Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow this Groundhog Day, but six more weeks of winter will give you more time to plan your (hopefully warm) spring break getaway. Here are TravelMuse’s top five picks for families:
1. Los Angeles
The City of Angels has something for everyone. Beaches? You bet, from Santa Monica State Beach to Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Amusement parks? From Disneyland to Universal Studios to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Shopping? Try the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica for a collection of boutiques in an open air mall or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Eating? For the best burger known to man, visit The Apple Pan in West Los Angeles. Sports? Depending on the timing of your spring break, the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Clippers, Kings or Galaxy could have a game. And yes, you might see a movie star.
2. New York City
Though there are beaches in Brooklyn and Queens, the weather is a tad cool in spring to be on the sand, and the city offers much more to keep all ages happy. Iconic landmarks abound, like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. Check out museums from the American Museum of Natural History to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Central Park alone offers 843 acres of possibility, from an afternoon picnic to a visit to the zoo.
3. San Diego
If the kids love animals, San Diego has plenty for them. SeaWorld San Diego features Shamu in the “Believe” killer whale show. The San Diego Zoo has five endangered giant pandas who call the zoo’s Giant Panda Research Station home. In the zoo’s 1,800-acre Wild Animal Park, you can see more than 3,500 animals.
4. Washington, D.C.
With a new president who has inspired millions of kids and teenagers to get involved in service and the political process, now’s the time to visit our nation’s capital. Wander the National Mall from the Capitol steps to the Lincoln Memorial and go up the Washington Monument. Get lost among the treasures of the world’s largest museum complex at the Smithsonian museums, from the National Portrait Gallery to the National Air and Space Museum.
5. Riviera Maya, Mexico
College Spring Breakers may enjoy going crazy in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for families. To go with the spectacular beaches and clear waters, a trip to the Riviera Maya can include snorkeling amidst the jungle in the largest “natural aquarium” in the world, Xel-Ha; a visit to the picturesque Mayan ruins situated along the sea at Tulum; an excursion to La Quinta Avenida (Firth Avenue) in Playa del Carmen for shopping and dining. All-inclusive resorts line the shore, but for those seeking something different, beachfront boutique hotels and cabins on the jungle’s edge are also available.
* Post adapted from “10 Top Spring Break Spots” by Andrew Weiss.