, no passport is required!
The canals of Copenhagen might surprise you (as they did me), but they’re a novel way to travel within this City centered on its waterways …and made famous by the Little Mermaid herself! Those in Copenhagen love high-class activities and foods, so your days will be spent satiated and entertained. And an evening spent at Tivoli Gardens –one of the oldest, Victorian amusement parks in the World- is the highlight of many-a-trip!
Key West, Florida
Alright, so this one may be technically in the Caribbean, but getting to The Conch Republic is part of the experience! The beautiful 3-hour drive from Miami to Key West takes you through the Everglades and hops from island to island as you coast down a tiny stretch of highway separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic ocean. Once at your destination, private beaches at the resorts ensure you’re satisfied, pampered, and relaxed. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary polydactyl cats (they have 6 toes) throughout the island!
Break-the-mold this Spring Break with an out-of-the-box destination!
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