We find ourselves in the midst of the coldest days of winter, and to be honest, I’ve had enough. While I appreciate cozy nights in, there comes a point where the idea of snuggling up with a good book loses its appeal. After months of seeking comfort indoors, I’m eager to step outside! Since Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, I’ve been daydreaming about breaking free from the winter blues with a vacation. The anticipation of an upcoming trip is just the motivation needed to get through the final weeks of winter.

If, like me, you can’t stop thinking about traveling, get ready to book those flights and pack your bags because we’ve compiled a list of wonderful spring vacation suggestions to spark joy in your life. Continue reading for some spring travel ideas that will help you shake off the winter doldrums.

1. Austin, Texas

Locals will tell you that spring is the ideal time to visit Austin. By the time June arrives, the heat becomes so intense that your entire trip revolves around seeking air conditioning. Spring, however, is perfect for enjoying Austin’s outdoor activities, such as hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, swimming in Barton Springs, or trying standup paddleboarding or kayaking on Lady Bird Lake.

For those less inclined to outdoor adventures, there’s always the option of indulging in some retail therapy on South Congress. Explore local boutiques and stop by Allens Boots or Tecovas for a new pair of cowboy boots. Once you’ve outfitted yourself, hit the town for a drink in the vibrant entertainment district of Dirty 6th Street, or venture for a bar-hopping experience along Rainey Street, where live music flows and Austin earns its title as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Where to stay: Hotel Van Zandt (from $203 a night), The LINE Austin (from $215)

2. Newport, Rhode Island

Who can resist lobster rolls, sailing, and classic New England architecture? Visiting Newport in the spring allows you to avoid the summer crowds and witness the town’s vibrant floral beauty. While it may be a tad challenging to reach Newport from certain locations, it’s a straightforward drive from northeastern cities like New York and Boston. Upon arrival, take a leisurely stroll along the Cliff Walk for stunning views of the opulent Gilded Age mansions once owned by prominent figures like the Kennedys and Vanderbilts. For a closer look, consider taking a self-guided tour of The Breakers, a mansion once called a humble summer “cottage” by Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

After immersing yourself in the grandeur of these homes, head to Bowen’s Wharf and Bannister’s Wharf to admire the scenery, shop at local stores, and savor delicious fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants. And of course, a visit to a nautical town like Newport wouldn’t be complete without setting sail. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor who prefers captaining your own vessel or someone who prefers a relaxing boat tour with a glass of wine, Newport offers options for everyone.

Where to stay: Serenity Inn (from $109 a night), The Cliffside Inn (from $199)

3. Sedona, Arizona

After enduring a chilly winter, a rejuvenating desert retreat is among the top spring vacation ideas. With its captivating landscapes and mystical allure, Sedona is the perfect place for an energetic reset. The city is home to four significant vortex sites, believed to intensify the Earth’s energy and offer spaces for self-discovery and reflection. For an experience of these sites, consider hiking at Bell Rock for beginners or Cathedral Rock for more experienced hikers.

If the idea of vortexes feels a bit too esoteric, fear not; Sedona offers a variety of activities. Explore Devil’s Bridge, one of the city’s most visited locations, or opt for a Jeep tour to marvel at the canyon’s beauty. When you’re ready to unwind from your outdoor escapades, visit one of Sedona’s wineries or enjoy the local art scene on the Sedona Art Walk, showcasing over 80 galleries.

Where to stay: Sky Ranch Lodge (from $222 a night), Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock (from $400)

4. Lake Tahoe, California

Featuring both beaches and mountains, Lake Tahoe offers a blend of experiences. While the cool spring weather may not be ideal for swimming, the breathtaking views alone make the trip worthwhile. Depending on conditions, consider purchasing a day pass and driving to one of the many ski resorts in the area, like Palisades Tahoe and Northstar California Resort, for some slope action.

If you prefer a more relaxed pace this spring, opt for a leisurely hike at Cave Rock, one of the area’s beloved trails, or take a stroll or bike ride around the lake on East Shore Trail. You could also try kayaking or paddleboarding on the crystal-clear waters of Sand Harbour. Afterward, unwind on a patio and enjoy the mountain air at one of Lake Tahoe’s craft breweries, such as South Lake Brewing Co.

Where to stay: The Landing Tahoe Resort & Spa (from $199 a night), Marriott Grand Residence Club (from $280)

5. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head is the ideal destination for a classic beach getaway during spring. With its stunning beaches and consistently pleasant weather, this island offers the perfect setting for relaxing with your feet in the sand and a good book in hand. Renting a bike is a great way to explore the island while basking in the sunlight. Be sure to pedal over to Harbour Town to see the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse and browse through local shops, all while admiring the docked boats. After exploring the land, consider joining one of the many water excursions on Hilton Head, ranging from sunset sails to dolphin watching.

Where to stay: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa (from $179 a night), Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ocean Oak Resort (from $250)

6. Palm Springs, California

For the epitome of relaxation, imagine soaking up the sun by the pool with a refreshing drink in hand—this is what Palm Springs is all about. With spring temperatures hovering in the 80s, you’ll want to enjoy this getaway before summer arrives. While Palm Springs is known for its laid-back vibe, there’s also no shortage of activities, such as riding the aerial tramway for breathtaking views of Chino Canyon. Explore the gardens at the historic Sunnylands estate, tour the Moorten Botanical Garden, or take a dip in a natural hot spring. If you’re up for a short road trip, Joshua Tree National Park is just an hour away.

Palm Springs is a haven for shopping enthusiasts, with Palm Canyon Drive boasting vintage shops and restaurants. After your shopping spree, take a guided architecture tour to discover the city’s famous mid-century modern homes or hit the links at one of Palm Springs’ renowned golf courses. Aim to avoid visiting during Coachella (second and third weekends in April) to sidestep the peak crowds.

Where to stay: The Saguaro (from $139 a night), The Ace Hotel & Swim Club (from $299)

7. Washington, D.C.

Sometimes, a vacation isn’t just about relaxation; it’s about immersing yourself in a new city and filling your days with exciting activities. If that’s the kind of getaway you’re seeking, consider booking a trip to Washington, D.C. One of the highlights of visiting the nation’s capital in spring is the stunning cherry blossoms, which only bloom for a short period. According to The Washington Post, they are expected to peak between March 25 and 29 this year, so plan your visit accordingly.

While in D.C., you’ll find a plethora of museums and historic sites to explore downtown, including The White House, National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol, and the Smithsonian museums. Georgetown is another must-visit area, offering picturesque houses, waterside strolls, shopping opportunities, and delectable treats from iconic spots like Georgetown Cupcake.

Where to stay: Lyle Hotel (from $228 a night), Kimpton George Hotel (from $274)

8. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

This enchanting seaside town may look like something out of a fairy tale, but it’s just over an hour’s drive from San Jose. Known for its picturesque charm, Carmel is the perfect escape from the everyday grind. The streets are pedestrian-friendly, inviting you to wander through the neighborhoods and admire the unique architecture.

Strolling along Ocean Avenue, lined with charming boutiques, art galleries, and cafes, is a must. Follow the street down to the beach for a picturesque promenade. Despite its small size, Carmel boasts a vibrant culinary scene, including Michelin-starred Chez Noir and the celebrity-frequented Aubergine. If you’re a fan of gorgeous beaches, take a drive to nearby Monterey or Pacific Grove during your stay.

Where to stay: Monte Verde Inn (from $239 a night), Carmel Beach Hotel (from $356)


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